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“A Disappointment”

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The Madsen Boutique Hotel
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Penguin
Certificate of Excellence
Wyndham, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
13 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
“A Disappointment”
Reviewed April 15, 2013

I’m not usually one to write negative comments about accommodation but sometimes the experience should be revealed! As there were so many good comments on Tripadvisor about the Madsen, I was really disappointed.
When I first booked the executive spa suite through Wotif, I included the request ‘non-smoking, quiet spot, a bit of a view would be greatly appreciated’. I was impressed when the owner rang me to explain that the room I’d booked, the Executive Spa, was a quiet room but didn’t have a view, while the waterfront suite, at the front of the building, had a view but no spa. I quite clearly stated that I was happy with the room I’d booked (Executive Spa) as I wanted the bath and the quiet location first and foremost. From other comments on Tripadvisor, I thought there may have been an Executive Spa suite with a side view, hence my ‘bit of a view’ request.
We were stunned when we arrived to find we had been put in the wrong room, the Waterfront Suite and pointed out the mistake. The owner was apologetic but explained to us that she’d had a booking for a four day stretch for the Executive Spa suite so she’d taken it upon herself to give our room to someone else. She volunteered that she should have contacted us but didn’t. Unfortunately for us, there were no other available rooms similar to the one we’d booked.
My husband wanted to leave immediately but it was after 5 pm, we’d been driving for three hours and we’d already paid so figured we’d have trouble getting a refund!
The room we’d been given was a real disappointment. The carpet was heavily stained and the bathroom was small with aged and cheap fittings, my guess, thirty to forty years old and definitely no bath. The view was indeed of the water but we fronted onto the main street of Penguin. There was no double glazing and the cheap curtains provided no sound barrier. The road noise died down at about 11 pm but woke us at 5am when the ATM machine next door was accessed and deliveries started for the IGA supermarkets, one on either side of the Madsen. The delivery vans parked just below our window and used metal trolleys to move their goods. It was impossible to sleep from then on. This was the antithesis of what we would choose and certainly not a four star property.
A short while into our stay, the owner’s husband gave us a bottle of “French bubbly” for our inconvenience. But this proved to be a slight insult because when I consulted the Wotif web page, I discovered that it was on offer as an inducement to stay in the Waterfront Suite. When I checked its value, it was a Dan Murphy special of $5.60 in a half dozen lot! The powers of the internet!!
During our travels in Tasmania, we stayed in eight different locations, mostly B&Bs and some older than the Madsen. They were all of similar or lesser price and two of them were older properties than this one. We were happy with all of them up until this very last stay.
On our return, I emailed Wotif to explain what had happened and they replied saying they had contacted the Madsen. After a two week wait and no response, I emailed Wotif again. The Madsen, then offered me a 20% discount on my next visit... a shallow recompense that they would be sure never to have to honour. Firstly, we live in a different state, secondly, this place really isn’t up to standard and finally, we would not return to a place where we’d been treated in such a way. I relayed that back to Wotif and they gave me a $20 voucher as a good will gesture for not receiving what we'd booked. There was one ‘positive’ about the Madsen. The staff who waited on the breakfast tables were lovely. Also, Wotif did follow up for us.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank Valerie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
themadsenpenguin, Owner at The Madsen Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, April 25, 2013
Yes, we goofed it this time and do unreservedly APOLOGISE for reallocating this guest to a room of equal value (however it has spectacular views but no bath) without seeking her prior consent. We occasionally get requests for downstairs rooms, either due to age or disability, and this means we sometimes have to move people around, however, with their consent. It is still rare for us to move people - the issue here was we moved this particular guest to a room that did not have a bath. However, we make no apology for offering these guests a bottle of bubbly (regardless of the price, it was a goodwill gesture) or further discounts in the future.

This guest was, and remains, very angry – as is clearly reflected in her unreasonable and incorrect comments of The Madsen. For instance, she claims that the Waterfront bathroom is 30-40 years old. The Madsen is a Heritage Listed building, so yes parts of it are very old, which is its charm. All our bathrooms and rooms are absolutely spotless, with the bathroom in question being 11 years old. The Madsen is located on the main road in Penguin between two supermarkets – as is clearly photographed and described on our Website – street noise is unavoidable – but Penguin Main Road is hardly Pitt Street in Sydney! Another false statement is the claim that the carpet is stained, it is clearly NOT and shampooed regularly and as recently as five months ago. Her claim prompted us to check the carpet and we confirm there are no stains so unfortunately we put this down to sour grapes which clouds her comments - over and above - their justified grievance about having been reallocated rooms without notice. Our bad!

We contacted TripAdvisor about the inaccuracies in this review, and TripAdvisor’s reply to us is “we encourage travellers to take the whole of a property’s reviews into account when judging it. If most other reviews are positive, travellers are likely to see a negative as a mere aberration”. For this we take heart, as we pride ourselves on the presentation and service at The Madsen. But we chastise ourselves for having failed this guest and will ensure this never happens again.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (44)
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English first
Hobart, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
137 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
Reviewed April 5, 2013 via mobile

Stayed here for the first time recently - up the coast for work. I had one of the side rooms and found the room more than adequate. Lovely bathroom, with the bonus of a bath. Bed comfy, lovely sheets and an electric blanket! Quiet house too, considering the fact that it was full. Fabulous. I think the only let down was the cane table & chairs - didn't suit the class of the room. Great to have DVDs available. Shop right next door and the beach right in front. Breakfast was fine ( although mushrooms undercooked). Highly recommended for business or leisure.

Stayed April 2013, traveled on business
Helpful?
1 Thank FinoniTas
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
44 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed March 21, 2013

we used to stay here a lot when the previous owners had it, it was faultless. but the stay we had since they left was enough to rule it out for us anymore. there were hairs on the bathroom floor, the bed felt gritty. the sourdough toast was still on the breakfast menu then, but white toast showed up on delivery, without explanation. on arrival the owner told us we were "lucky to catch him" as he was off to launceston airport to collect his wife, some distance away. i had advised them when booking of my arrival time....so off he went and we were in our room. ended up answering the door for two couples who were sitting outside in their cars waiting for the owners to return. i wrote the owners mobile down for them to call. on departure we were not asked how we enjoyed it at all but instead he just talked about himself. im not sure if they are aware of what is really required in such a business but it definitely isnt what it used to be and sadly we wont return.

  • Stayed April 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank bethany2012
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
themadsenpenguin, Owner at The Madsen Boutique Hotel, responded to this review, March 25, 2013
This review is so out of kilter with the majority of glowing reviews about The Madsen that we wondered why. We discover this review is very old, indeed her stay here was exactly a year ago, so long ago that she incorrectly recorded her stay as being later in April. Moreover, we note in the span of 48 hours the reviewer had written 18 reviews about stays in hotels dating back to over a year. Memory can play tricks on all of us and time blurs the accuracy of details!

We especially pride ourselves on our cleanliness, and this is our number one priority. We receive so many compliments from guests about how clean the hotel is. Our cleaners take great pride in their work. We doubt the reviewer's claim about uncleanliness of the bathroom. This is because soon after we took over The Madsen in October 2011 we changed the cleaning procedure and had our cleaners work in teams of two and to double check each other’s work at the end of their shift. Is the reviewer confusing us for some other hotel?

However, the reviewer is right to comment about the “white toast” feel of the sourdough bread that we sourced locally as was the practice by the previous owners. We were not satisfied with this and in April 2012 we changed suppliers and order our genuine sourdough bread (that we slice ourselves) from a baker in Longford – some 100 kms away. Too late for this reviewer!

As for the queen bed, it was the oldest in the hotel and replaced by a new top of the line king bed in May 2012 as part of our major refurbishment of the Beachfront Spa Suite, that included repainting the old bank office that the suite occupies, as well as upgrading the 32 inch LCD TV to 42 inch, installation of a Nespresso coffee pod machine, and commissioning a local artist several seascape paintings to replace the tired prints. All our beds are all of exceptional quality overlaid with a feather and down topper, as are the linen, with improvements a constant goal for us. Again missed by this reviewer!

Regarding the owner driving to the airport – we make no apology for this occasional necessity in the course of our lives. We are physically present for 99% of our check-ins as we live on site. For the 1% we have more than adequately covered the situation of when we cannot be present at a check-in. Upon taking over the hotel we ensured access to the secured entrance was fully automated, and thus the new technology allowed us to conduct check-ins remotely. There are clear instructions on the front door to call us for check-in procedures in the event there is no answer (which is rare) or when a bride and the groom arrive very late into the night. We provide the guest with a keypad code to enable them to enter the hotel. We direct them to the reception desk, where they will find a personalised envelope with their room number, key, breakfast and check-in forms. Of course we check up on the guest on our return. However, as we live in regional Australia not all guests have good mobile phone coverage and this may have occasioned guests to wait. We have now instituted a procedure allowing guests to have access to the IGA supermarket phone next door to make one call to the hotel which is carried forward to us.

Lastly, we apologise if Phil was overly chatty upon check-out, surely a better scenario than an unfriendly and non-communicative face? We appreciate the reviewer may have had a less than pleasing stay but we see this as an unfortunate one-off, it’s nearly impossible to please all the people, all the time – but we do strive.

Finally, for diametrically opposing views, there is one thing that we agree with the reviewer's claim that “it is not the same as it used to be” - indeed it is much better thanks to the continuous improvements we made at The Madsen on a wide range of fronts since well over a year ago.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hobart
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed March 13, 2013 via mobile

The Madsen has been tastefully renovated and has a very welcoming feel. The entrance and breakfast area is a nice spot to sit and enjoy the view. I stayed for business in a side room which was nice, but did not quite have the polish of the other rooms. The breakfast was great and staff went out of their way to help.

  • Stayed December 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Katherine S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Surfers Paradise, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Stayed @ the Madsen on our recent 10 day visit to Tasmania. We did not have a front seaview room. But still had a sea view from the side of our room this room was a lot cheaper and suited our over night stay. Breakfast included which was great lovely eggs bacon tomatoes and cereal very good. The staff at the Madsen were very friendly. We would stay @ the Madsen when we vist family in Penguin.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
1 Thank Buddsbeach007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level 2 Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 11, 2013

We stayed at the Madsen on our last night in Tasmania before boarding the 9am ferry to Melbourne. We stayed in the Waterfront Room (room1)....Excellent accomodation, clean, good quality fitting and linen. Breakfast included was very good with fresh farmed eggs, bacon, tomotoes, on sourdough. We ate breakfast at 7am, left about 7.30 and drove 30min to Devonport and straight onto ferry.
Would highly recommend staying here....also book for dinner at Wild just a 5min walk away...very good!
(Amanda I would just put the fan in the bathroom on a separate switch)

Room Tip: Stay in the Waterfront room...
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank FWPMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed February 6, 2013

We stayed at the Madsen on 27th of January (sadly only one night). The Penthouse is absolutely brilliant with great view, huge spa bath, well a huge well appointed room full stop. The bed is very comfortable also. The cooked breakfast is included in the price and is of excellent quality. Amanda is great, she allowed us to park our classic car in their driveway, so that it is secure. She also offered to make a dinner booking at "Wild" which is a top quality Restaurant in easy walking distance from the accommodation. We really enjoyed our stay, just a shame we only had the one night there.

Room Tip: Penthouse with you out to Bass Straight if you can afford to spend the extra money
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  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ruth_Hardy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Madsen Boutique Hotel

Property: The Madsen Boutique Hotel
Address: 64 Main Rd, Penguin, Tasmania 7316, Australia
Location: Australia > Tasmania > Penguin
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 Hotels in Penguin
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Madsen Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 6
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Also Known As:
The Madsen Boutique Hotel Penguin, Tasmania

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