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“Didn't Disappoint”
Review of Clonmara Cottages

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Clonmara Cottages
Ranked #2 of 12 Port Fairy B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Didn't Disappoint”
Reviewed October 8, 2013

Chose Clonmara for a surprise get away weekend for our wedding anniversary and it didn't disappoint. "A little bit of the UK at the end of the Great Ocean road" as one of the brochures describes this excellent B&B and Tea Rooms, and the promise of Kippers for breakfast for my Scottish born wife, seemed just the ticket.

Having spent many a night in UK B&Bs, Doug and Ruth could teach a few UK operators a thing or two about making their guests feel special. From my first contact with Doug to set up the weekend, to our farewell (with outstanding picnic hamper packed for the trip home) nothing was too much trouble. Doug even rang the week before to advise he had to make a rush trip to the UK and as the stand in chef couldn't start until 9am would a late breakfast be OK? It certainly was and cooked to perfection as well.

Attention to detail and a complete focus on ensuring their guests receive an enjoyable travel experience is the hallmark of Clonmara. On arrival, Ruth made us feel immediately welcome, and marked a few places of interest, and a great walking suggestion, on the local map. The gas fire was lit in our studio apartment, and the bed was extremely comfortable, as was the spa in the oversized ensuite bathroom, complete with bath salts, large fluffy towels, and soft and comfy bathrobes. When combined with a compact balcony facing through some trees to the open paddocks beyond (complete with Alpacas), and the peace and tranquility of the surrounds, the whole package made for a most relaxing weekend.

Breakfast on the first morning was excellent and as the weather was fine and warm, we took advantage of the beautiful garden courtyard. Our Dinner choice on Saturday night (seafood platter and a cheese platter to finish) was perfectly prepared and more than enough for both of us All delivered exactly as requested (and the candles were a lovely touch - thanks Ruth). Enjoyed a traditional Devonshire tea (with generous scones, real country style jam and thick cream), and another great breakfast in the compact tea room, surrounded with appropriate in-character and some quirky decorations (most for sale). Our only regret was that our journey into town and the surrounding region meant we couldn't check out the lunch menu. Maybe next time.

Others have described the accommodation and gardens in more detail so will not repeat here but if a relaxing weekend in Port Fairy in homely, affordable luxury accommodation, and outstanding customer service from the hosts, are what you are looking for, then Clonmara fits the bill with ease.

Room Tip: Being farther set back from the main road, a bit bigger and with a balcony facing onto open space (a...
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  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Richard F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DougMaxwell, Owner at Clonmara Cottages, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
Thank you for your tremendous review. I was a little concerned at not being there to welcome you as I had been your point of contact. I also apologise for the late response but have only just returned.
We are all absolutely delighted that the important weekend worked out so well for you both.
We very much hope we may have the pleasure of your company again and perhaps, I might get to meet you both.
Again, thank you for taking the time to review us, we value all comments as we do strive to go just that little bit further!
kind regards
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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141 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 (31)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Castlemaine, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed September 29, 2013

A warm and attentive welcome from Doug and Ruth. They provided advice and a map for local restaurants. We stayed in one of the studio apartments. There was port and chocolates provided as a night cap and even though there were other people staying there it was very private. The apartment was very comfortable with a lovely breakfast provided. The linen was crisp and fresh, and the bed was comfortable and we slept like logs. The water was a little brown to start with it just let run a bit. It won't kill you. Our stay was just lovely and we will return. I highly recommend it.

Room Tip: Get a studio apartment for couples
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Iain S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DougMaxwell, Owner at Clonmara Cottages, responded to this review, November 18, 2013
Thank you for your very kind comments
We very hope that you will visit us gain and perhaps we can even improve as we are always looking to do just that bit better.
We were very sorry about the apparent colour of the water, however as I think we explained on the day, there had been a burst water main in Port Fairy and some discolouration was not removed from the water supply until the next day. We did however have the water tested and it was deemed absolutely safe.
Again, on behalf of all of us, thank you for your comments
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
45 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed August 1, 2013 via mobile

We had been road tripping for 2 weeks when we arrived here & it was lovely. Gardens are a real treat. Welcomed into out cottage, fire was already going & map of the town provided & good eateries pointed out. Coffin Sally pizzas were great. Complimentary port & chocs. Really homey feel. Was lovely to see nice accom where you can bring your pets. Was lovely to cuddle your cat, pat your friendly unusual dog & feed the alpacas. Missing my pets!

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Shari K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DougMaxwell, Owner at Clonmara Cottages, responded to this review, August 5, 2013
Thank you for taking time to review us.
We are delighted that you really enjoyed your stay were able to take advantage of our facilities.
We also appreciate feed back on local eateries and we realise the importance of offering somewhere that will be enjoyed. It is all part of the total expereince that we try to achieve.
All our staff also very much appreciate feed back.
We very much hope we may have the pleasure of your company again, one day
Our best Regards
Doug
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
10 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed May 15, 2013

We enjoyed three nights in this beautiful little cottage with our little King Charles Cav. Doug met us with a very friendly smile and warm handshake! And from the first moment couldn't do enough to make sure we were looked after! The little cottage was warm and comfi, Well equipped and welcoming bed. Because Douglas and Ruth deserve a break we unfortunately couldn't sample their famous food as their little tea room was closed whilst we were there. I believe it's amazing! Port Fairy is a beautiful place to visit with some great eating out places. I think to have the convenience of the Tea Room on site to eat at would be the icing on the cake! Hopefully one day we'll be back and sample some of their famous food! Thoroughly recommend this lovely place.

  • Stayed May 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Sydney_AustraliaPat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DougMaxwell, Owner at Clonmara Cottages, responded to this review, May 17, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review us.
We do sincerely apologise for not being able to offer our Tea Rooms to you whilst you were with us.
Very occasionally, we need to do maintainance work which stops us from operating the cafe.
All us really appreciate the kind words that you have written about us and would just love the three of you to visit us again and allow us to cook for you in our Tea Rooms which do also rate well with Trip Advisor client.
We also hope that we will continue to improve our service and offer an even warmer welcome to you next time you visit.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Edenderry
Level Contributor
154 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 93 helpful votes
Reviewed April 16, 2013

Boy, this was a find. A double bedded idyll. Doug and Ruth really lived up to their promise that they would provide everything they would need themselves if they were visitors. From excellent tea and coffee, fresh milk, breakfast basket with a choice between meusli and cereals, deep pile towels, dressing gowns and lovely bathroom bits. Oh, and did I mention the port and chocolates which we thought was touch of luxury.


There was a good choice of stations on the tv, but just like home, lots of repeats and rubbish. But at least we had the choice. There was also a dvd player, cd player with USB key. Naturally, there were also lots of booklets and brochures supplied for all the local amenities and attractions.

The bed was soooo comfortable and beautifully dressed in fresh crisp cotton. It was a delight to sleep in and we certainly slept well.

The bathroom is bigger than many's a box-room I know. The spa bath was an indulgence and the walk-in shower is pleasantly powerful and accessible to anyone -whatever age or physical ability.

In fact, the whole cottage is thoughtfully and tastefully decorated.

The cottages are set in an enclosed garden, beside the off-street parking and the alpacas. The garden is well kept and beautifully planted with mature trees and shrubs, including hibiscus, kumquats, roses and other fruit trees. The "piece de resistance" was the lavendar hedge which surrounded each cottage and must be heavenly on Summer's evenings. The alpacas are friendly and guests are encouraged to feed them by the provision of buckets of appropriate food.

Some previous guests commented that their pets had enjoyed their stays. Well, congratulations to the housekeeping staff as there was not the slightest trace of those little four legged visitors.

The fact that WiFi was High-speed and free for one device (you could pay to add in others) was perfect for us.

This was an ace location and we would strongly recommend it.

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank contactcarmel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DougMaxwell, Owner at Clonmara Cottages, responded to this review, April 16, 2013
Wow, That is some review
Thank you very very much on behalf of all of us!
We could easily get a little swoolen in the heads after that, however, we won't!
It is thrilling to read such a review, that means we must have really met your needs.
This will not stop us from continuing to chase improvement to ensure we offer everyone who stays, a similar experience.
Thank ytou once more and we very much you will stay with us again.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
27 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed April 13, 2013

We stayed for two nights in a studio apartment at Clonmara Cottages after reading TripAdvisor reviews and assessing other local options. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and were impressed with the friendly welcome, clean, spacious apartment and quality facilities.

The lounge area had a large flat screen TV/DVD, music player and a gas log fire. The kitchenette was suitable for preparing light meals (microwave, bar fridge, sink, crockery/cutlery, no oven) and had a table and chairs. The high-vaulted, wooden-panelled ceilings and interesting studio design give the apartment a functional, airy feel.

The large, comfortable bed and quality linen was matched by the spacious adjoining bathroom (double spa bath included). The toiletries, towels and bath robes were all up to the same standard.

Contrary to Booking.com advice a simple continental breakfast was provided and the complimentary port and chocolates was a nice touch. There was also a mini-bar for those who needed it with beer, soft-drinks, wine and snacks available.

Our private porch overlooked the back paddock where alpacas grazed.

All in all it was a charming, comfortable stay.

Thanks Ruth and Doug.

Regards Peter & Judy

  • Stayed April 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Peter B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DougMaxwell, Owner at Clonmara Cottages, responded to this review, April 14, 2013
Thank for reviewing us.
Your comments are much appreciated by all of us as it is no single employee who makes the business run well.
Reviews help us to identify what we are doing and also bring items to the front that might need emmediate attention, so they are always helpfyl
Hopefully, you may visit us again and we can offer a better experience than this time as we are always looking for waysd to improve
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northamtonshire
Level Contributor
58 reviews
37 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013

We stayed here for the last 2 nights on our Great Ocean Road drive and had a wonderful stay. We received a very warm welcome from Doug and Ruth who couldn't do enough to make our stay comfortable. The cottage was very clean and cosy with everything you could possibly need.
The breakfast in the tea rooms was delicious, the scrambled eggs were so creamy and my husband's full Scottish was impressive! Later in the day we decided we must try Doug's scones and he delivered them warm from the oven to our cottage where we enjoyed them on our little balcony watching the alpacas. We really enjoyed our stay and exploring the area and wish we lived a bit nearer!

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank RugBugs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
DougMaxwell, Owner at Clonmara Cottages, responded to this review, April 7, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to review us and what an amazing review it is.
We 'all' try our very best to ensure that everyone has a great experience with us and obviously succeeded with you, which has thrilled us!
We note that you particulary enjoyed the Clonmara Tea Rooms and as they are listed with Trip Advisor in their right, ask whether you mind reiterating your feelings about the Tea Rooms separately. This would be very much appreciated.
Should you ever pass our door in the future, we would love the oppoirtunityto do even better
Kind Regards
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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 Clonmara Cottages

Property: Clonmara Cottages
Address: 106 Princes Hwy, Port Fairy, Victoria 3284, Australia (Formerly Clonmara Bed & Breakfast)
Location: Australia > Victoria > Port Fairy
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 12 B&Bs / Inns in Port Fairy
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Clonmara Cottages 4.5*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on an acre and half of cottage gardens are 4 very comfortable one bedroom cottage style appartments.An old fashioned British style Tea rooms and gift shop compliment the setting, offering a variety of meals and a selection of unusual gifts. All accommodation have generous styled spa bathrooms, air conditioning and wide screen TVs, to mention just a few of the features included. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Clonmara Cottages Port Fairy, Victoria

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