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“Unique and very relaxed”

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The Castle Villa by the Sea
Ranked #8 of 11 Hotels in Cowes
Reviewed 3 May 2009

We stayed in the Broadwater Suite for 2 nights in April. Jenni was lovely and we couldn’t believe how relaxed it was. Upon arrival it was a bit tricky to find someone to check us in but that appears to be part of the whole experience. You are given a key to the front door and can treat it like your own home, come and go as you please with no one interfering. If you want a drink, help yourself at the bar and just leave a note of what you have had – it’s not many places that you are able to get that kind of service. The room was lovely and had everything we needed. The Castle was different to the modern hotels we have been staying in but we really enjoyed the quiet and relaxed atmosphere. We would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed: April 2009, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank y0dagreen
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2013

Thank you so much for your lovely words- it is very encouraging to get nice reviews
jenni & Harley

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Reviews (86)
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73 - 79 of 86 reviews

Reviewed 28 December 2008

Having stayed on the island a number of times this one of the worst places that we have stayed at.

Room seemed dirty
Wireless Internet didn’t work
Owners had friends over and we had to put up with their noise all night (you can put up with this from other guests but not the owners).
TV broken
Possum problem
Toilet leaked
I could go on but overall extremely disappointing.

When you are paying good money you expect a certain standard.

Also had issue in paying our account. This seems to a recurring theme, based on other reviews.

  • Stayed: October 2008, travelled with family
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6  Thank Always_on_holidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
willywagtail, owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2009

Please allow us to reply to the comments made in general

We take exception to a generalization that the room was dirty

We are particularly proud and diligent in the preparation of our suites as any random inspection would find – the suite in which the guests stayed has an open spa deck and whilst this is attended to before arrival on some windy days this area can have leaves blown in, leaf strewn but definitely not dirty.

The noise complained about was other guests enjoying free drinks and food as it was Xmas Eve and we had invited all in house guests to the main lounge to celebrate Xmas Eve - these guests declined our invitation and the festivities ceased at 10pm

Re the matter of the leaking toilet, this is an USA designed toilet and can confuse the unaware as it fills to just below the rim causing some worry to the unaware

Unlike most establishments we offer wireless broadband connections free of charge however there are some spots in the building where it is unavailable, guests are informed of this and told they may have to shift to the lounge or an other area, some find this to much of an inconvenience.

The TV had only been recently upgraded and had no other complaints which indicated that it was working, we cannot recall but the batteries may have been flat in the remote.

Re paying the account we have no recollection of any problems

Some people should never leave home

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Reviewed 30 October 2008

Stayed for one night as a part of our honeymoon around the world. We stayed at aprox. 12 hotels and B&B on our trip including 5 star hotels in Sydney and Singapore. This was the best. Everything about this place is wonderful. Stayed in for dinner and had bread, cheese and red wine. So romantic. The owners are great and will do anything to help you and make the stay perfect.

  • Stayed: September 2007, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Snorrido
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2013

Thankyou for the lovely review - it makes it all worth while
Jenni & Harley

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Reviewed 6 August 2008

We stayed at the guest house for two nights and adored it.

I loved the character of the place, and the room was to die for.
We stayed in a suite with its own jacuzzi on the balcony looking over the back garden with a slight view of the sea through the trees.

We also payed to have a champagne breakfast served in our room, it was the only time we ate there, and it was a very good quality.

I would recommend this place to anyone visiting Phillip Island.

Next time I am in Australia I will be going back!

Please take alook at the pictures.

  • Stayed: March 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Emmiejj
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this reviewResponded 27 January 2013

Thankyou for the lovely review - it makes it all worth while
Jenni & Harley

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Reviewed 19 May 2008

A B&B full of character. The guy owner's a very good chef who prepares delicious 3 courses meal for you with pre notice. Price for the meal is however quite steep, so be mentally prepared. Due to rush schedule, we only stayed for a night but would have like to stay longer. Arrived late in the evening but was welcomed warmly by lady owner. Room's clean and nicely decorated but bedsheets are showing signs of age which can be a problem for people particular about quality.

  • Stayed: April 2008, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank qicicle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2013

Thank You for your review
harley & Jenni

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Reviewed 14 April 2008

We stayed at the Castle Villa for one night immediately after the annual Phillip Island grand prix week so were the only guests. We chose one of the rooms that shares a lounge/kitchen area/balcony outside the bedroom and it also had its own small balcony leading from the bedroom that overlooked the front garden. The rooms were lovely (see photos), quite unlike any standard hotel rooms, you felt like you could be in in your own home, with all the amenities that you would expect from a 4 star residence. Jenni explained that the hotel had been full up to the night before due to the grand prix and that could explain why we found an old unwrapped chocolate full of dust behind the tissue box in the cabinet at the side of the bed - this was my one small complaint about the cleanliness and why I wouldn't give it 10/10 for that, presumably they had a lot to do after the grand prix week. There were some fabulous paintings by Jenni and whilst some were not to our taste they were so varied that there must be something that would please everyone; since my husband likes painting we found this aspect of the hotel gave it its very individual style. We paid for breakfast, one cooked one continental, which we thought was a little over priced when we booked, but it was all good quality, including freshly squeezed apple juice that was the best I've ever tasted, so we could understand that the prices reflected that. We were booked in by Jenni who had waited in for us as we were a little late arriving; she was perhaps a bit over familiar for our tastes as she kept saying/emphasising my husband's name when addressing him which freaked him out a bit - this is not intended as a complaint and I'm sure that the guests who have written rave reviews like this manner but for us it was a bit OTT. The next morning Jenni seemed a little bit keen to take our payment as she and Harley were setting off for a trip into Melbourne city; I would have preferred to have paid when we arrived so that we didn't feel rushed, after all we couldn't help our departure clashing with their personal arrangements, but since they have a "trust" policy re their bar I could understand the need to settle up at the end of the visit in case we had made use of the bar (we didn't). That being said they then didn't push us out even though there was no-one there to leave the key with; they said their housekeeper would be there soon so just to leave it inside when we left. We were concerned about doing this as we were unable to lock their hotel up but Jenni seemed unconcerned which seemed at odds with getting us to sign for our credit card payment! We don't want to make it sound like we didn't enjoy being there and in fact recommended the hotel to some friends who stayed there about a month after us so any negatives are really just our own observations/opinions. The hotel was in an ideal place in Cowes but we barely made use of the facilities as soon after arrival we went out and stayed out until late taking in the penguin parade which in itself is worth going to Phillip Island for. You can't imagine how truly wonderful an experience it is to see hundreds of little penguins return to their nesting site in the evening and we felt privileged to have seen such a wonderful natural sight - don't miss it. The next morning we visited the koala sanctuary again not to be missed - so many baby koalas with their mums that you can easily view from the boardwalks and they are so cute you just want to take one home! We had a very interesting chat with an ex-pat who was (we think) the main man there, he was lovely to talk to as was the lady at the pay desk/shop.

  • Stayed: October 2007, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank P-K1999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2013

So sorry we were a bit not with it but the Moto GP guests are really demanding - we apologise for things that may not have been 100%
Jenni

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Reviewed 26 February 2008

Philip Island is a microcosm of Australia with native wildlife sanctuaries,the fairy penguin parade, magnificent surf and swimming beaches, and easy access to Melbourne.
Jenni and Harley's Boutique Hotel epitomizes home-grown warm and generous hospitality, luxurious accommodations, excellent food in a very tranquil setting, a few steps from the beach.
Their beautiful garden was created and is nurtured by Jenni, and her prize-winning art work and interior design is stunning. Harley is a gifted raconteur with a vast knowledge of Australiana and the jazz scene, and his breakfasts are fabulous.
I have stayed many times with them since they opened over 10 years ago; their establishment equals any I have stayed in throughout my world-wide travels.
Rosalie Matsuoka, Chappaqua, N.Y.

Stayed: September 2006
1  Thank juneko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
willywagtail, Owner at The Castle Villa by the Sea, responded to this reviewResponded 28 January 2013

Thank you Rosalie for your lovely review and we certainly look forward to your next stay
Harley & Jennie

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Additional Information about The Castle Villa by the Sea

Address: 7-9 Steele St | Phillip Island, Cowes, Phillip Island, Victoria 3922, Australia
Region: Australia > Victoria > Phillip Island > Cowes
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Luxury Hotel in Cowes
#3 Spa Hotel in Cowes
#4 On the Beach Hotel in Cowes
Price Range: £113 - £210 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — The Castle Villa by the Sea 4.5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Castle Luxury Villa offers you your own island oasis and perfect carefree holiday accommodation, footsteps from the beach-front and hidden away in a magical garden ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castle Hotel Cowes
The Castle Villa By The Sea Phillip Island/Cowes, Australia

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