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“Not what we expected!”

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The Castle Villa by the Sea
Ranked #8 of 10 Hotels in Cowes
Albury, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Not what we expected!”
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Unfortunately our 3 day stay at the Castle Villa by the Sea was actually 3 days too long. The apartment is not actually by the sea and you can't even see the water until you walk over the hill. It definitely was not up to the usual standard of accommodation for the $220 per night that was charged. The decour was very outdated and although a little quirky not very tasteful. The pots and half dead plants together with a dirty swing seat on the small balcony were an early indication that this stay was not going to be one of our most memorable. You are actually part of a large house and coming and going feels as though you are intruding on others. The small bar fridge did not work and we were forced to buy ice to keep food and drinks cold. Definitely would not recommend this to place to anyone. If full be prepared to park on the street.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
10 Thank frankyt45
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
We read this review with slight amazement wondering what so disturbed these people to the point that they needed to rate The Castle as “terrible” and mark us 1 out a possible 5.
Was it that the sea could not be seen from their tree top balcony because the trees were still in spring foliage? (Will have to cut down those dam trees) – was it the hill they had to climb over to see the sea ? (we are still looking for this hill) – was it they felt uncomfortable that they may bump into somebody in the “large house” and know not what to say?
Ah,........... here it is:
“The small bar fridge did not work and we were forced to buy ice to keep food and drinks cold”
We can only shake my head in wonder
These people stopped in this suite for 3 days carting ice up to their room without once reporting the matter to us ................ Hello!
Our House Keeper discovered the problem the next day and the fridge was replaced ....... Now how simple was that!
I did question the house keeper who serviced their room as to whether the problem had been mentioned and was told no! In fact, she said they did make comment that they were having a lovely time
We in the hospitality business call the Xmas period the silly season as unfortunately there are some who book with little research, find there is a vacancy, then end somewhere that is totally unsuited and then set out to find fault; Unfortunately TripAdvisor will not withdraw these reviews thus damaging the reputation of The Castle – hopefully Tripadvisor will give me space here to air the problems we face with such reviews and let the public judge
So far this season we have had the guest who claimed there was an aura in the room that nearly made him sofocate (sic) causing him and his family to be ill – the problem here was that we charged an extra $45 for a 3rd guest he didn’t disclose and he got upset
Then we had largish women who insisted we place another bed in her room (not a single mattress as she described but a full size bed) as she considered the day bed was too small for her to sleep in, then........... (wait for it) ..... Complained she couldn’t open the door because the bed blocked the way – why she just didn’t swap with her smaller partner into the queen sized bed we’re not sure!.
Oh and then there was another fridge story.... this time a guest, on booking in complained that her the fridge was not cold – we attended straight away and indeed the fridge was not cold – to ensure there were no hiccups we immediately replaced it with a new fridge (at no mean cost) - owing to this intrusion she complained that we had interrupted her dinner arrangements and was not happy adding a further list of matters that upset her such as we had to many lamps (you can never have to many lamps) and she didn’t like the decor.........
We later found the fridge to be perfectly OK, apparently the house keeper had unplugged the fridge to clean behind and had only turned it back on prior to the guest arrival and it hadn’t had a chance to cool down
Anyone want to buy a perfectly good 2nd hand fridge?
All these complaints were forwarded to TripAdvisor rating us as “terrible” and marking us 1 out of 5 and even though we have complained to TripAdvisor they refuse to withdraw the articles leaving us no option other than to reply with what are the true facts.
The one thing that makes us extremely happy is collectively they have said: “We shall not return” ...................!
Our compliments box is full of pleasurable comments; Unfortunately for us, most of these guests are far too busy enjoying the good things of life rather than wasting valuable life time denigrating others - to those folk who do write we are eternally grateful
Should you decide to stay at The Castle please be assured that at the Castle you are the Kings and Queens and if there is a problem please refer the matter to us as all we want is for our guests to have an enjoyable and relaxing stay
And finally, we are always quick to respond to any guest’s complaints or requests, however, what we don’t know we can’t fix
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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

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (9)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Melbourne
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2013

The Castle is a little haven of peace and quiet in Cowes, with a real old-style charm that is hard to find these days and a warm welcome from hosts Jenni and Harley. This is no modern corporate hotel, so if that's what you're after then keep looking. The Castle is like a home away from home, complete with log fire in the main lounge when it's cold. Jenni and Harley are wonderful hosts, real people with a sense of humour, no corporate-trained receptionists with plastic smiles here!
As a regular Castle visitor over a number of years I have sampled several different rooms. Often I'm travelling alone on business, and use the smaller rooms (Broadwater, Yackatoon) which are really nice with the adjoining lounge/kitchen area that is shared by the two rooms. I had never written a review before but recently my wife and I stayed in the Castle Suite which prompted me to write something (which I have finally got around to doing). It was really superb; spacious, luxurious, and private, with a lovely balcony over the garden. My wife was very happy, I'll be booking that one again!

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank MW_AND
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 taking the time to submit your lovely review - it certainly gives us heart
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Keilor, Victoria, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 19, 2013

We stayed in the Castle suite. We loved the elegant style of the room. The balcony overlooking the stunning gardens was indulgently relaxing. The separate lounge was perfect for our toddler. The owners were very friendly and offered us very accurate advice on the best places to find the best food in Cowes & around the island. Perfect location to the best beaches of Cowes. Can't wait to stay at the Castle again!

Room Tip: Look at their website first to view all the rooms to select one to suit your needs.
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Elisabeth F
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, it is very heartening to receive nice reviews
It was nice you saw the garden in it's prime, unfortunatly it only lasts for about 3 months
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.
Budgewoi, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2013

Ours was a very small room in B &B style accommodation without the single sized bed (with a queen bed) as stated, or airconditioning (only a fan). We were later helped with a single mattress that just fitted on the floor but blocked the doorway. A shared area had airconditioning and a kitchenette. Parking was only for 3-4 cars. It is run by a friendly couple and was not a luxury apartment as described,.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank Con b
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
The main thrust of this ladies complaint, in brief, is that there was only a Queen size bed in the room and it wasn’t a luxury apartment
Our web site describes the room in which she booked as follows:
Double bedroom leads from a sunroom with kitchenette. Each suite has its own private balcony overlooking the gardens and shared sun-drenched rear deck high up in the tree tops . Each room has its own private ensuite, sumptuous Queen-sized bed and a separate day bed
I don’t think we can be more clearer than this!
There are 2 beds in the room as clearly described and nowhere is it described as a “Luxury Apartment”
We know for sure there are people who view our web site, browse the rooms - fix a picture of one of our Luxury Apartments firmly in their mind then book the cheaper option
This particular room was designed in-part for families travelling with perhaps 1 child – it is a cosy room as presented and in no way can it occupy a 3rd bed however the guest complained the day bed was too small and , contrary to our advice, insisted we place a 3rd bed in the room – we are not sure why she did not consider swapping to the queen bed and letting her smaller companion use the day bed, but no, in went the extra bed leading her to then complain she could not get to the door
This couple booked their accommodation through an agent and there was no prior contact to us seeking information regarding the sleeping arrangements –
It is our suggestion that people who have particular requests should always enquire of the owners, not wait till they arrive to be disappointed to then send a scathing report to TripAdvisor
There is provision for 6 cars to park on site unfortunately we have little control over those who occupy 2 spaces to the detriment of others
We consider the problem was not our fault and certainly did not warrant a “terrible” rating and a score of 1 out of 5 which certainly taints the good reputation of The Castle
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed January 9, 2013

We stayed three nights at The Terrace Suite. We thought it is superb little place run by a lovely, friendly, helpful couple.
The Terrace Suite had everything you'd find in a 4-5 star hotel and are immaculate when it comes to cleanliness.
The kids stayed very comfortably on the sofa bed in the living room so that everyone had a bit of privacy
The parents found the bed a bit on the soft side but it was OK.
The location is great as one is just a couple of minutes walk to the seaside and a 5-6 minute walk to a restaurants hub, shops and even bike rental.

Room Tip: Make sure the bed is to your liking...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank HK_John
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 comments - we are so glad you and your family had a lovely stay
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Morpeth, Australia
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 8, 2013

peaceful garden setting,own private entrance ,lovely setting,ponds and lilies ,shady trees,perfect holiday or romantic get away,close to shops ,cafes ,pier where you can catch ferries,no noisy yahoos,

Room Tip: no external noises ,or traffic
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sue n
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 - We are so glad you had a peaceful stay
Jenni & Harley
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
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
Report response as inappropriate
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
#3 Spa 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 
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Castle Hotel Cowes
The Castle Villa By The Sea Phillip Island/Cowes

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