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“Charging for Wi Fire . I was disgusted” 2 of 5 bubbles
Review of Rae's on Wategos

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Rae's on Wategos
Ranked #15 of 32 Hotels in Byron Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Charging for Wi Fire . I was disgusted”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 February 2012

My wife and I booked at Rae's on Wategos due to its reputation for being a first class hotel. Unfortunately the weather at the time was terrible however my introduction to the hotel was being escorted into a dark and damp room with little or no character. I quickly found out that Wi Fi was an additional charge to the high priced room which I found outrageous . How can a hotel of this status expect this to be an additional charge. Overall the hotel is dated and would recommend you stay at the near by Victorias at Wategos

  • Stayed January 2012
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
6 Thank freqtrav042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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199 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
    118
    28
    19
    14
    20
See reviews for
24
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5
Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (32)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 February 2012

Hacienda style 6 room boutique hotel on Australia's most eastern point. Sitting above the Perfect Beach it has everything a discerning traveller could ever wish for. Every room is unique and sumptuous. All have anazing views of cape Byron and that oh so perfect white sandy beach with surfers riding the pacific waves in perfect synchronicity. Impeccable service and some of the best seafood you will ever eat. The staff are out of this world and made us feel at home immediately. Our dinner was served in the round cabana beside the pool candlelit and romantic. What a way to spend your anniversary. Stay at Rae's if you want a home away from home (and exceptionally glamorous) experience.

  • Stayed February 2012
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Lightofhope
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
16 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 February 2012

Most of the reviews posted previously are correct - the good and the bad ones.

Rae's at Watago's is an interesting mix of amazing, and frustratingly inadequate. Its important to point out that we booked last minute and, as there were three rooms available to us to choose from (out of a total of 7), we were able to agree on a discounted rate (1/2 price). Interesting that they had a vacancy rate so low at their ‘peak season’ – as was so often bleated to us upon our negotiations.

The initial room we were given, The Poolside Villa (5), we were not happy with to say the least. It was raining for the most part of our stay and this room had solid shutters over all windows and doorways (no glass or fly screen doors) – meaning when it rained, or you simply wanted privacy, you had to close the shutters entirely. Hence, there was no natural light to both downstairs and upstairs, and siting within a dark den during the day with every light on felt horrible. In fact, the only way to let light in was to open the doors and have, as we experienced, passing spa go-ers, transient/back-packer–style cleaning staff, and guests using the communal pool area peer into our room and noisily hang about. Not only a privacy issue, but we felt a security one as well. After explaining this to management, and after some like-it-or-lump-it attitude (even after they admitted they "knew what we were talking about"), they begrudgingly offered us the Mirabella Penthouse as a peacemaker. This room was unoccupied I might add.

The Mirabella Penthouse is amazing, spacious, reasonably private, and everything you’d expect. A really, really lovely suite. But considering the pricing of Byron Bay as a whole, you certainly pay for it – by a long shot.

At Rae’s, obviously there’s a big difference between the not-so-good rooms, and the great ones. Floor space does not equate to quality. The overall experience of the room does. If you feel like shelling out well above the maximum of even the nearest competitor of Rae’s, go for the better rooms (at a discounted rate), don’t bother with the lesser rooms unless (again) they seriously reflect it in the price they offer you.

Rae’s front of house persona is an approachable, high-end manager named Marion. She dealt with our concerns well, but on her own terms. Vincent Rae himself couldn’t be more unapproachable and arrogant. In a boutique Hotel of this nature you would think that the owner would be interested in their clientele and try to assist where possible. He was not even slightly interested in assisting, or even greeting us while he manned the front office.

However, apart from our accommodation issues, the Hotels location is beautiful. Byron centre is gradually becoming laden with a new type of happy hippies, the assemblage of worldwide ‘try-hard hippies’. You regularly encounter them brushing their teeth in the gutters you run past on your morning run, and while you try to avoid their prickly glare on your romantic post-dinner walk home. Rae’s is comfortably located a few minutes drive away from Byron’s centre at the high-end of town. It’s surrounded by beautiful walks and what we think is the best scenery of the area. The rooms, for the most part, are stylish with an eclectic mix of Balinese, come old-world Hollywood style. They’re cleaned well daily, the beds are comfortable, and it delivers the normal 5-star expectancies.

The best part of Rae's is their restaurant. Although Rae's fish restaurant isn't exploring any molecular gastronomy or other fad, they serve up simple food, flawlessly executed. If Melbourne laid claim to this restaurant, the industry would be a flurry dropping everything, learning how to cook a simple fish to complete perfection as this restaurant does. We dined here many times (5 or 6?) for lunch and dinner, and every time we were served truly great food.

In summary, would I stay here again? Hmm… yes, if we had to go the Byron again for reasons outside of our own will – and if they offered us a good room at a rate reflecting its quality.

Room Tip: Go for a Penthouse or a room facing the beach - nothing less.
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Clumsle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 January 2012

A great hotel that is private, unique & in a fab location! Food beautiful and rooms glorious! Waiting staff are energetic and helpful. Cleaning staff were also pleasant. Pool was a bit cold if you prefer a pool Swim over the beach. Front desk reception staff was a bit matriarch like and stiff but that didn't really affect our overall stay. I would definately stay here again and drink French champagne and enjoy more scrumptious food in the restaurant!

  • Stayed August 2011
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Coco313
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Australia
Level Contributor
136 reviews
47 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 January 2012

We have been to Raes four or so times over the last ten years.
It is a very expensive option but one that we treat ourselves to once in a while.
Don't go if you are stretching the bucks to experience it or I think you will be dissappointed. We love the magical atmosphere of its location and this is why we come here, not for the hotel itself.
The rooms are lovely we have stayed in the Mirabella suite twice, the two bedroom oceanview once and another suite on the second level. All nice well furnished suites.
If you are wanting to feel and be treated special go somewhere else as no-one really does anything at check in that is very welcoming.
When we checked in we were very upbeat but check in was rather dismal and almost a hassle for the woman checking us in she even had to ask us how many where staying, come on there are only seven rooms in the hotel and I'm sure they wern't all checking in that day. We also told her this was our fourth stay, there was no cheery welcome back or a bottle of wine sent up as per the usual with any other accommodation at this level just a blank stare back. Another gripe of mine as with other reviewers is that a full breakfast isn't included in the rate just continental. we spent over $100 each morning for the "extras" ie hot dish plus some coffees and fresh juice all of which was very nice and plentiful. Not that much to pay I know but should be included with the hefty tarriff.
The restaurant is great we ate there twice and couln't fault it and staff down there very friendly. Don't think we'll go back again as we are a bit over it after this last visit. Go if you can afford it, if you can't spend your money somewhere else.

Room Tip: Only go if you get a suite with an ocean view
See more room tips
  • Stayed December 2011, travelled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank pakaxx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
61 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 December 2011

Rae's is in a truly breathtaking location at Watego's Beach. It is the perfect place for a romantic getaway - a long weekend or a few days. It is close enough to Byron Bay for convenience but far enough to be more peaceful. The service is very good and very personal.

The room was enormous with a vast bathroom and gorgeous antique Asian furniture including a very comfy day bed.

Boogie boards, beach chairs, beach cricket, towels and surf boards are all ready to be taken to the beach...

Breakfast is fresh fruit, plunger coffee and breads and pastries. Eggs and other hot foods are available for an additional cost. The restaurant is good, the food was very good and the service excellent.

The criticisms are small. A full breakfast should be included when you are paying these kind of prices. The bathroom had an open window into the bedroom with a Venetian blind only. Fine if you have been together for 20 years but probably a little more confronting if it is your first weekend away together!!!

All in all it is a very lovely and luxurious place to spend a few days and the location can't be bettered.

  • Stayed December 2011
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank LizK3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Mona Vale, Australia
2 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 9 November 2011

My Wife and i recently stayed at Raes. a stroll across the lawn and you were on the beach . the room was luxurious. the staff fantastic. when you were done with the beach there was the superb pool. The place was fully booked but you rarely spotted another guest. We ate at Raes fish resstaurant and enjoyed beautiful fresh seafood. We will be going back.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank jon d
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Rae's on Wategos

Property: Rae's on Wategos
Address: 6 - 8 Marine Pde, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Byron Shire > Byron Bay
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Kitchenette Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool
Hotel Style:
#4 Spa Hotel in Byron Bay
#5 Family Hotel in Byron Bay
#8 On the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay
Number of rooms: 7
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Rae's on Wategos in Byron Bay is Australia's most iconic boutique hotel. Voted one of the world's top 25 hotels by Conde Nast Traveller Magazine, Rae's offers a blissful and unforgettable Byron Bay experience. Our restaurant offers modern Australian cuisine catering for large functions or romantic moments. Our spa is a sacred space of healing at the hands of the highest calibre therapists. Calming curved walls, rich soothing decor, this is the most intimate getaway in a secluded corner of Byron Bay. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Rae`s On Watego`s Hotel Byron Bay
Raes On Wategos Byron Bay

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