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“... mixed feelings” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of The EarthHouse

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The EarthHouse
Ranked #1 of 1 Clunes B&B and Inns
Koblenz, Germany
Level Contributor
34 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“... mixed feelings”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 October 2013

First things first - the EarthHouse is beautiful. A nice and sleek design, the decor (most especially the tapestry) is in the best of taste - and the views are just stunning.
The guesthouse has two rooms, a wide atrium seperates the owner's house from the guest area. There are two entrances to every guestroom - one from the front terrace, the second one from a secluded and screened small area at the back. From there (which we were kindly asked to use cause otherwise we would have passed by the "neighbor's" terrace) one enters directly into the open bathroom, vis-à-vis the toilet bowl (less than 1,50 meters). We found that ackward, but what we really didn't enjoy was the completly open-designed concept, no chance to close any door when using the toilet. There are different likings to that topic and we want to state that we don't judge the concept - but if you prefer to give each other privacy - then this is not the best place to be.
Another point was the breakfast - the fridge is filled with 4 slices of bread, jam, a little container of butter, a view fruits and a fresh juice. The web page states a continental breakfast and that is just what you get. Again, this is a question of liking - just be aware that if you wish some fresh bread rolls or cheese, maybe some tomatoes or cold-cut you have to buy it yourself.
The second guestroom was rented too and the couple there didn't have the best of times in their marriage. The two adjoining bathrooms have at the top a window instead of the wall - which allows noise to travel really well. Between the two bedrooms is a door, not so great to absorb sound neither and although the couple really didn't raise their voices much we got to know details about their private lifes ... Ended up in opening the TV although we didn't feel like watching.
Would we come back ? No. Which doesn't mean that the EarthHouse is not a good place to be (let me state again the fact of the beautiful views and some very nice near-by rural restaurants) - it just wasn't the right place to be for us.

Stayed October 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank g w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jackie B, Owner at The EarthHouse, responded to this review, 30 October 2013
Thank you for your review. We appreciate all feedback (good and bad), and I will endeavour to address your points listed.
The Philosophy at EarthHouse is tasteful simplicity, and the open plan style of the rooms are a reflection of this. Unfortunately this may not suit everyone's taste, however the vast majority of guests openly comment on how they love the design and layout of the accommodation.
Regarding the breakfast; both the EarthHouse website and Stayz listing, state that "A typical seasonal breakfast includes freshly ground local coffee, loose leaf teas, freshly squeezed juice, fresh seasonal fruit, home-baked sour dough bread, homemade spreads, muesli and yoghurt". We do not promote anything more substantial than this. All the breakfast supplies are homemade and sourced locally, and again we receive an overwhelmingly positive response to the quality and simplicity of the breakfast supplies.
Regarding the top window between the bathrooms, this is valid point and we are already working on replacing it with a solid insulated panel.
Kind Regards, Jackie Black
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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21 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Brisbane, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 October 2013

We visited earth house 3 weeks ago. We'd decided we wanted a weekend away from the city, and we were very happy to find Earth House exceeded all our expectations.
A beautiful house, and spectacular views, we will definitely be coming back. Delicious breakfast, and the most memorable Anzac biscuits!
A weekend I'll be daydreaming about for a long time! Thank you for such a lovely weekend!

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Smevs
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 October 2013

We stayed at Earthhouse after our wedding and our disappointing stay at Villas of Byron. It just a fantastic place to stay the location is simply magnificent the views from the front of the cottage is amazing. You can tell this place is run by people who truly love the land and not just after the money. Monroe was genuinely interested in us and making sure we had a great stay, he gave many ideas for places to check out. The cottage is beautiful presented and all the amenities you could ever need are provided. In your mini kitchen you get freshly squeeze juice, milk, butter, muesli, tea, coffee and all are restocked every day. As there is no kitchen sink, they pick up all your dishes and clean them for you! Earthhouse is great value for money, there is a local butcher about 2mins drive away that we used for our nightly BBQ. There is no stovetop inside but the BBQ was more than enough, having meals outside overlooking the valley was just great. Highly recommend this place and we will be back very soon. If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of Byron Bay book a few night at Earthhouse. It is very close to a great little town of Bangalow but much cheaper than stayer there.

Room Tip: There are only two rooms and they both have great views, you can't go wrong.
See more room tips
  • Stayed September 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Shamara H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Alexandra Headland, Australia
1 review
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2013

We loved everything about our stay from the warm welcome , the tasteful decorating, the great places to eat in Eltham, Bexhill, Federal, Newrybar , Murwillumbah , Bangalow and Brunswick to the breakfast providoring, the Teven golf course, the courtyard fireplace and the blissfully peaceful and quiet rolling hills of Clunes to wake up to each morning. Can't wait until we go back.

  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Chris R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 8 July 2013

Earthhouse is amazing!! Such a great place to stay for couples who want a lovely quiet break with beautiful views, scrumptious home prepared breakfast, open fire place and only minutes drive to great coffee in Clunes, pub grub at the Eltham Hotel and lunch at the Eltham Valley Pantry. We absolutely loved Earthhouse and will be back for sure! Thanks to Alastair and Jackie for creating such a heavenly place. You have done an amazing job!

  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Jodie F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 May 2013

My husband and I stayed at The Earthhouse earlier on in the year in January as we were attending a Wedding in Byron Bay. Our stay was nothing short of amazing.

Jackie was the most accommodating host (with the best advice about where to eat and coffee!) and her dog Chocolate a lovely breakfast companion. The breakfast each morning was devine with homemade bread, muesli, fresh orange juice, fruit, coffee and tea enjoyed outside each morning overlooking the lovely scenery listening to the local native birds.

The premises is spotless and effortlessly styled with beautiful natural lemon myrtle shower products. You feel like you are staying in a place straight out of a magazine. Chic but grounded at the same time.

The setting of The Earthhouse is spectacular overlooking the valley and the location is super close to Bangalow and within easy driving distance to the Byron Bay centre. Since The Earthouse is out of the hustle and bustle of Byron Bay it is the perfect place to stay and explore the wider hinterland surrounds (Clunes, Possum Creek, Mullumbimby, Bangalow, Newrybar etc). This is definitely a place we will stay at again should we be returning to the Byron Bay region.

Room Tip: Either room (as there are only two) are as beautiful and peaceful as each other)
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank Maya J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 December 2012

We booked two nights at The Earth House with the goal of having a private, secluded escape amongst the romantic beauty of the Bangalow countryside. We stayed a few days before Christmas, but booked this months in advance.

The Earth House comprises two small adjoining rooms, each with an open-plan bathroom and kitchenette area. It doesn't say so on the website, but it's worth nothing that these rooms are connected to the owners' private home.

The #1 thinig that hits you upon arrival is the view here, in the middle of the rolling hills ten minutes from Bangalow, and best of all, each room has a private 'deck' area with a table and chairs, allowing you to relax and soak up the scenery. We were elated to see this.

The rooms themselves are gorgeous, with beautiful decor and, of course, the wonderful rammed earth walls. Our first night was lovely. We were lucky to have nobody in the second room beside us, and although we hadn't known about the rooms' proximity to the owners' home, we felt we had privacy and loved sitting out on the little deck, staring out at the unbeatable view. We were also grateful for the barbecue available for guests' use. We hadn't really wanted to go out for meals elsewhere, so this worked out well and we looked forward to spending our weekend together in the lovely little cocoon of The Earth House. Please note, however, that kitchen provisions are limited, with no paper towel or kitchen cloth or anything like that, so if you're thinking of using the barbecue for dinner and breakfast, as we did, you may find the supplies insufficient.

Unfortunately, we didn't feel so positive about things on our second day, when a large number of guests arrived at the owners' house. Aside from there being a great deal of noise, which really disturbed our peaceful retreat, we no longer felt comfortable sitting out on our private deck, as it felt as though someone might walk past at any moment to do something or retrieve the two dogs who camped out with us so much of the time. (We are, luckily, dog people, so we didn't mind that.) We do appreciate that in the end, no one did interrupt us, but the upshot of this was that we felt really exposed, and actually kind of in the way of the owners' personal Christmas gathering. Consequently, we felt more comfortable just retreating inside and closing the blinds. Not a nice feeling and actually pretty frustrating when we'd paid $200 a night to get away from it all. We can't even imagine how much noisier it would have been with guests in the room next to us, too.

We really would have appreciated being advised of this full house in advance. This, at least, would have given us the option to decide for ourselves whether we still wanted to come, knowing that our peaceful retreat actually may not be so peaceful.

The Earth House's website reads so beautifully and so we had high expectations for our weekend there. In the end, though, our stay was not what we'd expected or hoped for. Despite the gorgeous view, the comfy bed and so on, we left feeling disappointed and a little ripped off, to be honest. We communicated as much to the owners via email afterwards (we simply left on the final morning, having paid in advance), yet they simply replied with a 'thank you for your feedback' email, so we're not sure how much they valued our input.

  • Stayed December 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank MissLC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Jackie B, Owner at The EarthHouse, responded to this review, 29 June 2013
We feel very disappointed that these guests felt so unhappy with their stay. However, in relation to this particular couple, we feel that they simply booked accommodation that was not suitable to their particular needs.

We do not mention in any of our advertising that there is a kitchen at EarthHouse, so it is no surprise that they were disappointed with the lack of cooking facilities! What we do offer is a unique guesthouse experience which includes a homemade continental breakfast daily - we are not offering self-contained, apartment-style accommodation and we have never claimed to.

We do offer the use of a BBQ, but it is up to the guest to purchase any additional items that they require for this (for example, paper towel). We offer the BBQ as an additional service to guests, however 99% of our guests are here to explore the beautiful hinterland and its many wonderful eating places, so it is rarely used.

We would also like to respond by saying that EarthHouse is not 'in' the owners home, but contained within an adjacent cottage, separated by a ten metre courtyard which has a covered walkway and outdoor fireplace. All the walls are built from 300mm rammed earth, so travelling sound has never been an issue and none of our previous guests have ever told us so.

During the four years that EarthHouse has been operating, we have never had any guests complain about us using our private home and having personal visitors. At no time during their two-day stay, did myself, or any of my four adult family members, see, or have any contact with these particular guests. Guest privacy is of utmost importance and is respected at all times. EarthHouse has never claimed to be a retreat that caters to those wanting absolute privacy as EarthHouse can accommodate up to two couples, in two separate rooms.

We did receive a letter of complaint from this couple after their stay, which we accepted and responded to. Their letter was most upsetting and included comments which are not included on the Tripadvisor comment.

If anyone considering staying at EarthHouse has any specific questions in relation to this particular couples' comments, we are more than happy to answer them in person.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The EarthHouse

Property: The EarthHouse
Address: 334 James Gibson Road | 10 minutes from Bangalow, Clunes, New South Wales 2480, Australia
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Clunes
Amenities:
Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Clunes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Number of rooms: 2
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
EarthHouse is a unique guesthouse, built from local rammed earth, situated in the picturesque hills of the North Coast of New South Wales. Located just 10 minutes from Bangalow on a 100 acre working farm, EarthHouse comprises of two independent suites, each with queen bed, large ensuite bathroom, dressing room, breakfast pantry, and an adjoining private courtyard. The EarthHouse philosophy is tasteful simplicity, inspired by and sympathetic to, the natural environment. Every care has been made to ensure the comfort of guests, whilst being sensitive to the earth from which it was built. Both rooms have spectacular views from the wide verandah, across the Corndale Valley and beyond to the Nightcap ranges. The EarthHouse began when owners Alastair and Jackie Black, moved to the area in 2005 from a sheep and cattle station in North West NSW. After many years of experience with renovating houses, they endeavored to build an ecologically sound house and cottage that included many of the best ideas from previous homes. The rammed earth approach to building was chosen because of its unique look, and its exceptional thermal qualities. A typical seasonal breakfast includes freshly ground local coffee, loose leaf teas, freshly squeezed juice, fresh seasonal fruit, home-baked sour dough bread, homemade spreads, muesli and yoghurt. EXTRAS Wine/champagne and cheese platters can be arranged for your arrival. Massages and yoga lessons can also be arranged. ... more   less 

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