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“Will Definitely Be Going Back”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Bali at the Bay

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Bali at the Bay
Ranked #3 of 5 Nelson Bay B&B and Inns
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Will Definitely Be Going Back”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 25, 2011

I can't believe anyone would give this place a bad review.

The owners were incredibly friendly and helpful, especially through the complications that happened during the time that we were booking. When we arrived, we received a guided tour through the stunning lower apartment and several suggestions for local activities.

The room(s) is/are to die for. Between the private location and the beautiful decor, we never wanted to leave! We spent two days there during a torrential downpour which left all of our other plans cancelled, and we were perfectly happy staying inside the luxurious suite all day, hanging out in the enormous spa tub or watching movies on their incredibly comfortable lounge.

Even though we didn't get to do much in the Port Stephens area during our stay (thanks to the rain), it's easy to see that this place is in a really prime location. It's a roughly two minute walk from the beach, and not too far from shops/food.

Honestly, our only complaint was the movie choice in the room, and judging by other reviews, the wonderful owners are happy to exchange them upon request. We just happened to be staying during their family holidays.

Overall, this place is absolutely incredible! We'll definitely be going back for our first wedding anniversary :)

  • Stayed December 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
2 Thank iJaffa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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29 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (6)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 23, 2011

we spent the most amazing time here. we had our first girls weekend here.First we stayed in the SHINTO apartment downstairs. I'm a picky bperson, I couldn't find fault with this place. first you see the sheer opulence of the bali decor! The beautiful scents of bali frangipani and chinese orchids! Very quiet, relaxing peaceful and calming, with stressed mums looking for a peaceful getaway, this one did the trick! we literally forgot about our families( it sounds bad) but thats how magical it is. you go to Bali without flying. what a private beautiful world this place is. The Owners are fantastic and cater to you every selfish whim. we were spoilt rotten! Thatnk you Bali on the Bay, From Carla, Joanne and Vicki. We will definetly be back! PROMISE!

Room Tip: enjoy more value and experience with the lower apartment Shinto
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  • Stayed October 2011, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
1 Thank Carla6789
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 25, 2011

I have visited Bali At The Bay so many times now that I really do not remember the number but it is at least 6 times, once even being our honey moon destination. I have been incredibly shocked to read some of the negative reviews written below, particularly those of the hosts, and therefore must share my experience.

Sharne and Grant have always been the most welcoming and obliging hosts from the very first vist to the last, so much so that they now feel like friends and visiting BATB now is as much about catching up with them as it is enjoying this most special place.

Although the surroundings, the architecture, the furnishings, the facilities, the special touches (which the photos on website speak for themselves) are pivotal in making this place as special as it is, for me, foremost it is the ambiance of the place that from the moment you step through the door the hussle and bussle of city life just washes off you and the relaxation takes over. Second to that, is the hosts themselves, that make you feel welcome, comfortable and important, but most of all remain descreet (unless you feel like a good chat and then they are most obliging!) so you can feel alone in this peaceful, calming haven.

The first thing I ever noticed was just how clean and well presented it is which is such a nice feeling in comparison to some of the hotel rooms I have stayed in around Australia and the rest of the world. The fresh flowers, incense burning and ambiant music greets you and you immediately know you are somewhere different from the norm. The welcoming champagne and cheese platter is always a hit with me.

Grant is a movie and music lover and this is offered in abundance (and if there's isnt a movie that catches your fancy he is more than happy to change the selection with a more vast collection he has in the office). Fantastic selection on the IPod which I never find time to listen to everything I would like.

I have stayed in both apartments and both have something different to offer. My favourite is the downstairs Shinto Apartment as you have use of the bbq area, hammock and garden. And the spa bathroom decorated with gorgeous green stone is just my favourite with a selection of bath oils, candles and incense always on offer to make bathtime so much more special!

However the upstairs Nirvana Apartment is surrounded by wide, beautifully craved timber verandahs which allow you to be at tree level with the stunning and serene bush reserve opposite, beautiful way to enjoy a morning coffee or an afternoon beer. So much more I could say about the interior design and lush gardens but the photos on website really will give you the picture.

The house is situation on a corner street but to say this is a busy street is just not accurate. The thing I love about the street is that with a short 3 minute stroll the beach is at the end of it! This has not been mentioned and yet it is one of the best aspects of this destination. 50 mtrs across the street you enter the most glorious bush reserve which has bush paths to walk along if you would rather reach the beach this way. It is such a quiet street you can meander along it without a care, only occasionaly moving aside for a local car.

A special treat that can be found on this street is an afternoon ritual. Towards the beach end on the left you will find in the front yard of one of the houses a gathering of many, many of the local birdlife who come and have their afternoon feed provided by the home owner. This is something special and well worth observing and is always on my list of things to do.

As for privacy, well I have never found this to be an issue. As I've said you are on a quiet street with a bush reserve the whole length of one side, not surrounded by high rises, and although the hosts are right next door in their own home, they keep to themselves and you only see them if you want to.

In addition to all that, the overall destination of Port Stephens has so much to offer and many things to do and really has become a family favourite.

I honestly CANNOT recommend this place highly enough. If you are looking for a holiday or a short break that is relaxing, peaceful, accomodation that is different to the norm, and a time to really reconnect with yourself and your partner, then this is the place for you.

Oh no! Now I've written all that, I'm starting to have Bali At The Bay withdrawels....think it might be time to visit!

Room Tip: This place is something different!
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  • Stayed May 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank ninawheeler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Wollongong, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 20, 2011

We received very friendly service from the proprietors of Bali at the Bay. They were helpful and had a wonderful knowledge of the local area, restaurants and available tours. They also provided us with details of a sailing company (Blue Water Sailing) and we were lucky enough to have an entire 46ft yacht to ourselves for four hours, along with the freshest seafood platter I have had in my life.

The entire area of the property was beautiful. From the moment I stepped out of my car I could smell the incense burning and hear the wooden wind chimes sounding. We stayed in the downstairs two bedroom apartment, which was absolutely stunning. I could not find one detail that had been overlooked, from the amazing carved architraves and doors, the incense and candles, to the frangipani and orchid flowers tucked into the smallest spots. The private BBQ area was lovely, as were the hammock and deck chairs. Although I didn't use it, there were also laundry facilities on-site.

Another thing worth mentioning is the kitchen. When we arrived it was already stocked with fruit, cheese, biscuits, milk, cereal, eggs - the list goes on. I found this a very nice touch after driving 4hrs to get there.

In terms of the living area, DVDs and CDs are provided, together with an iPod stocked with relaxing music. There is an LCD on the wall and a BOSE sound system, which, as a music lover, made my weekend.

The only slightly negative thing that I would like to mention is that the sound from upstairs does seem to travel down into the lower apartment. During the day, you don't really notice it, but as I am a light sleeper, it did disturb me a few times. But, having said that, it would not deter me from staying there again. It's a small price to pay!

I would definitely like to return to Bali at the Bay in the future.

Room Tip: Book upstairs apartment, believe it's quieter
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  • Stayed March 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Helpful?
Thank namartinez2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Nottingham
Level Contributor
19 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 29, 2011

My husband and I had an all too short stay at Bali at the Bay whilst visiting our son in Sydney from the UK. We found the accommodation to be spot on - very, clean, luxurious and with a great attention to detail. We were in the upstairs apartment and certainly found it very private and romantic and we didn't encounter any of the negatives mentioned in a previous review.

The owners were very welcoming and friendly and really helped to make our short visit a very memorable and special one. The proximity to the beach was certainly an added bonus.

We loved Bali at the Bay and wouldn't hesitate to revisit when we're next over from the UK.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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Helpful?
2 Thank RedlizNottingham
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
melbourne
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed April 1, 2009

Very clean and lovely decor. Great to have everything we needed (i.e. tissues/coffee plunger etc.) Asked for fresh linen; got it but seemed like a real hassle. TV cable broken, hence TV not working properly; had to INSIST owner come look at/fix now (shd have been done before we arrived). Most irritating thing was when my v. pleasant, friendly partner called out good morning & tried to make pleasant conversation with female owner; she replied with what could only be described as a "grunt". We were both really shocked; her demeanour from the lovely, friendly hostess had suddenly changed for no reason (can only assume she was peeved that we asked for some extra linen!!!) Shame, it is a nice place but will not return when treated like this by host - we are decent couple who do not cause trouble, so can only assume they don't like being asked for anything "extra". Also, hosts are not quite as available as you would hope. Will not go back

  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
4 Thank viksue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
39 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 24, 2009

I booked the Shinto Garden Apartment for a romantic getaway for myself and my partner, and was really disappointed in the distinct lack of privacy.

Some of this is due to the design of the apartment - The photos are taken on the web so that it looks far back from the road, but It is on a busy corner, with lots of windows, and has a see-through fence. Even the blinds they provided were completely see through. So when you sit down to eat it feels like people are walking right past you all the time, and it really crept me out when it was dark as people could see in very clearly. (It is a busy road as it heads down to the beach entrance, so there people walking/driving past all day/early night). Same with the bedroom windows. Plus, if you sit in the hammock, you might as well be on the footpath, as the fence is see-through. The worst part was the privacy screen for the bathroom window which was about 30 cm too short. There are no curtains, so neighbours (and some extra 2 storey houses a couple of houses away), plus anyone walking past can see right into the bathroom. Especially when you are taking a shower and standing up in the bathtub.

Other things were to do with the owners - There is no fence separating the apartments from their own home next door - feels like you are staying in their front yard, and their child and dog would just come over and play on our porch/bbq area whenever they felt like it.
The owner Grant also decided it would be a good idea to get the leaf blower out at 845am on our first morning there, and blow leaves away from right under all the windows including the bedrooms!! This took about 20 minutes until I finally came out the front and shot him a dirty look for waking us up.
The description on the website also says the place is for 4 adults max only, but both sets of people upstairs had more than 4 people, and one had children, which made the place much noisier, especially since the wooden floors upstairs meant we could hear every step they made and all the talking/crying. I had deliberately selected an adults-only retreat for the quiet and privacy, so was disappointed by this.

The owners also seemed to pop over when they felt like it for maintenance, to show us their renovation plans, or to tell us the 'house rules', but weren't available when we actually needed them, like check in/check out time.

There were definitely some positives: the place was clean, big and beautifully decorated with lots of nice touches including candles, flowers and incense, and the proximity to the beach was definitely a plus.

I suppose it was just a shame that the owners seemed much more interested in their own 'dream' to create a balinese oasis, than in actually being a good host for their guests.

I think this place would probably be fine for a group of friends who want a beach holiday, but I wouldnt recommend it to couples wanting privacy or a quiet romantic getaway - I was very disappointed by this, because their marketing is very misleading.

  • Stayed March 2009, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
8 Thank aus_christie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bali at the Bay

Property: Bali at the Bay
Address: 1 Achilles St | PO Box 148, Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales 2315, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Port Stephens > Nelson Bay
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free Parking Kitchenette Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Nelson Bay
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Bali at the Bay 4.5*
Number of rooms: 2
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Also Known As:
Bali At The Bay Nelson Bay, Port Stephens

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