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Review 3955: Woodbox, Woodbox Retreat

www.woodboxretreat.com.au

Recommended
Review by Fletch from Australia who is a SlowTrav Contributor

3bed/2bath house near Healesville, Australia


When

December 2008, 5 days

Location

This house is an hours easy drive from Melbourne. The closest town is Healesville which is in the Yarra Valley (a wine area). The house is in the Australian bush on a quiet winding dirt road about 15 minutes from Healesville. The area has large eucalyptus trees with tree ferns underneath, so is very pretty to drive through. The house is on a large 12 acres property.

Nearby Amenities

It is a 15 minute drive from the house to Healesville, some of it on a dirt road. Healesville is a small town with many cafes and food stores. There are several good restaurants there and in the surrounding area, many attached to wineries.

We toured the wineries, and had lunch out as the dark winding road was a little daunting. We were happy to shop in Healesville and BBQ at "home" each night.

Ten minutes down the road was a small day spa that we visited for a facial and massage.

The House/Apartment

This was a three bedroom house, all with King sized beds. One of the kings could be split into two singles if required.

The spacious master bedroom had an en suite bathroom with a large spa bath. It was at one end of the house with the kitchen and living area in between the two other smaller bedrooms. They shared the second bathroom.

The owners live in a house attached to Woodbox but it is very private and we did not see or hear them.

Garden

There is a nice outdoor setting with table and chairs under umbrellas. The BBQ is close to the house in case of rain and cold.

The garden is a lovely area that has trees to encourage the many birds. In the evening and early morning there were rabbits on the lawns (probably not popular with the owners but fun for us).

The owners, although attached to the house, did not overlook any of the areas we regarded as our garden.

Furnishings/Cleanliness/Living Areas

The furniture was modern and in good shape. I did not find the chairs particularly comfortable - very low, but the couch large and comfortable although again too low for me.

The dining table was a good size for the six of us and handy for playing cards at night. There was two long benches and two chairs for the table ends.

The bookcase had many recent magazines as well as good novels. There was also books on the local area and birdwatching books.

The information folder gave good advice on wineries and restaurants, as well as how to use the appliances.

We used the stereo system to play our iPods, and the DVD player. All worked well.

There was central heating and a wood fire which we needed to use (in the middle of summer!) but would be effective in winter.

Bedrooms/Bathrooms

The king size beds were very comfortable with good linens. Two pillows for each person.

The main bedroom was large with a sofa. The window looked out to a view of a small garden. The bathroom had a spa bath and a separate shower, all very clean.

The smaller two bedrooms had king beds with good linen. The bathroom was slightly smaller than the master bathroom, but did have a decent size bath.

Kitchen

The kitchen is well equipped with saucepans of good quality. There were several platters. The oven /stove top was large and could cook a good roast or large meal for more than six people. There were enough plates and glasses for eight people. The glasses were of good quality (Ikea) for a holiday house. A large espresso coffee maker - with good instructions was a nice addition. As the room is open plan it is easy to socialize while cooking, essential with a group of friends. There was a dishwasher with a good quantity of powder.

Problems or Bonuses

No surprises, but it was pleasant to have the first mornings breakfast ingredients left for us. The bacon was very good quality, free range eggs and vine ripened tomatoes. A loaf of bread was at the front door the next morning. It gave us a chance to see what was in the house before we shopped the next day.

Agency and Representatives (and price)

We booked through the owners and they were prompt in replying to our emails. We did not meet them but felt we could contact them if we needed to as they lived on site.

We paid A$2090 for five nights (peak rate), a little expensive but we all enjoyed the house and the area.

Do you recommend this vacation rental to others?

We would recommend this house although it is expensive. I think that the area - in the bush - is beautiful but a bit isolated if you enjoy walking to cafes and restaurants.

I think if we visited this area again I would stay closer to Healesville.

Things to do in this area

The Yarra Valley has many good wineries. The Visitor Information Centre has a helpful brochure.

We had a great Sunday lunch at Bella Vedere and a pub meal at The Healesville Hotel which we enjoyed. The hotel has two shops attached, one a cafe and the other a butcher/provision store.

There are many walking tracks and parks in the area.

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

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