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“Beautiful surrounds, average accommodation, great service”

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Planula B&B Retreat
Ranked #16 of 34 Byron Bay B&B and Inns
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
“Beautiful surrounds, average accommodation, great service”
Reviewed April 11, 2013

The road that leads to Planula B&B is terrible (Melaleuca Drive) as recent rains put so many potholes in it, I did fear that my small hire car might disappear down some of the larger many-as-one potholes. It would be great if the road could be improved, however, it is a short drive from the main road to the accommodation you'll be staying in.

Which brings me to that! The accommodation. Essentially, it's a large, 5 bedroom house that you'll be staying in. The rooms are fairly ordinary for a B&B as they felt a little like you were staying in a hostel, more than a B&B. This is not to say the rooms weren't nice, the ensuite bathrooms were beautiful, though the "eco" products that claimed the 'final product not tested on animals' seemed a bit dodgy to me and my sister. The room did feel like a 'private' room that you might find in a hostel.

If you don't mind socializing with everyone else in the house, then this place would be great.... I feel as though it would be fantastic accommodation for people who go on diving excursions, as it also caters for divers, and people who are happy to cook up a storm in the full kitchen downstairs for all to enjoy! It would be great for groups traveling together (especially one with several couples) and those who are going next door to the yoga tent and Ai Kido.

Wildlife encounters, as we were staying in beautiful, forest surrounds, included: a tiny froglet on one of the windows downstairs, enjoying it's dinner; being greeted by a giant leaf-like, fluoro green bug on my pillow upon arrival.... no, it didn't turn out to be chocolate; what appeared to be a cane toad on the road leading to Planula, however, I did not try to kill it, due to my lack of real knowledge on this subject; and finally, a procession of ants that seemed to lead to the tissue box! Strange.

I found the 'caretakers' were friendly, but not overly outgoing. The highlight of my stay at Planula was seeing the tiny frog and the beautiful, lush forest surrounds.

I didn't feel that it was great value for money, but then maybe accommodation in Byron Bay is usually a little overpriced, especially as I stayed there just after Easter!

Room Tip: Try and get one of the larger rooms downstairs, where "twin" is an option.
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  • Stayed April 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank caz_770
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
planula, Owner at Planula B&B Retreat, responded to this review, May 5, 2013
Thanks you so much for your detailed review and it sounds like you had a great time at Planula.

I would like to address the few points that you made that you were less happy about.

First, the road to Planula has finally been properly addressed by council and is now in good shape. Recent massive rains had very much overstretched the councils ability to deal with repairs.

Regarding our bathroom products we were quite surprised that 'not tested on animals' sounded dodgy and we do get a lot of positive feedback about these products from other guests.

Any wildlife encounters are normally restricted to outside your room, however we do live in the 'bush' and despite the house being sprayed annually for the non-welcome guests such as ants, occasionally one will make it inside despite fly screens. We are of course always happy to come and remove anything that managed to make its way into your room.

As for the 'hostel feel', we have to admit we were a bit disappointed to hear that. Admittedly Planula does not feature 5-star furnishings in the rooms, therefore we don't charge 5-star prices. The extensive guest lounge and kitchen is something you will not find in many B&B's these days and most of our guests are very excited to find themselves in such a comfortable and relaxed retreat.

Tim & Wandy Hochgrebe
Owners
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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124 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
  • Location
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (22)
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English first
Sacramento, California
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

We were treated extremely well at Planula and our only regret is that we could not stay for more than one day. Linda was terriic--accommodated our later arrival and special departure circumstances--and the retreat itself was very much a retreat for us.

  • Stayed March 2013, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank DudleyDoRight1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne
Level Contributor
22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed March 19, 2013

Secluded just on the outskirts of Byron Bay, about half a km off the main drag into the township. Access is via a potholed unsealed road which slows down most traffic. Which suits the local rooster & chickens as they forage along the green strip. It can be a bit rough on smaller cars. The rooms and common areas were ok for us as we were out most of the time. The diving arrangements were excellent, the service very friendly and personal. The water dragons were big and easily entertained with a piece of banana. Thoroughly recommended to stay at Byron Bay away from the busy areas.

  • Stayed March 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank SCUBERDIVA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
19 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
Reviewed December 10, 2012

A short ride outside Byron Bay to provide a retreat from Byron Bay! It does what it intends. The only disturbance to the peace being the wildlife. Comfortable rather than spacious bed rooms with very good open shared facilities of living room and kitchen. Early provision of an excellent breakfast to take when required with fresh muffins the main attraction.

Very helpful hosts with a range of advice and tips on local events.

Room Tip: The Spa room has easy access, opens onto the deck and adjacent to kitchen / living room.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank skianddive_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
York, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed November 24, 2012

We stayed here for 2 nights. Booked into the garden room, which was fantastic. Spacious and light. Very clean and fresh. Felt very private. A shared living room and kitchen. Breakfast was put out in the morning- breads, cereals, homemade muffins, yoghurts, fruits, juices, coffees and teas to help yourself to. A good start for the day. This space too was very clean.
Although its a 5 minute drive top the centre of Byron bay, it felt like we was in the middle of no where which was great. Really tranquil! So much wildlife around, not that we saw much but definately heard it, which was lovely.
this is definatley a place that i would recommend and would come back to.
Lovely couple managing the retreat, very friendly and welcoming.
thanks :)

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled with friends
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Helpful?
2 Thank jess2605
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Had a wonderful stay. Totally tranquil. I've not slept this well and felt more relaxed in a long time. Phil and Linda who manage the B&B are so cheerful and helpful and you absolutely have to try the freshly baked muffins in the morning. Definitely a place that I would come back to again!

  • Stayed November 2012
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank SuAnneChia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 5, 2012

Wow! What a lovely place to spend a few days. The welcome was perfect. Friendly without being intrusive and made us feel comfortable right away. The accommodation fits into its environment really well and immediately creates a sense of relaxation and well being.

Arriving back from dinner in town, we were greeted by a selection of frogs and toads on pest control duty and then the sounds of the night time bush help you drift off to a glorious and unbroken sleep.

Breakfast is amazing. Home made muffins, plenty of fresh fruit and yoghurt, juice and coffee. The owners are very flexible too, offering to put breakfast out very early if we desired.

Just hired bikes from reception and now heading off out for the day, but looking forward to our return for a lunchtime siesta.

If you are coming to this part of the world I doubt that there is anywhere better and the hosts are lovely people who make the stay so relaxing. We decided we were coming back before we had even been to bed!

Room Tip: Next time we are booking the room with the Spa!!
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Drewp84
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Planula B&B Retreat

Property: Planula B&B Retreat
Address: Lot 1, Melaleuca Drive | PO Box 1753, 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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #16 of 34 B&Bs / Inns in Byron Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Planula B&B Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Planula Retreat offers beautiful accommodation set on over 50 acres amongst tropical landscaped gardens just over 3km from the centre of Byron Bay. You will love the relaxed atmosphere created in this modern B&B style retreat. We are the only true remaining oasis that close to town! Unwind on the extensive decks around the house overlooking the frog pond and enjoy the lush gardens. How about listening to the birds and frogs over a BBQ at night? Extensive continental breakfasts are included in all rates. FREE wireless fast broadband everywhere. Friendly hosts and great recommendations. ... more   less 
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