Frankly I found this hotel's service, and by extension management, a basket case. From check in to check out we had nothing but trouble. When we arrived late due to traffic, it meant that I effectively had 10 minutes to get to a business meeting I had arranged in the lobby. The old-fashioned push open doors are quaint but as people are constantly coming in and out with luggage, they require a doorman to be always on duty. As we were to find over our four day stay, they did have a doorman, but he was rarely on duty. When our party of 3 (including a 70 year old woman) was trying to get into the hotel with our considerable luggage (one oversized) there was no doorman to be seen, however two men at concierge just meters away stood watching on as a guest stepped in to help open the swinging doors for us. Once we were in however, one of the concierge people asked if he could take our luggage. I said "yes and it will need to go straight to the room when we check in as I have an immediate business appointment", besides "there is some valuable equipment in there". I explained that one of the pieces contained equipment worth $50,000. He looked at me disinterested and put our luggage amongst others not even counting the number of pieces. I then of course had to get a room number for him to take them to. There were only 2 couples in front of us in the queue but incredibly it took 10 long minutes before we would be served by one of the two separate front of house people "working" there. By now I was late for my appointment and as soon as I had the room number went over to my "friend" at concierge to tell him that I now needed my bags taken up straight away. He refused....that's right... straight out refused. "No, I'll take them up in another 5 or 10 minutes" I told him I needed them in the room now as as I had to quickly change and in any case lock up my valuable equipment, which was in a case I was not going to leave in the foyer. He replied
" No, other people will need their luggage taken up soon so I'll do it then". At that point only our party was ready to have their luggage moved and it would have taken him 4 minutes to return to the foyer anyway. I asked him one more time before he again point-blank refused. I then had no choice but to quickly tow both my considerable sized bags side-by-side to the lifts, a difficult task for anyone whose tried it, let alone doing the same in and out of the lifts and into the room. That's right... he wouldn't even help me to the lifts, and this is his job! On top of that the ramp to the lift area is only one suitcase wide, so I had to pull them up the only alternative, the 3 stairs next to the ramp, in full view of concierge. Other guests checking in were dumbfounded as they watched and listened on.
My wife was to have another run-in with the same man a couple of days later when he was arguing back to her about wake up calls, and whether he would book a taxi then or in the morning. We wanted it then, he said he would only do it in the morning. We ended up doing it ourselves.
But wait, let's backtrack a bit. I have stayed in many hotels and am accustomed to people "swiping" your card as you check-in as a precaution against "runners". At the Grace however, they take it to another level, in fact for me, two new levels. There is no paperwork signed regarding this, just a dodgy, I would say deceptive, explanation given. My card would be "locked off" they said, to the amount of $900 to cover the room ($600) and incidentals ($300). I would get it back "immediately" on check-out. Ok, odd I thought, but I'm in a hurry so ok.
Fast forward to check-out a few days later where I pay ANOTHER $600 ($608 with a beer) a total of $1508 effectively taken from my account, but I've paid for it now right? So my card will revert to normal now? Wrong.
"Yes Sir" as I was about to pay the bill "the money locked off will now be returned automatically" "So... immediately? " I asked. "Yes Sir". Pay account on this basis, but on bank app $900 is still missing. Had to race out to taxi so tell concierge to go back in with our room numbers and make sure our money is released immediately "Yes Sir" he said unconvincingly. Get home that night check bank app, money still not returned. Ring hotel, "well yes Sir it is automatic, but it takes 3 or 4 working days for the bank to process it". So I ring bank " no they could release it immediately it is the Grace Hotel's policy not ours, they simply need to send a fax and we can do it right now". A lie on top of a lie from the Grace. Not once during my stay did I see anyone resembling management, just staff. It had the feeling of ship without a captain. As I write I still don't have my money back and have sent a complaint to the GM on this but won't hold my breath. I have finished with this Hotel as a guest but not yet in terms of what I am going to do about this kind of corporate behaviour. DisGRACEful.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for reviewing our hotel on your recent stay to Sydney.
First of all, please allow us to apologise for the experience you have encountered during your stay. We are very disappointed to your the lack of customer service you have experienced.
Rest assured, your comment has been forwarded to our General Manager, Mr. Pratley's attention and as a result, Mr. Pratley has had a discussion with our Concierge team.
In regards to the credit card pre-authorisation, if the booking is not prepaid in advance, the amount taken for the deposit will be the room cost plus $100 per night to cover the incidental charges. We will be conducting a refresher training for all our Guest Services Agents regarding the policy and procedure for credit card pre-authorisation.
Mr. Pratley has contacted chrisozman directly to resolve this matter directly.
Guest Relations Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.