What is(are) your name(s)?
For how long have you been running a B&B?
Please share something about the history of your present bed and breakfast.
I operated a tourist bus company in Sydney, Australia and decided 8 years ago that I wanted to have a beautiful place in the Blue Mtns, where I could take visitors and show them something of Australian country life. So I bought the lodge. Back then it was just a big family house. I added several bathrooms and improved many things in the house. After a while I was enjoying operating the B&B more than running the bus company. So several years ago I sold the bus company and now concentrate on running Bilpin Springs Lodge B&B/farmstay. The most curious fact is that until 20 years ago, Bilpin was known as the place nearby to Sydney where apples were grown and sold in the Sydney fruit markets. Then it became uneconomic for apples to be grown commercially in Bilpin. And lots of apple orchards were closed down. Now however people are returning to the Bilpin apple orchards to pick fruit from the trees. This is called 'pick your own'. From Dec till June each year the pick-your-own orchards around Bilpin have peaches and apples available and Sydney people love to have a day out in the countryside, visiting Bilpin, going to the orchards.
What are the unique characteristics of your B&B?
Firstly, it's a great place for families. Kids can run around, bounce on the trampoline, play table tennis and basketball, paddle a canoe, pat the farm animals - generally have a very good time. Plus parents can relax and really enjoy a holiday as well. Everyone also enjoys our giant spa as well - winter or summer! And nearby there's lots of great attractions so everyone can go out for half a day riding trains, seeing things, going to cafes etc and have a very good time. So the lodge is very popular with children and their parents. It's also very romantic, so couples love staying at Bilpin Springs Lodge. Sitting on the verandah, enjoying the bush, views and walks in the garden is all very romantic. So we have many couples who come to stay at the lodge and often they get married nearby at one of the churches or other nearby special marriage reception places. And finally, we're very close to Sydney so it's easy to get to Bilpin Springs Lodge. After a hard weeks work, Sydney people like being able to drive from their house perhaps only an hour or so and then they can relax with family and friends at the lodge. And international visitors like being able to easily drive from central Sydney or directly from Sydney airport, directly to the lodge. This makes Bilpin Springs Lodge very popular.
Based on your guests' opinions, what feature of your B&B has made their stay special?
Vistors love the facilities at the lodge and the cleanliness. Plus I think the single most memorable thing at the lodge are our animals - particularly our dog named 'Coola'. He's a big (slightly fat) Labrador who's incredibly friendly and loves all of our visitors. Children love patting Coola and adults who are on holidays often miss seeing their own dogs, so when they arrive and Coola is wagging his tail people feel happy and really enjoy being at the lodge.
Please describe in short your bed and breakfast and its general services and amenities.
The lodge has a large country kitchen, available for self catering meals, dining room, lounge room with fireplace in winter (we supply the firewood), TV room, all bedrooms have ensuite bathrooms, there's trampoline, table tennis, basketball, canoes, fishing, yabbying, bushwalks, farm animal and a kids playground. All year round the huge spa is available for guests to use and there's plenty of off street parking for visitors. We have a downstairs queen bedded family room that's perfect for disabled guests, or guests with limited mobility who don't want to stay upstairs.
How many rooms are offered at your B&B and what is its maximum capacity?
We have 6 rooms - with a maximum capacity in the whole lodge of 25 people. Some bedrooms are for couples. Other bedrooms are for families and sleep 4, 6 and even 8 people.
What kinds of rooms do you offer?
The presentation of each of our rooms is very similar. They are large bedrooms with garden views in a big country house. Large, very comfortable queen beds are supplied with all linen. Rooms are fully carpetted, have a wooden wardrobe to store clothes etc. Ensuite bathrooms have a large shower plus toilet and hand basin.All towels are supplied plus there's heated towel rails keeping the bathroom nice and warm and towels fluffy and dry. Rooms are air conditioned in summer and have in-room heaters if required in winter. All windows are double glazed so the house and all bedrooms stays quite warm in winter and cool in summer.
Please describe the in-room facilities for each type of room in your B&B.
TV, tea & coffee making, ironing facilities etc are all available in the large shared kitchen on the ground floor of the house. The wood burning fireplace is downstairs and heats up the whole house.
Which room is your personal favorite?
Room number 1 is my favourite room. It's a couples room with lovely queen bed and it's a corner room. So has 2 big windows looking out over the garden and bushland. As the sun comes up in the morning, the colours outside the bedroom are fantastic and the view is gorgeous. That's why it's my favourite room.
What do the room rates include?
Room rates include your own private couples or family room with ensuite bathroom. Breakfast is all included plus you have access/use of all excllent lodge facilities.There are no additional charges. Onsite parking is free of charge and taxes are all included.
Do you offer any special packages?
We have a long standing package available for couples and families which is 3rd night at 50%. So once you've stayed 2 nights, if you decide to stay for a 3rd night, the tariff you pay is only 50%. This is available all year round.
What may guests expect from a typical breakfast at your property?
Breakfast is self serve. Everything is provided for you. You can have either a continental breakfast or fully hot breakfast. There's juice, milk, cereal, bread/ toast, butter, lots of jams and spreads, fruit, baked beans and tea, coffee, hot chocolate or Milo available. Eggs, sausages, bacon are also provided for all guests breakfast. Guests have a fully equipped kitchen available for their use so very easy to prepare/serve breakfast.
When and where is breakfast served?
Breakfast is available on a self serve basis whenever guests want. Checkout is at 10am on day of departure, and if guests want to checkout of their room and then have a late breakfast downstairs this is all OK.
Are dietary needs accommodated?
Special diets aren't catered for.
Do you serve other meals?
Other than breakfast, no other meals or drinks are served at the lodge.
Are there cooking facilities, which guests may use?
There's a full kitchen available for guests to use. Plus BBQ is also available on the verandah. There's dining in the dining room or outside on the verandah. Whatever people prefer.
Is your bed and breakfast suitable for children?
Yes, the lodge is suitable for children. Bilpin Springs Lodge is specially for families. Children, plus their parents love staying at Bilpin Springs Lodge.
Do you accept pets?
Yes people are welcome to bring their own dogs. We have kennels that visiting dogs must sleep in. Dogs aren't permitted inside the house or bedrooms at any time.
What is your smoking policy?
There's no smoking inside the house anywhere at anytime. We do have a designated, covered smoking area on the verandah not too far away from the front door of the lodge. This keeps smokers and non smokers all happy.
Is there a parking facility on premises or nearby?
Yes there's full parking available onsite.
Is your B&B suitable for disabled guests?
Yes we have a ground floor family suite with 1 x queen bed and 1 x bunk bed. It's not setup as a full disabled room however there's level access (via a ramp) from the carpark to the bedroom. And the ensuite bathroom is large and accessible to people with limited mobility.
What safety precautions are provided at your B&B?
There's smoke alarms throughout the house, there's fire hoses in the house and fire extinguishers in each bedroom. For child safety there's gates preventing access to all dams.
What is your check-in/check-out policy?
Checkin is between 2pm and 5pm. If you arrive after 5pm this is OK. We leave out a full information kit for you. Checkout from bedrooms is at 10am on your day of departure.This allows our staff to fully clean the rooms before next guests arrive.
Are there a minimum number of nights for staying at your B&B?
Minimum number of nights to stay is 1 night (mid week). Weekends are normally minimum 2 nights.
How can guests check availability and make a reservation?
Yes there's online reservation facilities on our website - www.bilpinsprings.com.au. Or if guests prefer they can call or email me. Our email address is firstname.lastname@example.org or call on +61 2 45670300.
What is you cancellation policy?
First night accommodation must be prepaid and this is nonrefundable. Balance is due 2-4 weeks before arrival (depending on the size of your booking). This final payment once received is also non refundable.
What types of payment do you accept?
Payment by cash or credit card (visa/mastercard) is all OK.
Is there a special etiquette that guests should know about and comply with?
Our code of conduct in Australia is relaxed and casual.
Please tell us what things guests might enjoy visiting, seeing, doing, etc. in your area.
Nearby is Katoomba, 3 Sisters, Leura village and Blackheath village that are both very popular with visitors. Good things to do are to ride the Zig Zag railway and the scenic railway/skyway at Katoomba, take a short bushwalk to enjoy the amazing sightseeing and views in the Blue Mtns, go to Jenolan Caves and take a cave tour for an hour or two, go to Blue Mtns Botanic Garden at Mt Tomah (it's free) and stop for coffee or lunch in the cafe with amazing views all the way back to Sydney. Plus only 1 minute away from Bilpin Springs Lodge is a great restaurant called the Apple Bar which does fantastic wood fired pizza, fish, meat etc. It's fantastic for a meal or you can just relax at the bar or outside and have a beer.
Where is your B&B located and how it may be reached?
We're located 1.5hrs west or central Sydney. Access is very easy via freeway and then highway. The final 500metres is on a small country road that leads directly off the main local highway. So access is very good and easy. From Sydney you follow directions to Windsor then Richmond, Kurrajong and Lithgow.You'll arrive into Bilpin district and after passing the Apple Bar restaurant and Bilpin Public school, signs point to Bilpin Springs Lodge.
What would you say to people who have never stayed in a bed and breakfast?
Staying in Bilpin Springs Lodge B&B/farmstay you will meet real local people. You have all the comforts of a 3.5star hotel room with ensuite bathroom etc, plus you have the facilities and ambience of a lovely big country house.
Is there something more that you want to share about your property?
Everyone loves staying at Bilpin Springs Lodge. We're not a full working farm but we do have lots of farm animals and fields around the house so you will enjoy a farmstay experience.