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“Fantastic Apartment. Customer Service needs some improvement”

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A Must at Coonawarra
Ranked #1 of 3 Penola B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersGold level
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
44 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Fantastic Apartment. Customer Service needs some improvement”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 8, 2013 via mobile

We loved our room. It was so clean, spacious, and comfortable. The garden was perfect and out little outdoor alcove was a lovely place for a coffee. The breakfast provisions were brilliant. The spa was spotless. The bed was crisp and comfortable.

Whilst this is excellent accommodation, the gentleman owner Richard is in the wrong business. Whilst he may be a brilliant architect/designer/gardner/cleaner/stylist, I found his customer service and attitude needs a tidy up.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Skivee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard S, Owner at A Must at Coonawarra, responded to this review, April 9, 2013
Thank you for your response and view point I do not know why I had upset you, it is never my intention, I may well; have been preoccupied so I can only apologize.
Regards
Richard
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184 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
    122
    48
    9
    2
    3
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12
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (43)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Waterloo
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 21, 2012 via mobile

We stayed for two nights at this modern well run and friendly up market studios in Penola Richard and Alison are friendly and thoughtful hosts A great base for touring the many excellent vineyards nearby Highly recommended

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank SMH6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard S, Owner at A Must at Coonawarra, responded to this review, November 28, 2012
Thank you for your review, and I hope your whole holiday in SA has been wonderfull, hope to see you both again,

Regards
Richard & Alison
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 10, 2012

We recently stayed 4 nights at Must and had a terrible experience. The room was smelly, dusty and noisy as it is situated on the main road in Penola. Breakfast was the bare minimum with 4 pieces of bread, 2 25g boxes of cereal and a jug of milk. What topped off the horrible experience occurred after we checked-out. I had booked 3 rooms initially through wotif and later called Richard, the owner, to add an extra night. On the morning we checked-out, after leisurely packing up our car, we handed our room keys to the house-keeper who was walking past heading towards our room to clean it, bid her farewell and drove off. This was at 10 minutes past 10am. We were driving back to Melbourne and my mobile was out of signal range until we reached Lake Bolac. When we arrived at Lake Bolac at 1pm, I was surprised to find 3 missed calls from Richard accusing us of leaving without paying for the extra night and threatening to contact the police if we did not call within the hour. I thought I had given him my credit card details when I called initially to book the extra night. I called back immediately and am greeted by a rude and angry Richard. After giving him my credit card details, he added that he was going to charge us a late check-out fee and credit card fee. I argued that we have stayed in hotels in Australia and around the world and that checking out 10 minutes late has never incurred a late check-out fee. He retorted that because we had given our key to the house keeper and that he only saw her later that morning, it was later than 10 minutes. I argued that the house-keeper should have informed us to hand our keys in to reception if there were strict house rules about check-out. I agreed to pay the agreed rate for the extra night but not the late check-out fee or credit card fee, which he had said there would be no credit card charge when i called to book initially. On checking my credit card bill, Richard has taken his liberties and charged the additional fees.
Overall it was a horrible, unpleasant experience and it definitely spoilt our holiday. Richard was rude and unreasonable to deal with.He repeatedly hung up on us when we tried to explain the events that occurred on the day of check-out. I would strongly discourage anyone to stay here.

Dr Pearly Ngeow.

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Pearly N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard S, Owner at A Must at Coonawarra, responded to this review, November 11, 2012
Pearly Graham and her partner stayed with us for a number of nights, and everthing was fine, however when it came time to check out this couple decided that they would do a runner and not pay, after a number of phone calls and finally the threat of police action they decided to return my phone calls, in which they said that we did not have their credit card number and that they were not going to pay for the extra night ( other nights had been paid by wotif ) they then said if we persue them they would write bad reports on social media site which they have now done. I can not reply any further other than to say we are instigating legal action against them.
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Level Contributor
35 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 15, 2012

The most comfortable, casual accomodation that one could wish for. Someone has given these suites a lot of thought - from the way the light switches were positioned to the way the bathroom worked.
To find a bathroom which has excellent lighting, good heating and ventilation, a large well designed shower and a separate toilet is a real bonus.

The kitchen was extremely well and generously equipped with good quality appliances and utensils, the settees in the louge area were comfortable with lots of cushions and even a throw rug. There was a separate little desk area and a good size dining table.

There was a good quality sound system, a large T.V. and DVD player in the lounge area as well as a second flat screen T.V. in the bedroom.

The whole place was spotless inside and out and was obviously very well maintained.

The owners were extremely friendly and hospitable, they clearly knew the area well and were happy to share this knowledge, they had also provided comprehensive amounts of tourist information in the rooms.

We really enjoyed our two nights and have no reservations about recommending Must to anyone contemplating spending a few days in the Coonawarra region.

  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank GeorgesM115
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard S, Owner at A Must at Coonawarra, responded to this review, September 22, 2012
Thank you for your review, we are very poleased to hear you enjoyed your stay hear and in the district, look forward to seeing you again on your next trip to the Coonawarra,
Cheers
Richard & Alison
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Busselton, Australia
Level Contributor
69 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2012

Three of us stayed here in August 2012 and were pleasantly surprised with the service and friendly owners. The accommodation was first class. The package included a visit to a winery for chocolate and wine taisting plus drop off and pick up at a local restaurant in the Bentley for dinner.
Would have no hesitation in recommennding this establishment to anyone and if we return it would be on top of our list.

Room Tip: All rooms ok
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Beachman1945
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard S, Owner at A Must at Coonawarra, responded to this review, September 9, 2012
Thank you Peter, allways glad to here that you have enjoyed your stay and the region.
Cheers
Richard
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Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
15 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2012

Very welcoming staff. Videos to borrow. Well positioned. Great recommendation for meals at Fodder. Even made a booking for us. Swish but not too much. We'll be back. Thanks for making us feel welcome.

Room Tip: I have to rate a fitness centre and swimming pool - didn't see either of them so above points N...
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Caspette
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard S, Owner at A Must at Coonawarra, responded to this review, August 15, 2012
Hi! Thank you for the review, and we are glad that you enjoyed your stay as that is our prime concern, and we look forward to your next stay with us.

Regards
Richard
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Millicent
Level Contributor
24 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 24, 2012

all though it was clean and nice was very disappointing. It states luxury accommodation to me it was just nice with no extras that I would except with luxury accommodation. Very noisy. No salt,pepper, oil or even glad wrap in the room and they charge 15 for any breakages. Would love to see the extras added as that is what makes it luxury. Only one thing of shampoo when two are staying doesn't make sense. Mini bar was well priced

  • Stayed July 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bubblesrule
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Richard S, Owner at A Must at Coonawarra, responded to this review, August 2, 2012
Thank you for your input, we do supply soaps,shampoo conditioner,body lotion and body wash on a daily basis, pepper and salt is in the kitchen cupboard, anythind else we do supply on request, I suppose accommodation properties could supply an endless amount of complimentairies however the room rates would then be more expensive. As to the breakage cost it is discretionary as is charges for late check out and late arrivals, this is a practice in most properties around the world. As to the discription as Luxuary this is a term that is relative and in saying that this property has won no less than six tourism awards in the luxuary catagory. And as per our previous email correspondence we did not charge you for the extra cleaning due to the way the property was left nor did we charge you for the very late arrival. It is also clear from your email that pehaps you have not travelled a lot and please next time choose some one else.
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Additional Information about A Must at Coonawarra

Property: A Must at Coonawarra
Address: 126 Church St, Penola, South Australia 5277, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > South Australia > Penola
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 B&Bs / Inns in Penola
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Award winning luxury accommodation in the world famous Coonawarra wine region, and just walking distance to the award winning restaurants, cafes, galleries and shops of Penola. Self-contained luxury apartments with free WiFi, complimentary breakfast in most apartments, guest BBQ area and DVD library. Off street parking, private decks and native gardens. Well located to explore the Limestone coast attractions of Robe, Beachport, Millicent, Mount Gambier, Narracorte, and its World Heritage caves. ... more   less 
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