It can be a bit hit or miss when looking on the internet for a place to stay for 5 nights, but in this case we really struck a big HIT - the Riverglen Chalets are a great place to stay.
One kilometre from the town of Margaret River centre, the chalets are surrounded by state forest and their wonderful trees and bird life. Each chalet (there are 14) is different and each looks out onto the bush, which at night is lit up with powerful flood light, giving a totally different vista.
When we checked in we found we'd been up-graded to a 2 bedroom chalet - no complaints from us. Then we found our chalet nestled in bushland and immediately knew we'd found somewhere very special. Up the short flight of steps and onto the covered balcony with an outdoor setting for 4 plus a 4 burner BBQ, then through the double glass doors to a large combined lounge (2 couches) and dinning area (space for 6) and a fully equipped kitchen including full sized fridge, stove and microwave - all cutlery, crockery, kitchen utensils and glassware provided. TV and DVD player in the corner and a slow combustion wood stove for the colder winters nights as well as reverse cycle aircon. Our chalet had 2 bedrooms - one with 2 single beds, the other a queen sized bed and both with large built in robes. Off the hallway is separate and well equipped bathroom and from the kitchen area a small but fully equipped laundry then the back door and a clothes line.
Every well ordered house will have a problem at some stage and ours was the hot water of our chalet. At 11pm I didn't expect anyone would be able to fix and so left it to the next day. Within an hour 5 people turned up (2 were dogs, but they helped too) and the problem rectified. They even left us with a key to one of the other chalets in case the hot water system failed again. Now that's what I call service - thanks guys and girls (dogs too).
There is extensive gardens and a small orchard as well as a games room (table tennis, board games, books and DVD's - all available for guest use) on the property and a network of tracks that go direct into the forest for a nature walk.
The property is a 10 minute walk to the main street of Margaret River (2 minute drive) where there are 2 supermarkets and a wide choice of restaurants and cafes. As each chalet is self catering, I'd suggest a drive to a supermarket to stock up for the stay at Riverglen.
All up great find, friendly staff (dogs too) and a beautiful setting. Perhaps my only negative comment is the small screen TV sets, other than that I'd not only stay again, but recommend for a great holiday accommodation destination.
Plenty of other sizes of chalets, including disabled access.
Directions: Travelling from Perth, Carters Road is on the right and just before the road bridge that crosses the Margaret River.
Winter-time is the time for great bargains in accommodation in Margaret River. Whether your choice is for a simple (but very comfortable) cottage in the forest or a luxurious adult retreat where pampering is the order of the day, there really is something for everyone. There are all sorts of special deals on offer in the quieter winter months - three nights for the price of two, reduced rates, gourmet hampers and delicious local wines are just some of the things that are there to tempt you. Check the website below or call the Margaret River Information Centre.
Where would I recommend?
For a few days of complete indulgence - Empire Retreat is always my first choice. Elegant, stylish, log fires to relax by, a fabulous spa to pamper yourself with - this place is heaven.
Wildwood Valley Guest House is another excellent choice, either in their super guesthouse or in one of their tranquil bushland rooms -you can't go wrong either way.
Unique Quality: Riverglen Chalets are other favourites. These are lovely, purpose built wooden cottages set deep in the forest but only 10 minutes from the centre of Margaret River. They''re comfortably furnished and come with fully equipped kitchens, linen, bath towels and electric blankets. Wintertime sees the fire laid ready to light, and if, as we do, you've stopped at a winery along the way to pick up a good bottle or two of red (Shiraz is the region's best red) and packed a ready-made casserole all ready to pop into the oven, you're all set for a cosy first night. Bliss!
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