We attended for a group weekend where one of us was celebrating a birthday.
The property must have been amazing in its day but sadly is now extremely tired and run down. We stayed in the Barkers House and the room was huge but so dusty and dirty with cobwebs, peeling paint, damp patches on the ceiling, and very very old, musty decor. It was really sad to see what could have been a great room so very dated and worn and basically very 2 star. The bathroom was newer but very cheaply done and the hot water ran out after about 2 minutes so you had to be quick! The windows were also painted shut so no chance of airing the room either. There were no bedside tables nor table lamps either which was a shame if you wanted to read in bed.
Downstairs in the huge room with the snooker table there was a really tired, damp, musty aroma. Everything was very dusty and old and the kitchenette such as it was, just reeked of mildew and you would certainly never want to use it for anything. Nor was there any cutlery or crockery. The old couch in the TV corner was filthy and smelly and everything just looked tired and forlorn.
What a terrible shame for such a grand old house to be let to just crumble and fade. It made us really sad. The rooms were not looked at by the staff in the whole 3 days, and nor did anyone come and clean the common areas either which was pretty bad.
However, the absolute worst thing of all was yet to come. We were woken at 3am on the first night by a small but very loud barking dog which went on for nearly an hour!. We couldn't believe our ears, since we had been assured that no dogs are allowed on the property! We eventually dragged ourselves out of bed to try and track down the source and it would appear it was in fact the owners' dog who also live in the Barkers House, in the room adjacent to ours. We were pretty upset so we asked staff to investigate but they obviously didn't do anything as the same thing happened the following night, only at 2.30am!
You know, if we weren't paying $700 for a weekend, perhaps we wouldn't have minded so much, but when we were already very disappointed in the accommodation and then woken two nights in a row you can't help but feel ripped off. We told the woman when we checked out, both about the toilet and the barking dog but she didn't write anything down or seem to care at all and didn't offer an apology never mind a discount!
Other than that, the pool area was nice but the pool was not clean and the hot tub was just filthy. I think when you have lots of small children around, you have to be expecially careful about hygiene in pools and spas and it was severely lacking. I just hope none of the little kids got sick from the spa particularly, because it reeked of urine. Again, a wonderful area which has just been left to go to ruin which is sad.
The baby animals area again was a repeat of all the above. The poor animals were kept in boiling hot sheds and basically standing in filth. Some of the rabbits in the cages had terrible weeping infected eyes and yet were not kept apart from the others. The water sources in each cage were dirty and polluted and the ducks were so thirsty they were fighting each other to drink from the hose which we turned on for them because no staff member seemed to have done anything for days.
The food was, like other people have said, highly processed - tinned fruit, frozen hash browns, eggs from factories (we specifically asked about eggs from the farm but were told they don't use anything from the farm as it's all just for show...!), tinned pineapple, "supermarket" plastic bread for toasting for breakfast, no spreads of any kind, just plastic individual servings of Meadowlea... It would've been so nice to have had proper healthy food, farm bread, milk, jams etc. Extremely disappointing.
The staff seemed to be very confused about things and forgot to serve people at each meal, and then cleared plates while people were still eating which was awkward. They were just young and sweet but had obviously had no training whatsoever which was a shame. There was a huge mix up when we went to pay as well, the woman seemed to have no idea which room was which and again, it was awkward and embarrassing.
We have been on lots of farm stays and this was definitely the worst. I just wish I had a couple of million dollars to donate to the owners because this place needs it really badly.
I feel that the place was very overpriced in its current state and the staff desperately need training plus the tariffs need to be revised otherwise they are running the risk of alienating future guests.
Sorry guys - you lose our vote this time.
We would not return if the property was in its current state
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Mowbray Park Farm is a genuine working farm, we produce Beef and Sheep. Our pasture fed Beef is part of the 'paddock to plate' experience at Mowbray Park Farm. We have an activities program that runs from 9.15am until 4.30pm daily then camp fires at night. Horse & pony rides, animal nursery, cattle feeding, milking, the list goes on we have a 9.5km recreational running / mountain bike track. En-suited family rooms, dorm lodges for schools, conference room, dinning room, free parking and WiFi. Authentic experiential tourism alongside real farmers. ... more less
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