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Empire Spa Retreat
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Reviews (354)
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Reviewed 19 June 2007

My husband and I stayed at this retreat two weeks ago for a 2 night stay at $A220 per night. It was WONDERFUL. However note there are two types of rooms, the ones inside the farm house and private ones outside the farm house. We had one of the two rooms inside the farm house which were hotel style rooms and were lovely inside. Furnished really well and nice touches all throughout the room. Included a mini bar, bathroom with shower etc. The bed was really comfortable and the room was very clean with nice bathrobes etc. The farmhouse is about 30 years old ( i think that's what they told us ) and we usually stay at ultra-modern hotels so we were worried to begin with but the modern furniture and decor made the place feel very modern in general.
The farmhouse itself is very modern, beautiful flowers everywhere, a giant couch with firecplace, large dining room, games room with pool table and also a large kitchen which can be used by guests but is also used by the staff to make breakfast for everyone - ie these areas are communal areas.
However just note, if you do stay in the farmhouse bedrooms, there are advantages and disadvantages. We had a very quiet couple next door to us and in fact no one even used all the facilities so it felt like we had the whole place to ourselves. But in the mornings, the staff do make the breakfasts downstairs and you can hear them preparing things although you can tell they are trying to be quiet. This did not affect us at all as we are early risers but it could wake you if you are a light sleeper.
The location of the retreat is wonderful and is set around really beautiful landscapes with ducks walking around which you can feed.
We also had massages at the spa which were very good too.
The breakfasts were absolutely beautiful and the cold food is on buffet and they do up a made-to-order hot cooked breakfast too.
The girls there were so friendly and professional and you could tell they like working there as the whole atmosphere was so happy and relaxed.
Of course there are so many great wineries for dinner but one night we went out to Providores and got a whole heaps of fresh chorizos, marinated products, fresh bread and cheeses and sat in front of that lovely fireplace. We had one couple come down and say hello and it just added to the fun atmosphere other than that, we had the whole place to ourselves. The other lovely touch was that they leave homemade cakes around the dining room so you can pick on during the day.
There is also a spa outside for use, but it was cold when we were there so we weren't game (even though it is heated).
We would definetely stay here again. Last year we stayed at Bunker Bay which was also beautiful (see my review there too) but this was a lot more intimate and relaxing.

7  Thank MimTraveller
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 May 2007

My partner and I recently returned from an almost 3 week trip to Australia and visited the Margaret River area with 2 friends from Sydney. We chose the Empire Retreat partly based upon their research and partly because it is included in the Andrew Harpers Hideaway list--and we've generally had success at those properties in the past. Generally, we stay at Four Seasons-like hotels or comparable boutique hotels if at all possible, all around the world. If we were to visit Margaret River again, we will certainly stay at the Empire Retreat.

The property is definitely unassuming, tranquil, and Asian-inspired in layout. We stayed in a Luxury Villa (A$490),which was reasonably spacious for a hotel room. We had #10, which was the last one, so it offered a fair amount of privacy. It included a bedroom/washroom area as well as a few steps down to a living and dining area with small kitchenette. It was an open floor plan, so there was little separation between the areas other than the steps down to the living/dining areas. The bedroom/bathtub layout was a bit curious, in that there was no privacy from the rest of the room or from each other. There was also an outdoor garden shower. It was definitely different. Because the tub included a showerhead, but wanting to avoid spillage, I actually used the outdoor shower the whole time--and I don't generally like outdoor showers. It was actually quite nice and thrilling for me!

Please understand that although the layout was unusual, we very much liked the room. It also had a large balcony, on which you could sit and look onto the countryside and just take in the vistas. It was a bit inclement when we visited, but we still found a chance to enjoy the balcony from time to time.

Our friends booked a Deluxe Suite (A$380 I believe), #1 at the other end as it were. Their room was more like a traditional hotel room with a bathroom, though they did also have an outdoor shower. Their room was certainly less spacious than ours, so often hung out in our villa room in the evenings.

We arrived late on a Monday night--and be warned, don't do that in Margaret River, since so many restaurants apparently close on Monday night!

Our concierge, whose names eludes me, offered us plenty of advice on restaurants for lunch and dinner, as well as about which wineries we might like to visit. Our friends already had some inkling and I did some added research while there, and together we visited some incredible wineries. I must say, even I was surprised how wonderful some of the wines were--and I was the one who wanted to visit in the first place! We've visited Napa, Santa Barbara, South Africa, Mendoza, and Tuscany and visited lots of wineries at all of those places, and I must say Margaret River really does have some great ones.

Breakfasts were included, and they offered us whatever cooked options we might like to try. They also had some staples items which I didn't bother with, like fruits, breads, meats, etc.

Service was spectacular all-around! We really enjoyed our visit and maybe one of these days we'll make it back!

6  Thank Bill R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 April 2007

Empire gets everything right - the ambience and design, the service and the food are all simply perfect. It was an absolute pleasure to stay here. The service is memorable - Clare has to be oe of the best breakfast waitresses in the world!! (The breakfast itself is also memorable). It's a beautiful place and there are lots of lovely touches everywhere - flowers, cake to serve yourself if you're peckish, well stocked fridge in the room, chocolates, interesting dvd and magazine selection etc. Very good spa - had great massages from Mathew. Altogether lovely restful place to stay - and to return to after enjoying the Margaret River wineries and beaches.

  • Stayed: March 2007, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check-in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
7  Thank FrequentFlyer123
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 March 2007

This sort of place is great value for money, even though it is a bit pricey. At around $300AU a night, it's absolutely worth it.

Rooms are well done and private and most seem to have some enclosed outdoor space.

Service is impeccable, friendly and self assured.

No hesitation in recommending this one.

5  Thank SteveWinter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 August 2006

We booked the Empire Retreat based on a recommendation from a friend, and it is probably one of the nicest - if not the nicest, place we have ever stayed. Although the rooms can be a little pricy, I believe it was worth every penny. You arrive by a winding driveway up to the main house, which is secluded from all neighbouring properties (although only a few minutes from town). The main house has 2 rooms upstairs, although the downstairs is primarily common space for guests. The huge kitchen is available for guests use, as is the BBQ, providing you clean up after yourself. There is a large glassed in dining room, and a large deck just off the dining room, where breakfast is served each morning. Breakfast was unbelievable. There is a large spread of freshly prepared cold foods, pastries and fresh and stewed fruit. In addtion, a hot breakfast is made to order. It took every effort not to eat enough for 4 people!
In addition, freshly prepared desserts, were left out for guests nightly.

Should you want to have someone cook dinner for you, that can also be arranged. We did not take advantage of this, although I wish we had, after wandering in during the preparation of another couples dinner. It looked amazing, and they seemed very happy with it.

The main house also holds a games room , and a TV room with satellite. Outside there is a large covered hot tub, and guests are welcome to roam the property.

The accomodations were also fantastic. Our room was connected to the main house via an oudoor walkway. The room was large and spotless, with a very comfortable bed, and a large deck of the back which faced the property. Although we had a huge 6ft spa tub and shower which overlooked the deck, the best part was the outdoor shower. Totally private from other guests, but right off the private back patio.

The other great part is that Empire Retreat also has a spa on the property. We took advantage of this on our last day, before driving north to Perth.

We used this as our home base while touring Margaret River. The service was top notch, and I would stay here again in a heartbeat.

11  Thank rowercp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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