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“Lovely spot, terrible place”

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Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Yarra Glen
Reviewed May 24, 2012

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.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank Qaytx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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825 - 831 of 1,073 reviews

Reviewed May 23, 2012

we had the most divine stay at Balgownie Estate we went in may and the gardens were gorgeous with all the leaves turning gold and the roses starting to bloom - our room was very luxurious it had everything we could wish for including a spectacular view and the staff couldnt do enough to make our stay just perfect. we dined in the restaurant which was most enjoyable and the welcoming fire was so warming after a busy day exploring the surrounding vineyards. another plus for staying at balgownie is that it is so central to all other places of interest in the yarra valley - I certainly reccommend staying at Balgownie we will definitely be coming back.

Room Tip: we stayed in room 402 ground floor opposite restaurant and celar door, perfect could not fault it in...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with friends
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1  Thank debchriscaines
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 23, 2012

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Martin C
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveler and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed May 22, 2012

It is a beautiful Estate and clean rooms but they really need to lift their game on the beds and bed linen. In our room we had 2 single beds pushed together, which most hotels do these days, but 1 single bed was hard as a rock and the other had no support whatsoever. We both couldn't get any sleep that night.

The bed linen was terrible. The doona did not even have a doona cover just a sheet over the top.
We will never stay there again, even considering that we got engaged there, as I still have a sore back even days after the weekend away.

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Jaclynn H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2012

The reception staff, in particular Ashleigh, were very helpful and accommodating.

We had organised three rooms, basic rooms at $260 per night each, which I believe was a reasonable rate compared to the usual rack rates charged by this establishment.

The way the hotel is built, the lower level (basic) rooms are a little bunker like as these rooms feel like they are set into the rise of the land they are built on. This also, at this time of year, seemed to encourage a kind of dampness smell upon entering the room. Once in the room, you would have to try very hard to find this noticeable. The standard of cleanliness of the accommodation was good. The comfort level of the beds, linen and pillows was also very good. There was a small amount of grout mould evident in the shower recess, but this was simply mould and not dirt. In the spacious wardrobe there was a safe, iron, ironing board and mini bar fridge. Also there were tea and coffee making facilities. The bathroom ameneties were New Zealand made products containing Manuka Honey. Overall we all agreed the surroundings were most comfortable and very pleasant.

Views from the windows of the garden were lovely and from the resort, as a whole, were splendid. Roses abound and the vines are not far from view.

There is an abundance of parking on site. One detraction though was that at night, the parking area was not very well lit, which made difficulties for those not with 20/20 or good night vision.

The on site restaurant Rae's, on this occasion, had some lovely helpful staff where we chose to imbibe some wine and a cheese platter during the afternoon of our stay. We did not have dinner at Rae's restaurant. The views from here and the fireplace are most inviting. The surroundings charming. The restaurant was booked to capacity for dinner.

The Balgownie Vineyard tasting rooms had a nice ambience and good service. House guests are given a 10% discount on vineyard purchases.

We found it very difficult to get a reliable taxi service to come to the resort to pick us up. Ashleigh, at reception was an excellent and persistent help, unfortunately to no avail. We ultimately decided to drive to a nearby eatery.

Personally I would stay here again.

Room Tip: Lower level rooms (basic priced rooms) can be a little darker but more cost effective. The resort e...
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  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Blossom55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 19, 2012

Unfortunately one of the worst hotel experience i ever had :-( First my room wasn't ready when we arrived at 15:30, it supposed to be 14:00 check in guarantee, but we were told that housekeeping was running late because of shortage of staffs.. Finally got our room after nearly 30min, room was smelling cigar and we were very disappointed with the room cleaning. There was mold in the shower walls and lots of hair around the bathroom floor. The bed was so uncomfortable and carpet did not even look liked that it was vacuumed for days, but the worse of all it was to find an used condom inside the bedside table drawer.
The restaurant had delicious food, but very poor service. We waited close to 1 hour between entree and main and the restaurant was not even half full.
My conclusion about Balgownie Estate is if they want to charge top $$$$, they should at least provide with clean room and efficient service. Staffs at reception were extremely friendly and helpful, but i would never come back or recommend Balgownie Estate to any of my friends!!!

  • Stayed: May 2012, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Matt190
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Balgownie-Estat... R, Rooms Division Manager at Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa, responded to this reviewResponded May 21, 2012

Dear Matt190,

Balgownie Estate currently employs the housekeeping services of an Accor preferred contractor. I cannot tell you how disappointed I am on behalf of Balgownie Estate that we have fallen so short on delivering you a fantastic experience.

In order to ensure that your experience is not to be that of others to follow, we have used your feedback to impliment new and improved policy and procedures, including secondary room checks, as there are simply no acceptable excuses from our end in terms of what you have endured throughout your stay. What I can honestly say with confidence on behalf of all of the staff at Balgownie Estate, is that ensuring that all of our guests leave the resort with a memorable experience for all the right reasons is the number one focus and goal for each and every team member. Clearly we have fallen well short on this occasion, and for this I sincerely apologise.

I do want to personally thank you though for informing us of your experience and would appreciate if you could please contact me directly at the resort.

Balgownie Estate constantly strives to provide exceptional experiences and will utilise all feedback and criticisms to ensure that we can deliver on providing our guests with positive Balgownie experiences time and time again.

Kind Regards,

Tristan Thomas

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Reviewed May 17, 2012

Had a great experience at this resort. The room was large and had a separate lounge area. The restaurant was fantastic for dinner with great service. Would definately go back.

Vicky C

Stayed: April 2012, traveled as a couple
Thank Vicky C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa

Address: 1309 Melba Hwy, Yarra Glen, Victoria 3775, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > Victoria > Yarra Valley > Yarra Glen
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Yarra Glen
Price Range: $140 - $364 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Balgownie Estate Vineyard Resort & Spa 4.5*
Number of rooms: 70
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

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