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“Ripped Off and Unhappy”
Review of East on Byron

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East on Byron
Ranked #10 of 34 Hotels in Byron Bay
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 7 November 2012

We booked our accommodation at East on Byron and paid $3,010.00 for 7 nights. On checking in we were asked to sign an Agreement form acknowledging the accommodation rate and replacement costs for lost keys and breakages etc. Attached to this form was an email with the Expedia booking details and quoting a rate for 7 nights at $2,257.50 a difference of $752.50 to what we actually paid. The friendly staff member explained to us that there are 3 different rates, one for 2 nights one for 4 nights and one for 7 nights and the rates reduce the longer you stay. This is logical because the room was only serviced once during the stay.The staff member felt that it was grossly unfair that we were paying a rate that was 30% above the going rate and offered to take the matter up with his Manager.We immediately verified the lower rate on the East on Byron website. We also immediately took the matter up with Expedia who assured me that they would look into the matter of the difference. As you can imagine it is a sickening feeling knowing that someone was making a windfall profit at your expence. The request for a refund was rejected by the Manager at East on Byron. In a telphone conversation she stated we had been given the incorrect rate by her staff (by now 3 staff members had quoted the lower rate). She went onto say that Expedia charge commissions from between 10 and 25% and that it was Expedia who had overcharged us, not withstanding the fact that the difference was in fact 30%. The Manager was very aggressive and took the fact that I was going to tell our story on Trip Advisor as a threat not a right. We continued to deal with Expedia on the matter and our case was finally rejected. Expedia promise a lot and deliver very little. Promised return calls never happen and you keep getting passed around having to retell your story many times. I have a copy of the transaction of the booking between Expedia and East on Byron that clearly shows the rate charged being the lower rate. Between East on Byron and Expedia I don't know who ripped us off but the whole episode is a blight on the tourism industry.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank Whiskers03_12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yvonne M, General Manager at East on Byron, responded to this reviewResponded 2 December 2012

You booked your accommodation at East on Byron through an online booking agent, Expedia.
They are a well known, respected accommodation booking agent. There are many different booking agents on the internet, all of whom offer different products and services. Businesses such as ourselves, rely on these agents. Commissions paid, are confidential and are treated as such by our staff. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have researched thoroughly, and found yourself a deal you are happy with.

When you checked in, you were asked to sign a registration form as all of our guests do. This is common throughout Australia, and probably the world.

You entered into an agreement with Expedia. You paid them the full amount for your accommodation. Expedia pay us.
I do remember our conversation, and I can promise you, I would NEVER discuss commission rates, even if there were any applicable on this booking. This is confidential information.

It is indeed unfortunate that you feel that this is our fault and we are to blame for the way you feel. It is also unfortunate that you deemed it necessary to use boorish behaviour towards myself and my staff on duty that day.
We tried so hard to make you feel better, despite you threatening us, and even offered you an extra free night (which you declined). We were not duty bound to do this, we just believe in great customer service.

As far as I can see, Expedia also offer great customer service. No one has 'ripped you off' and this whole episode, far from being a blight on the tourism industry, illustrates that we all have freedom of choice when booking our holiday components!

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182 - 188 of 264 reviews

Reviewed 3 November 2012

We stayed here not long ago for 3 nights. The hotel (more like resort-style apartments than a hotel, really) is located in a quiet, beautiful location in Byron Bay - just about 15-20 minutes' walk along Belongil Beach to the main town.

Unfortunately though, we had a few negative experiences during our stay here.

After check-in with a friendly and helpful staff member, we found a couple of problems with our apartment - number 13. The drain in the sink in one of the bathrooms was blocked, so every time we washed our hands in it, the water wouldn't drain, so we couldn't use it. Also, the air con wasn't working properly (and considering it was hot in Byron Bay when we stayed there, this was particularly frustrating). The staff member kindly came up to our apartment and tried to fix both issues, but couldn't. He told us since it was a weekend, no one would come out to fix it, so we ended up having to make do with using just one bathroom and opening windows instead of using air con during our stay. This was very disappointing considering the relatively high price we paid to stay here.

Still, the accommodation was very spacious and well-equipped and the staff friendly and helpful - for the most part.

When it came to check-out time, we left our bags in the office with staff while we went out. When we got back, the office was locked, with our bags still inside, with a note on the door advising us to call a mobile number in case of emergency. We kept knocking on the door but no one answered, so, considering needing our bags to board a return flight home constituted an emergency, we called the number. The 'greeting' we received was "How did you get this number?". We explained that we were guests at the accommodation and were standing outside the office with our bags locked inside. Frustratingly, she asked the same question, clearly not happy we had called her. We told her we got her number off the note on the office door. Finally, she had one of her staff come out to open the door (the staff member was in uniform and she wasn't, so we assumed she was the manager) and we were able to get inside and pick up our bags just in time for our airport transfer. While we were in the office, she told the staff member to take her number off the door, saying it shouldn't be there. Not exactly what I would describe as a 'warm welcome', especially not from a manager, if that's in fact what she was.

All in all, a peaceful and enjoyable stay made frustrating at times by a few negative experiences, which unfortunately make me doubt I would stay here again at the price level.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LuckyStar81
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yvonne M, General Manager at East on Byron, responded to this reviewResponded 6 December 2012

We appreciate your review of East on Byron - we are a AAA rated 4.5 star property with a selection of Poolside and Terrace Villas, Beach Houses and Penthouses set in two acres of naturally landscaped gardens that frame a swimming pool. Belongil Beach is a lovely quiet location, you are right.

It is unfortunate that you experienced a couple of problems with your apartment. We tried our best to fix your blocked sink but luckily, your apartment had two bathrooms so you were at least able to use the sink in the second bathroom.

We have a very high standard of maintenance at East on Byron (hence the AAA rating) but occasionally things do break down. We were unable to fix your air conditioning at the weekend but were able to offer you a couple of fans to help keep you cool. Luckily, Byron Bay doesn't get very high temperatures in August as it is our winter.
Unit 13 is a lovely unit and very popular with our guests. All of our units are spacious and well equipped.

We apologise for the fact that you had to wait to collect your luggage, which had been stored in our office, but fortunately, there was a member of staff on hand to give you access to your luggage before the bus arrived to take you to the airport.

We are very glad that you found your stay at East on Byron peaceful and enjoyable despite the maintenance issues you experienced.


The Team at East on Byron

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Reviewed 28 September 2012

We arrived a little early but were given the keys to our accommodation straight away. We stayed in one of the lovely beach houses at the front of the resort which was beautifully appointed over 2 floors and had ample room with one king, one queen and a single bed.
We enjoyed lunch at the Belongil Bistro soon after arriving but then made great use of the barbecue in the outdoor entertaining area of the beach house throughout our stay.
The lovely heated pool and deck area was well used by the whole family (even when there was a problem with the pool heat on the last day of our stay!) with pool toys made available free of charge.
We knew before we booked that we were a little way out of town but we were glad that we hadn't stayed right in the centre of town as we enjoyed the walks along the beach into Byron and even when the tide was in, there was an easy diversion along the road, to avoid getting wet feet.
All in all, we had a lovely stay and would definitely consider staying at East on Byron again.

Room Tip: Beach house 23 seemed to have a slightly larger outdoor area as it was on the end of the block
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Bambam9999999
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 September 2012

We were told that we could check-in from 12pm and so arrived at 12:05 to drop off our stuff to find the office closed. We waited there until after 1pm when the guy came back and checked us in....to what turned out to be the wrong room, so we had to move all our stuff down to a different (worse) apartment!
The rooms were average at best and well over-priced in my opinion (we paid C. $1,000 for 3 nights). I have stayed in a number of "luxury apartments" that are much cheaper and better.
I would not stay here again.

  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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3  Thank Brisbane-007
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yvonne M, General Manager at East on Byron, responded to this reviewResponded 20 September 2012

Thank you for your review. We are really disappointed that you didn't enjoy your stay at East on Byron.
In response to your comments, our usual check in time is 2pm. It is unusual that there was no-one there when you arrived early. When our reception is temporarily closed (usually because staff are tending the pool or assisting other resort guests) there is a sign with a contact number left on the reception door. I have checked with staff on duty that day and they have assured me that they had put the duty number on the door just in case there was an early arrival.
The price you paid (for a Poolside Villa) was very competitive for this time of year. We have just been AAA assessed and inspected and have retained our 4.5 star rating. We are justifiably proud of our gorgeous apartments and high standards.

We hope that we get the chance to change your mind about East on Byron!

Regards
The Team at East on Byron

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Reviewed 5 September 2012

Good location, a bit of a walk, but it is Belongil, and it is generally quiet, and peaceful. Well appointed, even if the fittings are on the cheap side and one of the chairs out the front was rusted through. Would stay here again. But might be a bit noisy on a weekend or in summer.

Room Tip: 23 - the Beach House on the end has no privacy in the dining and kitchen areas. Great if you like sh...
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  • Stayed: August 2012, travelled with family
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Thank anecessaryevil
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yvonne M, General Manager at East on Byron, responded to this reviewResponded 21 September 2012

Thank you for your review of East on Byron. We are glad that you enjoyed your stay. It is a lovely peaceful spot and our guests love the location as it is only a 15 minute walk along the beach to the centre of town.
We have just been inspected by AAA and they have awarded us our 4.5 star rating again so we are a little surprised that you found the fittings '"on the cheap side"". Our apartments are all privately owned and all furnishings were specially chosen to fit in with the resort and the required standard.
Due to our proximity to the ocean, outdoor furniture rusts a little more quickly than other places - we will be sure to replace the rusty chair!

East on Byron, located on wonderful Belongil Beach is rarely noisy. People who stay there just love the peace and tranquility at any time of the week!

We look forward to greeting you again at East on Byron!

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Reviewed 1 August 2012

We stayed in a Terrace Villa for the Splendour festival weekend. East on Byron has a lovely relaxed vibe but the staff are still very professional. The apartment was beautiful and clean, and it's a perfect location for Belongil Fields festivals. The bistro at the front of the complex has delicious food, and again the staff are great. The only downside was that the trundle bed wasn't comfortable, but the resort was happy to refund us the extra $. Would love to visit again!!

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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3  Thank Cristen T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Yvonne M, General Manager at East on Byron, responded to this reviewResponded 3 August 2012

Thank you so much for your lovely Trip Advisor review. We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay at East on Byron during Splendour in the Grass. It is indeed the perfect spot for festivals at Belongil Fields. We pride ourselves on our excellent customer service hence very pleased that you thought our staff looked after you so well.

Please come again!
'LIKE' us on Facebook (Waves Resorts Byron Bay) for a 10 percent discount off your next stay if you book direct!

Thanks again
The team at East on Byron

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Reviewed 6 July 2012

We stayed 4 nights late June in a terrace (upstairs apartment) and very happy.
Checkin - quick and efficient
Room - immaculate, well appointed (TV, DVD, Foxtel, Kitchen, washer dryer etc) and massive for the 2 of us. We also had a roof top terrace which was really nice, could see the ocean or just soak up the sun.
Grounds - very nice gardens, big (but cold) pool and heater Jacuzzi - particularly nice.
WiFi couldnt get it working but all we needed it for was to do checkin for the flight home and reception did this for us on their PC
Town is a easy 10 minute stroll along the beach (careful at high tide) or longer via the road. Great to walk into town and breakfast by the beach (Beach cafe - very good), up to the lighthouse and back via town.
Highly recommended.

Room Tip: For the extra price the terrace (upstairs) are very light and added bonus of roof terrace
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank GordonT
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Management response:Responded 13 July 2012

Thank you so much for your review of East on Byron.
We are delighted that you enjoyed your stay.
The Terrace Villa's really are popular with our guests - the roof top terrace with ocean glimpses are awesome and the interiors really are filled with light. So glad we could help out with your flight check in too!
Belongil Beach has a new restaurant - called the Belongil Bistro. Worth checking out on your next visit!

Many thanks again
The Team at East on Byron

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Additional Information about East on Byron

Address: 35 Childe St, Byron Bay, New South Wales 2481, Australia
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Byron Shire > Byron Bay
Amenities:
Beach Free Parking Kitchenette Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#3 Family Hotel in Byron Bay
#3 Top resorts Hotel in Byron Bay
#4 Spa Hotel in Byron Bay
#6 Luxury Hotel in Byron Bay
#6 On the Beach Hotel in Byron Bay
Price Range: £197 - £376 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — East on Byron 4.5*
Number of rooms: 25
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled amongst the peaceful settings of Belongil Beach, East on Byron is the new style of holidaying in Byron Bay. It is positioned directly opposite the beach and is just a short 15-minute stroll to the town centre. Two acres of naturally landscaped gardens frame a billabong pool. Stunningly appointed and generous in size, these 2 and 3 bedroom villas are set in the most secluded of settings. Perfect for families, groups and couples looking for a relaxed beach vacation. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
East On Byron Hotel Byron Bay
East On Byron Bay

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