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“Romantic escape in nicest accommodation in Cowes”
Review of Glen Isla House

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Glen Isla House
Ranked #1 of 10 Cowes B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 29, 2014

My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary and wanted to spend a night in Cowes as he wanted to go go-kart racing on Phillip Island and I just wanted to visit somewhere different. We booked the Glen Isla House based on the rave reviews from other guests and were not disappointed. You enter through a fairly narrow driveway lined purple hydrangeas(?) gently knocking your car to the most gorgeous estabished mature garden that has obviously been designed by a real garden lover, with cute cream weatherboard "homes" dotted along, giving all guests the privacy they want. Our room - Number 6 I think - was called the French room and was at the end of a long, low wing. It was pretty hot when we arrived so we were glad of the air conditioning. Madeleine gave us a friendly welcome and settled us in. The house is a short walk to the beach but with seaweed and people using jet skis, we decided to go instead to Cowes Beach which also had nicer sand. It is a fair hike into town if you were planning a late night and we had a great Greek meal at The Goat In The Boat. Definitely a nice stay but look for an online deal as $400 for a Saturday night was too steep for us (so we came on the less-expensive Friday night).

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank visitrequisites
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2014

Thanks indeed for taking the time to provide a review and feedback, and congratulations on your wedding anniversary.

The heritage gardens here at Glen Isla date back to the late 1800's, being one of the original properties on Phillip Island, and they do offer a wonderfully calm and serene garden environment.

We sometimes feel we are 'custodians' of the historic property, and the opportunity to restore it and enhance its beauty with accommodation offerings has been an interesting and rewarding experience over the years with our philosophy being to treat guests as we would expect to be treated.

The walk along the sandy beach into the township with restaurants and shops is around 1600 metres, with many of our guests choosing to walk in one direction and take a taxi home (there is a good taxi service in the township and the ride from the township back to Glen Isla is not an expensive ride). As you say a walk in, and back again, is certainly a bit of a 'hike!

You mentioned our tariffs, and we sincerely appreciate your feedback. We wanted to clarify the tariff policy at Glen Isla and two types of rooms/accommodations we offer, for readers.

The tariff mentioned in your review for the SAT night is for the Heritage King Suite, our authentic historic accommodations (a genuine suite - quite separate from our other accommodations) originally part of the heritage house dating back to c1870. It is our best room and most expensive offering and very elegantly furnished in period furnishings and genuine Persian rugs etc. It is also the only room we offer with a spa bath in the en-suite bathroom. The tariff also includes our chef's to-order breakfast in the dining room, as do our classic rooms.

We also offer our classic deluxe rooms (we understand you stayed in our classic room with French style decor), which are deluxe rooms with private en-suite, and separate entrances opening onto the deck veranda overlooking the heritage gardens. Also classically furnished without clutter and glitz, but a little smaller in size than the heritage suite. (as I recall our classic rooms may have been already fully booked for the Saturday night night of the weekend you stayed, with the Heritage Suite being the only room left available for that Saturday night). Had there been Classic rooms available, they would have been offered at the same tariff as the Friday night or indeed any other night of the year (we do offer a "room-only" tariff on certain days of the year [chef's day off for example], but generally our tariffs are B&B fully inclusive tariff)

Since opening in 2003, our tariff policy has always been that we have the same tariff any day of the year whether its a Saturday night, a public holiday or a Tuesday night in Autumn (visible on our web site and secure online booking system from our web site). We've never sought to ramp up prices in peak summer periods (or Saturday nights) to take advantage of people and then massively discount the same rooms in winter or midweek, as many other properties seem to do.

We've always offered the same personal hospitality, standards of service, special handcrafted chef's breakfast offering, at the same tariff any day of the year...

Its been our experience in recent years that our Classic Rooms (we have 6 of these rooms) often sell out well in advance for Saturday nights, and apart from public holiday weekends, we welcome one-night stays in our classic rooms and the heritage suite.

We hope to welcome you back to Glen Isla - perhaps for your anniversary again, and thanks again for the kind words about Glen Isla...

We sincerely appreciate the time you've taken....

Ian and Madeleine, Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla House

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128 - 134 of 261 reviews

Reviewed January 26, 2014

We stayed with GlenIsla for the Australian Anniversary weekend. One of the best overall stays we have ever experienced. Very informative and truly gracious hosts. Lovely accommodation and room along with "HUGE" breakfast! If anyone is heading to Phillip Island - we clearly recommend GlenIsla - again one of the best overall accommodations we have ever experienced and the island wildlife came along for the ride! Truly - loved the place.

Room Tip: All the rooms looked excellent and again just can't say enough Good!
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled on business
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Thank William W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2014

Thanks for your review and comments...

Our chefs certainly appreciate the feedback on how much you enjoyed breakfast in the dining room!

Its been our philosophy since opening to guests in 2003, that we treat our guests as we would expect to be treated if we were in your shoes, and your comments would seem to indicate its still working...

We hope to welcome you back to Glen Isla again soon...

Ian & Madeleine, Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla

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Reviewed January 25, 2014

We stayed here for one night during a month long tour of Australia.

Our room wasn't the largest on the property but was tastefully decorated and had everything we needed.

WiFi was good and the bed comfortable. Madeleine, our host, was extremely friendly, warm and welcoming and her regional insight was very helpful to ensure that we made the most of our time in this beautiful area. We learnt lots about the history of the property itself over an excellent, freshly-cooked breakfast.

If only the weather had been kinder to us we could have spent less time in thermals and headed off to the beach but our trip to see the little penguins certainly made up for it.

Well worth its Trip Advisor rankings and we'd certainly return the next time we're in the area. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank danieltjames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2014

Dear Daniel,
Thanks for taking the time to leave us a review on your experiences at Glen Isla.

Sorry about the weather during your stay! The 'cool snap' you experienced was somewhat unseasonal, but then again people say we sometimes experience all 4 seasons in one day here in Victoria... Unfortunately the weather is one element we have no control over.

Over the years, we have focused on making breakfast a feature, and we have never in our 10 years of welcoming guests guests offered a typical hotel-style buffet for our main (hot breakfast) course. Both our professional chefs are fanatical about fresh (and regional) produce, with our culinary herbs all grown in our own gardens here at Glen Isla.

Offering our guests tips on local sights, restaurants and the wildlife viewing options has also been something we've always done to assist gusets in making the most of their visit to Phillip Island. As you and many of our guests have found, there is certainly much more to do than just seeing the Little Penguins, some of our international visitors staying for 3-4 days at a time.

Thanks for contributing to our Tripadvisor rankings. We've been highly rated since Tripadvisor first became popular around 2006/2007, and we appreciate the feedback.

We hope to see you at Glen Isla again...

Ian and Madeleine, Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla

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Reviewed January 21, 2014

I wish we had stayed longer. We were greeted at reception, personally taken and shown not only our room, but the beautiful gardens and given information and tips about the local area. The rooms are beautiful and peaceful, and was the perfect spot to propose to my new fiancé. Absolutely brilliant.

  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Rhys S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2014

Well congratulation Rhys on your engagement!

We've had more than a few proposals (and acceptances I hasten to add) over the years, with some returning annually to celebrate their wedding anniversaries at Glen Isla...

Thanks indeed for taking the time to leave us a review, and we wish you the very best for your wedding and many happy years ahead!

The (historic) Heritage Suite you stayed in is a popular option for those special occasions, offering total privacy and seclusion, being away from all our other accommodations...

Hope to welcome you back to Glen Isla again soon...

Ian and Madeleine, Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 16, 2014

On arrival we were welcomed like a member of the family and treated that way for our whole visit. We were here once before and the return visit was just as we hoped. Madelaine and Ian are very engaging hosts, with lots of info re the local highlights and cuisine. From a personal perspective, it is worth the visit just for the delectable fresh local produce breakfast, our hosts are so friendly and accommodating that Martin especially picked fresh organic spinach to go with our special 'Tasmanian' style breakfast. Such hospitality and attention to detail, (all the little extra touches) just make you want to come back again.
Glen Isla is close to central location of Cowes but feels very private and secluded. Rooms very comfy , gardens superb and its a short stroll to the beach where you can wander into town for the evening meal, then afterwards take your shoes off and cool your feet in the shallows while walking back in the evening light. All in all the perfect escape/retreat.

Room Tip: We like the 'French' room 'cause its the end room furthest from the street and closest t...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, traveled as a couple
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Thank rob h
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2014

Dear Rob,

Wonderful to see you back at Glen Isla again, and that you found Glen Isla as you remember it and and had hoped!

In our 10 years of welcoming guests to our heritage property/country house, we've had many returning guests, some annually, and its been one of our focuses here to make sure guests find things the same (if not better) than when they were last here.

We've always offered local advice on things to see and do, and in particular restaurants to consider for lunch and dinner...In fact we test the restaurants we recommend regularly...

The 'Tasmanian' style breakfast is something a little different as you say, and always receives favourable comments from guests. Both our chefs (Ian and Martin) are very passionate 'foodies' and take pride in offering interesting and appealing breakfast options - always based on fresh local (sometimes from our own gardens) produce.

That said, neither Ian or Martin can take any credit for one of our breakfast favourites - Madeleine's stewed rhubarb - from our own gardens. Its a perennial favourite, and Madeleine has been pursuing the 'perfect rhubarb' specimen for some years now...

Glad your 'escape' was everything you had expected and we hope to see you back soon...

Ian and Madeleine - Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla

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Reviewed December 22, 2013

A recent trip to Glen Isla for an overnight relaxing stay just before the Xmas rush was ultimately breath-taking. The moment we drove into the property, we were mesmerised by the gardens and tranquility of the place. The staff were hospitable and very friendly and made our stay one to remember. Even the family dog made us feel welcome! Our breakfast the following morning was fresh and delicious. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone who wants a relaxing getaway.

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Alayne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2014

Dear Alayne,
Thanks for your kind words about your experiences at Glen Isla! The heritage gardens date back to the late 1800's with a number of the trees being more than 100 years old.

An established heritage garden of 2 acres certainly makes for serenity, and plenty of private spaces to enjoy in the gardens, and all of this just 100 metres direct access from the sandy beach.

Nancy (the family dog) is a pedigree English Staffordshire, She is somewhat of a 'fixture' here at Glen Isla, and at 11 years old, she's a grand old dame having retired to Glen Isla from 'show' career some years back. She just loves people and as you have experienced is always keen to make guests feel welcome.

Thanks again and we hope to see you here at Glen Isla again soon...

Ian & Madeleine, Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla

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Reviewed December 19, 2013

Our time at the Glen Isla House was superb. From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, our every need was well taken care of. The Heritage House is an amazing property with a warm, embracing feel that cannot be beaten! Ian and Madeleine are outstanding hosts, their attention to detail, hospitality, and wonderfully layed out breakfast made the stay ever so memorable. My only compliant is that they are located in Australia - working on convincing them to come the Napa Valley in California, USA. OH PLEASE DO!!!!

  • Stayed: December 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank Robin K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this reviewResponded January 31, 2014

Dear Robin,
Thanks for your review of our property and your stay with us at Glen Isla.. We think breakfast is one of our features at Glen Isla (many guests comment about how much they enjoyed our chef's 'to order' special breakfast in the dining room here on Tripadvisor and in the guest book at Glen Isla).

Both our professional chefs (Ian and Martin) are passionate foodies, and bring their travel and work experiences from the USA, Europe, and Asia to dining at Glen Isla.

Indeed we have travelled in Nappa and Sonoma in California more than once (especially since Ian is a wine lover and this is one of the great wine regions of the world). Some wonderful memories and B&B experiences there from our travels. It reminded us of the Yarra Valley here in Victoria, and we will be back there to Nappa one of these days, but unfortunately no plans for a "Glen Isla House Nappa" anytime soon...!

Ian & Madeleine, Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla

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Additional Information about Glen Isla House

Address: 230 Church St, Cowes, Phillip Island, Victoria 3922, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Victoria > Phillip Island > Cowes
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Cowes
Price Range: $201 - $296 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Glen Isla House 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Multi award-winning boutique country-house accommodations offering discerning travellers finest surroundings, absolute privacy and unobtrusive service from internationally experienced and well traveled owner/hosts. Set in the grounds of the historic Glen Isla Homestead (c1870), we offer genuine historic and purpose architected guest accommodations all with modern bathroom amenities and separate entrances, secluded and very private heritage gardens, refined elegance & old-world charm just 100m from a pristine sandy beach. Enjoy chef-inspired breakfasts in the elegant dining room overlooking the authentic heritage gardens (kitchen may be closed some days), and local nature/wildlife experiences at Phillip Island Nature Parks (close to Little Penguins, Koalas and the Seal Watching Cruise). Highly recommended Frommers Australia Guide as the best place to stay. Recommended Fodors, and Lonely Planet Guides since 2007. Member of Small Elegant Hotels since 2004. TripAdvisor HALL of FAME inductee for TriAdvisor excellence awards 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016. GLEN ISLA HOUSE is not associated in any way with another property nearby called Apartments at Glen Isla. Glen Isla House is the original and historic Glen Isla dating from c1870 with private heritage gardens and direct beach access, warmly welcoming discerning travellers since 2003. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Glen Isla House Phillip Island/Cowes

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