Let me start with the positives.
- The room was absolutely spotless. Great work cleaning team!
- The rain shower was amazing.
- New door key card system which is like paypass, you wave your key and the door opens - you don't even have to take it out of your wallet.
- The hotel is located well, a short walk to Darling Harbour, an uphill medium walk to the city (though it is uphill for any hotel located in Darling Harbour).
- The room was quite nice and newly renovated.
Unfortunately, these things were outweighed by -
- Being asked for a $100 per night bond. In all my reviews I read here of the hotel (and I went back quite a few pages) I cannot find a mention of this, nor on the hotel website or on the site we booked with.
- I was waiting to check in for quite some time, and I did not hear anyone else being asked for a bond, so this makes me wonder if it was because we booked via a third party site (Wotif) or because we wanted to use the Valet parking. We had already paid for the accommodation in full.
- This bond thing is something which has come up occasionally at a couple of previous hotels and I find it unacceptable because the funds generally do not get returned until 3-5 days later. What is wrong with taking an imprint of the card like all the other places do? This is why I read reviews *before* making a booking. I see now that I will need to make a phone call to the hotel as well, to check if taking a bond is their procedure.
- I was also asked to show photo ID. I thought they would just want to see it, but they took a *color photocopy* of it without even asking if that was ok, which I felt was entirely inappropriate.
- Overall I felt the check in person was unhappy to be there or perhaps unhappy with me. Of course she could have been unhappy with her work uniform which was the most ugly thing I have seen a woman forced to wear in at least a decade. General unhappiness and a lack of welcome were the feelings I walked away with.
- Later I spoke with the same person who was quite friendly and cheerful, so I suspect it may have been the third party booking and extra steps accompanying it which made her unhappy.
- I was quite unhappy when I discovered I could get the same room with breakfast included on the Parkroyal website for $30 a night cheaper. I usually check the hotel website but was in a hurry this time - never again!
- The $32 for 24 hours self parking advertised was not on site, but several streets away. This was one of the main reasons we chose the hotel because parking in Sydney is so expensive. We chose to go with valet instead which was expensive at $50 a night (especially when we gave the car to them and did not see it again until we left which was our plan in any case, there should be a discounted rate for people who are not going to call for their car daily).
- Renovations ongoing which started with either a circular saw or a sander at 8:30am in the middle of the atrium which meant every single room was affected by the noise. We were on the fifth floor several levels above the noise.
- It would have been better for all hotel guests for the construction workers to use that piece of equipment outside. The soundproofing to the outside is quite effective. Despite the fact that you are overlooking a freeway you do not hear much traffic noise at all.
- Same noise could be heard in the lovely looking lobby which would have been listed as one of the positives if I had not spent 45 mins waiting there with continual construction noise.
- The king bed was one of those zip apart into single beds. Terribly uncomfortable for someone used to sleeping on a whole king bed. I don't know if all of them are like that - I do not think I have slept on one before. If I did, I had no idea it was one of those zip apart beds.
- The pillows were woeful. The kind of pillow you can never manage to get enough pillow to stay under your head, the stuffing kept trying to get away from me.
- The toiletries were cheap, bland and unappealing.
- No shower cap was provided.
- The rooms are not very soundproofed to other guests in the hotel - or the cleaners when they clean the room next door. Bad if you are trying to get a sleep in.
- The black out curtains did not black out the light entirely no matter how hard we tried to arrange them in a way that they would. See photo attached. Even if you could get the curtains to match up to the walls and each other, the pelmet let light in from the top of the curtains. Epic fail.
Overall, we had a great trip to Sydney but this was due to things other than the hotel. We were not there much, mainly to sleep. I just wish it had been better sleep and that we could have had a sleep in on the second day when we did not have anything planned - construction noise made that impossible.
We won't be staying at this hotel again - we will try other options until we find that elusive perfect Sydney hotel - but we may try the Parkroyal in Parramatta as that is a location we visit regularly, providing there is no bond required.
As of writing this the monies still have not been returned to me. As it is now Friday evening, I am unlikely to see them until early next week. :((((((
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.