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“Awful place”
Review of Tower Lodge

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Tower Lodge
Ranked #14 of 15 Hotels in Pokolbin
uk
Level 5 Contributor
68 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Awful place”
Reviewed January 12, 2011

Where do I start? 5 star its not!
On arrival, we were greeted to a very stark, depressing building - we were not even sure it was a hotel, apart from the Relais and Chateau sign on the wall.Looks nothing like the pretty courtyard photo in the brochures and website. We made our way through the door and were greeted by members of staff that, although nice, were rather inept.
The room was a bit of a shock - rustic, lots of furniture, but not practically laid out, nice linens, but an itchy, scratchy blanket. Not exactly high-tech, don't even attempt to get WiFi in your room, you have to be in a certain part of the bar to get any reception at all.
The bathroom was awful, very dated and nowhere to put any toiletries apart from stacked up around the bath.
When I had a bath, the jacuzzi jets spewed out scum, they had obviously not been sterilised for some time.
We went back to the bar for a drink and the manager, Andreas, introduced himself to us. Thereafter he was noticeable by his absence.
The hotel information promised wine tasting with the manager nightly at 6.30pm, but he was not around and we had cocktails instead, the barman Ryan was chatty and very pleasant.
Breakfast buffet was laid out the next morning, and was very nice. However, my husband and I ordered some 'hot' items, bacon for him and Eggs Benedict for myself. We waited half an hour!, despite there being only two other people in the restaurant. We were presented with cool bacon and eggs benedict comprising two just warm eggs atop cold smoked salmon straight from the fridge, topped off with two dollops of congealed Hollandaise. The waitress tried to tell me that this was a classic 'room temperature' hollandaise.Still no sign of Andreas, the 'live in' manager!
We passed on eating at Roberts the restaurant on site - given the breakfast experience. We ate at Blaxlands the first night, lovely home cooking and Amanda's On The Edge - lovely views, very accomodating and nice food.
The next morning we were surprised that they were just starting to set up the buffet when we walked in, I had to ask for butter, was not offered tea\coffee, and the buffet items were still not laid up past 8am.
We settled our bill, eventually, no-one being on reception, no-one could help us with directions, and still no sign of Andreas.
There must be somewhere nicer to stay in the valley

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank lovelongboatkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
TowerEstate, General Manager at Tower Lodge, responded to this review, January 14, 2011
Dear Mr and Mrs S,

Thank you for your honest and direct account of your stay with us at Tower Lodge, without comments such as yours, we would not be able to refine our service level to our future guests. We will certainly take your comment on board and will take action to ensure those little things will not happen again. I do apologise that Tower Lodge did not meet your expectations on this occasion and I have forwarded onto you in a separate personal email a more detailed apology.

Yours sincerely
Andreas Breitfuss
Maitre de Maison

P.S. I hope you have received the goods that you left behind at the Lodge.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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129 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (14)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Benowa Waters Qld
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 11, 2011

Andreas and his staff, led by sommelier Mel, provide the complete experience in respect to getting away and enjoying a superb culinary experience along with an equally appealing wine selection. We experienced Christmas, but imagine it is a Christmas experience 365 days each year.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
1 Thank Mothie1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Erina Valley
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2011

My husbad and I spend our NYE here. It was fantastic. Our room was beautifully appointed, with the most comfortable bed ever. The minute you walk through their big wooden doors you are made to feel special. The staff are always helpful and extremely polite. It is a private oasis away from business pressures and noisy (but beautiful) children. I love that it is a small hotel therefore you never have to wait for anything - room service, food, drinks, and best of all the pool was quiet and relaxing. We will always return here, it is perfect.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank Ilona1971
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
2 reviews
Reviewed January 6, 2011

We had a very nice stay at the tower lodge, with a quiet and relaxing atmosphere that reminded a "chateau atmosphere". The resort is very unique and decoration and furniture chosen with very much taste.
However we were surprised over small things for a 5 star accommodation, the bill couldn't be printed for our departure, we couldn't get good advice about a nice walk in the area, sauna wasn't working and couldn't be fixed over the 2 days and no alternative proposed (for example discount on spa treatment or other)
Breakfast was nice, so was the free afternoon tea with cakes and wine tasting.
But be aware that they have a strong non cancellation policy and you have to pay 50% if cancellation is made less than 30 days before, and that they are not flexible about that. Unfortunately one of our relatives had a terrible accident and unable to fly to Australia because of surgery, there was no way of refund 20 days before.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
Thank anafromsydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 6, 2011

This was our second New Year's Eve at Tower Lodge and it was fabulous. The food and wine were outstanding and the company was fun. Overall, we had a very relaxing time and were very well looked after, as usual. We plan to visit again this year and highly recommend Tower Lodge to anyone looking for a unique experience in the Hunter Valley wine country.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Judy_from_Stanmore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level 2 Contributor
4 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 5, 2011

I was lucky enough to have a secret getaway to Tower Lodge as a Birthday present. I didn't know where we would be staying in the Hunter Valley, however in the back of my mind I was hoping for Tower Lodge as I'd seen it previously on the internet. I was thrilled when we pulled up on the beautiful property. Given there are only 12 rooms, the premises was very quiet and peaceful. The greeting service was excellent.
The highlights for us were: the beauty of the rooms, the scerenity of the environment, the excellent service, the beautiful breakfasts served out in the courtyard by the fountain.
If I could point out a couple of areas which were a talking point for my partner and I:
1. Mosquitos - it may have been the time of year, or just a temporary issue, however the amount of mosquitos was quite annoying. Each night before bed, my partner and I would try to catch as many as we could. However we still had uncomfortable sleeps. Tower Lodge have obviously attempted to make their guests stays more comfortable by supplying mosquito spray, citronella candles if choosing to sit outside, and fly screen nettings on doors, and a mosquito preventer plugged in near the bed. However this wasn't enough to keep them away. We were also particular about keeping doors closed as much as possible. However in saying this, if there is a problem at Tower Lodge, I would assume there is a problem in other places in the Hunter, at least Tower Lodge tried to do something about them.
2. Value - the rooms and service are lovely and I would choose Tower Lodge for its styling, beauty and scerenity over many Hunter properties. However, I can't help but feel the cost was a little overpriced and hence this is likely to prevent us choosing Tower Lodge regularly. But for a special occassion, would definitely reconsider!
A very beautiful stay!!

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank FazzyK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed November 30, 2010

We just spent the weekend at Tower Lodge and all I can say it is the "best of the best". It is with out question the best accommodation place I have ever stayed in. The GM Andreas was by far a standout in our eyes, he greeted us at the front door, helped with our luggage and gave us a personal tour of the Lodge. We now understand why this place won an award at the World luxury hotels awards this year. We came away from the weekend feeling like a king and queen.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Needabreak2230
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tower Lodge

Property: Tower Lodge
Address: 6 Halls Rd, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Pokolbin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#13 Luxury Hotel in Pokolbin
Hotel Class:5 star — Tower Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tower Lodge is the only truly intimate World class luxury Lodge in the Hunter Valley region, accommodating a maximum of 24 guests at any one time. The Lodge is not only luxurious, but also offers a stage to create your own special experience, one that will become your benchmark for years to come. Located at Tower Estate in the Hunter Valley, Australia the Lodge was recognised as the best "Luxury Lodge" for 2010 at the World Luxury Hotel Awards. Tower Lodge represents all that is Unique, Intimate and Luxurious. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Tower Lodge - Relais & Chateaux Hotel Pokolbin
Tower Lodge - Relais And Chateaux
Tower Lodge Pokolbin
Pokolbin Tower Lodge
Tower Lodge Greater Newcastle/Pokolbin

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