The challenge with being a Four Seasons hotel is meeting expectations of being just that...The Four Seasons. And this one in Sydney fell way short.
While my partner and I have no complaints about the room, I'm not sure it was worth over $500 for the night. I'd like to add that the air-conditioning was not working properly when we checked in but credit to maintenance, it was very promptly fixed.
Speaking of air-conditioning, we were attending an event with over 700 people at the ballroom so with hundreds of people streaming into and out of foyer and the entire group having tea and cakes at the end of the event, wouldn't it have been logical to have the air-conditioning on high? Not sure if it was even switched on because we were drenched with sweat by the end of the night.
The great surprise came in the F&B department. This hotel had 3 chances to impress and failed 3 times. To start, the restaurant called The Woods was still called Kables in the folder in the room so we went looking for Kables to be told The Woods was the only restaurant in the hotel. It was running quite full and we were short of time so we decided to go for a light and quick meal at the bar called The Grain. Nobody else was apparently having food there so presumably it would be quick. We both ordered the hanger steak, one with fries instead of kumara. 45 minutes later, our food still had not arrived despite the staff coming a few times to say it would be 5 minutes. It eventually arrived just as we wanted to cancel it because we had to go. For $29.50, it was more starter size, with about 5 slices of bite-size steak, about 5 pieces of fried kumara and an entire quarter head of iceberg lettuce that filled half the plate. Even if we accepted that the Four Seasons is "expected" to charge high prices, we can't accept that we never got the one with fries and the steaks were cold. Not hot, not warm... they were cold. Obviously we didn't have time to wait for it to be replaced so we ate and rushed off for our appointment. The bar did not charge us for the meal and that's great but it was the least we expected.
That same night about 5 hours later, we were hungry so we ordered room service. There was no answer so we called Reception to place our order. Very simply a club sandwich with fries to share. The sandwich was enough for one. The fries were hot and crunchy but it was obviously fried in old oil. That distinct smell and taste of something cooked in old oil is hard to miss.
The next morning was breakfast at The Woods. It was quite full. I went to the egg station, ordered an egg and was told to return in 5 minutes. I returned 4 times in 5 minute intervals but it was not ready each time. A young waitress offered to get it for me but she never came back. Eventually no less than 20 minutes later, it was sitting there at the station with my name on it. But I was already done with my hot breakfast by then.
At the buffet line when I was there, the bacon, scramble eggs, vegetable frittata, butter and orange juice had run out at different times and the 2 chefs behind the counter, 1 of them manning the egg station, were obviously struggling to keep up. Perhaps more staff back there would have helped? No wonder eggs took over 20 mins. Poor fella.
There was also curry chicken tucked away in a corner, presumably for the large Asian group at the hotel that day. Another big surprise. The chicken was burnt. We did not expect The Four Seasons to serve burnt chicken curry. Gordon Ramsey would have thrown it back and yelled obscenities.
And finally, at the fruit station, as I was reaching out to get some fruit, a grumpy staff cut right in front of me to organise the juice station and presumably refill the orange juice jugs. She was not 2 metres away, not a metre away… she was centimetres away, stuck her arm out right under my chin and shoved her way through what I call my personal space. She really took me by surprise. I had to back-off and walk around her to get back to my fruit plate. I expect a service staff anywhere, not just The Four Seasons to give way to their guests. It doesn’t matter to me that the restaurant was busy at breakfast because I have seen far busier breakfast rooms that was far better run.
My partner and I have travelled the world, stayed at some of the best hotels and some not so great hotels. I have not been motivated to write many reviews until this recent stay at the Four Seasons Sydney. Would we stay again? For that sort of value, probably not.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.