THE BEST VALUE ON LUXURY ACCOMMODATION
The last twenty years have seen the bed and breakfast industry
explode into popularity, and in many ways Victoria has taken the
ball and run an extra mile with it. But rying to rate a B&B or any of the smaller luxury accommodation properties is a minefield. And anyway, how can you possibly rate hosting? Certainly not, in my opinion, by a brief visit to complete a pointscoring form. Yet bad hosting can ruin your weekend if you happen across a Basil Fawlty
Literally thousands of beds are available in everything from
traditional “in-house” B&Bs to cottages, revamped
country pubs and small luxury hotels. Pick a popular location
in the state and there’s likely to be something suitable
nearby; but don’t expect prices to suit the fiscally challenged
- you’ll rarely pay less than $150 a night in a decent B&B,
and you can pay over $650.
By all means check out the cheap prices on one of the last-minute websites - but do remember that in some cases, booking with these will often get you the lowest grade room, the noisy one, the one with no view, the smallest in the house, etc etc. This sort of thing is beyond the control of the last-minute sites.
I think one of the most important things to do is phone and speak to the host, to make sure you know what you're getting. Hotels and motels may have peas-in-the-pod rooms but many other accommodation types have a variety of rooms - some larger, maybe a spa, kitchenette, courtyard, great view and so on. Personal recommendation is often the way to go - someone who's been there before you. Next best is this website - I've been there before you, to test the waters.
So, what is the best B&B in Victoria? There’s no single
answer to the question. Couples and families have diverse expectations for their weekends away, and we all know some horror stories by trusting adverts. Apart from the Australian Places website, there’s no truly
independent guide available.
Getting the best deal for a Great
Choose a property off the Australian Places site, call the hosts and ask if there are any specials available. You may know what the last minute websites are doing. Put 2+2 together. Simple as that. With a couple of very fine exceptions, in general they can do a whole lot better than rack rate, especially in these dire economic times!!!
In advance you've decided -
· what you want to do when you get there (romantic
weekend, see the sights, etc)
· how much of a battering your credit card endure.
Some really great places listed here are only about $160 per night.
Splash out by all means, but some super-luxury retreats can be
so grandiose that they're actually less relaxing...but, if it's
a very special occasion go ahead. Choose carefully!
· whether you want self-contained (cook for yourself?), B&B
with hosts cooking brekky, or boutique hotel with breakfast in
the dining room. Where are the local
· how far you want to travel? For a relaxed weekend,
places within two hours of home are the best bet. If you can squeeze
in an extra day, or leave work early on Friday, travel times of
3-4 hours still make for a great weekend away. Beyond that distance, aim
for a mini-break of 3 days or more.
· what room or property facilities you require. Guest rooms
on this site have ensuite, heating, a/c and all the little trimmings
(in most cases)...but do you want a spa, pool, gym, golf course,
or solitude in the bush where neither hosts nor other guests are visible?
If you can travel mid-week, or at the "last minute"
you can often save heaps – some places on this site offer mid-week rates or multiple night stays lower than weekend rates. I have experienced instances where enquirers have called at the last minute and got very, very good rates just because the property isn't full. Some hosts will throw-in worthwhile extras to seal the deal.
It's better than a last minute website where your
great deal might get you the lower-graded rooms in the house. Offer
cash if possible.
Hosts from hell and paper-thin walls still exist, but
thankfully they’re rarely seen these days. Expect good
hosting, high standards of hygiene and ensuite or private bathrooms in every
place listed on this site. Disappointed with an Australian Places property? Email me and I will follow up your concern.
I've reviewed over 800 B&Bs and various accommodation properties during the last 20 years, so
it should be easy to nominate the best. Even "100 best" would exclude
some favourites. Instead, this site presents a cross-section
of highly commended places to stay which are clean, well run by good hosts, and are in interesting locations.
For the past
25 years Peter Robinson has travelled far and wide but Australia,
being home, is his first love. As an experienced travel writer
and professional photographer, his wealth of knowledge is revealed
in travel and accommodation reviews that have freelance integrity
and honesty. The main focus of this site is to present brief reviews
of a select group of places to stay for the weekend. Each place
has been visited at least once and evaluated for high standards
before inclusion - and after reviewing over 800 places Peter has
done the hard work so you can enjoy Great