Places travel news forum
take a moment to leave your own comments or news items relating
to travel, accommodation and any tourism related services in Australia. For
spam-free contact with Peter Robinson, click
here. Your helpful comments, published here, can benefit travellers, guests
2009 AS A RESULT OF A COMPLAINT FROM THE AUSTRALIAN TOURISM ACCREDITATION PROGRAM (THE YELLOW TICK) ABOUT MY WHAT'S WRONG WITH STAR RATINGS FEATURE, PUBLISHED IN AUSTRALIAN TRAVELLER MAGAZINE OVER THREE YEARS AGO, I HAVE REMOVED IT FROM MY WEBSITE IN ORDER TO PREVENT LEGAL ACTION.FROM ATAP.
THE THRUST OF MY ARTICLE WAS THIS - DO VARIOUS RATINGS SCHEMES ADDRESS THE NEEDS OF GUESTS AND RAISE THE OVERALL QUALITY AND STANDARD OF TRAVEL ACCOMMODATION IN AUSTRALIA? I MUST LEAVE IT TO ACCOMMODATION OPERATORS AND GUESTS TO FORM THEIR OPINIONS ON THE VALUE OF STARS, TICKS, DOTS AND INDEED, SMILEY FACES OR LACK THEREOF.
MY INTENTION IS TO HELP IMPROVE THE OVERALL STANDARD OF TOURIST ACCOMMODATION WITHOUT LEGAL OFFENCE TO ANY PERSON OR ORGANISATION. I BELIEVE THE CORRECT TACTIC TO IMPROVE TOURISM ACCOMMODATION IS TO INITIATE OPEN AND FRANK DISCUSSION BETWEEN PARTIES. B&B OPERATORS SHOULD VERY CAREFULLY CHECK THE COST AND REAL BENEFITS OF JOINING SUCH A SCHEME. ATAP IS A PROFIT-MAKING ORGANSIATION AND THEIR COSTS OF MEMBERSHIP ARE NOT CLEARLY DISPLAYED ON THEIR WEBSITE.
ATAP HEADS THEIR WEBSITE PAGE WITH "WHAT'S WRONG WITH PETER ROBINSON?' Clearly, I'm big news in their eyes!!!
October/November 2011...I've just returned from a trip from hometown Melbourne to South Australia, stopping at Renmark, Flinders Ranges and the Eyre Peninsula. What a mixed bag of accommodation I encountered! At renmark I stayed at the highest star-rated hotel/motel on the banks of the Murray River: looked modern but inside it was very run down with grubby carpet, old bathroom, old and dirty painted walls and filthy windows. The restaurant served fairly good food - a great steak - and fortunately the bed was comfy. In the Flinders I stopped at Rawnsley Park Station and viewed their newish eco-lodges which I heartily recommend. Further north I spent 2 nts at Arkaroola - love this place for its scenery, flora & fauna, and geology, but the place is looking a bit tired and needs a good lick of paint. Stayed in the "best rooms" where I found some comfort but the bathroom was a bit old. Meals just ok, even allowing for the transport to this remote area. On the Eyre Pensinsula I stayed at the Port Lincoln Hotel which was very nice and near-new. Recommended. At Elliston I stayed at the Motel/Apartments (only one in town) which were clean tho basic. Lovely, rugged coast along here and you should make a point of doing side roads to ocean beaches with their pristine waters - no wonder the fishing's great. Overall, I found the accommodation rating system needs a thorough makeover - staying in Australian hotels & motels is very much a hit and miss affair. Sad!!! We have such a wonderful country.
Oct 2011...Marysville is gradually being rebuilt after the 2009 bushfires, but it lacks the character that once drew toursits to the town. Many tracks and scenic attractions in the nearby hills remain closed and this is a great pity.
Sept 2011...Southern NSW. Stayed at the comfortable ClubBarham Motel at Barham and toured out from here on my motorbike, taking in tiny towns such as Moulamien, Maude & Oxley, enjoying the green countryside and flowing rivers after fantastic rains over he last 9 months.
Sept 2011...South Gippsland. toured the region between Bass and Port Albert, stopping off at Inverloch, Cape Liptrap lighthouse, Walkerville, Foster (a pretty town) along the way, After finishing the daylight hours at quiet Port Albert, headed back to Foster Hotel for dinner - a surprisingly good meal!.
Aug 2011... Rutherglen. I stayed at Tuileries again and fouind the rooms and food remain very good. Still probably the best place to stay in the region. The food was good too.
July 2011...Queensland. Stayed again at Thala Beach Lodge with my daughter, for a week. 3rd time!!! Situated just south of Port Douglas, this luxury lodge with private bungalows is a most relaxing holiday. Good food too. We beachcombed, toured by hire car, went by cable car to touristy Kuranda, where it rained nearly all day, but we found some great shops and a fossil museum & gem shop, so our spirits were not too dampened. Returned by the wonderful train through the mountains and down almost to Cairns.
Bushfires and country accommodation in Victoria do not mix well. Devastation in many areas during February 2009 has caused a massive downturn in business for most operators - as if the economy wasn't enough. Aussie tourism, according to newspaper reports, has been down for some time. My opinion is that cheap overseas deals have done a lot of the damage to local tourism...but there are some excellent places to stay in Australia for great weekends away without wasting long hours at an airport.
The Bank in Beechworth was sold in January 2008, has undergone massive, expesive refurbishment, and now the owners have de-camped and leased it to the people from Range, in Myrtleford. The guestrooms are great but the restaurant needs an improvement in service standards. It's now called Provenance and reports back to me are that the food is very good. Oct 2011 the service has picked up!
Marylands at Marysville has burned down in the February 2009 bushfires, along with most buildings in the burned-out town.
at last check, these properties are for sale:
Barnesly House, Beechworth.
Andre's @ Buller was for sale in 2009.
Emeu Inn at Heathcote has been for sale for some time, 2009.
Finches of Beechworth has been for sale since 2011.
The popular Gobles Mill House at Port Fairy is for sale,2009.
Lindenwarrah at Milawa has had "expressions of interest invited"
Mt Rael in the Yarra Valley "expressions of interest" by April 2009.
Harvest Home Hotel, foodie retreat at Avenel, for sale 2009
Blue Ridge Inn, Mt Macedon, apparently passed to new hands late 2008
Holmwood Guest House at Cowes is for sale 2009
Gipsy Point Lodge near Mallacoota for sale 2011 .
Others with operating position unknown -
Tooram on the River near Warrnambool
Silverwater, at San Remo has not had a smooth run, to say the least
Etan House at Echuca was for sale some time ago and the current position is unknown.
Keebles of Clunes
Susan's in the Valley was for sale in 2008
Some of these top B&Bs will hopefully sell to enthusiastic, competent and thoroughly professional hosts who can ensure the fine reputation of most Victorian B&Bs is maintained.
australianplaces.com.au continues to rank extremely well on Google searches - first page on at least 18 search criteria. Over 60 pages fully indexed. This is fantastic!!!
I continue to receive emails from people asking advice on where to stay or what to do in Australia. I do my best - but the latest was a request "
We are looking for a girls weekend away with a day spa that we could totally be pampered in but on a budget. Can you suggest anywhere within 2 hours drive from Geelong." Must admit - that was a tough one.
If you would
like your B&B reviewed for possible inclusion on this site,
need professional photography, or guidance on how to achieve success
in the B&B business, just contact me.