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“Honeymoon Disappointment”

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Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Mission Beach
London, United Kingdom
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Honeymoon Disappointment”
Reviewed January 14, 2014

I have emailed Castaways twice to express our disappointment with our stay to their reservations address but have received NO REPLY or acknowledgement - maybe they can't receive them or maybe they don't care - I'm not sure.
My new husband and I had been travelling for a several weeks on honeymoon. Castaways was a little above our normal budget but for the type of room we were getting but with the tripadvisor reviews which, until recently, were all very good and also how clean and slick the website looked we thought it was going to be something really special so splashed out. Sadly we have a few complaints as follows.
Our room looked very tired. The walls and general furnishing all looked rather "beaten up" and the air con was quite ineffectual. The website and cost leads you to believe that it is a clean and modern hotel but the bathroom was old and scaly and not what we were expecting. The booking confirmation of details for our room says wireless internet included - this is misleading as it is only available in certain areas and hard to pick up / weak. In actual fact you need to spend a small fortune to have wifi in your room. There was also no safe which we have found standard in also every hotel and definitely in the "luxury" ones.
My personal main complaint was cleanliness. The pool on our first day was very dirty. I jumped into the long pool and felt myself treading on something I looked underwater with my goggles (the water is strangely cloudy in both pools) and there were in just one corner a collection of around 35 dead spiders, wasps and other detritus. There were many other clusters- it was filthy. We are keen swimmers and this was the main draw from the pictures on the website for us. We did not go in either pool again.
The plates at breakfast were also very dirty on the morning we left. I picked my way through several plates and bowls to find a cleanish one. I was not the only one with another girl said "ewwwww" when she picked up a plate and found the same nasty stuff I was finding. Reading through other reviews it appears that this hotel seems to have ongoing issues with cleanliness.
Breakfast was limited. In fact it was the poorest offering in Continental breakfast in our 5 week trip - maybe it was to encourage you to spend an extra $10 for their hot breakfast "deal". There were problems with the toasters which kept shorting and the selection was measly and not refreshed enough for the price tag attached.
We ate lunch and dinner one day. Lunch was very nice and reasonably priced. In the evening meal I picked the stuffed mushroom starter. It cost $14 and the mushroom wasn't much larger than a 50 cent piece... There was a bit of salad to make it look more but the value was shocking... I know it might seem hard to believe now but I don't complain very often but the disappointments kept racking up and so I complained. I was told I was not the first to complain and that the mushrooms used to be much much larger. I was given a free glass of wine to compensate but found it worrying that people had complained but nothing was being changed so I wonder how many have complained about the mushroom starter today? My husband ate the steak with sides - he received 4 slithers of a carrot not even half an actual carrot - it was more of a suggestion than a side. Other than the breakfast we decided to eat away from the hotel...
The view was very stunning. I loved the exterior bed on our balcony. The staff are friendly but the price tag was way over the standard currently being provided. I know they suffered from the typhoon a couple of years ago but cleanliness does not cost a lot... I was asked how my stay was as I settled the heavy cheque I said that actually I was disappointed and had expected much more - also that the pool was very dirty - the lady was sweet but did not address anything just changed the subject and asked where I was going next. It could be a great great luxury hotel and it sells itself this way - but its still got a way to go in my opinion...

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Emma H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emmelie J, Director of Sales at Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach, responded to this review, February 12, 2014
Dear "Honeymoon Disappointment"

I am sorry to hear that we did not live up to your expectation during you stay with us. We do take on board all feedback we receive from our guests and in all areas possible try to rectify, correct or change the cause for the negative feedback.

I do hope that you enjoyed your honeymoon here in Australia and wish you all the best for the future.
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Fleet, Hants
Level Contributor
33 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed January 13, 2014

With its stunning location looking out over the ocean at Mission Beach all looked set for a memorable stay. However, it was memorable for the wrong reasons!
Starting with the positives, its location right on the ocean shore with picture book coconut palms is simply idyllic. The atmospheric restaurant and bar has a good quality imaginative menu and the staff both here and on reception are friendly and very efficient. It's once you move beyond the front of house that things start to get a little flakey.
Although from the outside it appears to be a modern hotel the actual bedrooms are starting to get very tired and really do need a revamp. The decoration and fittings are not only old fashioned, but also in a poor state of repair and like much of the hotel need money spending. This is not aided by the level of the housekeeping staff. Upon returning to our room on the second morning my wife and I actually had a debate as to whether or not the housekeeping staff had actually visited. The giveaway was that they had tidied up the bedcover, but by the way the pillows had been slung back on the bed one would never have guessed that someone had actually remade the bed. The inclusive continental breakfast is fine although a little limited. However, it only includes a self prepared powdered instant coffee which is located next to the coffee machine. Should you actually want a real cup of coffee then there is an extra charge. When paying this rate for a room you would think that at least a filter coffee would be available at breakfast. Breakfast is served until a sensible 11:00, what is not so sensible is to be awakened by a hammer and drill at 7:50!
The location, restaurant and front of house staff are all A1. I only hope that the owners invest the money that is needed and that this hotel can return to being the gem that it once obviously was.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank RCHLMH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emmelie J, Director of Sales at Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear "It could have been stunning..."

First I would like to say thank you for taking the time to write a very detailed comment here on Tripadvisor. It delights me to hear that you give our staff such positive feedback. In regards to your other comments I can only say that we aware of some of the rooms needing updating and it also pleases me to say that we will be looking at doing a light re-furb of our rooms and public areas within the next upcoming months.
I do hope that we get to see you back here with us soon.
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Northamptonshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed January 11, 2014

We stayed at Castaway Resort & Spa Mission Beach as a stop over on our way to Townsville. The hotel was easy to find and upon arrival the hotel's receptionist (Daniel) was most welcoming and informative. We were advised that all rooms were beachfront which is absolutely superb and although the property seems to have some aging, it is visible that it has undergone extensive refurbishment. The rooms were adequate with the generic fittings and furnishings. The most exceptional aspect of the room would have definitely been the view from our balcony, the sunsets are amazing... and overnight you could actually hear the sound of the waves....
Breakfast in the morning prior to departure was fantastic (cooked to order from a diverse menu with a variety of offerings). Overall despite our short overnight stay we were very pleased.

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Caught_a_TravelBUG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emmelie J, Director of Sales at Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear "Amazing Beach Views"

I am glad to hear that you decided to make a stop here in Mission Beach on your way to Townsville. It is a really good mid-way point. It is also great to hear that you enjoyed your stay here with us and the nice feedback you give us about our staff.
Now you know where to stop next time you do this trip and we would love to have you back.
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Guam, Mariana Islands
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed January 10, 2014

First and foremost, my wife and I did NOT anticipate staying at this resort hotel during our two week long Australian holiday. We had been doing our usual spartan camping thing for the past week, and had been enjoying ourselves very well. After an all-day rafting trip we had sunburned ourselves pretty thoroughly, and we were in agreement that between the tropical humidity, a rather nasty heat wave on the move through Queensland, and now our red and hot-to-the-touch skin that we would not easily find sleep in our campervan that night.

Our river rafting guide, Johnny, recommended going down into Mission Beach to cool down. He told us of a hotel where bar patrons are allowed to use the pool, and that there was a nice spot up the beach where we could park our van and sleep it out with a cool ocean breeze. Well, we mostly took his advice - only we ended up splurging and staying not in our van, but in the nice hotel for the night!

When we made our initial enquiry at the front desk, we knew that Castaways would be a little pricey when compared to our usual accommodations, but we said "what the hell!" and decided to treat ourselves. I wish I could recall the name of the receptionist, because she was lovely. Not only did she give us a 10% discount, but she also gave us a late check-out free of charge.

The rooms at Castaways are very nice, but the views are phenomenal! Each room has an entire wall of windows facing east onto the Coral Sea. We purposefully left our blinds wide open so that we might catch a beautiful sunrise, and we were not disappointed. Waking at 5:15 with the first rays of the sun, my wife and I enjoyed our mugs of coffee while walking along the wide, sandy beach.

The other amenities at Castaways are just as nice as the rooms. The saltwater swimming pool, located just two or three steps from our room, was just what our crispy Haole hides needed after their thorough burning. The complimentary continental breakfast buffet was delicious, with fresh fruits and breads, cereals, muesli, cold cuts, and juices. And the in-house bar and restaurant, Bibesia Beach Club, served a wide selection of cool drinks, delicious food, and tempting desserts. Click on my profile to read our glowing review of the wonderful dinner we had there, or take the lazy route and trust that it earned every one of the five stars we've given it.

*** Castaways Resort was just what we needed. We cannot recommend them highly enough! ***

  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Dave B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emmelie J, Director of Sales at Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach, responded to this review, January 15, 2014
Dear "Our unexpected - but amazing - stay at Castaways"

It is a true delight to read your feedback here on Tripadvisor and I want to thank you for taking the time to write this. It sounds to me as if you had a great and adventurous experience while in our region and I must admit that I am slightly happy that you both got sun burnt :)
Thank you again for your lovely feedback and please come back and visit us again soon!
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Level Contributor
18 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2014

Definitely the absolute best location on beautiful Mission Beach. Only a few steps across a lawn and coconut palm area and your right on the beach. Very quiet location also although we struck families with young kids which I couldn't quite understand considering its much better suited to couples or families with older children. Downside was we struck the only room in the complex that didn't have a balcony or anyway to sit outside or even open the door. It was Downstairs right by the pool and we felt like we were in jail) Someone had to get it and sure enough it was us. Had we known we would have requested another room. Very disappointed that we paid the same room rate and everyone else got to sit in front of their rooms and enjoy the view and there was no point even opening our door as you couldn't even go outside as the pool fence was right across the actual doorway. We had to walk right around the complex or back through reception and sit in one of the public areas. Make sure you don't get this room when you book, it was terrible. As others have mentioned, the rooms are looking tired, very tired so an overhaul is definitely due. Still with the outside areas, pool and dining /bar areas where you will spend a lot of your time then it won't matter. (Unless like us you get the jail room). The resort didn't seem full and the room next to us with an outdoor option was empty for the two nights we were there so I'm not sure why we got this room as we had booked some months prior. To me this room should only be used as a last option when booked out.
We also didn't have a tv remote which was odd so survived without telly for a while but when we decided to ask for one, the response was quick. Apparently the previous one had been lost.
As far as the facilities are concerned, I couldn't get a suitable time for the spa so not sure what that was like but I would suggest making sure you book for dinner. We didn't the second night as it was a Monday and we thought it would be quiet and had to wait while the bookings book was read over and over until they came up with a table. There weren't many people around and the dining area never filled so not sure what all the waiting and fuss was about. The meals were ok, the risotto was very tiny so don't order that if your hungry but despite it being a 'resort' the food was reasonably priced as were all drinks and cocktails. Best value was Sunday pizzas which were $5 and delicious. Staff were all very pleasant and made up for the few problems including a reasonably long wait for meals and the glass pool fence being very dirty which spoilt the lovely view over the beach to the island. Breakfast was included but was very basic. We took the option of ordering from the menu for an extra $10 and it was worth it. Delicious dish to note was the Bocconcini, avocado and tomato which was one of the best ideas for a breakfast dish and served on a lovely board. The cheese was crumbed and it was a winner for me. The standard eggs and bacon was also better than most. I would stay again but be more vigilant about what room we are in and maybe hope they have a room revamp soon. Enjoy the pool and the view and you will be hard pressed to find a better spot to relax with a good book and a reasonably priced cocktail. Morning walks were heaven here.

Room Tip: Make sure you book a room with a balcony area
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  • Stayed January 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Tracy V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emmelie J, Director of Sales at Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Dear "Fantastic location but not perfect"

Thank you so much for taking time out and give us such specific and detailed feedback. Feedback like yours is very much appreciated and we do take our guests comments very serious. It is the absolute best way for us to keep on our toes and make the necessary adjustments and changes where ever possible.
It sounds as though you enjoyed your time here and we hope to see you back with us again soon.
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Toowoomba, Australia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed January 4, 2014

We stayed for one night at the end of December, the main areas of the hotel are beautiful, we ate dinner and breakfast there and the food and service were great and reasonably priced. Beautiful pools looking out onto a beautiful view of the beach. The rooms were nice with a private balcony; comfortable bedding with plenty of seats. The only downside was the ac - it was not very effective. The staff were very helpful arranging special requests before our arrival.

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jess_ChrisQLD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emmelie J, Director of Sales at Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Dear "gorgeous location"

Thank you for taking time out and write a feedback comment here on Tripadvisor. It is great to hear that you enjoyed both your stay with us and the lovely location of Mission Beach.
Hope to see you back with us soon.
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Cairns
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed December 28, 2013

Just returned from our second visit to Castaways Resort and while we had a relaxing time I really noticed a few things in need of attention this stay. As other members have pointed out the location of the resort is second to none. Beautiful views from every room looking out over the coral sea and Dunk Island. The beach is huge and long for those who enjoy a morning/evening walk. A life guard is present (probably during holiday season) and a well maintained stinger net is in place from November to May. There is a great little beach takeaway snack bar outside the north end of the resort for those who don't wish to pay resort price food all the time as well. The resort bar and dining area is an open plan arrangement that also looks out over the fabulous views as does the pool. However, the rooms are getting a little tired and housekeeping/maintenance needs to improve. On arrival we noted one lamp in our 2 bedroom resort room was not working and the desk lamp sparked when we tried to switch it on making for a pretty dangerous situation. The air conditioner control had flat batteries. After fresh batteries were replaced, try as we may we could not get it to operate the main bedroom air con leaving us to climb up on the bed to manually turn it on and off. The tissue dispenser in the bathroom had not been replenished and probably the most annoying thing was the glass sliding door that was really difficult to open. We notified reception staff of these issues and to their credit they were very prompt in dealing with these few issues. Also be aware - there is no screen door so the glass sliding door needs to be closed most of the time to keep any flying nasties out. There is a lack of mirrors in the bedrooms which leaves one to line up for the bathroom which lacks a decent amount of towel racks if you happen to be sharing with your teenage kids as we were. All rooms are suppose to be equipped with a torch for emergency situations but we could not find one in our room. Most of these things are small issues but together they make for a definite lacking of facilities especially when one is paying resort prices.
On the up side the food at the restaurant was great. Prompt, hot and delicious however continental breakfast in the morning was a bit poor. Staff are friendly and helpful. In all I was a bit disappointed in our second stay at Castaway Resort and would encourage the manager to relook at the room amenities and house keeping service with fresh eyes.

Room Tip: Room 101 on the ground floor offers a bit more outdoor space with an almost private lawn extending f...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank CairnsMouse63
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Emmelie J, Director of Sales at Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach, responded to this review, January 6, 2014
Dear "Needs some TLC"

First of all I would like to say thank you for coming back for your second visit to Castaways. We always love to wish returning guests back to us.
I would also like to say thank you for the very specific and detailed feedback. Feedback like yours is very much appreciated and we do take our guests comments very serious. It is the absolute best way for us to keep on our toes and make the necessary adjustments and changes where ever possible.
I do hope we will see you back with us again for a third time.
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 Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach

Property: Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach
Address: 2 Pacific Pde, Mission Beach, Queensland 4852, Australia
Location: Australia > Queensland > Mission Beach
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 Hotels in Mission Beach
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4 star — Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach 4*
Number of rooms: 65
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Castaways Resort & Spa offers a wide range of accommodation, with 48 luxury beachfront rooms and self-contained apartments, a private beachside villa and 18 lush rainforest rooms, spread over two centrally-located properties. All rooms located within our beachfront property other than the hotel rooms, feature a private balcony or garden patio with stunning views out to the Coral Sea and Dunk Island. Our beachfront hotel rooms feature a full length windows with views of the beautiful beachfront. All rooms located within our rainforest property are surrounded by our lush rainforest gardens, providing wonderful serenity and privacy. All guests have access to all of our facilities, including our 25m lap pool, beachfront leisure pool, rainforest lagoon pool, gym, laundry, Drift Day Spa and Bibesia Restaurant and Cocktail Bar, which is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Wifi is free and accessible throughout the resort and all parking is off-the-road and complimentary. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castaways Resort & Spa Mission Beach Hotel Mission Beach
Castaways Resort And Spa Mission Beach
Castaways Hotel On Mission Beach
Castaways Resort On Mission Beach

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