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“Fantastic, peaceful, place with super nice hosts.”

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Planula B&B Retreat
Ranked #17 of 35 Byron Bay B&B and Inns
Reviewed 27 October 2012

Great atmosphere for those looking for a ca place away from the city noise, yet 5 minutes drive from Byrom bay. When a smiling host brings warm scones for breakfast, you know you are in a great place.

  • Stayed: October 2012
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1  Thank yossimo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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60 - 66 of 126 reviews

Reviewed 12 October 2012 via mobile

Just reflecting on my recent stay at Planula. Had a fantastic few days. The location is perfect to relax, enjoy the outdoor setting, explore the many attractions of Byron Bay or chill on the beach. It was a special time to share with friends and look forward to my next visit.

  • Stayed: July 2012
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3  Thank KazCI
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2012

What a beautiful experience we had at Planula. If you love the peace and quiet and the sounds of nature then this is the place to stay. We felt like we were living in a rainforest, even though the centre of Byron Bay was only a few kms away. Our hosts Phil and Linda, who are managing the B & B for the owners at present , are two of the most friendly people we have ever met. We were happy with our accommodation which was very clean and comfortable. We could lie in bed and watch the stars and in the morning we could watch the birds flying by. Phil's white chocolate and raspberry muffins, which he bakes fresh every morning, are to die for, as is the fresh bread he bakes overnight. What we liked most of all was that our hosts were not checking in on us all the time, as we do like our privacy. A continental breakfast was set up in the kitchen each morning which we could enjoy at our leisure in peace and quiet. we stayed at Planula for two nights, and can't wait to go back to enjoy what nature has to offer at this beautiful retreat.

Room Tip: Ask for the spa room
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank bill m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 October 2012

I was very disappointed with this place.
According to the website, the planula retreat is a bed & Breakfast but it’s a backpacker. I was very disappointed.
The booking
On the website, the owners are Tim and Wandy and some comments on TripAdvisor say that they are very nice. When I received the confirmation by e-mail, it was signed by Phil and Linda who are apparently the new owners. The website is not up to date.
The arrival
We arrived in a nice place, in the middle of the nature. The first impression was ok We then met the owner who just after saying hello asked us how we wanted to pay. We really had the impression that our money was welcomed but not us. We had paid for 1 night at the moment of booking and had to pay for the 2nd, 2 minutes after we arrived. That was the first time we thought we were not in a B&B. In a B&B, you see your hosts, and you pay when you leave. It’s was not very welcoming.
The Room
The room was old but it was ok. The problem was that it was very small. We were travelling for 3 weeks and we had 2 big suitcases that we could almost not put into the room. The bed need some upgrade.
The bathroom was ok.
The were some insects in the room and big spiders in the house. For Australians it may be normal but as European we were scared.
As there were a lot of wind, the house was very noisy. The number of insects also didn’t help to sleep.

Breakfast
Awful. In our trip, we stayed in many B&B and the breakfast was always the best part. It’s always a moment where you can discuss with your hosts and receive advises for the day. We didn’t see the owners. We were alone. The breakfast had been prepared the day before. Everything was on the table but there was no more juice, the butter was a big pack which was dirty. We didn’t know where the coffee was.

Price
We paid 175$ which compared to all other bed & Breakfast we stayed was by far the most expensive. It was also by far the worse.
Room small, breakfast awful, hosts there only to receive the money.

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank travelfly79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
planula, Owner at Planula B&B Retreat, responded to this reviewResponded 12 October 2012

We are sorry to hear that you did not enjoy your stay at Planula Retreat and we take your comments very seriously. We love to make sure that all our guests have a great stay.

The first thing we would like to rectify though is we - Tim and Wandy - are still the owners and our web site is completely up to date with recent images and a direct booking and availability button. Linda and Phil are managing Planula during our absence from the business. As you might appreciate we would only leave our business that we have built up over the last 10 years in more than capable hands. Our experience with both Linda and Phil is that they are very capable, skilled and professional people who care a great deal for our guests and our Retreat. So far we have only received wonderful feedback from our guests and it came as a surprise that your experience with them was so different.

We try to keep the indoors of Planula insect and spider free by using a professional pest control business and all our doors and windows have fly screens. Of course we cannot give a 100% guarantee that there will not be any insects or spiders inside at any time, especially considering our lush surrounds in a rainforest area. It would have been no problem to have taken care of anything that might have found their way into your room. We are sorry that you felt you could not mention it to Linda and Phil in order for them to take care of it, rather you just left a note mentioning noise and too many insects when you departed.

We serve an extensive continental breakfast at Planula - as advertised - and we ensure that we use quality ingredients only. An excellent ground coffee (or high quality instant if you prefer) and at least 10 different teas are set out in the kitchen on a table at the breakfast area for our guests to use at any time of the day, located right next to the kettle. An unlimited supply of individual fruit yoghurts, different breads and freshly home-baked muffins were available for you as well. That the juice jug was empty was an oversight indeed, and for this we apologise, but additional cold juice was available in the fridge in the kitchen area where breakfast is served.

Linda and Phil might have been busy with other guests at reception or with organising the chores for the day when you sat down for your breakfast. Just like us they generally are in and out of the breakfast area making sure all is fine, people can talk to them and ask information on tours etc, but at the same time giving our guests privacy to just quietly enjoy the start of the day, and meet with our other guests.

The room you stayed in is our smallest room. Our other four rooms are larger and people can choose to book those, but they are slightly more expensive. Our prices are very much in line with other 4 star Bed & Breakfasts in the area and in our opinion represent excellent value for money.

Taking the money up front is a standard business practice we decided on and most of our B&B colleagues in Byron Bay do the same. When people extend their stay or book activities with us they generally pay when they depart if that is what they prefer. It is regrettable this practice made you feel uncomfortable, but it is quite hurtful suggesting that we are only interested in the money.

Again, we are sorry if you expected something more traditional and felt you needed to put a review like this on-line rather than speaking to Linda or Phil about your concerns and giving them the opportunity to make sure you would have enjoyed everything we and Byron Bay has to offer. Now we have six unhappy people who all would have preferred a very different outcome.

Tim & Wandy Hochgrebe (owners)
Linda & Phil Cash (current managers)

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 October 2012 via mobile

Attending a friends birthday on such a busy weekend at Byron Bay, we were very grateful to be able to return to 'Planula' & it's peaceful setting.
We arrived quite late in the day & we were met by a very friendly Linda who made us feel instantly relaxed & ready for our long weekend.
The shared kitchen, lounge & deck area are great to make a quick snack or talk with other travellers. The freshly baked muffins each morning were amazing, thanks Phil!!!
I have read the negative comments that have been posted & am amazed at what some people expect from a B&B. If you want 5 star service go to the Byron at Byron, if you want a relaxed homely experience with friendly personal treatment go & stay at Planula. Thanks Linda & Phil, we enjoyed a lovely relaxed weekend. Deb & Lindi

  • Stayed: September 2012
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1  Thank Deb1111
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2012

Had an excellent 10th Wedding anniversary in Byron Bay. Planula were so accommodating and received us warmly. Buddha Gardens for some pampering for my wife and I, Circus school for my wife, Whale watching for both of us as well as some beautiful dinners in town.
We loved relaxing in the spa bath sipping wine while looking out the window at the beautiful nature.

Room Tip: Go the Spa bath room for sure.
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Phillip N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 September 2012

Great for our two day break. Private nice room, and spa bath. Awesome to have breakfast included and the kitchen available for guests to use freely. Guests lounge and outdoor area is lovely. Excellent location out of town. Would definately stay again!

  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank klilly80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Planula B&B Retreat

Address: Lot 1, Melaleuca Drive | PO Box 1753, 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 Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #17 of 35 B&Bs / Inns in Byron Bay
Price Range: £99 - £139 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Planula B&B Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 5
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Planula Retreat offers beautiful accommodation set on over 50 acres amongst tropical landscaped gardens just over 3km from the centre of Byron Bay. You will love the relaxed atmosphere created in this modern B&B style retreat. We are the only true remaining oasis that close to town! Unwind on the extensive decks around the house overlooking the frog pond and enjoy the lush gardens. How about listening to the birds and frogs over a BBQ at night? Extensive continental breakfasts are included in all rates. FREE wireless fast broadband everywhere. Friendly hosts and great recommendations. ... more   less 
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