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“Tepee as expected: breakfast basket rip-off”
Review of Huon Bush Retreats

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Huon Bush Retreats
Certificate of Excellence
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Reviewed October 18, 2013

We stayed one night in the Tepee (incorrectly spelled Tipee on their site) and the accommodation was what we expected. The toilet/showed facilities were close which was good. The Tepee is expensive for the fact it is a simple room with nothing but a fold out bed and camp fire, but we were happy to pay extra for an eco experience. The bed was not really comfortable as other people have mentioned, there is a bar about halfway down which makes it quite uncomfortable. However, we were still fine with the accommodation until it came to breakfast...
We had pre-ordered the breakfast hamper (stated to contain the following from the website: Brookfarm muesli, organic yoghurt*, Lucaston Apple Juice and organic orange juice*, Summer Kitchen organic bread*, Huon Bush Retreats jam and preserved fruit). We were expecting to be able to sit on the deck and eat. But discovered our Jam and preserved fruit had been replaced with eggs and a very sad looking apple and orange... So we decided to make the best of it and head to the camp kitchen, even though we really did not want to cook. This is where horror set it. There is no way that the kitchen in the state we saw it would pass health and safety checks. All the pots and pans and plates and bowls were stored in plastic tubs that were about 20cm off the ground. Ever single one had very large holes in them, allowing easy access for rats/mice/wallabies and other animals/bugs to climb all over them!! I was horrified and washed EVERYTHING before we used it. The stove is a rusty old gas kitchen stove. We then discovered there was no break knife to cut our unsliced loaf of bread and so had to TEAR the bread up in order to eat it!! There was no salt to have on our eggs... The serving of musli was about 1/3 of a cup each... $30 for THE WORST BREAKFAST we had ever had! It wasn't just the off tasting juice that left a bitter taste in my mouth... ABSOLUTE RIP OFF FOR BREAKFAST. We would have been much better driving 5mins down the road for a full hot breakfast, that we did not have to prepare or wash up after!! Upon mentioning the missing utensils from the kitchen, he said he would replace them in the future: not even an apology!
As another reviewer has mentioned, the drive way is poor. As someone who has driven on a lot of dirt roads etc, they need to resurface it, it is currently full of ruts. I would never stay here and I would never recommend anyone I know to stay here either.

I have noticed the owners like to add quite passive aggressive responses to the negative feedback on this site and I look forward to reading the response to my review...

Room Tip: The breakfast basket is a rip off. Do not self cater in the camp kitchen, it is disgusting
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  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled as a couple
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8  Thank dev45
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PaulHVE, Owner at Huon Bush Retreats, responded to this reviewResponded July 30, 2015

G'Day Dev45,
Glad you enjoyed the tipee. Sorry you are disappointed with the spelling.
Contents of our breakfast baskets do vary a bit depending on product availability. However we always provide quality and value. Organic produce will vary greatly in appearance and sometimes be "sad looking" as blemishes etc are not considered defects. Disappointing that you thought "...The breakfast basket is a rip off..." It costs us about $25 to make up these breakfasts, which we sell for $30 so we make almost no profit.
Shared kitchen facilities will vary greatly from day to day depending on the state that it was left in by previous users. Most guests have a quite different experience and praise the shared facilities which we clean every day. Sorry that your experience of the kitchen was not up to standard.
Paul D

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170 - 176 of 216 reviews

Reviewed October 14, 2013

My wife and I spent two nights of our honeymoon together here. This was a wonderful place to stay. It is quite remote and the stream side cabin is very private.
The cabin was very clean and confortable. Plenty of wood for the fire. No TV. Outside bath. CD player and a few CD's provided. The cabin is run on solar 12 volt power and this was not a problem and the battery backup did not run out at all.
Paul (one of the owners) ran us through the requirements for the stay etc and from then on we did not see another person/car while on site.
A pair of black currongs welcomed us on arrival and called us for a chat and a snack each morning and afternoon. Lots of visiting wildlife around dusk and into the evening.
The large bath did take quite some time to fill with the small water heater/tank needing to re-heat a couple of times, but once completed this was very relaxing.
The road UP to the administration building is a reasonable challange, but there are notes at the gate to explain how best to tackle the steep gravel/concrete road sections. Note if using a front wheel drive hire car turn off the traction control as when we got to the gravel hill the car just came to a halt as it could not get traction, once the traction control was off the wheels had more than enough grip to get up the hill. Also the Stream Side cabin is lower than the very steep section so it was only negotiated once.
All up this was a wonderful part of our honeymoon and very relaxing (and private) place to take some time out and/or visit the lower area of TAS east coast.

Room Tip: Very private in the Stream Side cabin.
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  • Stayed: October 2013, traveled as a couple
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Thank John D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 8, 2013

beautiful location and great cabins. there were four of us, two couples and found the place to be very homely. also loved having a a bath in the huge tub outside. The cabin was certainly very eco and extremely warm with the fireplace that lit up very well.

Went for a hike up to Pt/Mt Misery which was just beautiful with fantastic 360 degree views in one spot.

Although no TV - you dont need it accept for Grand Final day and even then it didnt matter as the locals at the cricket club welcomed us in to watch their telly with a free sausage sizzle!

Definatetly recommend

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with friends
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Thank EmilyS S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 4, 2013

Stayed here for two nights in Acacia cabin. Just the most perfect setting, cabins are beautiful and clean and they certainly walk the talk with Eco friendly environment. Staff are very friendly and welcoming. The road in would discourage anyone who is not a confident driver but for us it added to the charm

  • Stayed: October 2013
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Thank borntotravel15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 10, 2013

Ensure you check website before heading and read all information. Was very disappointed when my hubby booked this as a surprise birthday getaway. So I hadn't seen the website!!. I thought nothing short of glamour camping even though we booked and paid for cabin and for the price that we were charged (even though we booked a cheaper non refundable rate of $245.00, which I found out after leaving) would not pay that price to stay when an upmarket cabin at caravan park is cheaper and has flushing amenities! Very disappointed that hubby planned family movie night with our little one and discussed this with management and they advised a dvd player had been placed in our room, only to find on arrival no TV in room and dvd player was portable (so how do we all sit and watch that). The road to the reception is a very very steep one way hill climb. On leaving another vehicle came up and we were unable to pass leaving my little one stressed as he thought we couldn't go home. We had to reverse up the hill to a small place in the road where it was safe to pass, had it been dark this would not have been a safe option. Very concerning when spoke to staff around my concerns and was advised should have checked the internet to see what they offered (um it was a surprise, therefore had no idea where to check) and when stressed concern over access to accommodation I was told I was fabricating a story. I would suggest not surprising someone with this venue and definentely read up on before going. Would also suggest can only access with 4wd!

  • Stayed: September 2013, traveled with family
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7  Thank Cemon F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PaulHVE, Owner at Huon Bush Retreats, responded to this reviewResponded September 16, 2013

Thank you for your review Cemone F. It will be useful for other readers to learn from your experience.

The fundamental problem here is that you booked the wrong accommodation. Huon Bush Retreats lives up to its name – a bush retreat. Looking at your other reviews, it is clear that you enjoy the experience of staying in a $580/nt suite in a multinational high rise hotel but you do not enjoy visiting self contained cabins with bush or waterside settings.

So what can Trip Advisor readers learn from your review?

1- Read the website. Huon Bush Retreats delivered everything that we offered. The features that you see as problems, are the very same features that have made us a multi award winning eco-experience. The end of valley gravel road provides peace and tranquility with no passing traffic. No TVs mean time to reconnect with the family. The sustainable electricity supply, natural water, protected bush land and NatureLoo toilet systems protect the environment. It is a fact that HBR offers a great experience. It was just not to your taste.

2- Understand that when you book a discounted, no refund, no changes rate, that is what you get. Our booking notes show that this was stressed at least twice during the booking process. Would someone book a discount airline ticket, then expect a refund when you didn’t like the perfectly clean and functional onboard toilet?

3- When driving on country roads, look ahead and drive slowly. If a car is coming the other way, pull to the left and allow it to pass. Easy. There is nowhere on our property that drivers cannot see to the next passing opportunity. In our 10 years here I have never had to backup. We drive a small front wheel drive vehicle ourselves. Cars certainly can't drive at 80kmh, but you do not need a 4WD. Just drive sensibly.

So Trip Advisor readers – If you love nature and seek a peaceful retreat, please visit us in Tasmania’s beautiful Huon Valley. If you prefer the highrise hotel experience, try Melbourne or Sydney.

Cheers

Paul D

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Reviewed July 14, 2013

My partner and I stayed here for our anniversary and we couldn't have picked a better place for seclusion and relaxation. It was great that we could sit out on the deck and listen to the stream (we stayed in the stream side cabin) and it was absolutely secluded. We loved the bath but we were a bit disappointed that it took so long to fill up (had to run the hot tap for 15 minutes then wait another 25-30 mins for the hot water tank to reheat before we could fill it completely up) but we were a bit cheeky and boiled water in pots on the stove! There is nothing quite like lying in a hot bath outside, in the middle of winter staring up at the stars! The kitchen was well equipped and the compost toilet was fine. Be warned that there are no power points etc. I did find it expensive for what it was, but I can understand that it would be expensive running completely eco-friendly accommodation. Be warned about the steep hill to get to reception!

  • Stayed: July 2013, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Bek86
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PaulHVE, Owner at Huon Bush Retreats, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2013

G'day Bek,
So glad that you enjoyed the seclusion and relaxation. This is what Huon Bush Retreats is all about, so you chose the right place.
Yes, we agree that the bath water temperature can be an issue. Unfortunately safety regulations restrict our water temperature. It would be great if we were allowed hotter water, but that is the law in Tasmania.
You are correct about it costing more to provide a eco-friendly experience. Purchasing a large area of land and building 5km of interpreted walking tracks is very expensive and has to be incorporated into the accommodation charges.
Thanks for your visit and your review :)
Paul

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Reviewed July 12, 2013

We had a great two nights here. Our cabin was totally secluded - just us and the potaroos! We had a beautiful wood fire place, and a lovely outside bathtub, and to top it all off - a comfy bed. The battery power and (very clean) long-drops won't be for everyone, but for the rest of us, that really isn't a bad thing at all... Our hosts were friendly, hospitable and welcoming, yet unobtrusive - from building fires and organic wine, to temporarily aquired keys to cabins... The full walk to the top of Mt Misery was well worth it, and can save marriages!

Descriptive words aside, this truly was a great little place to get away from it all, and we'd thoroughly recommend it.

Room Tip: Go Cliff Top for views, even if you don't have need for 2 rooms, or Streamside for total seclusi...
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  • Stayed: April 2013, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank TomPP_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PaulHVE, Owner at Huon Bush Retreats, responded to this reviewResponded July 16, 2013

Hi Tom,

Thanks for your visit and your review. It seems that you were seeking a nature based retreat and that we fulfilled your needs. You are right that the facilities that we offer are not for everyone, but for people seeking tranquillity, an eco-experience and connection with nature, we do live up to our name. Your constructive review will help other prospective guests choose wisely.

Thanks
Paul

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Additional Information about Huon Bush Retreats

Address: 300 Browns Rd | Ranelagh, Huonville, Tasmania 7109, Australia
Location: Australia > Tasmania > Huonville
Amenities:
Free Parking Kitchenette Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 6 Specialty Lodging in Huonville
Price Range: $110 - $295 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Huon Bush Retreats 3.5*
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Self contained cabins, tipees and campground in an extensive private habitat reserve, 50 minutes south from Hobart. Relax, explore, experience, nature. We live up to our name as a true retreat. Privacy is protected by 4km winding gravel road, 12 volt solar electricity, interpreted bushwalks and wildlife onsite. If you like nature, you will love Huon Bush Retreats. Escape the city and surround yourself with forest and wildlife. This is a place to relax, explore and experience nature. Although we do accept single night bookings, the people who stay 2 or more nights are glad they booked the longer visit. Discounts available for longer stays, off season and mid week. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Huon Bush Retreats Huonville, Tasmania

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