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“Penthouse Perfect!”
5 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
Mullumbimby, Australia
1 review
“Penthouse Perfect!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 May 2012

What a perfect venue for a party! Just celebrated a friends 40th last week in Penthouse 1 after a fantastic meal in the fish cafe. Highly recommended to anyone seeking something a little different from the norm in a magic setting.

  • Stayed May 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Maz S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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206 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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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 (34)
Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Bali
Level Contributor
15 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 May 2012

I stayed here for the night before my wedding, and my wedding night. We stayed in the Penthouse which was amazing, it was large and had two very good sized bedrooms. The decor was lovely, and the views were amazing. We didnt see the standard room, so i can't comment on how they are, but the penthouse was perfect for the bridal party getting ready, photos, and a luxurious treat for the wedding night.
Breakfast was fantastic, and food in their restaurant was lovely. The only complaint I have, is that the older lady from reception seems very cold and unwelcoming. I found her to be quite rude, and also found she had an "I think I'm better than you" attitude..

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Rebecca K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
40 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 April 2012

Stayed at Raes in January hoping for an unbelievable experience due to the charges per night and the glossy website. Should have checked with trip advisor! I am writing this as I am horrified as someone has recommended it in this months Qantas magazine within the article about Byron Bay. Overpriced, tired, musty and dark - save your money, I would only recommend this if someone wanted to be a part of a faulty towers episode!

Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
17 Thank 66JJ
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 April 2012

Rae's is a fabulous looking building - from the outside! Inside it's quite clear the glory days have past. We stayed in the late March to celebrate my husbands birthday. I don't think we have ever paid so much for a hotel room - not even in a boutique slick hotel in New York (The Standard) or the iconic Peninsula in Singapore where the service extends to collecting you from the airport in a rolls! Well forget service - our room, the Batavia room, was large and luckily more airy than our friends below in the dark and dank and smelly room. Our bathroom was tiny, the toilet, (plastic) pretty much adjacent to the king sized bed and separated by a rickety bali style sliding wooden door. No fan or ventilation meant it was unwise to shut the door when showering - the toiletries supplied were unbelievably budget and there was no space at all to even unpack a razor and deodorant let alone make-up!. By contrast a ridiculous marble "bath" kind of more a dirty uncomfortable square pool was fitted with an over head shower. Service was pretty well non existent, aside from the fact that they made your bed. Turn down service is a chocolate on your pillow - dirty dishes from your tea service left untouched, shutters left wide open, and if you ask for a drink to be delivered to your room, be prepared that you may have to fetch it yourself. Requests like some nibbles, chips or nuts to accompany a drink - well they just don't have them! Why not go to the mini bar you ask? Well because there isn't one! Nothing - just a little tetra pack of long life milk and the nearest shop is a car drive away ! Breakfast, a nice fruit salad and breads are delivered to your room but as we were there with friends they did us the favour of letting us meet in the restaurant and order a hot breakfast. Amazingly we had to order our hot food the night before and come breakfast none of us got to eat at the same time - even the sides of spinach and mushrooms came before the eggs - and my husband who ordered ham with his eggs was simply told - we havent any. What was the point of ordering the night before! Fortunately with friends in tow we all managed to laugh about our Faulty Towers stay, but be warned fellow travellers - you can do far better with your dollars than this - spend it where they care.

  • Stayed March 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
16 Thank Dee B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
11 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
6 Thank freqtrav042
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • 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 28 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
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Clumsle
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:
#5 Spa Hotel in Byron Bay
#5 Family Hotel in Byron Bay
#7 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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