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“Disgusting service”
Review of Pokolbin Village

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Pokolbin Village
Ranked #5 of 15 Hotels in Pokolbin
Townsville, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Disgusting service”
Reviewed April 20, 2011

If only I had visited this site before I made the booking. I have never written a complaint before, but I am doing so in hope that someone else will read it and not make the mistake I did.

After searching the internet for an accommodation which included a wine tour I came across Pokolbin Village. The photographs looked stunning, and the fact that there was a restaurant, bar, chocolate and cheese shop on the grounds made it all the more inviting. They had a special package running that seemed perfect for my group of four, so we made the booking.

Problem #1: As we were travelling from North Queensland we inquired as to whether or not there were any regular transport options to and from Sydney. We were told to catch a train to Morisset Station and from there a bus would drop us off at Pokolbin Village. We did so and waited for a while for the bus to arrive and no one showed up. I rang Pokolbin Village only to be told that they were “An accommodation house not a transport department” and that their staff would “never ever organise transport options”. I asked if anything was going to be done about this, after their staff had obviously given us the wrong directions and we were told “No, however we have beautiful rooms, which overlook a lovely landscape”. I’m sorry but I don’t care how lovely your rooms are I would much rather not be stranded in the middle of nowhere thanks to your incompetent staff. We then had to catch another one hour train and then spend $80 on a taxi. We were meant to arrive at 2pm instead we arrived at 6pm – to no apology, but a bottle of terrible wine.

Problem #2: When I made the booking I inquired as to whether or not Pokolbin Village did anything special for birthdays as two of our group would be celebrating birthdays during our stay. Nothing. Just a list of up priced chocolate and wine, which we could buy ourselves from the on grounds shops. There was also no recognition of our birthdays at all during our stay.

Problem #3: Two days before our arrival I rang to confirm our booking, only to be told that our booking was wrong and we were down to arrive a day early. I said no that we would be arriving on Friday, and was told by the receptionist that “No, you are arriving on Thursday. I’m sorry but I think ‘I’ would know when I am arriving. This seemed to be an issue to change but was done so.

Problem #4: We decided to try somewhere offsite for dinner and asked reception for any recommendations. They said try next door. We asked if we should get a taxi as it had been raining and we didn’t want to get caught. We were told it was a short walk and we would be fine. It didn’t rain, thankfully, but when we arrived we noticed there was a courtesy bus which we could have taken.

Problem #5: When I made the booking I asked if we could all be put in the same room. However I was told “Because the package is for a double you will require two separate rooms, as there are only double beds in all of the rooms”. Turns out both of our rooms had pull our couches so we could have stayed in the one room after all.

Yes the rooms were nice, and the meals were lovely, but that didn’t make up for the rudeness of the staff. And to see what we could only imagine was the manager of Pokolbin Village shovelling food into her face inside the restaurant one morning was completely disgusting. And to hear the way staff spoke to other guests was appalling. While we were eating dinner we overhead a group come in and ask for coffees – only to be told they couldn’t unless they ordered food. So they ordered one meal and 3 coffees and left the meal untouched. Ridiculous. Another large group, two families with children, ordered some drinks from the ‘cafe’ and some croissants only to be told they must eat the croissants inside, and not at their table on the veranda 2 metres away.

It was a nice weekend but no thanks to the staff at Pokolbin Village. I hope others learn from my mistake.

Room Tip: The images in the website are totally misleading
See more room tips
  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank NQJourno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (59)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Sydney
Level Contributor
28 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
Reviewed January 2, 2011

Great place to stay in The Hunter Valley,Wineries,Restaurants,Gardens and a great Bar all within walking distance..Cant fault this one and we will definately return.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank LouisaReadett
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Murwillumbah, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed December 15, 2010

Located across the road from Hope Winery so good for a long slow lunch. Attached shops like the chocolate shop are a bit expensive, compound chocolate.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Geezerart
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castel, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
81 reviews
35 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed November 4, 2010

We arrived on a Sunday at pokolbin about 4pm, after a six hour motorcycle ride from Armidale in the pouring rain, when we arrived (three bikes, six persons) we were cold and wet, not the hotels fault. we checked in and received our keys.
We went to our three respective rooms which were clean, large and wll appointed. we showered warmed up and then went back to reception to find it closed (5.30pm) we had intended to eat at the restaurant but then found a small notice on the door stating it would be holding a private function, i went in and asked if it would be possible to even use the bar, but was refused. One of our group called reception (dial 9) to ask for any other restaurants nearby, as we had a Hunter valley tourist book from the room but the map had been removed. We were told to go to Braxtons which was down the road we ordered a taxi only to find it was actually next door !!, lucky the driver saw the funny side. we had a great meal at Braxtons and would highly reccomend it. the following morning we went on a wine tour.
When we returned the reception were very helpful in booking us a balloon trip the following morning. However we did not think to ask about the restaurant which we found was closed on Monday and Tuesday night along with the Braxton next door.
There is a steak house just off Broke road about 20 minutes walk, we had to send our dinners back.
We stayed in 17 Hotels/B&B/motels on our month tour of the East coast of Australia and this was the most dissapointing

  • Stayed October 2010, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
3 Thank Brebs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
List22, Manager at Pokolbin Village, responded to this review, November 10, 2010
Dear Guernsey,

I appreciate you taking the time to post your review. I am pleased that your stay in our rooms at Pokolbin Village was enjoyable and that our staff were able to assist you during the time that you were with us.

In response to your comments regarding the onsite restaurant (the Winehouse Bar & Restaurant), I do wish to make it clear that this business is independently owned and operated from Pokolbin Village accommodation. Nonetheless, we take your concerns very seriously and offer our apology for the inconvenience that was caused to you.

I do hope that you understand, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Pokolbin Village again very soon.

Kind Regards,
Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed September 28, 2010

Why did I not read Trip Advisor before I booked? we stayed at the Homestead so our family of 5 could be accomodated (kids 15 12 &10) It was an old house in need of major renovation and face lift-what we didn't realise is that there are 2 little cabins either side-one of which could be joined by opening a locked door -the walls were paper thin -we could hear what the 2 people next door were saying.How can this be classified as a resort? Talk about false advertising- I hope no one else is as silly as I was and saw the website then booked-I must have been insane. It is set way up the back in the middle of a parched paddock-dust is everywhere.
The internet photos are so misleading-the 'beautiful' bathroom did not show the cheap vanity, the massive water damage to the wall next to the bath or the huge crack in the window.
No wonder the kitchen is not shown-it is circa 80's-cork tiles which have been patched and the particle board in the cupboards are water damaged-we were afraid to use any crockery or cutlery-the cupboards were so grubby. I don't think it was insulated as the house was very stuffy and did not cool down ( the day temp.was only28-imagine Summer)
The place was absolutely full of mosquitoes- it was impossible to kill all of them-although the bloody marks from where others had squashed mosquitoes were everywhere-Yuk! Our sleep was broken by the mozzies( which the receptionist helpfully said had been a 'bit of a problem ") and our skin was testament to the fact that bed bugs were also a problem-as for the beds-I've slept on more comfortable concrete.
We paid $500 for 2 nights-how stupid am I ? They even have the hide to say they are a 4star resort! Please do not make the mistake we did -STAY AWAY! I wish shifty , dishonest proprieters like this could be held accountable for the misery they cause families-Thank-you Trip Advisor for providing this forum so others can avoid our mistake.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Xanthe1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
List22, Manager at Pokolbin Village, responded to this review, October 7, 2010
Dear Xanthe1,

Thank you for your comments.

Pokolbin Village offers a range of accommodation options, with the Homestead being one of our more budget friendly alternatives. We are working towards performing significant renovations and upgrades to this venue and are looking forward to unveiling the result in the near future.

Our deluxe queen suites are perfect for couples and have already been renovated. An average of 9/10 guests participating in our surveys rate these rooms as ‘excellent’.

Again, I thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on the Homestead. We will use this information to improve the quality of stay for our future guests.

Kind Regards,
Management
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
83 reviews
28 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2010

We were really worried as we read the reviews of this accommodation on the way to the Hunter! Thankfully, our reality is a bit different! The room (a queen deluxe) is clean and tastefully decorated. It's not luxurious but not a disappointment - not a destination hotel but not one to ruin your trip either. We would stay again but it's not a first choice.

  • Stayed September 2010
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alex H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
SYDNEY
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed March 18, 2010

We as two couple groups also stayed here as part of a package with Hope Estate. The place is called a resort but is a glorified motel. Cleanliness is defintely low, dried out child vomit on the carpets, body odour in both rooms we booked and broken cups and saucers in the room.

The grounds also were a sight with a rotting picnic table gracing the lawn and dead palms around the pool.

Lastly, my initial review seems to have disappeared off trip advisor. The wireless internet only works outside reception, so I suspect might have been hacked when I wrote it on site. Our friends from NY who we were trying to impress were mortified and we terribly embarrassed. We have brought to Fair Trading's attention and are lodging a complaint with the Consumer Claims Tribunal

  • Stayed February 2010
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank TWOAUSSIE
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pokolbin Village

Property: Pokolbin Village
Address: 2188 Broke Rd, Pokolbin, New South Wales 2320, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Pokolbin
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#1 Top resorts Hotel in Pokolbin
#4 Luxury Hotel in Pokolbin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Pokolbin Village 4*
Number of rooms: 27
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled in the heart of Pokolbin, minutes to all the major attractions and event locations, Pokolbin Village offers unique 4 star accommodation with a charming and friendly "Village" atmosphere, ideal for the perfect short break. Surrounded by vineyards, Pokolbin Village features 4 star accommodation, a full-size tennis court, swimming pool, boules court, landscaped grounds and an array of on-site attractions to suit couples, families and groups. Relax by the pool, play tennis or browse the on-site attractions including The Pokolbin Winemakers Outlet (Cellar Door/Wine Tasting facility), The Pokolbin Chocolate & Jam Company, The Hunter Valley Smelly Cheese Shop, Tempt & Vixen (art, jewellery and homewares)and the Pokolbin General Store (with a large range of essentials, gifts and memorabilia). Buon Cibo Ristorante is also conveniently located on-site and is open daily from 8.00Am the perfect place to enjoy a sumptuous breakfast, coffee and cake, lunch or dinner. Buon Cibo Ristorante is open for dinner Friday to Monday and breakfast and lunch 7 days a week. Bookings are essential. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pokolbin Village Hotel Pokolbin
Pokolbin Village Greater Newcastle

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