After a difficult decision on which accommodation to book for the last leg of our luxury tour round Australia, we opted for the House of Willow. The web site promised us a 5 STAR house with Privacy, seclusion, romance and luxury. The photos looked inviting and the location seemed prefect. As we live in England we had to rely solely on the web site and its information for guidance.
We had good communication from the Villa owners who helped us with car hire and advice. After a hectic 2 week schedule, we booked the house for the last 6 days of our holiday. We were looking forward to days lazing by the pool, fine dining and generally relaxing before heading back to the UK. We had tried to get hold of the owners a day before we arrived, as they had still not sent us any directions on how to find the house. After unsuccessfully getting hold of them, we used the web site to identify the location and set off in our hire car. We eventually located the house and found a battered old combi van in the drive way. A little confused we assumed this must be the owners waiting for us. We then noticed that the house was in fact split in two and the battered van belong to one side of the house. We knocked on the door an announced our arrival. We discovered that it was not the owners but guests who were also renting. Their advice was that we should look under the door mat for a key, as thats where they had found theirs. Sure enough, this was our entry. Excited, but still a little weary about not having anyone to greet us, we went in to explore and immediately we both had the same feeling of disappointment. The pool was filthy , the beds were old and uncomfortable, the decor was dated, the towels left in the bathroom were stained, the Tv remote control was stuck together with gaffa tape, and small ants seemed to be everywhere.......The owners had graciously left us a bottle of sparkling wine and a basket of fruit, although this was put very much in perspective as we didn't really want to stay in the house to enjoy them. We immediately tried to contact the owners to explain our disappointment, but there was no answer . We sent an e-mail from our black berry asking for them to contact us and expressed again our concerns. We had no response, but the next morning a van pulled up and a company had been arranged to come and expect the state of the pool. (He agreed the pool hadn’t been cleaned for a while and set about cleaning it). So knowing that the owners had received our mail, we went out to explore Port Douglas assuming that we would have someone contact us about the rest of our concerns. The Evening came and still we had heard nothing. By this time we were not only feeling ignored, but angry that our concerns as paying customers were falling on deaf ears. We spent a very uncomfortable night being bitten by ants, and not having a working aircon. By the morning we were ready to leave. We tried unsuccessfully to contact the owners again, and with no response we managed to get our flights changed and left Port Douglas early the next day. On the day that we left, we sent an e-mail explaining our disappointment and actions. We asked them to consider a rebate on the money we had paid for the accommodation as compensation. We had a reply several days later, explaining that they were unable to get hold of us due to a family crisis, and they took offence at our opinions. (Stating that we obviously didn't appreciate the finer thing in life). Although we found this statement particularly ironic we have always kept our communication strictly factual. We explained again that the views were not personal, but merely those of dissatisfied customers of their service. (We are used to staying in 5 star accommodations and this was clearly not 5 star). As paying customers we should have the right to state whether we have been provided with a fair and satisfactory service. After all, im sure that they would love to hear from us if we had enjoyed our stay. We have not heard from the owners again, and feel that other potential guests should read this review before taking the decision to stay with House of Willow in the future. In contrast, we have stayed at many other hotels and villas which we would gladly visit again, and these will also be shown in Trip advisor.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC