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“very relaxing”
Review of Glen Isla House

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Glen Isla House
Ranked #1 of 10 Cowes B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne
Level Contributor
37 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“very relaxing”
Reviewed 19 February 2014

We stayed two nights at Glen Isla and it was a pleasure. We were greated by Ian on arrival, Ian took time to answer any questions, point out recommended restaurants and make sure we had booked to see the fairy penguins. Our room felt very spacious, the addition of the cloak room to store bags, clutter and a decent sized bar fridge was great. We brought some cheeses, pate and wine with us from Melbourne and it all fitted with no issues and room to spare.

The little patio area with seats outside was a nice touch and we sat outside in the garden and shared some cheese and wine for dinner which was a nice way to finish a day. The large lounge area were you can sit and read the paper was fantastic and the gardens are lovely. It really does feel like you are in a little relaxing oasis.

  • Stayed February 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Jenisonholiday
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this review, 20 April 2014
Thanks for your kind words and review!

It seems you've summed up the sort of expediences many of our guests have during their stay at Glen Isla.

We thought a lot about the design of our classic rooms after 40+ years of our own international travel experiences, and its pleasing to receive the sort of considered positive feedback such as your review.

That all said, relaxing in 2 acres of authentic and very private heritage gardens offers the the sort of tranquility and atmosphere that only genuine history can provide with 100 year-old oaks and Norfolk pine trees here at Glen Isla.

We hope to welcome you back soon for another 'relaxing' stay...

Kind regards, Ian & Madeleine Baker
Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla House
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238 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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  • Sleep Quality
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (42)
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English first
Oshawa, Canada
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 12 February 2014

Our stay at Glen Isla House was wonderful. The self contained units have everything you could wish for. The grounds were beautiful with mature gardens. Most of all, the owners went out of their way to make our stay very enjoyable. They were informative and truly gracious hosts. Lovely accommodation and room along with "HUGE" breakfast! If anyone is heading to Phillip Island - we highly recommend Glen Isla House.

Room Tip: All rooms looked excellent
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  • Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank James B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this review, 20 April 2014
Thanks indeed for your kind words about Glen Isla, and of course our breakfast service here. Many guests comment about our breakfast (here on Tripadvisor and in the guestbook at Glen Isla).

We reckon the best start to your day is a great breakfast, and at Glen Isla we've always offered our chef's interpretation of a discerning traveller's breakfast in our dining room with fresh fruits, juices, cereals, baked items usually from our own kitchen and our cooked to order selection. Both our professional chefs here at Glen Isla are 'passionate foodies' and its seems their passion for good food materialises in our restaurant-kitchen daily!

As seasoned travellers ourselves over 40+ years, we've leaned over the years that local knowledge and advice is typically superior to the guide books! That's why we offer advice on restaurants and things to see and do here on Phillip Island to all our guests.

We hope to welcome you back to Glen Isla again...

Kind regards,
Ian and Madeleine Baker
Owners and hosts at Glen Isla House
(Welcoming guests since 2003)
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Dublin
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 31 January 2014

We have recently returned from a stay at Glen Isla House on Phillip Island and cannot speak highly enough of both the accommodation and the hosts. The room was beautifully decorated and very well planned with plenty of storage with no hidden extras like mini bar to worry about. Everything provided was included in the room price. The quality of the breakfasts was first class and the hosts were both informative and friendly - nothing was too much trouble but they were not invasive of ones privacy otherwise. We would be back again in a heartbeat if we weren't living in Ireland! It was a very relaxing interlude to our journey around Australia. Thank you Maddie and Ian.

Room Tip: All rooms face onto the beautiful garden - three either side of the lounge/breakfast room. One end...
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank CassieDublin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Thanks for taking the time to complete a review and comment on your stay at Glen Isla...

Since opening in 2003, we've never had mini-bars with ridiculously priced beverages, but rather made the refrigerators available for guests to utilise! Likewise we've never had 'hidden extras' or items with 'price tags' in our rooms....

That said we do offer a small but excellent selection of wines for our guests to enjoy (Glen Isla is licensed to sell wine) and we do not mark this up other than to cover our handling costs...

Thanks also for your comments on breakfast - a recurring theme in many of our guest reviews. Breakfast at Glen Isla has always been a feature guests have commented on both here on TripAdvisor and in the guest book at Glen Isla. Our chefs take great pride in their breakfast offering.

Unfortunately no plans for us to open a Glen Isla House (Ireland) branch any time soon!

So we hope to welcome you to Glen Isla again when you're next out in Australia...

Ian and Madeleine, Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla.
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Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
155 reviews
62 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 131 helpful votes
Reviewed 30 January 2014

My husband and I were celebrating our anniversary and wanted to spend a night in Cowes as he wanted to go go-kart racing on Phillip Island and I just wanted to visit somewhere different. We booked the Glen Isla House based on the rave reviews from other guests and were not disappointed. You enter through a fairly narrow driveway lined purple hydrangeas(?) gently knocking your car to the most gorgeous estabished mature garden that has obviously been designed by a real garden lover, with cute cream weatherboard "homes" dotted along, giving all guests the privacy they want. Our room - Number 6 I think - was called the French room and was at the end of a long, low wing. It was pretty hot when we arrived so we were glad of the air conditioning. Madeleine gave us a friendly welcome and settled us in. The house is a short walk to the beach but with seaweed and people using jet skis, we decided to go instead to Cowes Beach which also had nicer sand. It is a fair hike into town if you were planning a late night and we had a great Greek meal at The Goat In The Boat. Definitely a nice stay but look for an online deal as $400 for a Saturday night was too steep for us (so we came on the less-expensive Friday night).

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank visitrequisites
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Thanks indeed for taking the time to provide a review and feedback, and congratulations on your wedding anniversary.

The heritage gardens here at Glen Isla date back to the late 1800's, being one of the original properties on Phillip Island, and they do offer a wonderfully calm and serene garden environment.

We sometimes feel we are 'custodians' of the historic property, and the opportunity to restore it and enhance its beauty with accommodation offerings has been an interesting and rewarding experience over the years with our philosophy being to treat guests as we would expect to be treated.

The walk along the sandy beach into the township with restaurants and shops is around 1600 metres, with many of our guests choosing to walk in one direction and take a taxi home (there is a good taxi service in the township and the ride from the township back to Glen Isla is not an expensive ride). As you say a walk in, and back again, is certainly a bit of a 'hike!

You mentioned our tariffs, and we sincerely appreciate your feedback. We wanted to clarify the tariff policy at Glen Isla and two types of rooms/accommodations we offer, for readers.

The tariff mentioned in your review for the SAT night is for the Heritage King Suite, our authentic historic accommodations (a genuine suite - quite separate from our other accommodations) originally part of the heritage house dating back to c1870. It is our best room and most expensive offering and very elegantly furnished in period furnishings and genuine Persian rugs etc. It is also the only room we offer with a spa bath in the en-suite bathroom. The tariff also includes our chef's to-order breakfast in the dining room, as do our classic rooms.

We also offer our classic deluxe rooms (we understand you stayed in our classic room with French style decor), which are deluxe rooms with private en-suite, and separate entrances opening onto the deck veranda overlooking the heritage gardens. Also classically furnished without clutter and glitz, but a little smaller in size than the heritage suite. (as I recall our classic rooms may have been already fully booked for the Saturday night night of the weekend you stayed, with the Heritage Suite being the only room left available for that Saturday night). Had there been Classic rooms available, they would have been offered at the same tariff as the Friday night or indeed any other night of the year (we do offer a "room-only" tariff on certain days of the year [chef's day off for example], but generally our tariffs are B&B fully inclusive tariff)

Since opening in 2003, our tariff policy has always been that we have the same tariff any day of the year whether its a Saturday night, a public holiday or a Tuesday night in Autumn (visible on our web site and secure online booking system from our web site). We've never sought to ramp up prices in peak summer periods (or Saturday nights) to take advantage of people and then massively discount the same rooms in winter or midweek, as many other properties seem to do.

We've always offered the same personal hospitality, standards of service, special handcrafted chef's breakfast offering, at the same tariff any day of the year...

Its been our experience in recent years that our Classic Rooms (we have 6 of these rooms) often sell out well in advance for Saturday nights, and apart from public holiday weekends, we welcome one-night stays in our classic rooms and the heritage suite.

We hope to welcome you back to Glen Isla - perhaps for your anniversary again, and thanks again for the kind words about Glen Isla...

We sincerely appreciate the time you've taken....

Ian and Madeleine, Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla House
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Christchurch, New Zealand
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2014

We stayed with GlenIsla for the Australian Anniversary weekend. One of the best overall stays we have ever experienced. Very informative and truly gracious hosts. Lovely accommodation and room along with "HUGE" breakfast! If anyone is heading to Phillip Island - we clearly recommend GlenIsla - again one of the best overall accommodations we have ever experienced and the island wildlife came along for the ride! Truly - loved the place.

Room Tip: All the rooms looked excellent and again just can't say enough Good!
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  • Stayed January 2014, travelled on business
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Helpful?
Thank William W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Thanks for your review and comments...

Our chefs certainly appreciate the feedback on how much you enjoyed breakfast in the dining room!

Its been our philosophy since opening to guests in 2003, that we treat our guests as we would expect to be treated if we were in your shoes, and your comments would seem to indicate its still working...

We hope to welcome you back to Glen Isla again soon...

Ian & Madeleine, Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2014

We stayed here for one night during a month long tour of Australia.

Our room wasn't the largest on the property but was tastefully decorated and had everything we needed.

WiFi was good and the bed comfortable. Madeleine, our host, was extremely friendly, warm and welcoming and her regional insight was very helpful to ensure that we made the most of our time in this beautiful area. We learnt lots about the history of the property itself over an excellent, freshly-cooked breakfast.

If only the weather had been kinder to us we could have spent less time in thermals and headed off to the beach but our trip to see the little penguins certainly made up for it.

Well worth its Trip Advisor rankings and we'd certainly return the next time we're in the area. Highly recommended.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank danieltjames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Dear Daniel,
Thanks for taking the time to leave us a review on your experiences at Glen Isla.

Sorry about the weather during your stay! The 'cool snap' you experienced was somewhat unseasonal, but then again people say we sometimes experience all 4 seasons in one day here in Victoria... Unfortunately the weather is one element we have no control over.

Over the years, we have focused on making breakfast a feature, and we have never in our 10 years of welcoming guests guests offered a typical hotel-style buffet for our main (hot breakfast) course. Both our professional chefs are fanatical about fresh (and regional) produce, with our culinary herbs all grown in our own gardens here at Glen Isla.

Offering our guests tips on local sights, restaurants and the wildlife viewing options has also been something we've always done to assist gusets in making the most of their visit to Phillip Island. As you and many of our guests have found, there is certainly much more to do than just seeing the Little Penguins, some of our international visitors staying for 3-4 days at a time.

Thanks for contributing to our Tripadvisor rankings. We've been highly rated since Tripadvisor first became popular around 2006/2007, and we appreciate the feedback.

We hope to see you at Glen Isla again...

Ian and Madeleine, Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla
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Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 22 January 2014

I wish we had stayed longer. We were greeted at reception, personally taken and shown not only our room, but the beautiful gardens and given information and tips about the local area. The rooms are beautiful and peaceful, and was the perfect spot to propose to my new fiancé. Absolutely brilliant.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Rhys S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Glen_Isla_House, Owner at Glen Isla House, responded to this review, 31 January 2014
Well congratulation Rhys on your engagement!

We've had more than a few proposals (and acceptances I hasten to add) over the years, with some returning annually to celebrate their wedding anniversaries at Glen Isla...

Thanks indeed for taking the time to leave us a review, and we wish you the very best for your wedding and many happy years ahead!

The (historic) Heritage Suite you stayed in is a popular option for those special occasions, offering total privacy and seclusion, being away from all our other accommodations...

Hope to welcome you back to Glen Isla again soon...

Ian and Madeleine, Owners and Hosts at Glen Isla
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 Glen Isla House

Property: Glen Isla House
Address: 230 Church Street, Cowes, Phillip Island, Victoria 3922, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > Victoria > Phillip Island > Cowes
Amenities:
Beach Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Suites
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 10 B&Bs / Inns in Cowes
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:5 star — Glen Isla House 5*
Number of rooms: 8
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Multi award-winning boutique country-house accommodations offering discerning travellers finest surroundings, absolute privacy and unobtrusive service from internationally experienced and well traveled owner/hosts. Set in the grounds of the historic Glen Isla Homestead (c1870), we offer genuine historic and purpose architected guest accommodations all with modern bathroom amenities and separate entrances, secluded and very private heritage gardens, refined elegance & old-world charm just 100m from a pristine sandy beach. Enjoy chef-inspired special breakfasts in the elegant dining room overlooking the authentic heritage gardens (kitchen may be closed some days), and local nature/wildlife experiences at Phillip Island Nature Parks (close to Little Penguins, Koalas and the Seal Watching Cruise). Highly recommended Frommers Australia Guide as the best place to stay. Recommended Fodors, and Lonely Planet Guides since 2007. Member of Small Elegant Hotels since 2004. TripAdvisor HALL of FAME inductee for TriAdvisor excellence awards 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 & 2016. GLEN ISLA HOUSE is not associated in any way with another property nearby called Apartments at Glen Isla. Glen Isla House is the original and historic Glen Isla dating from c1870 with private heritage gardens and direct beach access, warmly welcoming discerning travellers since 2003. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Glen Isla House Phillip Island/Cowes, Australia

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