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“Looks Beautiful, Service Terrible”
Review of Amarna Resort

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Amarna Resort
Ranked #2 of 5 Nelson Bay B&B and Inns
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 15 March 2010

This was a beautiful looking resort and the views were amazing, however we had problems before we even arrived. As there were a lot of emails prior to our visit confirming all dates I thought everything would run smoothly. This was not the case. Just before we arrived I received a phone call to inform me that the massage therapist had arrived and was waiting for me. I informed the receptionist that my massage was booked for the next day. She checked her records and confirmed this. A couple of minutes later she phoned back to say there had been a mistake with the booking and I would need to get my one hour massage either when I arrived or 9am of the morning I was checking out (check out was at 10am). I wasn't offered an apology, late checkout, or anything similar. When we arrived the reception looked like a caravan park. The receptionist, although quite friendly, spoke as though she worked in a caravan park in the bush. Fortunately the massage therapist was still there and we found out that the resort had made another mistake and had her fully booked out the next day for guests that were not even arriving for three weeks so I was able to organise with her to come the next day as planned.
When we got to the room the receptionist spent some time showing us around and explaining things, however she only explained the things we actually had instructions for and not the things we didn't (such as how to work the floor heating in the bathroom, what all of the switches were actually for, etc). A lot of the switches were actually broken.
After about 90 minutes we realised reception was soon closing and decided to go up and ask for our strawberries and champagne (that were meant to be on arrival, and that the receptionist had mentioned she would soon bring up) and our robes that were meant to be in our room.
The king size bed is actually two beds put together, which in most places is generally fine, except that these beds were not very comfortable to the edge so in the middle of the bed there was a large hard bump, which meant you either had to sleep on a bump or sleep completely away from your partner.
The following day we went to laze by the pool for a bit before going out and about. At around 10am the workmen came to tell us we could only swim up one end of the pool for the next 20 minutes as they had just chlorinated the pool. I didn't find this to be appropriate at this time of day.
When we arrived back in our room after going out for a bit our room had apparently been serviced. All this meant was that someone had made the bed. The dishes were still all left, as was the breakfast tray (none of the dishes from this tray had anywhere to go in the cupboards in our room). The floor had also looked like it needed a clean when we arrived and this didn't happen either.
On the website it looks as though you can just walk out to the beach and that there is a lovely garden area. The garden area is there but it is private. To get to the beach you have to go through the neighbouring property where a sprinkler may spray you as you leave.
Overall the pretty looking room did not make up for the experience. If you are going to charge the amount that Amarna charges and not have the facilities on site you need to have the service down pat. Unfortunately they did not. In my opinion there are enough places that have beautiful rooms, a day spa and a restaurant combined with exceptional service. They also cost less.
Hopefully they can improve this soon as the resort is potentially wonderful.

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
6  Thank andyandmarianne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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110 - 114 of 117 reviews

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.

  • Stayed: January 2010, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
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4  Thank Rollagirl
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

  • Stayed: October 2009, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • 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

  • Stayed: December 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
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!

  • Stayed: November 2009, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank nogsy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Amarna Resort

Address: 16 Christmas Bush Ave, Nelson Bay, Port Stephens, New South Wales 2315, Australia
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Port Stephens > Nelson Bay
Amenities:
Beach Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Kitchenette Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 5 B&Bs / Inns in Nelson Bay
Price Range: ₹ 24,908 - ₹ 62,723 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Amarna Resort 5*
Number of rooms: 11
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Set on a secluded beach, the 5 Star Guest Only Amarna Resort offers an oasis for guests searching for a sense of calm in a busy world. Located 2.5 hours north of Sydney and 20 minutes from Newcastle Airport this exclusive guest only luxury beach resort is suitable for couples seeking a memorable experience. Our one bedroom contemporary apartments, accommodating a maximum of two guests [1 king bed], all have panoramic water views and direct access to a secluded beach. Our unique beachfront location boasts a 25m outdoor heated pool and spa, cool sea breezes, breathtaking sunsets plus the opportunity to spot dolphins all within a 10 minute waterfront walk to the township of Nelson Bay. Amarna Resort provides complimentary wi-fi, continental breakfast platter for first morning, kayaks, paddle boards and allocated off street parking. Serviced daily each designer residential style apartment includes Miele appliances in our modern kitchens and laundries, quality linen, bathrobes, beach towels, L'Occitane toiletries, ducted air conditioning and underfloor heating. Concierge is available to organize in room massages, restaurant reservations etc. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Amarna Hotel Nelson Bay
Amarna Resort Nelson Bay, Port Stephens

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