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Review 2446: Owner, Balneaire Seaside Resort

www.balneaire.com.au/balneaire/index.aspx

Recommended
Review by Marta from WA who is a SlowTrav Contributor

2bed/1bath, Albany, Western Australia, Australia


When

October 2006, 3 days

Review

Balneaire is located in Albany Western Australia. Albany is the center of the region called The Great Southern and is located on the shores of the Southern Ocean. Albany is medium sized town with lots of amenities.

The Balneaire apartments are at the base of Mt. Adelaide and a short walk to Middleton Beach. There is a café near by to walk to for coffee or breakfast but you will need a car to get around in this area. There are several large grocery stores (IGA, Coles) a short drive away. Grocery stores do not sell alcohol but there is usually a bottle shop located next door. The center of town is about five minutes away and there are several good restaurants in the center of town.

The apartment complex is very interesting. There are 28 self-contained units. All are townhouse style and built around center courtyard. It has a French European flavor with lots of brick. Each apartment has a separate entry and parking. It is very quiet and nicely landscaped with lots of roses, hanging baskets and shady trees. In the center of the courtyard is a fountain.

The lower floor is a large L-shaped room which is the living room, dining room and kitchen. Laundry facilities are located in the closet off the kitchen. Upstairs is the bathroom and two bedrooms. Our unit had a small patio off the living room.

The furnishing is in good shape and very comfortable. There is a sofa and love-seat. For entertainment, there is cable TV, DVD and stereo/CD. The dining area has adequate space for four people. There is adequate lighting with lamps in the living room. The living room area has a free standing wood burning stove. We were there in the spring and it was cool. The owners came by each evening to drop off wood, kindling and fire starter for the stove.

One bedroom has a queen bed and the other bedroom has two twin beds. We only used one bedroom. Our bedroom had a large closet, lamps and clock radio. The upstairs is carpeted. The bed was very comfortable and had an electric mattress heating pad for the cooler nights.

The bathroom has a large shower stall and large sink area. The toilet is in a separate small room between the bathroom and one bedroom.

The kitchen is well equipped with dishes and pan. The kitchen has a microwave, toaster, electric tea kettle, propane stove/oven, full sized refrigerator and large sink area. It has a small one-person French press coffee maker. There is also instant coffee, tea, sugar and milk provided. It has everything you needed for doing dishes. We did use the oven one night and we were a little mystified at how to light it. Fortunately, there were instructions for all the appliances and it was easy to light with the directions.

We also made good use of the laundry facilities. There is top loading washer and dryer in the closet in the kitchen. They provide small packets of soap.

We booked the apartment from the website. The manager, Jack, was wonderful to work with and responded quickly. There is not a lot of information on the website and just a few pictures. We did some web searching and found it listed in Frommers and several other places so we booked it without seeing a lot of details of the apartment. It was perfect for us.

I definitely recommend this apartment. It is great location for visiting the Great Southern Area. It is also very family friendly. There were several families staying while we were there and I can imagine it is popular during the Australia summer holidays.

There is a lot to do in the region. The Great Southern is about five hours south of Perth. In the spring, you can view the whales that visit each year. It is also a wine region with many wineries to visit in Mt. Barker and Denmark areas which are a short distance from Albany.

We came for the natural attractions. There are several national parks near by. You can visit the Stirling or Porongurup ranges for hiking and wildflowers. Bluff Knoll in Stirling National Park is the highest point in Western Australia. Torndirrup National Park along the coast has gorgeous turquoise beaches and interesting rocky coastline. Also near by is an interesting wind farm which generates 70% of Albany’s electricity. The small rural towns of Denmark and Walpole are interesting to visit and explore. There are several nice drives through the tall Karri and Tingle Eucalyptus forests between Albany and Walpole including the Valley of the Giants near Walpole. The Tree Top Walk is a great place to see the magnificent trees. A metal ramp rises from the forest floor and allows you to walk through the treetops.

This review is the opinion of a Slow Travel member and not of slowtrav.com.

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