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“Boutique hotel by the sea”

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The Castle Villa by the Sea
Ranked #8 of 10 Hotels in Cowes
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Boutique hotel by the sea”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 31, 2012

Overall this is a very comfortable, pleasant hotel with excellent service. The rooms are clean and the bed was comfortable. The bathroom is large with a shower, spa bath and toilet. There is a small but efficient kitchenette which has a microwave, small fridge and enough space to prepare a light meal. The balcony is private with a large spa bath and overlooks a lovely leafy garden. Location is very good within walking distance to cowes and next door to the beach. If staying with friends you have the added downstairs space for gathering and enjoying a meal on the decking. The only downside was the couch, which was like a sofa bed and a little uncomfortable to sit on. Also the barbecue on the decking is no longer able to be used by guests. The hosts and in particular the housekeeper, Jenny was absolutely delightful and was happy to clean our room or leave us in private. We had a space to park our cars but there is limited car spaces on a first come basis. I am very surprised by some of the bitter reviews I have read and cannot understand why people write such derogatory reviews. I am happy to recommend this hotel to all.

Room Tip: We stayed in the Erewhon Suite, a corner suite which was large and sunny. It had a lovely private b...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank dramarama53
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this review, January 27, 2013
Thank you for your review and comments - You were right - we have replaced the couch
Jenni & Harley
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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86 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    42
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    12
    6
    9
See reviews for
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 26, 2012

Having stayed at the Castle for the third time, I can only say it gets better and better. The hosts, Jenni and Harley remembered myself and my partner and had a bottle of chilled bubbles waiting for us. We stayed in a different suite this time (the Garden suite) and we loved the privacy the room offered. It was tucked away behind the main house amongst the beautiful and private back garden. We were left alone (which was just how we wanted it) and found the whole setting very romantic. I would definitely recommend the Castle as a peaceful, relaxing place and one to return to.

Room Tip: If you want a private, romantic room try the Garden suite!
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank RebeccaroseMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this review, January 26, 2013
Thank you for your review - may you come back in winter when the fire is burning and the champange cold
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 12, 2012

Our first trip to Phillip Island to see the fairy penguins, we stayed at The Castle – villa by the Sea and loved it – it had a lovely homely feeling and the hosts, Jenny and Harley were really helpful particularly in directing us to a delightful cafe just a short walk up the beach right on the water, made our day.
Our room was on the first floor and had all the comforts we needed. The big plus being a huge double spa on the outside deck that overlooked the garden that was very very private which resulted in a very relaxed weekend
Loved it all

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Alan G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this review, December 18, 2012
Thank you Alan G for your nice words as it is lovely to get positive feed back instead of the sometimes negativity and gives us heart to carry on - we are so glad you enjoyed your stay at The Castle
Jenni and Harley
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 5, 2012

La Mer Apartment!! For Sale!!
The views (not beach front) are only when standing on the balcony, looking over the dead plants in the planter boxes. A little small for four adults and displaying the tired atmosphere of an aging apartment.
The lounge suited for three adults, unless you like sitting on your partner, then suited for four.
Close to the shops and off-street parking are the best features.
Not the best value for money.

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank OBANINI_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this review, December 8, 2012
La Mer Apartment as offered exactly as is described and pictured on our website and we believe there is no misrepresentation – there is a sea view of the beach front and it is from the terrace as described in our literature and the “dead plants are actually native sea grass
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 19, 2012

Not sure where some of these otheir reviewers stayed..but the establishment we stayed at was professional..spotless...luxurious..and tell north every cent...and our usual choice of accommodation is always 4 star plus..we want to be spoiled when we go away and t he castle certainly did that.
We stayed in the terrace suite..it is tastefully decorated...subtlety luxurious ..with a large spa..and plenty of space to relax..
The place has a great character and it's owners who we had the pleasure to meet were friendly and hospitable.

We feel it's important to note. That the rooms cleanliness was of a very high standard. The housekeeper was particularly fastidious. And went out of her way to make our stay most enjoyable. What a credit to the place she is. We had a bit of an accident with water overflowing from the spa (totally our fault) we couldn't of been made to f eel more at ease . The housekeeper got us more towels and dealt with our mess so quickly. We were so surprised.

Anyone looking for an experience of luxury on Philip island needs to give this place a go
We certainly will be back.
We usually do not post reviews. But did so as we felt some of the reviews here were way off age mark. In fact it left us wondering about the authenticity of those reviewers.
Thanks for a wonderful time...we will .br back!!!

  • Stayed May 2012
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank likomi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this review, January 27, 2013
Thank you for your nice words - we look forward to your return
Jenni & Harley
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 15, 2012

Our first weekend trip to Cowes was a disaster! The description of The Castle provided on both theirs and TakeABreak's websites uses generic advertising language…. no doubt quite deliberately… and therefore tends to be quite misleading. I am in great envy of those who have stayed at The Castle and were delighted… our awful experience, resulting from unfulfilled expectations created by the website descriptions (and by the indignant demeanour of the proprietor, once challenged) was 180 degrees opposite. Our apartment DID NOT have a kitchenette, it DID NOT have a crackling log fire, it WAS NOT self-contained, the place IS NEITHER central to Cowes nor 'surrounded' by the sea (it's located away from the beach), the on-site parking is ridiculously cramped (and we saw no evidence of underground parking). It is otherwise adequate as accommodation but CANNOT be described as either '5-Star' or 'luxurious'. This is not a subjective opinion... look up the meaning of 5-Star in the context of AAA Tourism, and 'luxurious' in the context of the Australian hotels industry expectations.

We stayed from Fri-Mon but that is apparently not a Weekend Package… probably just as well we were not subject therefore, to the so-called complimentary champagne… the thought of a bottle of cheap Great Western plonk makes me bilious! We are here on TripAdvisor because TakeABreak refused to post our negative comment on their website. Apparently the proprietors of The Castle have assured TakeABreak that all problems we experienced have been 'fixed (tell 'em they're dreamin')... and therefore there is no reason for us to publish a review negative to The Castle. This view, we think, was both glibly censorial and stunningly paternalistic. The Castle--and the manner in which its proprietors operate--reflects no credit on Cowes and the other accommodation operators there who are trying to maintain a good tourist reputation for the community. The sad fact for Cowes is that although we have no reason to believe our experience at The Castle was at all indicative of the standard provided by other accommodation operators in this community, we will probably not soon reconsider Cowes as a long-weekend destination… in either winter or summer. So was there ANYTHING good about The Castle? Um… well, the spa worked well and we enjoyed it… and the artwork hanging on the walls is interesting. But we shall not return there.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank evanm279
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this review, July 25, 2012
For those who read this review and then that which follows and think it’s odd that 2 people could both have the same experience fret no longer ............ they are partners ............which makes one wonder was their purpose to offer fair criticism or were they merely lodged to reduce the rating of The Castle
We are always open to fair criticism and will always act upon it but in this instance one wonders ............. As explained in our reply to his partners review this couple came for the purpose of a cook fest and were disturbed when they discovered there was no stove or oven facility to enjoy their weekend – there was nothing we could really do to assist there dilemma
We have written to TripAdvisor and offered photographic proof that the apartment does have a fully provisioned kitchenette in the apartment– there is a crackling log fire for the comfort of all guests – we are central to the township of Cowes and if being placed on an Island is not surrounded by sea I’m not to sure what else I can say - as is the way with Tripadvisor truth get’s in the way of a good story and they will not accept our photo’s as proof or for that matter any other correspondence.
I feel these people did not research well – maybe they would have been better suited going to a weekend cooking school and not The Castle which simply provides for those who want it a lovely relaxing time in a luxurious setting
Incidently: .... This couple did not book a “Weekend package” had they, they would have been the recipients of a chilled bottle of French Champagne – we do not serve Great Western nor stock it in our bar
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Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 2, 2012

The Boyles are the owners - both smug, not at all helpful and living in another world. Their guests are treated as intruders rather than paying for the privaledge of staying in this over stated 'castle'. Promises of a kitchenette- "no cooking allowed" screeched Mrs Boyle when I asked where the cooking implements were stored. A kettle and a toaster are hardly a kitchenette. Sadly all of the delicious goodies I purchased to cook on our luxurious weekend went back home with me and some unfortunately did not last the three days we were stranded in the 'no cooking kitchenette' ending up in the bin. The advertised crackling log fire was a fake gas glass box - oohhh sigh, my thoughts of romance by the fire went out the window as did the heat generated by the gas monster. I will admit - the glass box gas fire was imposing - much more so than the tiny TV's 6 inch screen that surprisingly was in colour, technology that outdated has no place in a 'luxury' apartment. The cobwebs, dusty plastic plants and sunbleached plastic flowers on the two chair (in a pinch) balcony just added to my overall impression of this completely over rated, over stated shack. No, Mrs Boyle - we will not be back. This is not luxurious and you treat your paying guests with contempt when questioned about the facilities. Take a tip and learn about hospitality. Phillip Island is magnificent for a weekender, the perfect exploring getaway island but take my advice and stay well clear of The Castle- this is No Luxury Villa by the sea.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
12 Thank Alexis S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this review, July 17, 2012
Owing to the many untruths in this review we have requested of TripAdvisor to withdraw this review however they have not done so – This guest was disgruntled that after carting bag loads of food up to their apartment found the kitchenette did not have a full oven facility, when challenged we explained that full cooking by health regulations was not allowed in the Apartment – She claimed that indicating that there was a kitchenette we had misrepresented – we said we didn’t believe this to be the case – From here on things went from bad to worse resulting in this review.
She states “A kettle and a toaster are hardly a kitchenette” This is untrue; the kitchenette contains a refrigerator, a microwave, an electric Kettle with facilities for making T&C a toaster and sandwich maker, a full complementary of dinnerware and cutlery to suit in fact everything that one needs for short order meals
The crackling Log fire is in the main guest’s lounge of which the guests did not avail themselves to pleasure
“The fake gas glass box” is a state of the art gas log fire by which is delightful to curl up.
There was a difficulty with the 2nd television which was replaced immediately it was brought to our attention however it was just on closing time on a long weekend and we had to take what was offered – it certainly was not 6”
The reviewer certainly does have a problem identifying reality as the “sun drenched plastic flowers” were, in actual fact very healthy looking cyclamens
We are not smug and my wife is not prone to screeching
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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 The Castle Villa by the Sea

Property: The Castle Villa by the Sea
Address: 7-9 Steele St | Phillip Island, Cowes, Phillip Island, Victoria 3922, Australia
Location: Australia > Victoria > Phillip Island > Cowes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Cowes
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Cowes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Castle Villa by the Sea 4.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Castle Luxury Villa offers you your own island oasis and perfect carefree holiday accommodation, footsteps from the beach-front and hidden away in a magical garden ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castle Hotel Cowes
The Castle Villa By The Sea Phillip Island/Cowes

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