We stayed at the Peterson's Winery and Guest House in Armidale, NSW for two nights in December, as a little pampering at the end of a long road trip spent in mostly budget accommodation. So we were looking forward to a bit of luxury. We certainly paid for it at $225/night bed and breakfast.
Upon arrival, we were surprised by the locked door and buzzer system to get in. However, once warmly welcomed into the Great Hall, we were taken by the beautifully furnished and lavish heritage interior. They had certainly gone all out to impress visitors with an excellent first impression. We were shown to our very spacious room and settled in. That's when we noticed the strange things...
I often wonder how people could design rooms the way they do, and can only conclude that they never actually have to 'live' in them, otherwise they'd quickly see how impractical (or really dumb!) some things are. Take the illogical design of the ensuite bathroom for example. The shower door can't open properly as it is obstructed by the room door, so you have to be careful not to smash one into the other (not to mention that the shower leaked). The claw footed bathtub was nice, but faced looking directly into the corner and blocked access to the window that didn't have frosted glass (like the other bathroom window) and people walking by outside could look directly in unless the blinds were closed.
Also, the main bedroom room, while being very spacious, was furnished with a little TV on a tiny table, and a tiny desk too small to even work with a laptop on (I guess the small furniture made the room feel so spacious!). The wardrobe was in the corner, but blocked by the pedestal fan that had to be moved around the extra single bed.
For a place that caters to the high end of the market, it lacked some basic essentials:
-no iron and ironing board in the room (had to ask for them)
-no internet in the room (free wifi is only in the common areas)
-no fridge in the room (only a communal one in the breakfast room)
-no air conditioning (only the pedestal fan) that would've been very handy on the hot days we were there
-king bed ok, but single bed not properly made up
-meager toiletries in tiny bottles that weren't replenished after the first day
-towels fraying at the edges
-only one coat hanger provided in the wardrobe, and that one was in very poor condition
The numerous pot plants in the room and common areas gave a very homey feel, but upon closer inspection, we noticed they were all artificial, giving the place a cheap feel.
There were some really good things about our stay though:
-free muscat/port in the very comfortable, well appointed and beautifully furnished common room
-nice three course dinner ($60/person) and breakfast
-very attentive and friendly staff
-beautiful grounds and comfy large verandah to sit and read
-choice of a bottle of red or white wine upon departure
In summary, the Guest House provides excellent food and service from the staff, but the obvious skimping on cost cutting measures seriously detracted from the 'luxury' experience. For the price we paid for being pampered, I think much better value for money would be had elsewhere. I, for one, could not honestly recommend this place unless I knew the management had addressed the many simple things to make, what could have easily been, an excellent stay.
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