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.
- 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