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“The White House”

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Cumberland Resort & Spa
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed April 28, 2012

This is an excellent rental property which is large enough to comfortably accommodate 10 people but which was equally perfect for our party of four. The views from the large verandas are stunning. The facilities could not be faulted. The living accommodation inside and out is furnished comfortably and tastefully. Our bedrooms were also very comfortable and we enjoyed the lovely sea views from the two that we occupied. The kitchen equipment is of good quality and in excellent condition. We loved the jacuzzi and also the sauna. I can't think that anywhere on the island could be a better place to stay. Can't wait to return.

  • Stayed: April 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Denise N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cumberland1, Owner at Cumberland Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 25, 2012

We are really grateful to you for making the time and effort to provide constructive feedback for our future guests. Despite The White House already taking its place as the top property on Norfolk Island, Cumberland Resort and Spa is not resting on its laurels, but moving forward with additional upgrades and improvements so that we can exceed your expectations again on the next visit.

Just in the last 8 weeks alone, the White House kitchen has been further upgraded, new luxury bedheads have been installed in the bedrooms, and new TV's are on their way. Cumberland Resort and Spa would like to thank you again for this review and we look forward to welcoming you back!

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248 - 254 of 269 reviews

Reviewed February 1, 2012

This was our second stay at Cumberland, and I must say the place is even better than ever. The kitchens and bathrooms have all been completely modernized since our previous stay, with all the executive cottages having their own en-suite spa bath or massage spa shower. We came for a week of quiet and total relaxation and that's exactly what we got. The only challenge was having to say good bye at the airport and return to the big city. Kerri-Ann and Steve were wonderful hosts as usual. We are already planning our next trip.

Room Tip: Request a cottage with spa bath or massage spa shower - very snazzy. The cottage we stayed in also h...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank islanders11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rael D, Owner at Cumberland Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded November 14, 2012

We are very thankful for the lovely review! Thanks so much for taking the time to provide us feedback, which motivates us even further to do better.

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Reviewed January 26, 2012

It may not be the cheapest place to stay but I would say it is probably the best place to stay, the rooms were as perfect as we expected, the staff, Rael, Angela, Kerri-Anne and Steve could not be faulted, even going out of their way to go out and purchase kiddy sized snorkles for our Granddaughters as the other ones didn't fit them! Nothing was to difficult, advise was given freely as to which trips to go on and which operaters were the best to use, although there was no managers on site out of business hours, they were contactable by either cell phone or landline and they stressed that should there be any problems they were to be contacted, any time of the day or night. The providing of fresh fruit daily in the BBQ area was a bonus, the BBQ area was very well appointed, everything you could need was there, even though there was a BBQ in every unit.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled with family
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5  Thank JimandDee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 6, 2012

If you’re looking for a quiet and tranquil place to return to after a day discovering this beautiful and historically fascinating island, based on our experience this is probably not the place for you. Our 7 night stay (and that of at least 2 other couples staying at Cumberland we spoke to) was interrupted on 5 of the 7 nights by a group of loud, young drunks who were also staying at Cumberland (in a group house and smaller apartment) who came home after midnight and proceeded to party on to 3am each night. The proprietors and managers, while they apparently did talk to the people concerned the following day, seemed powerless to stop this behavior.
Part of the problem seems to be the operating model for Cumberland. The proprietors/managers are only present on-site and Cumberland from about 9.00am to 5.00pm each day and have no direct knowledge of what happens after hours (guests are generally reluctant to complain, and delay doing so until the situation becomes intolerable). The layout of the facility also means that loud noise travels easily between apartment areas – particularly when guests are partying outside their rooms or in the shared barbeque or spa pool areas. The proprietors/managers also seem to who have no effective way to screen out potentially troublesome guests in advance. There is clearly a commercial incentive to accept as many guests as possible and, in the case of the party-goers who disrupted our stay, this was compounded by the fact that they were guests who were attending a Norfolk Island family wedding. The Island is a small place and we got the sense that holding the disruptive guests to account might not be in the best local commercial interests of Cumberland, and that this may have influenced the way management approached the situation. In other circumstances, the offending guests would have been asked to leave, but doing so would have had local repercussions for Cumberland in this case.
While rated as 4 star, this facility is closer to 3 star in our opinion. While the internals of the apartments are great and reasonably modern, the local staff are very friendly and supportive and the island is simply beautiful, Cumberland has a number of other minor problems. It is misrepresenting the place to describe the facility as a ‘resort’. It is a facility that provides self-catering departments (getting fresh local produce, particularly fruit and vegetables, to do your own food-preparation is a challenge, but that’s another story!), the ‘spa’ consists of a very small and dated outside pool with jets and a small indoor spa treatment facility staffed on an as required basis, and there is no central on-site dining (particularly breakfast) facility.
These problems would be tolerable if Cumberland could control the behavior of their noisy guests after hours. We suspect that these issues may not be restricted to Cumberland. Other guest accommodation we saw, like facilities on Norfolk more generally, seem to be trapped in a 1950s/60s time warp – but perhaps this is the real appeal of the Island to the tourist segment they are targeting. However, if tourism is to be the economic saviour of the Island, the local authorities need to have another think about whether the ‘rustic appeal’ model is the only way to achieve this.

Room Tip: Ask for an apartment as far away as possible from the barbeque areas, group houses and the adjoining...
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  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Les_H52
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cumberland1, Owner at Cumberland Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2012

Cumberland Resort and Spa is known by thousands of previous guests as a place of relaxation and quiet. It is precisely what we offer our guests who want to escape the noise and stress of their busy lives.

These 20-something year olds (immature and inconsiderate wedding guests of a local islander couple) are most definitely not our target market and it is extremely rare for us to accommodate this type of guest. We have literally thousands of previous guests that will attest to the quiet and relaxed environment at Cumberland Resort & Spa, and the respect shown by all guests to each other.

We certainly will never accept a similar booking from a crowd like this - clearly, we had no idea when we accepted the booking that these guests would turn out to be so inconsiderate and immature. We hope that you will not judge us by these noisy, drunk, and inconsiderate guests. We would never risk our excellent reputation and we certainly could have filled their accommodation many times over had we known in advance they were going to be disruptive.

It is a well known, easily verifiable fact that during the New Year period, the licensed island accommodation is 100% fully booked! Unfortunately, we did not have the option to simply throw them out (it certainly crossed our minds). We asked them on many occasions to show some respect, which they failed to do.

Our managers even came in at 2.00 am to ‘put them to bed’.
We personally apologized in writing to these and other guests staying in any other units and felt we responded quickly and appropriately once we knew there had been noise issues. We were sincerely apologetic and could understand their frustration.

All other guests, although annoyed, were understanding and appreciative of our efforts. In fact, the guests who were located closest to the drunkards were very understanding of this unfortunate situation, and have already emailed us back expressing their desire to return to Cumberland resort, and thanking us for their stay.

“Minor issues”: The guest who wrote the review was disappointed that there was "no central on-site dining (particularly breakfast) facility". This is completely correct. We are a self-catering resort not a hotel. We are a short stroll from at least 5 cafes that offer a wonderful breakfast menu plus we have restaurants right next door and opposite for dinners. We offer modern stainless steel kitchens, giving our guests the choice to cook their own meals or eat out.

This guest states: "While rated as 4 star, this facility is closer to 3 star in our opinion. While the internals of the apartments are great and reasonably modern,.." Everyone is entitled to their opinion, however, we were graded in October 2011 by the AAA as 4 stars and 4.5 stars based on very strict criteria. They are the experts who compare thousands of properties every year. We are very proud of our 4 star status and work hard with a continuous program of expensive improvements and upgrades to maintain this important level of luxury for our guests. Please review our website photos to make up your own minds.

This guest states: "the ‘spa’ consists of a very small and dated outside pool with jets and a small indoor spa treatment facility staffed on an as required basis..." We proudly have the only heated swim spa pool on the island - this is a late model “Endless Spa” imported from Melbourne. There are very clear pictures on our website. This guest is correct that our day spa treatment facility is staffed as required - we fail to understand why this was an issue. It is a simple matter of making an appointment.

Further Details: Unfortunately, we accepted a booking from a couple of local islanders - who are also owners of another accommodation property in town. This couple was married on the island on 3 Jan 2012, and they had invited at least 50 mainland friends and family to celebrate with them. As there were three other weddings on the island around the same week, with most properties already booked for the New Year period at the time of the booking, we accepted a booking for a small group of their friends. The rest of their friends stayed in the wedding couple's own accommodation property as well as at other accommodation properties throughout the island. This crowd were also disruptive at other island venues we have been told.

The 20-something year olds were a nuisance on New Year's Eve, as well as on the wedding night and their last night. They drank too much alcohol and made a noise. Despite been given assurances by them before these evenings that they would respect the rights of our other guests to a quiet, restful night, our managers went to their unit during both of these nights to silence them. It was quiet after they were silenced - but of course, unfortunately some guests had already been disturbed.

Cumberland is definitely for people looking for a quiet and tranquil place to return to after a day discovering this beautiful and historically fascinating island.

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Reviewed October 25, 2011

Cumberland was a comfortable place to spend a week. We were met at the airport by the friendly managers. The owners were also there the day we arrived. Our executive spa suite had a very comfotable king sized bed and the bathroom was clean and modern. We didn't use the spa bath as it looked a lttle scary! The heated pool looked nice but the weather was too cool to try it out.We enjoyed morning and afternoon teas out on our deck sampling the yummy slices bought at the island market on the Sunday morning. The breakfast provisions for day one found in the fridge were very welcome. We enjoyed the island eggs on toast.
Cumberland is well located with Stefano's Italian restaurant practically on site and a great Chinese restaurant over the road. The RSL and Bowling Club were also close by for reasonably priced good meals. [$5 desserts at the Bowlo! Fantastic!] We had a very relaxing time driving around in the car provided doing our own thing and enjoyed our time on Norfolk immensely. Our accommodation had everything we needed....even an electric can opener we discovered on the last day after wrestling with the manual one trying to open a tin of delicious NZ nectarines from Foodland.A good time was had by all!

  • Stayed: October 2011, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Bernside
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 28, 2011

Our Executive Spa Suite surpassed our expectations...We too have travelled around the world, and Cumberland Resort and Spa depicts exactly from photos on their site to viewing face to face. All of our needs were more than met, with the superb customer service, to staying in our very fresh, modern en-suit spa bath with a massage shower villa. Our 1 bedroom villa came with a free rental car as well, which was fantastic to drive around and visit Norfolk Island at our leisure (No where else in the world has provided us with a free rental car)! We really appreciated the tropical plantings and the central location to all the the township of Burnt Pine shops.
Thank you once again Trevor and Karen :-)

  • Stayed: August 2011, traveled as a couple
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5  Thank Karen W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 29, 2011

The pictures on the website are deceiving. The executive 2 bdrm spa was not as depicted, there were no views apart from looking at a hedge or fence, there was no kitchen as per the "image" on the website and it was dark inside due to lack of sun getting into the rooms. The towels were not changed daily, nor was the tea / coffee etc replenished. Not good value for a $321 per night room. The spa pool was not attractive. The "free" rental car cost around $120 for insurance which is ridiculously high equating to around $6300 p.a insurance?! for a very low value car. We have travelled extensively around the world and would not call this a resort by any means.

  • Stayed: May 2011, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank TheStewartClan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
cumberlandmanager, Owner at Cumberland Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded June 1, 2011

We stand confidently and proudly behind each and every image on our website. We invite anybody to inspect all our villas, as we are 100% confident that every single picture (with no exceptions!) is completely representative of each unit. We have gone to great lengths to ensure the accuracy and veracity of our website, including all images and descriptions, and we therefore do not intend to change anything, as it is completely 100% accurate. We are totally baffled by this guest remark.

We have worked hard to earn a fantastic reputation in the marketplace and would never risk jeopardizing our reputation with deception. On the contrary, we have included images of every single unit in the resort in an effort to correctly set expectations. We are unique in this way amongst properties on Norfolk Island and almost anywhere in the world, as most properties usually show just a handful of their best images while we show everything. We must have over 100 unique images on our website, so travelers know exactly what they will get.

With regard to the sun getting into the unit, this unit has large windows, skylights and front and back verandahs, so once again, this feedback is contrary to the truth. Obviously if all the blinds are drawn closed, then this would darken the villa, as most windows have privacy blinds and curtains. The front door is in fact a glass sliding door allowing lots of morning light to stream in. In the afternoon, the light comes through the massive bedroom windows (the whole bedroom wall is windows!) and the back door, also glass.

Besides two onsite full time managers, and one part-time manager, we also have two fulltime housekeepers onsite 7 days per week for just 10 units – this is an incredibly high level of service. We service the units on a regular basis, several times per week, but as we are an ecologically sensitive island, we do not normally provide daily servicing unless requested to do so. However, for guests who feel the need for daily servicing, the housekeepers are on hand to do so. They will happily replenish tea, coffee, sugar, etc.

As we are self-catering, and not a hotel, most guests cater for themselves after they have exhausted the complimentary provisions which are provided. These provisions include a loaf of bread, eggs, juice, milk, jam, vegemite, butter, tea, coffee, sugar, etc. We are very generous with the quantity and quality of the complimentary provisions and will always provide additional supplies upon request.

As for the nightly rate, we are very open about our rates which are clearly displayed on our website. We believe that our rates offer very good value and we usually have specials too. However, we have no control over the rates that are charged by travel agents and other external travel operators.

The swim spa pool is very attractive based on the excellent feedback, which we consistently receive from our guests. It is the only swim spa pool on the island, and the only pool which is heated on the island. The swim spa pool is very clearly depicted on our website and we are very proud to offer this unique facility to our guests.

These very elderly guests did not use the swim spa pool, and did not elaborate on their comment, so it is hard to know what they would find attractive or what they were expecting. In fact, they did not even come to reception even once. Most guests come to reception at least once to chat, book a tour, request any new supplies, take a DVD movie, use the internet, etc. They requested to be checked in while in the villa – try doing this in any full service hotel.

The car insurance is $21 per day, which is pretty average on Norfolk Island. It is mandatory insurance dictated by the Norfolk Island Government. We have also travelled extensively around the world, and have never received a free rental car anywhere in the world! Never! Norfolk Island is the only place which we know of where you can receive a rental car for free. Obviously if the guest doesn’t want the car, then there is no charge for insurance. This must be one of the cheapest destinations in the world to rent a car, when the rental is free and the insurance is just $21 per day. With a party of three, this guest paid only $7 per day for fully comprehensive car insurance, including liability insurance, and an excess of just $950! And this guest thinks it is expensive for a four door air-conditioned, automatic Toyota Corolla!! In the guest’s home country of New Zealand, as well as in Australia, the excess can be a staggering $4,000 with an extra charge of about $20 per day just to lower the excess.

We are not the huge Bali Hyatt resort, nor do we want to be. There is nothing like the Bali Hyatt on Norfolk Island (thank goodness). We believe a large hotel would be more closely aligned with these guests’ expectations. However, we are an intimate boutique resort, proudly offering similar facilities provided by the large international resorts, including tennis, heated pool, massage showers, spa baths, day spa treatment centre, cable TV, movies, adjacent Italian restaurant, etc., as well as offering facilities not offered by the international resorts like large villas with full kitchens and free cars.

We continue to enjoy excellent feedback from our guests, and take any constructive feedback seriously in an effort to continuously make improvements for the benefit of future travellers. Unfortunately, we cannot please everybody all the time, but we certainly give it our best shot. Undeterred by such unreasonable and unjustified negative reviews, we will continue to increase the level of enjoyment and value for our guests.

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Additional Information about Cumberland Resort & Spa

Address: Taylors Road, Burnt Pine, Norfolk Island 2899, Australia
Location: Australia > Norfolk Island > Burnt Pine
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 12 Specialty Lodging in Burnt Pine
Price Range: $118 - $223 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Cumberland Resort & Spa 4*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
4 STAR AFFORDABLE LUXURY, SPA INDULGENCE RESORT. WHY NOT PAMPER YOURSELF?Free Rental Car (excl. insurance), Personal Return Airport Transfers, Town Tour, Breakfast Starters (incl. eggs, bread loaf, juice, milk, condiments). Relax and put balance back into your life at this intimate boutique resort set in tropical gardens. Centrally located, there are 1-, 2-, 3-, 4- & even 5-bedroom options - every exec bedroom has en-suite bathroom with spa bath or massage spa shower, or both. Enjoy a week of indulging.Soak in the hydrotherapy heated swim spa, de-tox in the infra red Sauna or take in a few hours of massage and body treatments at the day spa. Stroll a few minutes to trendy cafes, restaurants and shops. With your free rental car you can explore the island at will. Then, come home to Cumberland and just chill out on your private spacious, sunny verandah. Utilize the onsite friendly managers with their local knowledge, book a tour or spa treatment.Property Features: Heated Swim Spa, sauna, day spa, tour desk, wireless internet, DVD movie library, snorkel gear/beach towels, guest laundry, central location, en-suite massage showers & spa baths, satellite TV, Free Wi-Fi throughout the resort, tennis (nearby).Room Features: Fully equipped kitchens, king beds, LCD/LED TV, DVD/CD/iPod docks, modern en-suite spa bathrooms, private BBQ's, picnic sets, snorkel gear, wireless internet and all the modern features you have come to expect.Heated Swim Spa Sauna.Onsite Day Spa Massage,Tour Desk Fulltime Reception, Free Wi-Fi, DVD movies (450+) Library, Games Snorkel Gear Guest Laundry Central Location, Foxtel satellite TV (57+ channels), Tennis (nearby).En-suite Massage Showers,Spa Baths Beach towels & Chairs Room Features: Fully equipped stainless steel kitchens, king beds, LCD/LED TV, DVD/CD/iPod docks, modern en-suite spa bathrooms, private BBQ's, Waterfalls, Picnic Sets.Also, indulge with the White House, where leisure meets luxury.Located in the prestigious Buck's Point area, this Presidential, five-bedroom hillside ocean view spa villa is for your Exclusive Indulgence - no other guests or neighbours. Enjoy absolute luxury and total privacy with breathtaking 180 degree panoramic ocean views from all rooms & massive wrap-around verandahs. Includes your own Turkish Sauna, separate Finnish sauna, outdoor jacuzzi/spa, indoor spa bath, skydeck, 8-seater mini-van, and private 8-acre bush walk. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cumberland Hotel Burnt Pine
Cumberland Resort & Spa Norfolk Island, South Pacific

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