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“Overwhelmingly Disappointing”

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Peppers Craigieburn
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Bowral
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Overwhelmingly Disappointing”
Reviewed February 22, 2013

Overwhelmingly disappointing for a variety of reasons.

Booked 5 Elm Balcony rooms in December 2012 (for a stay in January 2013) and asked that the rooms be located next to each other. Not informed by Peppers staff at time of booking that room requests are not guaranteed. This wonderful piece of information is given in writing only after the booking has been made. Be that as it may, subsequently had a member of my party ring a few nights before our arrival and we received oral confirmation from Peppers staff that all 5 rooms would be together on the Elm Balcony. On arrival however this wasn’t the case as one of our party was given a room (it was more like a shoebox) on the other side of the complex. After some tedious discussion this was changed to a room on the Elm balcony which was close, but not together, with our other 4 rooms. Why this wasnt done from the start I dont know. If room locations are not to be guaranteed then this message needs to be given consistently by staff at all times from booking, to confirmation to arrival, and not in a piecemeal fashion.

On arrival staff at front desk couldnt find our booking. After finding the booking the staff member couldnt work out who had which room. All the necessary information was contained in the accomodation confirmation. It just needed to be printed and read which seemed to be difficult for some reason. This fluffing around took about 20 minutes for my booking alone.

Reception is at the top of numerous steep external steps. Whilst a porter service is advertised there was no porter to meet guests at the bottom of the steps which is where the assistance is really needed. I was offered a porter after I checked in but by that stage the hard work had been done, and in any event the porter did not seem readily available so I decline assistance. I later regretted declining assistance as the halls leading to our room were very narrow- I would guess around 90-100cms wide. Definitely a one way corridor as two way traffic was definitely a bit too close and personal. Navigating the halls with luggage was cumbersome, difficult and annoying. We were later informed that there is a disability/level entrance around the back of the premises. This is not readily obvious on arrival.

Whilst some staff tried their very best to be helpful I found the general level of service to be poor, and staff generally disinterested. Staff appeared well trained in passing the buck to each other and proffering excuses.

Food in the dining room was average. Prices high.
A round of golf for guests costs $15 for a round, more if you need clubs.
Grounds were lovely.
It is hard to recommend this place.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank ChickieJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pepperscraigieburn, General Manager at Peppers Craigieburn, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
Dear ChickieJ

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your stay I appreciate all feedback as this allow us to address areas in need of improvement.

I apologise for the difficulties you experienced with your rooms and check in. This has been addressed with the staff concerned to ensure improvement in this area.

It is disappointing when we do not meet guest expectation as the staff are very passionate about the Hotel and what they do, however with this feedback we can improve on the overall guest expereinece.

Kind regards
Robyn Bautovich
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (173)
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English first
Melbourne
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed February 21, 2013

Well...a lovely place significantly let down by ordinary service and disinterested staff. There is no porter to assist navigate both the stairs and the corridors, sheets weren't clean & no real interest from staff when advised. That's not to say the sheets were not exchanged...there was no reaction at all from housekeeping and it seemed that this was something that happens all the time. When my mother advised the wait staff in the restaurant that the coffee was tepid a waitress told her...and I kid you not as I heard the exchange..."I don't have that problem, I don't drink coffee". She then turned on her heel and left our table. When we asked another member of the wait staff to assist in bringing a cake knife to cut a cake she replied..."sorry, it is in my contract of employment that I cannot carry a cake knife, it is an OH&S issue". Even if that is true, our party would have appreciated someone that could assist us with a proactive solution rather than giving us such a glib response. As for OH&S issues...I noted that there were a number of power plugs in the rooms that either had not been tested or were out of test date (management...I'll give you a clue...check the wall mounted TV, electric kettles & lights around the mirrors in the bathrooms). I'm sure the staff could do with a little more front-line training and be a little more empathetic and accommodating. I hope the management see this as a very real improvement opportunity and not provide a stock standard response about being sorry.

In a nutshell...I just expected more. More professionalism, more service and more desire to provide a special experience.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
8 Thank bigbadlupo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pepperscraigieburn, General Manager at Peppers Craigieburn, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Dear bigbadlupo

Thank you for providing feedback on your stay. We welcome all feedback as this enables us to improve on areas needing more attention and reward staff where due.

We do offer a Porter service and I apologise if this was not offered in your instance. With regards to the comments on the linen I can assure you this is not a not a common occurance and is taken up with the linen supply company should the quality not be up to standard. As you note the sheets were changed promptly when the issue was highlitghted.

With regards to your comments on the power to the room I advise the Management conducts testing and tagging of the entire Hotel annually. The issue you hightlight was due to the power tag on your room key not being inserted in the power source in the room and I believe this was rectified when queried with Reception.

I was disappointed to read your feedback on our food and beverage staff member. I have spoken to the staff member involved and reiterated company policy and that these type of comments are not acceptable. She has asked me to extend to you her apologies. Your comments on the knife have also been addressed with the staff member concerned. Thank you for providing this feedback as it has allowed us to ensure the staff are fully aware of service standards.

I apologise for the issues that you encounted and thank you for providing an opportunity to address them.

Kind regards
Robyn Bautovich
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Bowral hotels

Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 19, 2013

Our organisation booked Craigieburn for a group retreat of 100 people. The staff were professional and always happy to assist. The venue itself is absolutely beautiful with amazing grounds. We found the meals to be very nice, particularly considering that they had to cater for such a large number. We were very happy overall.

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 14Anonymous
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pepperscraigieburn, General Manager at Peppers Craigieburn, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Hi 14Anonymous

Appreciate you having taken the time to provide feedback on your experience at Peppers Craigieburn.

The Team are very passionate about the Hotel and what they do so it is very rewarding for them to recieve your positive feedback.

We thank you for choosing to stay with us and we look forward to welcoming you back again sometime soon.

Kind regards
Robyn Bautovich
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 4 Contributor
27 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed February 15, 2013

This unfortunate experience has tarnished the Peppers name and would make me think twice about choosing another Peppers location in the future. Our expectations of this stay were sadly depleted when nearly all requests from staff were met with disinterest, unprofessionalism and the poorest customer service I have ever experienced. Where do I start? No assistance was offered with luggage into the hotel or to navigate the narrow internal 20-odd staircase although a "porter" is noted on the website. Our room, which was confirmed to be next to others travelling in the same group was at the opposite end of the hotel and once corrected, we found the room to be lacking in amenities with blood stains on the doona. When handed to the maid - she made no comment, not a "sorry".... nothing. When arrangements for an afternoon tea had been discussed with staff and confirmed twice - it was not prepared. Once we set-up the afternoon tea (including 16 champagne classes) all items were left on the balcony overnight and were not cleared by lunchtime the following day, even though staff advised it would be cleaned up. Our party of 16 dined in the restaurant on one evening and found the meal to be of a reasonable standard only. To top off the weekend, we were charged $4.00 for a baby chino (the same charge as for a cappuccino, latte, etc) at breakfast on our last day. Considering the 16 people in our party and the expense of the weekend stay, one would have thought to at least advise the cost of a tiny cup of milk froth or waive it in consideration.
The only positives I take from this weekend was that we did find one capable and helpful waitress and one pleasant barman. They deserve a medal working with colleagues that obviously wanted to be somewhere else. The couple celebrating their joint 80th birthday (the reason for our stay) were luckily not scarred by this experience due to the key members of our party shielding them from a repetitive series of management failures.
I will not be recommending this Peppers location to anyone.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank Nicole L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pepperscraigieburn, General Manager at Peppers Craigieburn, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Dear Nicole L

Thank you for your feedback.

It is extremely disappointing to read your comments on your stay. I have spoken with the Reception staff regarding the luggage and I have been assured that your party was offered assistance which was given to the majority with some decling the offer. If this was not the case in your instance I apolgoise for this oversite.

Wtih regards to the doona the person that you handed it to clearly remembers offering to exchange the item which you did not want to do. It was not their intention to be disinterested as you had already indicated you did not require another one.

I note you comments on the afternoon tea experience and will ensure the Food & Beverage Manager follows up with staff concerned.

Kind regards
Robyn Bautovich
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adelaide, South Australia
Level 4 Contributor
15 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2013

We recently celebrated two VERY special occasions with family and friends. We stayed in the cosy Elms Balcony Room which more than satisfied our needs.

From the moment we arrived, we were greeted with a very warm welcome from both staff and reception. It seemed nothing was too difficult to accommodate our special needs requests; which was and is GREATLY appreciated too!

We particularly noted that each and every guest was treated in the same manner; making us all feel part of the Peppers Craigieburn family.

Reading about the history of the property (as compiled by one of the staff members) was "very" interesting and WHEN you visit, we would "suggest" you read about the history and sordid details too! :)

We would like to EXCEPTIONALLY highlight Chef Warrick Brook (and his staff) for the most EXTRAORDINARY dining banquet. The food (taking into account our special dietary needs for some dishes) was OUTSTANDING! The service was exceptional by the Function Manager Wayne. Chef Warrick and Wayne are "true assets" to Peppers Craigieburn.

We also experienced both dining and breakfast at Montford's Dining Room and both experiences were faultless. The food was FANTASTIC, the service (once again extraordinaire)! What was GREATLY appreciated was each and every staff member not only had a smile on their face, but was genuinely (and professional) interesting in treating people "as a person/couple" I don't know who was more excited that we were celebrating two VERY special occasions; the staff or us! :)

General Manager Robyn Bautovich has a lot to be proud of with her staff!

We would HIGHLY recommend people visit this secluded gem in the Southern Highlands Region of New South Wales.

I must say we were not familiar with this region or Peppers Craigieburn, but as a result of this experience, it is a place, a memory that will never be forgotten EVER.

Should you wish to read about our "whimsical" Royal Toast to Gerald and to experience our Banquet through our unique eyes....
http://whatsonthelist.wordpress.com/2013/02/13/royal-toast-to-gerald/
Feel free to stop by and leave a comment too! :)

If we had one wish..."Same, Time, Next Year"....TRUE!

Room Tip: A Balcony Room is delightful when having family and friends attend your function...
See more room tips
  • Stayed February 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Joanne T F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pepperscraigieburn, General Manager at Peppers Craigieburn, responded to this review, March 18, 2013
Thank you Joanne for taking the time to provide feedback on your stay with us.

The team and I thoroughly enjoyed having you and your husband with us. It was a pleasure to look after your special celebrations and the Team are very pleased to learn they provided a memorable experience for you and your group.

We look forward to having you stay with us again sometime soon.

Kind regards
Robyn Bautovich
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Orange, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
76 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 36 helpful votes
Reviewed February 14, 2013

Firstly I'll start by saying that there is no faulting the beauty of the building and surrounding gardens. The staff make this hotel - they are friendly and so efficient and if it wasn't for them my review would be dismal ! Firstly we were shown to the wrong rooms - I kind of wish I hadn't seen the small shoe box room - absolutely awful - never seen anything like it and I would have been devastated - no matter what I paid to be put into that room ! We then got the room we'd booked - the only ones with aircon in the place - it was small but clean and nicely furnished. Dinner in the restaurant I found lacking as well (maybe comparing it to a wonderful meal at Peppers Manor House) the Tasting Plate of Local Produce was awful - hard to know besides the prawn what we were even eating - Once again the staff made it all more bearable ! Bar dinner on Sunday night was enjoyable though - maybe fine dining is not their thing ? I wouldn't recommend it - high price for small rooms and average food. Sorry I so wanted to like it as much as I love other Peppers Resorts !

  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Mutare62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pepperscraigieburn, General Manager at Peppers Craigieburn, responded to this review, March 11, 2013
Hi Estelle

Thank you for taking the time to provide feedback on your stay.

It is pleasingt to read that you found the staff friendly and effiecient. I will pass your comments on to all staff as it is always great to know when you have done well. Sorry to learn of the mix up with your room on arrival and that you where disappointed with your initial dining experience and will highlight this to the Chef.

Kind regards
Robyn Bautovich
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed February 11, 2013

Having just celebrated our sons wedding on the 9.2.13 peppers made it one if the amazing experiences from the moment the wedding started till when we checked out on the Sunday the service,atmosphere and wonderful staff it was amazing we would highly recommend the peppers craigieburn experience , all our guests said if was an amazing night thanks again to all the staff

  • Stayed February 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 9529
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
pepperscraigieburn, General Manager at Peppers Craigieburn, responded to this review, February 17, 2013
Hi 9529

Thank you very much for providing feedback on your stay and wedding experience.

It is great to read that you and your guests had a wonderful time at Pepeprs Craigieburn celebrating your son and daughter in laws special occaision. I am very proud to note that the whole team contributed to make the weekend a great expereince and they will all be thrilled to receive your feedback.

We look forward to welcoming you back sometime soon.

Kind regards
Robyn Bautovich
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Peppers Craigieburn

Property: Peppers Craigieburn
Address: Centennial Rd | Southern Highlands (formerly Craigieburn Resort), Bowral, New South Wales 2576, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Southern Highlands > Bowral
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 9 Hotels in Bowral
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Peppers Craigieburn 4.5*
Number of rooms: 72
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Reflecting the style and elegance of the original homestead, Peppers Craigieburn was originally built in 1887 and welcomed its first guests in 1909, with 2009 marking 100 years of exquisite stays, service and food. Within easy reach of Sydney, Canberra and the coast, Peppers Craigieburn is set in an area renowned for its national parks, antique shopping and cool climate wines ultimately offering an idyllic and relaxing escape. The retreat boasts 72 guest rooms spread across two wings with a selection of rooms featuring either views of the golf course or the landscaped gardens while premium accommodation includes an airy shared balcony with views designed for relaxation. All rooms include central heating, flat screen television, tub chair, minibar fridge, tea/coffee-making facilities, ensuite bathroom with shower, hairdryer, shampoo and toiletries, iron and ironing board and high speed wireless internet. A new dining experience awaits you with the opening of Hickory's Restaurant and Bar. Overlooking the original 9 hole golf course and offering a relaxed atmosphere and local produce inspired menu promises something for everyone's taste. The retreat offers an idyllic and relaxing escape. Set on a picturesque country estate, this fully refurbished grand country home features its own private nine-hole golf course, billiards room and tennis courts. When visiting Bowral and the Southern Highlands, you will be inspired by the beauty of the local area. Highland fresh air, fresh produce and friendly locals will ensure your stay at this retreat is one to be remembered. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Peppers Craigieburn Hotel Bowral
Craigieburn Hotel Bowral

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