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“Not awful and not wonderful”

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Briars Country Lodge & Inn
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Bowral
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“Not awful and not wonderful”
Reviewed 5 March 2012

My husband and I stayed one night - for a little get away from Sydney and found the room to be a little tired and dated. I think it's rated 4* and for that I don't expect the TV to be bolted to the cabinet or plastic signs screwed to the walls telling me to turn the lights off - it was just missing a little bit of luxury that I wanted. The bed seemed a little small and not very comfortable. The surroundings are nice enough - but still worn out - the benches by the pond are full of moss and the tennis courts look unusable. I'm not a snob or fussy - but I was a little disappointed and wouldn't choose to stay there again. It wasn't awful - but it wasn't wonderful either. The actual pub and restaurant attached is really lovely with fireplaces and character - but the food over priced - tasty but overpriced. I just think it needs a little more tender love and care then it would be a lovely place to stay. The ducks are very cute!

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank jomasey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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274 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (69)
Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Sydney
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 February 2012

After reading some negative reviews about this property and the service I was unsure about booking but seeing as they allow just a one night stay on weekends and had a special on I thought one night wont kill us.

We headed up to the Southern Highlands as we wanted to visit our favourite restaurant at the Centennial Vineyards and make a weekend of it with our son and we were not disappointed...actually we were VERY pleasantly surprised.

Perhaps because we expected so little we actually very impressed. We are normally very fussy. I worked in the travel industry for over 10yrs and have travelled the world extensively both for work and pleasure. We've stayed up in the Southern Highlands previously but usually at Peppers Manor House or other properties.

My 4yr old son is quite spoilt only ever having stayed in large 5* resorts in suite rooms or apartments, so we got a few giggles from his remarks as this was his first stay in a hotel room.

His bed was a fold out sofa so when we entered the room and he saw his bed, he asked where the lounge room was. I explained that this area was the lounge room and showed him that his bed was a fold out lounge. He thought it was rather funny, laughed and said, "I can't sleep in the lounge room, where's my bedroom?" and went off looking for his bedroom.

Time for his evening shower or bath and today he'd opted for the shower. Entering the bathroom and seeing a bath, he remarked that the bathroom had no shower. I explained there was a shower and again he came out saying, "No there's no shower, only a bath." He had never seen a shower inside a bath tub (only the two separate). Anyway this gives you an indication of our usual standards....however we all found the property so much better than we had thought it would be.

Driving into the property was lovely. The grounds were beautiful. Well manicured. It all looked terrific. The helpful lady at check in, greated us kindly, checked us in and was very friendly. Offered us a free paper for the following morning (a lot of 5 star places dont even offer this service anymore), explained that a buffet breakfast was included and asked if we wished to make a dinner reservation at the adjoining pub. We were so full from lunch I wasnt sure how we'd manage dinner but she advised making one as it often books out on weekends and we could simply cancel it if we wished.

We then checked into our room. The property has approx 30'ish room that are split level and all rooms lead out onto a grass area with views over a lovely pond/gazebo. Very peaceful and beautiful. The rooms were tastefully decorated, simple and quite modern for an older style property.

Our 4yr old slept on the prepared fold out sofa and we had the 'comfortable' King bed. All the standard ammenties included - coffee/tea/minibar/toilettries/ironing board/hair dryers, etc.

We were very happy with the accommodation. We knew from the beginning this was no 5* property and I've stayed in some 5* properties that Briar's Lodge could put to shame.

If I had to nitpick, it would purely be 'nitpicking' for something to say but again I emphasise this is not a 5* property so the nitpicking really isn't warranted. The bathrooms are a bit tired. They still use shower curtains. As the bathrooms are only 1/2 tiled up the wall - it was a bit dusty on the walls. Very basic plastic toilet seats...but seriously I wasnt expecting 5star so it was all fine. The shower pressure was AMAZING! Loved it.

The air con was pretty noisy (very old systems) but hey it did the job.

The rooms were clean/comfortable. The patio outside your room had a fabulous view and it was great to simply walk out to the grassed area (room for our 4yr old to run!). Very peaceful and pretty.

Resort facilities included, tennis courts, walking around the grounds/lake, lounge area near the lobby. They even had a very old/run down four hole putt putt course which staff happily provided a putter and golf balls for and made Master 4yr old happy.

We went over at 6pm for dinner to the attached Briar's pub which is very quaint. They were just lighting big fire pits outside which was lovely. Inside is an alcove of different little rooms. A lovely old country pub. Outside was a lovely modern feel with big terrace/deck and just beneath a large fenced sand playground with slippery dip/swing / climbing equipment for kids. (under a shade cloth). Perfect for parents to enjoy sitting on the terrace and have the kids play.

We were still so full from lunch that we purchased a child's meal for our son and my husband and I shared an entree of salt n pepper squid. It was very tender and enjoyable. The other meals we saw come out all looked fine. Prices for the meals seemed quite steep for a pub $18 entree soup of the day, $30+ steaks that you cook yourself....but it didnt affect us as we only ordered the two meals. The drinks were standard pricing and various choices of wines and beers on tap available The service was very efficient and friendly and we had a lovely time.

Breakfast was served in the same area of the pub the following morning and again we expected very little but to our surprise there were plenty of choices. Various types fresh breads and preserves. Various cereals to please everyone (nutrigrain, muesli, weetbix, cornflackes, rice bubbles, selection of fresh fruits, selection of dried fruits, variety of nuts, various teas, coffee pot or pay extra at the coffee bar for cappucino's etc. Bacon, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, mushrooms, tomatoes, beans. Apple, Orange and Pineapple juices. Way more than what we had expected.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and would definitely stay again.

  • Stayed February 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank MattAndMel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 January 2012

My partner and I spent one very nice night here, shortly after Christmas 2011. We booked the Romance Package, which proved to be good value. As well as the champagne and chocolates (neither of which we actually felt like at the time, so scoffed back at home) it included a two course dinner. We opted for the entree and main (but could have had main and dessert). The entrees would have been enough food - they were huge and the mains (not suprisingly) huger still. We went the seafood, not being red or white meat eaters and three of the four dishes were excellent; the other was badly missing something. Although it was very, very busy the queue to order (this being a bistro set up) wasn't too bad and the food arrived quickly. The historic pub environment was not intimate or quiet, but a good place to be all the same.

The room was very clean and spacious and afforded a very nice view of the duck pond. They were plenty of pleasantly behaved ducks in attendance. It was agreeably dark and quiet. The only criticism of the room was that the shower was very finicky - not enough pressure and almost impossible to find the right balance - there was nary the faintest twist of the wrist between Artic freeze and Venutian scorch.

All up, this was a nice place to spend the night and worth a visit for anyone keen on being in the Southern Highlands (it is only a few minutes to Mossvale, Bowral and Mittagong).

  • Stayed December 2011, travelled as a couple
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Helpful?
1 Thank Sproogle77
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Forbes, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 5 January 2012

We stayed at Briars for just one night, so we could visit the Bradman Cricket Museum. What a shame we didn't book for longer! The room was amazing, beautiful king size bed with crisp white linen, plump pillows. Good airconditioning, clear television reception on a flat screen. Lovely outlook from french doors opening out to a view of ducks on the pond. A short stroll up the driveway was the Inn, where we had a fantastic meal. I had slow cooked pork belly and my husband had a steak - both well cooked and beautifully presented. We enjoyed our meal outdoors on the deck under a wisteria covered arbour. A very nice place to stay, quiet and private. I would definately recommend this to all, and would stay there again myself and check out more of the attractions of Bowral.

  • Stayed January 2012, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
4 Thank Amiens73
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
33 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2011

We stayed here as part of a Wedding party for the weekend.

The Place was OK. I would have preffered to stay somewhere nicer though.

Everything here was old and a bit rundown - which I suppose some people may feel is "quaint and rustic" - however I didn't think it was very nice.

The grounds are pretty, and the rooms were clean and tidy. They do a good job of making them look modern.

The onsite restaurant is really a pub - don't expect anything more and you will be fine.

We booked a function room in the pub the night before and had a big dinner with the bridal party and guests, and so we had table service, however my understanding is this was not the norm. Food was of a decent pub quality. However about 5 people were ill the next day and our theory is they may have had a touch of food poisoning as they all had the same stuff, however we do not know this for sure.

  • Stayed November 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank rbtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Briars Country Lodge & Inn

Property: Briars Country Lodge & Inn
Address: Briars Meadow 653 Moss Vale Rd, Bowral, New South Wales 2576, Australia
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Southern Highlands > Bowral
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 9 Hotels in Bowral
Price range (per night): ₹ 6,793 - ₹ 12,334
Hotel Class:4 star — Briars Country Lodge & Inn 4*
Number of rooms: 31
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Briars Country Lodge And Inn
Briars Country Hotel Bowral
Briars Country Lodge & Inn Bowral

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