My partner and I stayed at the Waldorf from Thursday October 3rd to Monday October 7th in a seventh floor studio apartment. The apartment was great, everything was clean and in good condition. The location of the hotel was great for us as well, and we were able to walk everywhere we wanted to go.
We parked our ute in the underground car park upon checking in, and didn't use it again until Saturday. When we tried to leave the car park on Saturday the automatic roller door closed on the roof of our ute while we were half way out the door. There wasn't a safety mechanism to stop the door when it hit something, so the motor continued to force the door down crushing in the roof of our ute. It didn't stop until the entire length of the door was unspooled on top of our vehicle.
Once it stopped we got out and tried to figure out what to do. About five minutes went by before I went to reception to ask for some help. As they phoned maintenance, the staff at the desk had told me that they had watched the whole thing happen on their cameras. I still haven’t figured out why they neglected to call maintenance before then, especially because they could clearly see that our vehicle was trapped under the roller door.
I went back to the car park and was standing on the passenger side when a man in flip-flops, track pants, and a black tank top, who I assumed was a concerned hotel guest, walked up to us looking shocked, and pressed the emergency release button without saying a word. The door released and fell down the windshield and onto the hood of the truck, forcing me to jump out of the way to avoid being hit. The man in flip flops proceeded to come over and try to physically lift the door up, at which point my partner asked him what he was doing. The man replied that he was the maintenance guy.
I honestly could not believe that the maintenance employee was allowed to work while being so inappropriately dressed that I mistook him for a guest at the hotel. It is unsafe for him (flip flops, come on) and also unsafe for guests. If I had recognized him as a maintenance employee, I probably would have moved out of the way and been prepared for him to do something to fix the door, but because I thought he was a guest I did not expect him to press the emergency release button, and almost got hit by the door because of it. The fact that he also didn't bother to ask us to move out of the way before doing anything to the door is appalling and really inappropriate for someone who is employed to keep the hotel safe and comfortable for its guests.
In the incident the roof of our ute was dented, the antenna bent, and the hood and windshield scratched and chipped. The staff at the desk told us they would get in touch with their manager, yet two days later when we were checking out they still hadn't. We were given a business card and told to contact the manager ourselves, and then asked to pay the 15$/day parking fee. I told them how that hardly seemed fair seeing as their car park door damaged our vehicle, and the staff (the same staff, I should add, that watched it happen on camera) replied, "it isn’t the hotel's fault that you drove into our door." Following that statement, we asked if we could get a copy of the video for insurance, to which the answer was no.
The staff did eventually waive the parking fee, but that was literally all they did for us. I wasn't expecting a free stay but an apology and an attempt to help us out would have been welcome. We are still, a week later, trying to contact the right management. When we have talked to an actual person, they have given us another number to call because "it's above their heads." One person we talked to asked us to get it fixed using our own insurance.
The whole ordeal was awful, and it didn't need to be. If the staff at the Waldorf had been more professional it would have been an unfortunate accident, and a time for their customer service to really shine. Instead, we left Canberra in a dented ute, being blamed for the hotel's faulty property, and counting our lucky stars that it was only our vehicle and not my face that got crushed by the roller door.
I should add that when we left on the last day the same thing nearly happened again, but this time we were wise enough to wait a few seconds after the door opened to see what would happen. Sure enough, almost immediately after reaching the top, the door began to close again. We had to exit through the entrance door. After seeing smaller cars go through without a problem, we think that the sensor that opens the door for vehicles might be too low to the ground. It can sense cars, and stays open for them because it can sense them all the way through but because utes are higher off the ground, it only senses them as they approach it. Once the ute moves forward, it is too high to detect, and the door begins to close thinking that nothing is there. That’s our theory at least, so if you also drive a ute or tall vehicle, beware.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.