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“Nice lakeside spa cabin - but no privacy and beware of builders!”

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Lake St Clair Lodge
Reviewed August 22, 2012

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,

  • Stayed: July 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Moorina
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 15, 2012

We camped here during January 2012, and as we expected it was busy. This is why we booked 9 months in advance to ensure we had an allocated camp site.

On arrival we quickly discovered this was not the case. No allocated camp site even though we had booked and paid well in advance and the camp ground was also overbooked.

We ended up having to pitch our tent beside the bathroom and its pressure pump to keep us company for the first night with little sleep.

Fortunately we were ale to move our tent the following day and took over a site quickly after it was vacated. I think other campers had similar ideas to make some space for themselves in an over crowded camp ground.

The bathrooms were a mess, and rarely cleaned. The dirtiest bathrooms i have encountered for a camp site.

The campground is in a great location though, right on the Lake St. Claire, and accesses the available walks easily.

Would not recommend staying here, but if you are planning on staying in the area, there are not many other options.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank hilly979
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 11, 2012

I stayed one night at Lake St Clair Lodge in June, in the dormitories.
The lady at the reception was very rude, whereas we spoke with a young guy that was very nice. When we arrived and ask to the lady if there were other people in the room with us, she told us "No but don't make yourself too comfortable". nice!
We had to pay 35$ for a very very cold room with a very very tiny heater, and they didn't provided any blankets, even if it is winter! Fortunately, we had sleeping bags and it was actually okay!

The common areas are very nice, and there is a fire place, which was highly appreciated! However, there were no cutlery provided, so we had to borrow some to people that had brought there own!

The area is very nice and beautiful, and we could see wallabies and other small wildlife popping a bit everywhere!
You have to pay 1$ to take a 5minutes shower, and the shower/toilets can be very very cold during winter, because it is not well isolated.

  • Stayed: June 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Julie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 6, 2012

We stayed here in a swag which was fine as we have travelled around Australia in a swag, however, at $35.00 a night there was no camp kitchen, we had to pay an additional fee to use the camp showers and was awoken at 6:30am in the morning as they were building new cabins and apparently this is an appropriate time in the morning to begin construction. The restaurant was poor, after these rain at the front desk made insulting comments about where we were from, we ordered a meat pie with mash potato and peas for $16.50... The mash potato was 'Deb' a fake version of mash potato, and I'm sure the pie was Mrs Macs. With all of this we left after the first day. Beautiful location but terrible service and next to no use of facilities included in camping prices. As a tourism professional, I was appalled with this place and did not mind leaving without a refund for the second night that we didn't stay-I just wanted to get out of there!

  • Stayed: May 2012
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5  Thank Jaana84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 20, 2012

We arrived at Lake St Clair Lodge at approx 4.30pm to be directed to our cabin with instructions that dinner was at 6.00pm. Not much time to relax before dinner. After much driving around and not exactly sure where to park, we just proped in front of the actual cabin that had the lake view, not ours. We were at the back but could not park there due to construction works and a pile of unsightly rubbish behind our cabin. Nor did we have a lake view! After rushing to be at the Restaurant for dinner by 6.00pm (as instructed), we left our cabin to find absolutely no lights on to guide us on our walk there (which was suggested by the Staff). We left the outside light on, but trying to get to the path resulted in tripping over the huge boulders in the garden, as it was pitch black that side of the cabins. No way was I going to feel my way around in pitch black!!!! We drove the short distance to the restaurant and had a lovely meal and chatted to people who had just finished a trek over 8 days and (as we did), just wanted to kick back and relax with a few drinks. THEY DO NOT SELL TORCHES IN THEIR LITTLE SHOP. Michael was super friendly and attentive and told us to enjoy and take our time. Within half an hour of this, some little fat bearded bloke basically told us all politely to bugger off! Restaurant closed by 8.00pm!
If you actually want to stay at this place, the pillows are fantastic, bed is super and heating great, but take a torch. Returned for breakfast to meet a bloke who was filling in for the Chef but cooked a decent breaky. Little fat bloke with a beard turned up again to set our reserved signs on tables and told us all it was nearly lunch time. Talk about time to move on! If you are an early starter and early to bed, this is the place to go. P.S...If you are a smoker, don't expect to find environmentally friendly ashtrays as there are none. Me, being a smoker was horrified to find no ashtrays around but lots of cigarette butts. Hence, cigarette butts all over the ground which take approx 60 years to dissolve (so I was told by another person at another place who has no ashtrays in place).

Room Tip: Take a torch to find your way around after dark. Don't expect to be able to spend a lot of time...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Joanne M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 26, 2012 via mobile

We visited in April, a quieter time, with no fwd booking we still found ourselves booked in and having a warm shower within 10mins of arriving. The atmosphere is layback, and establishment clean. We had the double room with external shower, it was still okay and did the job. The room smelt like cigarettes, but it now is a non smoking hotel. All in all the huge wood fire and restaurant attached to the guest accomodation area is very convenient. Closest place to stay to Lake St Clare as an affordable alternative to the other overpriced lodges. Wld recommend it and wld return.

  • Stayed: April 2012
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4  Thank sazbocky
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 22, 2012

Stayed at Lake St Clair in March 2012 at a lakeside studio and really enjoyed the experience. It was my honeymoon and the staff went out of their way to make sure everything was perfect. Studios are beautiful with great views of the lake. Dined at the restaurant and really enjoyed the steak which was huge and very tasty which went well with the wine suggested. Have told my friends about this place and will be back in winter when it snows.

Room Tip: ask for studio 20 spa best view
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  • Stayed: March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank jennydale d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Lake St Clair Lodge

Address: Lyell Highway, Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park, Tasmania 7140, Australia
Location: Australia > Tasmania > Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beverage Selection Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Cradle Mountain-Lake St. Clair National Park
Price Range: $204 - $290 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Lake St Clair Lodge 4*
Number of rooms: 48
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

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