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“We had our babies first birthday at Rae' it was outstanding, we will be back”
Review of Rae's on Wategos

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Rae's on Wategos
Ranked #10 of 32 Hotels in Byron Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“We had our babies first birthday at Rae' it was outstanding, we will be back”
Reviewed April 17, 2011

We arrived at Rae' and we were greeted by Marion who looked after us and our baby from the word go. From our beautiful beach front child friendly room, to the massage and facials in the most wonderful day spa. In the restaurant the setting is breath taking, the food and service was fantastic and had no problem accomodating any dietary needs.
Overall we cannot recommend Rae' highly enough without doubt we will be back.
Thank you to the Team at Rae' for making our week so wonderful and our babies first birthday special.
Also big thanks to the owner Vinnie for bring our daughter her first cupcake with a candle gingerbread man coffee for us at 7 am!

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank haniarose
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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220 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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  • Value
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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (35)
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English first
Brisbane, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed April 10, 2011

My wife and I were looking for something special to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We found it at Raes on Wategos. Unlike major hotel chain experiences we didnt feel "processed". Everthing was so personal and friendly....the welcome on arrival..... the exquisite flower arrangement ... the arrangement of a private candlelit anniversary dinner....it really was extraordinary. The restaurant served delicious local produce. ...And then the amazing architecture, art & furnishings of the hotel..all sitting on Australia's best beach location ! It was perfect.

  • Stayed April 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank Bartz013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
Reviewed February 18, 2011

I generally avoid contributions to such websites as this, lest I become one of the serial complainers or one among the legion of the terminally aggrieved who seem to revel in finding fault in the tiniest perceived omission, but I feel that Rae's deserves mentioning in dispatches for several reasons. First of all, the location is unimpeachable. Watego beach has the sweetest ocean surf I've ever swum in, and after five days here, the legendary healing qualities of these Pacific waters are evident beyond words. Secondly, the suites in this gorgeous, small hotel are intimate and exquisitely decorated in a fusion theme of south Asian furnishings, sumptuous fabrics and soothing colours and the entire location is bejewelled with David Bromley artwork, some of which confronting, all of which gorgeous. Thirdly, there has not been a molecule of food or drink that has passed my lips whilst a guest at Rae's that hasn't, at the very least, been very good indeed. In fact, there have been two dining experiences here that, simply put, have been among the finest, freshest meals I've had on earth during my long life to date. Finally, to the redoubtable staff for whom nothing, simply nothing is too much trouble, I can only offer my sincere thanks. Subtle, friendly, relaxed, understated. Pure perfection.

I am an expatriate Australian and this has been my first journey home in eight years. These five days at Rae's at Watego Beach have reminded me of, and deeply rekindled, a long forgotten love of my country. This place is so exquisitely located in the midst of rain forest, beneath the venerable Cape Byron light, and within eyeshot of Captain Cook's Mount Warning, it is hard sometimes to distinguish between the beginning of the one thing, and the end of the other. Leaving will be agony. I am changed by staying at Rae's. My heart has changed, and I am rested and restored beyond that which I thought was longer possible. Recommended in the highest possible terms.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank PilotLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2011

After looking forward to our week at Rae's we left feeling disappointed. We travel a lot and have stayed in all sorts of hotels, guesthouses and resorts of varying standards. This is the first time that I have felt compelled to write a review of complaint.

I should make a distinction between the guesthouse and the restaurant. The restaurant is fabulous with beautiful food, outstanding service and all in a gorgeous location. We loved the restaurant!

Unfortunately, the guesthouse was very disappointing.

It was all the little things that added up to sour the experience.

We weren't made to feel welcome when we arrived. After being told she couldn't deal with us yet (!) we wandered into town and then came back and were told very clearly by the same woman at reception/office that she was very busy because she was in the middle of giving someone a treatment in the spa and was just quickly doing something in the office!

We weren't shown to our room rather we were given a key and carried our own bags up. We were going to just put this down to a wobbly start - but the disappointments continued.

We were rung by one of the staff on our first morning (we were still in bed) to see if they could send someone to fix the exhaust fan (we hadn't yet realised it was broken). We were obliging and didn't complain and gave them a time. The exhaust fan did not get fixed during our stay. Nor did one of the windows/shutters that wouldn't open.

The tea bags in the room were very mouldy with little dead bugs (quite a few) obviously sitting around them and I asked for fresh ones and she just piled them in on top of the mouldy ones and the bugs!

After a few days we rang and asked for clean sheets when they serviced the room that day (after a few days of beach time they were quite sandy) and the response was a very polite and happy yes. It didn't happen - which we realised later that night as we climbed into our sandy sheets. So the next day we waited for the staff member servicing our room and politely explained and asked that they be changed - second time lucky.

When my husband went to store an empty bag under the bed (which is quite high off the ground) he discovered that it clearly hadn't been swept or cleaned for quite some time (it was actually pretty filthy).

After a day of rain the room spelt completely dank and we had to air it out although the smell didn't go away and when it rained again it got worse.

Some of the remote controls were the right ones (for the tv/dvd etc) but some were the wrong ones and didn't work (we assumed somehow mixed up with another room).

The list goes on but this is enough to explain our disappointment. There were just too many things wrong for an establishment with such a high rating.

Unfortunately I can't recommend Rae's Guesthouse.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
3 Thank pairoftravellers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RAESONWATEGOSTM, Owner at Rae's on Wategos, responded to this review, July 27, 2011
In response to your review, during your stay at Rae’s On Wategos we experienced the worst floods in the last 100 years. The rain did not let up for months on end and in circumstances such as these enclosed spaces can become moist very quickly so we apologize if your room smelt dank. The building is over 50 years old with a flat roof and is not airtight. With regards to the debris under the bed we were informed by the cleaning staff that they found the windows to the room left wide open during the time of strong winds and rain therefore causing leaves from the surrounding trees to blow into the room and under the bed.
Marionne is the most acclaimed spa director in Australia and is well loved by all of our guests and staff and we have never received a complaint regarding her service in the past. In peak season rooms are always ready at check in time, in low season sometimes we can accommodate an early check in if previously arranged but not during peak season in torrential rain. We are pleased to hear you thoroughly enjoyed the restaurant service, food and surrounds. The team at Rae’s find it very distressing to hear of guests disappointed with their stay after they have left as we always strive for excellence in service and cleanliness and do our utmost to rectify any issue brought to our attention immediately.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Byron Bay, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed December 7, 2010

Rae's - romantic, seductive, elegant, warm and inviting... this is why we keep returning. The Day Spa is world class... total indulgence.
Thanks to the wonderful staff for creating a beautiful and relaxed dinner for us in the garden room... we will never forget it.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Uberalison
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed November 11, 2010

I am not one to write a review on a hotel or restaurant, nor am I one to make a complaint. If I am unhappy with a place or its service, I simply don’t return. However, in the event of our recent stay at Rae’s at Watego’s beach, I am so shocked and incredibly disappointed about our experience, that I feel it absolutely necessary to write a review on Tipadvisor, a website that I consider a ‘travellers bible’
My partner and I tried to book a room for one night at Rae’s only the day before our arrival. We rang the hotel from Brisbane and were required to leave a message on an answering machine, as reception was unattended. No problem, except that no one bothered to call us back to take our reservation. We had to keep ringing until we finally got through to someone. On arriving the next day, we found again, the reception to be unattended and after waiting at reception for 15 minutes, we decided to wander through the hotel to see if we could find a member of staff. We were confronted by a woman in the pool area with a bucket, who, in so many words, said ‘what do you want?’ We told her that we had a reservation and she escorted us back to the reception area only to inform us that they didn’t have a booking for us and after much fumbling, she found our booking, which had been made for the wrong day. By this stage, she had mentioned to us several times that they were short staffed as people had rung in sick for the day. Hardly something a guest needs to or wants to hear when checking in to a 5 star hotel. By now (and we hadn’t even checked in yet or got our luggage out of the car) we were already made to feel unwelcome and that everything was just a hassle for them. The woman at reception (Marion?) then said that she could get a room ready for us but that check in time wasn’t until 2pm, which we were well aware of and simply only wanted to drop our luggage off and maybe having a refreshing beverage, before heading into town for lunch. We left our bags with her, which she said she would have placed in our room. When we returned at 2.20pm we were informed that our room was still not ready (completely unacceptable in my view….a room should always be ready at check in time, without fail) but the woman said we could go to our room anyway (a big ‘no no’) and after all that, we had to carry our bags up ourselves as they were still sitting in reception. We were taken to our room where we were made to step over a Hoover, buckets and mops and a pile of dirty sheets from the previous guests……unbelievable! It was then that the woman offered us a beverage ‘on the house’ in their restaurant, while we wait for our room to be finished. We headed down to the restaurant, where we were treated with disregard and contempt by the pompous restaurant staff there. As we were waiting, I told the woman that I was hoping to book into a spa treatment for that afternoon. As there was no internet or phone coverage for our i-phone and as we were not yet able to get into our room, I asked the woman at reception if she could help me look up the number of a nearby spa and if I could call them from her phone. She basically said ‘no’ and that I would have to wait until we are in our room and call from the room phone so that we could be charged for the call. Extraordinary! She also suggested that I book into their Spa (I was quite nervous about doing this as our experience so far with Rae’s had been so disastrous) But then when I tried to do just that about half an hour later, she sad they were totally booked out for the rest of the day .Funny, because I had just walked past the spa room and there was no one there and a pile of used towels on the floor.


The room itself was lovely and the location of the hotel is also lovely. But unfortunately, our bad experiences did not stop once we were in the room. The products in the bathroom were all half empty and had clearly been used. I guess we were getting the left over’s from the guests before us. Perhaps the hotel is trying to save on spending….or perhaps they don’t see it necessary to give their guests fresh and unused bathroom products for the hefty room rate that they are paying?!! The continental breakfast, which is included in the tariff, was so unbelievably pathetic (supermarket packet bread, ‘Cotties’ like jams ….the list goes on) and if you wanted to order extra, the prices were also unacceptably pathetic! …the price of a main course in a top restaurant. To add to this very lengthy list, the pool was filthy and clearly hadn’t been cleaned for some time and that night we were woken at around 1am by restaurant staff throwing (and I mean throwing!) bottles into the bottle bin right outside our bedroom window.
Who does Rae’s at Watego’s think they are? I honestly cannot believe the arrogance of this place. To say that it is like ‘Faulty Towers’ is a disservice to the comedy series…..this hotel is simply a Joke! For the amount of money one has to fork out to stay here, one is much better off staying in one of the other accommodation options at Watego’s or even in the camping ground would be far far better. You certainly do NOT get what you are paying for at Rae’s and in fact you get NOTHING for your money at all. I would highly recommend that travellers stay well away from Rae’s if you are looking for a relaxing, romantic or value for money experience and if you do decide to stay, you should expect zero service.

  • Stayed November 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
Helpful?
17 Thank philtil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RAESONWATEGOSTM, Guest Relations Manager at Rae's on Wategos, responded to this review, November 12, 2010
In response to your review, firstly we sincerely apologise for what you experienced at our hotel, we constantly aim to achieve a high standard of service to our guests at all times, as you will read from previous reviews. In regards to your particular stay it seems you were upset from the start when trying to book and from there it was then a slippery slide to totally unacceptable. Raes has a policy of dealing with complaints, in this case you could have asked to speak to Mr Vincent Rae and he would have acted straight away. We take on board your comments and hope that in future you can deal with your complaints when they happen.

Thankyou
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
9 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed September 29, 2010

This hotel is on Wategos beach which is about a 5 minute drive from Byron. The view from the hotel overlooks the beach and is fantastic. The location is slightly out of Byron and so would require a taxi if you have dinner in Byron (we paid $13).

We booked last minute and stayed in the Garden Suite and paid $250 (originally quoted at $600!). The suite was lovely. It has the feel of a Moroccan Riad. There was a large bedroom area, inside seating area, large bath, separate bathroom with shower and then large outdoor area that had a cushioned seating area. The suite opened directly onto the pool. From the Garden Suite, there is no view of the ocean, but that is fairly obvious from the name. We feel $250 per night was a good deal but it isnt worth $600. We're not sure if this changes with high/low season. The pool was lovely but as it was in an enclosed area and under a tree, it was full of branches and leaves. It wasn't suitable for swimming and we feel this is something that should have been cleaned on a daily basis.

The staff were lovely. We had our breakfast in the restaurant which overlooks the ocean - amazing. We stayed with the continental (included in the price) and is was great. Fruits, coffee, croissants, muffins. There was a wide selection of choice on the breakfast at an extra cost (approx $20-$30 per meal). The dinner menu looked amazing but we opted to have dinner in Byron instead.

This hotel is great! A quiet retreat with good service. This hotel offers something different and there is a feel of exclusivity. We would stay again.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank dr-mr-and-dr-mrs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Rae's on Wategos

Property: Rae's on Wategos
Address: 6 - 8 Marine Pde, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Byron Shire > Byron Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Byron Bay
#5 Family Hotel in Byron Bay
#5 On the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rae's on Wategos in Byron Bay is Australia's most iconic boutique hotel. Voted one of the world's top 25 hotels by Conde Nast Traveller Magazine, Rae's offers a blissful and unforgettable Byron Bay experience. Our restaurant offers modern Australian cuisine catering for large functions or romantic moments. Our spa is a sacred space of healing at the hands of the highest calibre therapists. Calming curved walls, rich soothing decor, this is the most intimate getaway in a secluded corner of Byron Bay. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rae`s On Watego`s Hotel Byron Bay
Raes On Wategos Byron Bay

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