We booked a lakeside spa cabin online for a weekend in July, and confirmed our reservation over the phone. We checked in at the visitor centre, where the staff were very friendly, and gave us directions to drive about 500m to where the cabins were. The big disappointment was that when we emerged from the trees to see the cabins, we found ourselves in a construction site...orange flagging tape everywhere, piles of building rubble and skip bins (including right next to our cabin), and "danger keep out" signs....plus several builders walking around and the peaceful sound of car radios and power tools! The natural scenery at Lake St Clair is so stunning, and we went in winter, expecting it to be quiet and peaceful, so were very disappointed with the scene we found on our arrival. If we were warned about the construction, either when booking on the website or over the phone, we may have felt less ripped off. It may not have been peak rates, but it was not cheap at $240 for the night. A staff member on site observed us looking unhappy outside our cabin, and told us that the building of new cabins had been happening all year and it had caused issues with other guests too. I can understand that they don't want to deter business, but I think it is very misleading not to warn guests prior to booking. We asked whether the builders would return the following day (a Sunday), and he said they usually started very early, but he would ask them to keep the noise down?!? As it turned out, they arrived early but were quiet.
Other than that, our cabin was very nice, modern with a comfortable king bed, gas fire and nice spa bathroom. The big downside was privacy - the cabin is actually conjoined to another one, and sits directly on the road which leads to other cabins. There are no privacy blinds on the windows, only heavy curtains, so if you actually want to see the view and let the light in, you have to be prepared that anyone walking past (in our case, builders) can see straight in - and the bed is in the main room. Also, one full-length window (a ground level balcony door) only had loose lace netting, not even a curtain, so at night with the lights on, people would be able to see straight in - to where the bed is - and this door overlooked the road that leads to other cabins. None of the other current lakeside spa cabins looked more private, and a couple were worse, as we walked directly past the main window of one, looking onto the bed, from the ramp to our cabin's front door. Lucky for us we were the only ones staying, but I wouldn't want to be there when the place is full (there is also a backpackers lodge and camping at the same location). The older style cabins looked more private, but not sure if they would have views. The new cabins being built looked like they might be in a better location,
Other things were overlooked too - all simple things which with some attention would greatly improve the comfort and feel of the cabin. We only had two towels (for a spa cabin?) and both had been shaped into those animal sculptures on the bed - meaning you felt like someone's hands had been all over your towels...at other places I've stayed, if they do that, you usually get a separate fresh towel. The water jug in the fridge had been left with about 1cm of scummy, murky water in the bottom, so we had to wash that prior to re-filling. We also had to clean spilt milk out of the fridge. There were two wineglasses (which didn't match, picky I know, but just small details!), and 2 teaspoons - a few other utensils in the kitchenette would have helped.
We had dinner at the on-site restaurant - the staff were very friendly but seemed to be a skeleton staff - and our dinner was cooked by the manager rather than a chef (and it definitely showed) - and meals were still at the restaurant prices on the menu. We would have just preferred if they told us the restaurant wasn't operating as usual, due to it being a quiet winter period, and we would have gone down the road to the pub.
So overall although the location is beautiful and definitely worth visiting, I wouldn't recommend staying here if you are looking for a special weekend, at least not in the near future,
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- In the heart of the Tasmanian World Heritage Reserve. We welcome you to tranquility wrapped in outstanding natural beauty. Located on the shore of Australia's deepest freshwater lake. Our home has a serenity which promotes a connection with this wild and globally significant World Heritage Area. So hold your breath, open your eyes and enter a world away... ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Lake St Clair Lodge Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, Tasmania