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“Relaxing part of the world”
Review of Cape Lodge

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Cape Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 29 April 2012

What a wonderful place to stay! Probably suited to the older more conservative holiday goer who likes to read books, enjoy a tea & muffin in front of the fire. The rooms are extemely comfortable and food & service in the restaurant are exceptional.
I would highly recommend this lodge to the discerning traveller.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled on business
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Thank Fi S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 23 April 2012

I have stayed at this property now on five occasions, always at Christmas time. Why do I keep coming back? Simply because it is the best. The accommodations are understated but extremely comfortable. The park is a delight - very well maintained, quiet, beautiful gardens and shrubs, birds, and an excellent vantage point to view the stars at night. The rooms are scattered around the property with the dining room and some of the rooms overlooking an ornamental lake. It is truly magic and I have been able to totally relax in this environment each time I have stayed there.
The staff under Drew the GM are extremely pleasant, efficient, and friendly, and this adds to the ambiance. It is a great home base from which to visit the other attractions in the Margaret River region. I think this is a very special part of WA. Admittedly the drive south from Perth is pretty dreary until Bussleton and then the magic sets in with picturesque undulating hills under vine. The many beautiful trees and coloured soils add to the landscape.
The restaurant at Cape Lodge is excellent. The breakfast one of the best and most satisfying I have enjoyed because it is simple and exceptionally well prepared from high quality ingredients. While the menu is not large and is reasonably static the food is high quality and reliable.
Of course, over the years, I have noticed some economies of scale. However, I overlook these because overall the experiences I have had here over-ride these minor cut backs. There are still fresh flowers in the rooms and they are kept in immaculate condition despite their age.
Before writing this review I read some other reviews. When I came to the few "negative" ones, I had to question whether we indeed had stayed at the same place. Without qualification I can recommend this property - in any case it suits me just fine, and I too am a season traveller.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Richard R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 April 2012

We are seasoned travellers (regularly staying at other hotels branded 'Small Luxury Hotels of the World') and love food & wine destinations, so our stay at Cape Lodge was much anticipated.

Service levels are world class at Cape Lodge. We were warmly welcomed despite arriving 3 hours before check-in and our room was made available to us. There are lots of touches which distinguishes this hotel: the complimentary afternoon tea in the lounge from 2.30pm, the complimentary wine tastings in the bar 5-6pm. An offering of excellent spa treatments.
Everything is delivered with proactive assured service. For example, when we enquired about the private collection of art in the main lodge - a brochure of one of the artists was made available to us. When we asked where we could buy the tea - a list of shops was promptly provided.

For the price point $499+ I would be disappointed with the higher-grade rooms. They are in need of refurbishment. Our room, in the main lodge, was quite lovely (but not modern) for $100 less than the others.

The Dining experience was great (chef Tony Howell was in the kitchen)- each dish showcased the local ingredients; whether it was the snapper served with fennel bulb cooked sous vide, or the salmon sashimi served with an asian omelete and a ginger jelly. Yummy. I very much liked that we could choose our desired portion size: either an entree or main size.

Breakfast is also served in the restaurant. The view in the morning, overlooking the small lake, is spectacular. The continental breakfast wasn't quite as good as the dinner (muffins rather sub-standard), breads not exceptional (apart from the fruit bread). So for real breakfast finesse, do order off the menu.

We were sad to leave Cape Lodge because we were very comfortable. I would like to give it 5 stars, but I know that I would be hesitant to recommend it to our friends, given the decor standards of the higher-grade rooms.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 2 in the main lodge. It's just along from the guest lounge, with it's cos...
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  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Trufoodie111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2012

We stayed at Cape Lodge over Easter on the recommendation of many other friends. We booked a Forrest Spa Suite and were offered a very good rate as we were staying for a lengthy period.
While there was nothing wrong with the room, and it was certainly very spacious and clean, it lacked the touches that make a boutique hotel room really beautiful and special. That is a shame, as there are only 22 rooms in the whole property. It should not be too difficult to ensure that each room is truly luxurious and memorable (see for instance the Tarrawrra Suite at Chateau Yerring in the Yarra Valley, which although more expensive, includes breakfast and a three course dinner for two people in the room rate - if you remove the cost of those meals and look at the room only price, it is far better value - Cape Lodge needs to aspire to this standard of accommodation if it is to retain its reputation).
If we had been paying full price for our room, I would have been very disappointed. At the discounted rate, I thought the room was expensive for what it was. Breakfast was included in our rate and was very good. We often had breakfast on our balcony which got the sun in the mornings and was delightful. We were lucky. At least four of the Forrest Spa suites do not get any sun on their balconies at all. If you are going to book one of these rooms, be careful which one you book!
Similarly, the lakes of the hotel urgently need attention. They are the centrepiece of all the advertising. If Cape Lodge is going to focus the main building and the restaurant on a lake, it MUST have water in it, not be a muddy and unattractive puddle!
At present, there are far better places to stay in Margaret River. I look forward to Cape Lodge lifting its game.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank waerro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DrewBernhardt, General Manager at Cape Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 19 April 2012

Thank you for your comments regarding your recent visit to Cape Lodge.

Having recently completed the refurbishment of our Garden View and Superior Spa Suites I am pleased to say we are currently in the redesign process for the updating of the Forest Spa Suites which will be occurring within the next few months with a fresh new feel.

Kind regards,

Drew Bernhardt
General Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 April 2012

I am a seasoned traveller, both for business and pleasure; please see my profile to put this review into perspective.

My wife and I stayed at the Cape Lodge on our second trip into the Margaret River Wine region, after we had not managed to stay there the first time and had only driven past. We got attracted to it due to its fairly substantial marketing in lists such as “the leading small hotels of the world” and various Australian luxury travel publications that seemed to put it into the same category of hotel with the Qualia, Longitude 101 or the Southern Ocean Lodge.

Unfortunately we found (again) that you cannot simply rely on those sorts of publications. Particularly “the leading small hotels of the world” has some great but also some very average places in their program, and the Cape Lodge is certainly one of the latter.

At A$400+ a night, it is considerably overpriced for the little it has to offer – even in the generally hopelessly uncompetitive Australian hospitality environment. The only point going for it was that the room was large; however, it was badly furnished with fixtures that seemed left over from the 80ies, and the bathroom – while again very large – had the charme of a standard Holiday Inn.

We spend a morning roaming around the property and looking for something that would make this place worth the money. I assume the hotel would point towards the park, lake, and the overall ‘Grande’ style. Unfortunately they fell short on each of these dimensions, with the park being a simple large lawn, the lake – which looks really pretty on the marketing brochures – being a dried out puddle, and the overall 'Grande' style being limited to the exteriors of the main house and even that only from one particular angle (ie, the picture above).

Another main attraction for the place was supposed to be the restaurant, apparently one of the best in the region. Unfortunately the lodge continued to underdeliver, with a very dull design that again did not fit the overall style the hotel appeared to try to convey, as well as a very pricy but dull meal that let both me and my wife down. Nothing compared to the average Sydney restaurant, but at top end prices.

Altogether, we left feeling thoroughly ripped off as this place has clearly nothing to show for its very expensive accommodation and food. If you look around the web on pages like "Wotif" there are very nice B&Bs or houses to rent in the area for much less which will give you an overall much better experience.

Room Tip: Dont go there
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  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Stakkato
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
DrewBernhardt, General Manager at Cape Lodge, responded to this reviewResponded 13 April 2012

We are disappointed that your experience at Cape Lodge was not up to your expectations. We do genuinely take on board all comments from our guests and appreciate your feedback.

We strive to deliver a fantastic experience with high quality service and facilities at Cape Lodge and we are very proud of the usual excellent feedback and the accolades we receive from the vast majority of our satisfied guests. As part of our ongoing commitment to upgrade and improve our facilities we are planning a refurbishment and redecoration program of some or our rooms and restaurant over the coming months.

Thank you for your feedback

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2012

This is a carefully thought out combination of very well appointed rooms in beautiful surrounds with privacy. Dinner and breakfast in the restaurant provides a high quality experience with local produce carefully crafted and thoughful staff who provide great service. The location also provides a great bolt hole for exploring all that Margaret River has to offer; however be warned once you travel down the road to the accommodation you may not wish to leave and explore! The only disappointment was that the garden view room did not have a bath!

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Anne Marie H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2012

We used Cape Lodge as a one night filler as we were swapping between houses. We looked forward to this as a luxury treat but the moment we arrived we were more than a bit stunned. Our room – a Forest Suite – is super ordinary. Externally the building is very bulk standard council house architecture - also tired and needs a paint. Indeed a bit of a clean – lots of dead bugs and dirty windows. The room is OK – nothing to moan about but does not feel luxurious. Truly surprised and definitely not value for money.
On the brighter side the view over the mini lake is charming. We sat happily and watched the birds play. Very pleasant. We were in the second block of rooms of this type and did not get the morning sun – the other one did so I would try for that if you like sitting outside in the morning as our balcony was downright chilly at the end of March.
The main reason for coming here however was the restaurant and this did not disappoint. While a tad stuffy – spread out tables, white linen etc. – the service was charming and the food pretty sensational.
This really saved the day for us and for this reason I would come back again. So hotel three stars, restaurant and nature five stars - hence the four.

  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank Fleetcat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Cape Lodge

Address: 3341 Caves Rd, Yallingup, Western Australia 6280, Australia
Region: Australia > Western Australia > Margaret River Region > Yallingup
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 13 Speciality Lodging in Yallingup
Price Range: £174 - £1,240 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Cape Lodge 5*
Number of rooms: 22
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Voted World’s Best of the Best Hotels 2011, Best Boutique Hotel in Australia, World’s Top 20 Vineyard Hotels 2010, Conde Nast Traveller Gold List "Best for Food" 2011 & 2012. Sitting on its own secluded vineyard in the heart of the Margaret River Wine Country is one of Australia’s finest small vineyard Lodges. As you meander down the winding driveway of our intimate country estate you will discover why Cape Lodge was voted Luxury Travel Magazine’s Best Boutique Hotel in Australia and listed in Conde Nast Traveller’s Gold List 2011. Surrounded by stunning forest, lake and parkland scenery Cape Lodge is only minutes away from pristine beaches, coastline and the sparkling waters of the Indian Ocean and neighbors the great Margaret River wine estates of Mosswood, Vasse Felix, Cullen and Pierro. Described as one of Australia’s finest new generation gourmet establishments the multi award winning gourmet restaurant was ranked in the Top Ten in the World for Food and has recently opened a Gourmet Retreat and Cooking School. Cape Lodge features 22 rooms and suites, the executive five bedroom Private Residence, an all weather tennis court and a beautiful free form swimming pool. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Cape Hotel Yallingup
Cape Lodge Yallingup, Margaret River Region, Australia

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