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“Weekend to Remember!” 5 of 5 bubbles
Review of Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa Retreat

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Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa Retreat
Certificate of Excellence
Melbourne
Level Contributor
25 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“Weekend to Remember!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 September 2011

Spent a wonderful weekend at the resort as part of our 10th wedding anniversary. Rooms, food, scenery all great but the service was outstanding. The manager and staff were happy to do anything to meet our needs. Will be going back soon and am happy to recommended the resort to everyone!

  • Stayed June 2011
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Anthony_Meikle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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159 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    5 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (24)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
21 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 July 2011

My partner and I choose the Ryokan off the positive reviews on Trip Advisor, and I'm very glad we did.
If you're looking for decadence, do choose another property. Shizuka Ryokan is about tranqulity and relaxation more than full-blown luxury.
We booked a getaway complete with spa package, breakfast and dinner online to take advantage of the special offers via their website.

From the pre-arrival phone-call to our departure, the friendliness of the owners and staff was apparent.
My partner found it hilarious that he had to remove his shoes upon entering the accommodation section, and is still giggling about wearing the slippers the ryokan provides.

Our room was tasteful and minimal; mostly just like you'd expect from the photos on their website. It' turn out that it's quite shocking to enter a hotel room without a bed!
The gardens are lovely, and I enjoyed reading in the enclosed verandah.

During our dinner, we were served by both Margaret and Yuki, who kindly explained eash dish to us. The kingfish and roe was some of the most delicious I've ever tasted, leaving me spoilt for all future kingfish sashimi. Their serice was attentive and the food was fabulous.
The highlight of dinner was the card presented to us by Yuki, which my partner and I a happy anniversary. She drew our portraits! An amazingly personal and genuine touch.

When making our futon bed, Margaret enquired if we'd slept on futons before and offered to 'double layer' us up.
I did find the futons very hard, and didn't sleep deeply either night we stayed.

Our spa tratments were discreet and personal, and my partner and I felt comfortable at all times. I'm not so sure our therapists felt so comfortable when my partner started snoring. I hope it was taken as a compliment - he was clearly *very* relaxed.
I do recommend you have at least a massage if not a full blown package treatment.

The Japanese breakfast was delicious, with the sesame flavoured spinach a particular favourite of mine. My partner remarked that he wished he'd also had the Japanese breakfast a secnd time - he chose to have a western style brekky instead.

On departure, my bill was kindly explained to me.
The disounts I'd already received by booking online were pointed out as a 'bit of a bonus.' The phrase 'The prices have gone up, but you booked before that.' was also used.
An akward way to present the discounts, as I do expect to receive accommodation and services at the booked price - regardless of price changes between booking and departure.

The service was, overall, personalised and quite amazing. It's a six room ryokan, so expect very attentive staff!

I'll be recommending the property for family and friends. We'd love to return in the future (although I will hesitate because I found the futons so hard to sleep on) to spend some more peaceful time at Shizuka Ryokan.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank cold_erin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryokan, Owner at Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa Retreat, responded to this review, 13 April 2012
Thank you for your feedback.

I totally agree with your expectation regarding paying the price offered when the reservation was made. My explanation at check-out could have been better.

We strongly believe in full transparency, particularly in invoicing, and so your comments are all the more appreciated.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 July 2011

The retreat is fantastic and the rooms definitely all have that great Japanese feeling to them, small touches like the kimonos, the teas and the japanese zen gardens were all done well without feeling out of place or tacky. All the rooms were very clean, the service was exceptional and the cooking (the breakfasts) were awesome with many choices that we both enjoyed.

The retreat is also very exceptionally close to the bath house and a very tiny drive to Daylesford, strongly recommend it on the service alone. Just make sure you like your futons a little hard, those that like very soft beds or just use to them might find it too hard for their liking.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank thedon15
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryokan, Owner at Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa Retreat, responded to this review, 13 April 2012
Thank you for your review.

Several other reviewers have also mentioned the firmness of our futon bedding. Accordingly, we now routinely offer two layers of futon for a softer sleeping experience.

We appreciate your input.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 16 June 2011

It's been on my wish list for almost 5 years to stay at Shizuka and I must say, it was definately worth the wait! The path up to the main entrance was beautifully constructed and even though we could have parked the car closer, we chose to walk the path every day! Inside, the guest lounge/dining area was very welcoming with an openfire and comfy couches perfect for lounging on with the complementary daily paper. A great spot to enjoy the morning sun streaming through the windows. Also loved the fresh flowers that were found everywhere arranged in Japanese style.

The room itself felt small but definately authenically japanese with the tatami matting and shoji screens. Very pleasant to sit in the sun overlooking the courtyard garden. The bathroom itself was HUGE and also pleasant to relax in the bath. The authentic futons were very comfortable and warm.

The food was pretty good! The japanese breakfast has to be tried and is a HUGE meal, just be warned that it does contain fish and seaweed which can be a bit much for some people for breakfast. Dinner was also substaintial and beautifully presented. My only complaint is that sukiyaki is a hot pot dish so should be served HOT!

The service was what made this place stand out, from suggestions on where to eat and what to do, to providing blankets when it was cold, it's the small attention to details which makes it count.

Thanks for a great experience, I'll definately recommend it to friends who are also thinking about visiting!

Room Tip: We had room 7, morning sunshine, lovely!
See more room tips
  • Stayed May 2011, travelled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank winteroks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryokan, Owner at Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa Retreat, responded to this review, 13 April 2012
Thank you for your very kind comments.

I certainly agree that a "Hot Pot" dish should be hot! I am very sorry that your particular experience was otherwise, as we aim for all such dishes to leave the kitchen virtually steaming.

Whilst your experience was certainly an exception to the rule, it is still one disappointment too many for me as well as for you.

We appreciate your input.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2011

We took a midweek package and had a 4 course dinner with our accomodation. The meals were very large and excellent, the accomodation was outstanding. The staff were all professional but also very friendly. It is well worth visiting this place.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank mekros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne
Level Contributor
118 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 70 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 May 2011

Tatami matted suites overlooking a Japanese garden complete with water feature make for a tranquil setting for a couple of days of pure relaxation. No TV radio internet; woohoo!!! A Geisha facial had me glowing. Ryokan is Japanese for a guest house and this place takes your breath away. Breakfast Japanese style makes western style breakfasts an embarrassing way to break the fast. Salmon, spinach, pumpkin, cucumber and seaweed, mountain peach, pickles and rice, washed down with miso and finally a green tea. Have the Japanese tapas on Friday night, and if your lucky like we were you have the dining room to yourself and can eat in front of the open fire on the comfy couches that envelope you. Then head back to your room with Japanese music serenading you to sleep on the futons, with the warming spa overlooking the Japanese garden. Nothing better for relaxation and rejuevenation.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank ExoticLulu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 April 2011

The atmosphere of relaxation starts as soon as we walked into the reception/lobby. The lobby was filled with light and decor / music were just perfect for a relaxation trip. The owner gave us a warm greeting and showed us the room with a detailed explanation.
The room was a bit warmer than our liking (the heater was off), but it was ok after we open the glass door that lead into the private garden. The room was very clean and the corner spa was fine. There was even a candle beside the bath. We booked massage for two which I think is worth the money. The Japanes breakfast was again very authentic. The experience would have been nice if it had a outdoor onsen (hot spring) like the ryokan in Japan, but overall we had a very nice break.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JAS168
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ryokan, Owner at Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa Retreat, responded to this review, 13 April 2012
Your comments and also your suggestion of an outdoor onsen are most appreciated.

In fact, we are currently reviewing options for developing such an onsen facility as a number of people have made similar suggestions.

Watch this space for developments!
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa Retreat

Property: Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa Retreat
Address: 7 Lakeside Dr, Hepburn Springs, Victoria 3461, Australia
Region: Australia > Victoria > Hepburn Springs
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Room Service Spa
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 11 B&Bs / Inns in Hepburn Springs
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa Retreat 4*
Number of rooms: 6
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Australia's renowned Japanese guesthouse, the award-winning Shizuka Ryokan is an indulgent retreat featuring traditional accommodation, delicious cuisine, luxurious spa treatments and holistic wellness services. Fully authentic in every detail including its architecture, furnishings and gardens the retreat offers genuine, warm hospitality and generous, personalised service. Couples, singles and small groups come to the inn to relax, indulge, rejuvenate and immerse in the romance and tranquility. It's a small piece of Japan just 80 minutes drive from Melbourne. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Shizuka Ryokan Japanese Country Spa Retreat Hotel Hepburn Springs

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