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Reviewed 8 January 2010

I had booked three nights' accommodation for my honeymoon. I had informed the resort months back it was our honeymoon and asked if they could accommodate us accordingly.

When we arrived however, we were given a room which was on ground floor, with a full-glass wall right next to the main walking thoroughfare for other guests to enter the pool or walk to their own villas. This meant we had two options: leave the blinds up so we could see the view and have absolutely zero privacy for our entire stay, or leave the blinds closed and sit in a dark room the whole time we were there.

For the exorbitant price tag, neither was appealing, so we cancelled our booking and found other accommodation that suited our requirements for much less.

Pros: The staff were extremely apologetic and gave us a full refund.
The rooms are very nice - all mod cons, giant TV mounted on the wall, great bathrooms, etc.

Cons: The website is extremely misleading. From looking at it you would think it's a secluded, private location, only to arrive and find it's a crowded beach and the resort is crammed in on all sides by other rental units and houses. I even saw people who were locals coming in to use the private pool.

Unless you request a 2nd story room and don't mind the exorbitant price, I would suggest you would get better value for your money elsewhere in Port Stephens, even if the apartments aren't quite as plush.

Date of stay: January 2010
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
4  Thank Christine K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2009

OVERVIEW:

The Amarna Beach Resort is a brand new apartment complex set on a secluded white sand beach near Nelson Bay.

The property is comprised of 11 luxury suites in three buildings and is set directly on the beautiful Dutchmans Bay Beach.

Sadly our itinerary would only allow us to stay here one night but the location really is perfect and I would recommend a staying at least two nights (the owners normally insist on a minimum booking of two nights).

THE SUITES:

We stayed in a beautiful one bedroom ground floor suite for AUD 395 per night including breakfast.

The open plan living area included a beautiful kitchen equipped with Miele appliances, a dining area and well furnished sitting area with 46 inch plasma TV and DVD player, as well as complimentary broadband access. A separate laundry room led off the kitchen.

The bedrooms featured a king size bed and had a lovely ensuite bathroom with separate bath and walk-in shower.

Both the living area and the bedroom had their own private balconies.

FOOD & DRINK:

A breakfast tray including fruit, muesli and yoghurt was delivered to our door early in the morning and we supplemented this with a selection of fruit juices, cheese and cooked meats we had purchased in the local supermarket.

The nearby town has a good choice of places to eat, but be warned most close by 8pm – 9pm in the evening, so eat early!


POOL:

The property features a superb 25 metre outdoor pool and a lovely heated whirlpool.

Steps lead down from the pool (via a security gate) to the beautiful white sand beach.

SUGGESTIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT:

The booking process was more painful than it ought to have been and we exchanged a total of ten messages (largely asking us to provide information which had been given in previous messages) before everything was confirmed.

The suites would benefit from the addition of a docking station for an ipod / iphone / MP3 player.

THINGS TO DO:

Take to 1km walk along the beachfront bridal path from Dutchmans Bay Beach to Nelsons Bay. The path is not well lit at night, so if you plan on walking in to town for dinner, take a torch.

Hire a 4 x 4 and drive on the sands at Stockton Beach. A three day permit can be purchased for AUD 10 at the local filing station. Don’t forget to let some of the air out of your tyres and follow the safety rules!

OUR COMPLETE ITINERARY:

Sydney: Park Hyatt (H)
Blue Mountains: Lilianfels (H)
Blue Mountains: Trek with Life's an Adventure (O)
Nelsons Bay : Amarana Beach Resort (A)
Port Macquarie: Quality Inn HW Boutique (H)
Coffs Harbour: Promised Land Cottages (A)
Byron: Byron at Byron (H)
Gold Coast: Palazzo Versace (H)
Airlie Beach: The Peninsula (A)
Whitsunday Islands: Coral Trekker (O)
Hamilton Island: Qualia (H)
Darwin: Sky City (H)
Litchfield National Park: Adventure Tours (O)
Kakadu National Park: Adventure Tours (O)
Ayers Rock (Uluru) & The Olgars (Kata Tjuta) National Park: Longitude 131° (H)
Perth: The Richardson (H)

(H) = Hotel (A) = Apartment (O) = Other

Date of stay: October 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
1  Thank Adventura1405
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 20 December 2009

OK , first things first - this is not a hotel. It's like staying in an apartment. There's no facilitires, no concierge, no reception, etc etc. That said, things happen. Sheets get changed daily, light breakfast arrives. Pool is kept clean. This is probably the only place to stay in Nelson's Bay if you want a 5* family trip. We had the 4 bedroom wit extended family. Everything works, right down to heated pool and heated towel racks. Only possible complaints could be (a) expensive and (b) no restaurant. That said, the kitchen is awesomely kitted out. The final word? Come and stay , but ignore the hyperbole of other reviewers

Date of stay: December 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
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1  Thank asia6666
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 November 2009

We loved the Amarna. We stayed in a 1 bed apartment for 3 nights with our baby and couldn't have wished for a better place. The room itself is really well done, very modern with high quality finishes throughout. Great touches like the Miele coffee machine and deep bathtub make it feel really luxurious. We had a ground floor apartment with a deck that opened straight onto the pool. While it was perfect for us with a baby, the ground floor location did lack some privacy as people around the pool can see into the apartment. The pool itself was really lovely, and there was a massive spa too.

Excellent location - there is a staircase from the pool leading straight onto the beach. The beach was very kid-friendly, no waves and lovely clear water. It was a 10 minute walk to Nelson Bay town, either along a beach track or by road (don't take the beach road at night, there is absolutely no lighting!)

Breakfast is great, warm muffins and fresh fruit, yoghurt and muesli delivered to the door, with the days paper. Service was wonderful and understated, the staff were all very friendly and happy to help, but stayed out of the way of guests.

Compared with other places in the area, this was excellent value for money. We can't wait to return!

Date of stay: November 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled with family
    • Value
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    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank nogsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 November 2009

The minute one arrives at Armana Resort there is a feeling of calm. The rooms are lavishly and elegantly appointed. Every possible modern requirement is addressed for your comfort. Breakfast and newspapers are quietly left at your door. Beautifully presented with fresh exotic fruit, muesli, yoghurt and oven fresh muffins that melt in your mouth! The view is stunning. Italian coast? Sardinia? French Riviera? No Dutchman's Beach. My tip is to take your own provisions for lunch and dinner the ammenities are unsurpassed. Seriously you will not want to leave once you arrive. I slept 11 hours everyday in comfort and total quiet. The swimming pool and spa is outstanding. Gorgeous!!

Date of stay: November 2009
  • Trip type: Travelled solo
    • Value
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    • Service
Thank SydneyMerimbula
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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