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“Picturesque base for exploring the truly Great Ocean Road”
Review of Claerwen Retreat

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Claerwen Retreat
Ranked #5 of 20 Apollo Bay B&B and Inns
Reviewed February 5, 2014

We recently spent two nights at Claerwen and wish we could have stayed longer. We were in the yellow efficiency with a loft bedroom. Although you need to mind your head getting in and out of bed, the view from the loft is worth the need for caution.
We have four pieces of advice:
#1 Do not let your GPS direct you onto Old Tuxian Rd vs. Tuxian Rd on your way to Claerwen
#2 Be prepared to want to stay there once you get there. We had planned to drive out for dinner the second night but were enjoying the view and atmosphere at Claerwen so much, we did not want to leave. They offer a limited menu for a light meal. We opted for selections from their menu and were very pleased with the food.
#3 Watch for the kangaroos in the early morning and near sunset. Three roos were behind our apartment the second evening, and we got some good pictures of them.
#4 There is a laundry room on site which is great when you have been traveling for a while

Finally, our thanks to our hosts at Claerwen who were helpful and hospitable in every way. When we told them we were celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary, they thoughtfully provided a bottle of wine and a kind note. We would definitely return.

Room Tip: We were in the efficiency portion of the property with a small kitchen facility, but you can stay in...
  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Kscott_Odessa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClaerwenRetreat, Manager at Claerwen Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded February 6, 2014

Thank you for taking your time to write such a wonderful review for us. We are very pleased that you choose Claerwen Retreat to celebrate your wedding anniversary, and were able to rleax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings here. We agree Claerwen is a place wroth spenidng at least a few days to explore our amazing Great Ocean Road and Otways National Parks.
We look forward for your next visit should you ever return to Australia!
With KInd Regards
Arnaud & Karyn
Retreat Managers

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Reviews (106)
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27 - 33 of 106 reviews

Reviewed January 26, 2014

Claerwen retreat sits at the top of a hill overlooking Apollo Bay. The drive up to the retreat - a 5km twisty, narrow gravel road is a bit of an adventure - but once at the top the peace, tranquility and the view is very worthwhile. Make sure you arrive before dusk as driving the track in the dark could be all together another adventure!

The husband and wife management team were very welcoming and soon had us settled into our cosy, well equipped room complete wth king size bed. All very comfortable. A very good full Engish breakfast was available in the morning and in the evening a simple menu which included the very tasty Thai Green Curry was available. The wine was also particularly good

We spent a whole day relaxing at the retreat as a break in our journey along the Great Ocean Road. We spent some of the day trying to spot the wild koala that had been seen near the house the night before, before collapsing on to the sun loungers around the pool in the inner courtyard. Sadly for us we had arrived too early in the summer season for the pool to have warmed up. It was very cold.

We spent the evenings in the retreat's comfortbale guest lounge complete wth an extensive library of books, looking out over the lawn. On both nights we were lucky enough to see three wild kangaroos hop onto the lawn to graze. A very special experience.

One of the hazards of more rural Australia is snakes and we had been advised to take good walking boots if we wanted to take advantage of the walks.We didn't venture far and kept to the mown areas and gravel tracks avoiding the longer grass. We didn't have any close encounters of the crawling kind.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Kevin B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClaerwenRetreat, Manager at Claerwen Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded January 29, 2014

Thank you for taking your time to write such a wonderful review for us. It is always a delight to hear such positive feedback from our guests, and we are proud of our high customer service standards. We agree, Claerwen is a magical resting place, and the perfect spot to rest amongst the Great Ocean Road Journey. We trust the rest of your trip in Australia went well.

With Kind Regards
Karyn & Arnaud
Retreat Managers

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Reviewed January 24, 2014

My husband and I were booked in to the Claerwen Retreat as part of a package organised by The Flight Centre. We therefore had no idea that it was 6 kilometres from Apollo Bay up an unmade road which was extremely steep and winding. Having reached the top we realised we would not feel comfortable going back down to have a meal so asked if there was a restaurant. We were told that there was not but that soup and a cheeseboard could be provided and also some wine. In the event this was very enjoyable. The main building was really lovely but we were in an out building some distance away where the facilities were fairly basic. The views were really spectacular and we were certainly made welcome.
Overall an interesting experience but not necessarily one we would wish to repeat.

Room Tip: One in the main building
  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled with family
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Jill1851
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClaerwenRetreat, Manager at Claerwen Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2014

Thank you for taking your time to write a review for us. We are thankful you can acknowledge our facilities we provide to accomodate our guests. It is often a common concern for people in regards to the road when they have not researched the property themselves, and expect to be located in the town. However, we are glad that you can see the postive side of your stay and appreciate your feedback.We understand that the adventure of the road is not for everyone!
Take Care & Happy Travels
With Kind Regards
Arnaud & Karyn
Retreat Managers

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Reviewed January 23, 2014

We spent 4 nights in a cottages. The place was immaculate and modern. The views, peace and quiet and surrounding property were beautiful. The open fireplace, which we used a number of times, perfected the whole experience. The managers - Arnaud and Cas, did everything they could to make our stay more pleasant and assisted us with anything we needed. The breakfasts (home made jams, bread and yoghurts - yum!) were great, as was the light dinner we had there one night. The cat, horse and two ponies, were friendly - to the joy of our children. The dirt road to the retreat is comfortable, and we had no issues driving it a number of times a day. Being away from town was worth the short travel.
We will DEFINITELY return!!!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with family
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1  Thank RDJA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClaerwenRetreat, Manager at Claerwen Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded January 25, 2014

Thank you for taking your time to complete such a wonderful review for us. It was our pleasure to meet you and asist you to have a relaxing and rewarding break away. Your feedback helps us continue to strive to deliver the highest customer service standards.

We look forward to welcome you back soon.

With Kind Regards
Karyn Chapman & Arnaud Plard
Retreat Managers

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Reviewed January 20, 2014

After getting stressed at New year's time by the few available places to stay in Apollo bay I'm so pleased we found this place....it is a hidden gem!!!!! Up a windy road at the top of the hill, it offers 360degree views of the area, not to mention very hospitable staff, a cute rooms.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled with friends
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank littlepiggy240
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClaerwenRetreat, Manager at Claerwen Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded January 22, 2014

Thank you for taking the time to write this review for us. We are pleased you welcomed the new year in our beautiful surroundings. We hope you will return again on your next visit.
Happy Travels
Arnaud & Karyn
Retreat Managers

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2014

Very warm welcome and helpful service, beautiful room, stunning views, and delicious breakfast. Improvements could be keep lawns mowed, TV working and get rid of dying plant in living room! Thank you for having us :-)

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Georgina L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClaerwenRetreat, Manager at Claerwen Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded January 22, 2014

Hi Georgina,
Thank you for taking your time to provide feedback and a great review for us. We are thrilled you enjoyed your stay. In regards to the feedback about the lawns we were in a period of in between during your stay, they were done the next day when the weather allowed! I apologise again for the inconvenience for the tv stations being out of order, but this should have been explained to you on check in our aerial had been damaged in the last storm and we weren't able to rectify it over the Christmas break, until the technician was available on the 14th of January! This has all been taken care to. We appreciate your feedback in order to assist us in continuing to strive for the highest standards! We look forward to your next visit!
With Kind Regards
Arnaud & Karyn
Retreat Managers

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Reviewed January 20, 2014

This property was just picture-perfect! The house sits on top of a mountain with ocean views from every corner! The property managers, Arnold and Kaz, were just the nicest most tentative people you'll meet! They made the stay just that better! Only regret was that we only stayed 1 night! Should have booked at least 2 nights! Would stay here again if I was passing by Apollo Bay!

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Naty1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ClaerwenRetreat, Manager at Claerwen Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded January 22, 2014

Thank you for taking your time to write this review for us. We are so pleased that you enjoyed your stay as much as we enjoyed having you here! We agree with you that this is a must stop visit on your great ocean road visit and deserves more time as most of our one night travellers would agree.
We strive to provide the highest standards of customer service and highly appreciate your feedback in this area. We trust that the rest of your visit in Australia went well and we look forward to welcome you again sometime!
Happy Travels
Arnaud & Kaz
Retreat Managers

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Claerwen Retreat

Address: Tuxion Rd., Apollo Bay, Victoria, Australia
Location: Australia > Victoria > Apollo Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 20 B&Bs / Inns in Apollo Bay
Price Range: $99 - $420 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Claerwen Retreat 3.5*
Number of rooms: 12
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Claerwen Retreat is located "high above the world" overlooking the Great Ocean Road. It is the highest point in the area, an old aboriginal sacred site, with stunning ocean views. It offers a holiday experience with a difference that is focused on relaxation, self-discovery and personal growth. We support this process in an environment of peaceful solitude, healing nature and luxurious accommodation. Its guesthouse, two cottages and meeting centre are nestled in 130 acres of park, rainforest and fern gullies. The property has a outdoor pool, spa and tennis court. The beach is ten minutes away. It is a place where your spirit can rest. Claerwen is an ideal base for tours along Victoria's dramatic west coast. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Claerwen Retreat Apollo Bay/Great Ocean Road

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