I'll start with the positive - the location is beautiful, there's a lovely walking track and our suite had lovely views. The staff were friendly, and the day spa (Natskin) was wonderful.
As for the rest:
For the price paid, and the stars they give themself, you expect a really good place. However:
- beds are horrible. I understand a lot of places do the 2 singles become 1 queen, but if you're going to do that, don't do it so shoddily. It was like there was a hole in the centre of the bed.
- No doona covers? Seriously? I complained to reception and was politely told that they were waiting for new ones after the old ones got damaged. Not good enough. Especially for those of us with dust allergies waking up at 3am with running eyes and nose.
- We were there for a conference, and came one day early to make a long weekend of it. We were assured by reception that they would organise it so we could stay in the same room for the entire stay undisturbed. Lo and behold, our first morning in our room, in bursts housekeeping (unannounced) who then demanded to know what we were doing there as the room was marked as being vacated that morning. We explained that we were there for 3 nights, received an apology and told this would be updated. 30 minutes later, trying to relax again, and we're burst in on again! Had to explain the situation again.
- One of our curtains broke on the first day, blocking one of the perks of the room - the view. I advised both reception and housekeeping of this, and was assured someone would come and fix it. Nothing at all done.
- TV in the main room had volume so low you could barely hear anything.
- I ordered room service one night, $23 for an "open faced wagyu beef sandwich with fat chips", which I assumed would be pretty good if they were charging $23 for it. I was even asked how I would like the steak when ordering it - medium was recommended. 1/2 an hour later a knock on the door, and I'm handed a *cardboard box* containing a couple of pieces of supermarket bread, a bit of meat between them, a few normal chips and some "salad". I've never had room service so sloppy in my life. (BTW the meat was well done)
- someone needs to grout the shower/spa recess. Seriously, that amount of mould is gross.
So all in all, incredibly disappointing experience. Will recommend any friends visiting the Yarra Valley to avoid this place like the plague.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa is ideally located in the heart of the Yarra Valley less than 1hr from Melbourne CBD & Airport. Boasting contemporary first class spa suite accommodation with spectacular views across the valley, Rae’s Restaurant, Cellar Door with complimentary wine tasting 7 days, Health Club, Natskin Spa Retreat, modern conferencing and leisure facilities plus more! Whenever you visit, you are guaranteed a memorable stay in the heart of Victorian wine country. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort And Spa
- Balgownie Estate Vineyard Hotel Yarra Glen
- Balgownie Vineyard Retreat Hotel
- Balgownie Vineyard Retreat Resort
- Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa Yarra Glen, Yarra Valley, Australia