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“A total escape”
Review of Freycinet Retreat

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Freycinet Retreat
Ranked #1 of 5 Coles Bay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersPlatinum level
Mexico City, Mexico
Level Contributor
81 reviews
56 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
“A total escape”
Reviewed May 3, 2012

We stayed here for five nights in March 2012. This cottage is really something special – and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

As the reviews suggest, you are really away from it here. The cottage is totally on its own. There are also the two other eco-lodges on the property, probably about half a mile away as the crow flies – but they are on the other side of the hill behind the cottage, so you aren’t aware of them at all. It really is just you, the wallabies, the wombats and the possums. The cottage is totally surrounded by bush, so you can walk out of the front door and just wander off into the great outdoors – scattering the wildlife as you go.

There are great views from the property. The shack looks out over the Friendly Beaches, and from the top of the hill you can see towards Coles Bay and the Hazards. The location is good as well – about 15 minutes to Coles Bay, about 30 minutes to Bicheno (which is also very nice), and lots of beaches nearby (including the incredible Friendly Beaches, which to my mind are more impressive than the much-quoted Wineglass Bay – mile after mile of pure white sand, turquoise blue sea and rolling surf).

The owners are also to be commended for the job they have done in setting up the cottages on the property. They have really tried to make them properly eco-friendly, with the water supply coming from treated rainwater, the generation of renewable energy, and recycled building materials.

This cottage probably is not for everybody. Some might find the isolation a bit overwhelming, especially at night. But if you are happy to be on your own, to listen and watch the birds and animals during the day, and stare at the stars at night, then I am sure you will enjoy it.

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
1 Thank DanSteely
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
freycineteco, Owner at Freycinet Retreat, responded to this review, September 4, 2015
Apologies to any guest who might be considering booking a few nights at Saltwater Shack. This cottage is, unfortunately, no longer available. Although this has been a very popular cottage with guests, as a result of an expansion of the business, we have turned Saltwater Shack over to accommodate our own staff team. However, this also means that we are now able to offer more accommodation in the form of some stunning Eco Studios located on the same 1200 acre bush property, and with an even more expansive ocean view.
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93 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (18)
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English first
Hobart
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed March 11, 2012

My wife and I stayed in the Saltwater Shack, which is an isolated self-contained shack separate from the main retreat. It is a restored shack with an artificial wetland in front of it and a vista through to the ocean. Possibly a shame the trees were knocked down to create the wetland and the vista, but it was possibly done before the current owners bought it and created the eco retreat, although there are relatively recent bulldozer tracks on the bank of the wetland.

The spot is really nice and amazingly isolated for a place only 5 or 6 km from the Coles Bay township. We did not hear or see a single sign of the outside world while we were at the shack - a feat which is hard to achieve in todays mechanised world! We enjoyed the peace and relaxation. I even came within 70m or so of a feral deer. These are present in Tasmania, but they are very shy animals and it is rare to see them, let alone get that close.

The accommodation is clean and basic with some touches of luxury. The water pressure is low and variable - the pump came on continually to boost it, however we didn't mind this, being on low pressure tank water is a reasonable tradeoff for the isolation. The bathroom is cosy but adequate.

The bed was not great - it is a king sized bed created from joining two singles, and for people who like to sleep snuggled up as we do, this meant one of us had to sleep on the bar down the middle. This was not comfortable and personally I don't think such beds should be advertised as king size beds.

There was a note on the wall above the sink telling us we might be charged $30 extra if we did not do the dishes, which we found a bit silly and unreasonable. We have run self-contained accommodation ourselves and we know that it does not cost $30 to get the housekeeper to do the dishes, the average cost is closer to $2. The shack is not cheap - we paid $570 for 3 nights, and this can easily absorb the cost of any cleaning. It is a question of looking at the average cleaning cost, where most people who will pay this amount for accommodation are quite tidy. Also, we also found with our own accommodation that it is often counterproductive having guests do their own washing up, because we still had to check and often redo the washing up to our standard, such as making sure plates and pots are rinsed after washing, etc. Easier to just tell guests to leave it for us.

Overall it is a nice place, but not for couples who sleep close together, and make sure you do the dishes!

  • Stayed March 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Fred H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
freycineteco, Owner at Freycinet Retreat, responded to this review, March 30, 2012
We're very glad that you enjoyed the unique nature of Saltwater Shack. We think, however, that where you comment on the fact that you believed that we had had bulldozers in to remove trees (the implication we took to being that we are not, therefore, somehow "eco") you may have misunderstood the situation on the ground. The whole of Mt Paul (the 876 acre property on which Saltwater Shack is located) is classified as a Private Timber Reserve and was indeed clearfelled and totally degenerated by the previous owner. The wetland, to which you refer, is a natural feature albeit improved following the bulldozing which occurred until the mid 1990's. We have owned Mt Paul since 2002, and we have done little except encourage the regeneration and ensure that firebreaks are maintained in accordance with an Environmental Management Plan and Fire Management Plan. I think that a subsequent guests "got it" when they commented in our visitor's book as follows: -

"We enjoyed supporting, in a very little way, your committment to regenerating what has clearly been a heavily logged woodland. Keept it up. We need more people like you both in this world of consumers. The birds are very happy!"

Sorry you didn't like the bed - other guests have commented on how comforatable it is, so it seems that that is just a subjective thing. Also, sorry that you didn't ike the notice about washing -up. In our experience this seems to have become an industry norm. The water pressure has now been improved - it seems that the bladder in the pump needed inflating. If you had alerted us to this during your stay we would have happily fixed it for you, but it is one of those things of which we are not aware until someone mentions it to us.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
58 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
Reviewed January 29, 2012

As other reviewers have commented, the location at the top of a hill overlooking the Hazards and Great Oyster Bay is superb. Watching the sun set from our balcony was a highlight. Lovely comfortable fit out. Only disappointments were the poor quality of the kitchen implements (cheap small wineglasses, no large saucepan for pasta, uneven frying pan etc). Very private, though you should be aware as others have pointed out below that the two lodges are very close, and if guests at both lodges were sitting on the balcony at the same time, they would likely be in view of each other.

  • Stayed January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Susannahaway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2011

This place is fabulous and has plenty of wow factor. We saw all manner of wildlife including a wombat and a small Joey learning to hop on Christmas Day. Very special. Feels luxurious inside even though it is all very simple. Just lovely. Only drawback was having to wash up throughout our three day stay. Most self catering for this price has a dishwasher and I would have thought this would be the eco-friendly option. Having to wash - and dry! - every tea cup felt a bit strict as we're checking out. Also, the late 3pm check-in is quite inconvenient when you are on a road trip. However, none of these minor drawbacks detracts from an ultimately memorable and wonderful experience.

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank PickyGuest01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Swansea, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed October 30, 2011

Although we have lived in Tassie for over 40 years we have never encountered a property like Freycinet Eco Retreat and were just blown-away by the standard of this haven. It's quite incredible that such luxury is available in an area so peaceful, private, remote and beautiful with over 1200 acres of land to explore, knowing you are unlikely to encounter another human being and, if you do, there are unlikely to be more than a handful of them - if that ! We stayed for 3 nights in one of the eco-lodges and were quite depressed at the thought of having to leave; we didn't see any other guests and just inhaled the solitary nature of the property and all it had to offer in its simplicity plus fantastic views. The lodges were very well appointed indeed and to a very high standard. We had planned to dine out at least one night as the Coles Bay township is only a 10 minute drive away but, thankfully, had brought ample food with us and then bought enough super fresh seafood at the outlet nearby so we never left the property at all.
The amount of research and hard work that the owners have put into this project is commendable and they have built a retreat that is not only comfortable, luxurious and breathtaking in its position but also one that will leave a minimal, if any, carbon footprint into the future and that must also be worthy of recognition.
We had a fantastic, relaxing time and wouldn't have traded it for anything purported to be even grander in the area; for us this is as good as it gets and it doesn't come with an inflated price-tag. I could go on; if you want luxury, peace, tranquility, star-filled panoramic skies and no traffic noises this can't be beaten.
The owners were very helpful and friendly and we look forward to returning soon.

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
3 Thank Abbotsford50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penguin, Tasmania, Australia
1 review
Reviewed October 17, 2011

We had the pleasure of two magical nights staying in one of the eco lodges. The serenity and sense of total isolation immediately command attention, in fact it's hard to tear your eyes away from the stunning bush surrounds and view of the hazards and water in the distance. Inside the lodge we found simple luxury, everything you need to totally relax and forget the outside world exists. Thoughtful touches like the fire being pre-lit made sure we immediately felt at home.
We had no desire to leave the property during our stay with beautiful walks through the bush viewing the abundant animal life all we needed to be content. Then the luxury of seeing the sunset over the amazing vista and a massive king size bed truly tops off the whole experience. Theres nothing better than waking up to the sound of birds and animals and absolutely nothing else.
We were truly sad to leave, as the two days were just magic. A treat for all the senses - sights, sounds, smells - words are really inadequate. Such luxury in such a magnificent setting.
Thank you so much - we will be back!

  • Stayed October 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
Thank Annette R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
Reviewed June 15, 2011

An essential, truly Australian experience
What a brilliant spot! We spent two nights and had the most relaxing and enjoyable time.
The view is absolutely amazing and the lodge perfectly equipped to just stay in, cook and savor the moment! Fantastic just for two or you could possibly rent out the other lodge and cottage at the same time for three couples to enjoy the weekend away together.
We will hopefully return someday, in the meantime it will remain a treasured memory.

Room Tip: Cabin one would be the most private
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  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Bugalugs11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Freycinet Retreat

Property: Freycinet Retreat
Address: 1799 - 1819 Coles Bay Road, Coles Bay, Freycinet, Tasmania 7215, Australia
Location: Australia > Tasmania > Freycinet > Coles Bay
Amenities:
Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Coles Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Freycinet Retreat 4.5*
Number of rooms: 10
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Freycinet Retreat is a 1200 acre, Lanf for Wildlife, bush property with fabulous views adjoining the Freycinet National Park. Two luxury eco-lodges and eight Ocean View Eco Studios offer comfort in style. Guaranteed wildlife, warm in winter, no doilies, mod cons, perfect for the independent traveller couples. Free high speed wifi in you room included. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Freycinet Retreat Tasmania - Coles Bay

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