First off the positives... great staff! Everyone friendly from check-in tothose you met in the hall ways. Always a smile and a 'good morning' or 'good afternoon'. The bed - great pillows and very comfortable. The airconditioning also worked well keeping the temperature at the desired level.
But now the negatives.
This is supposed to be a 5 star hotel... so imagine my surprise when the room came with no bath. A quick call to reception advised that 'rooms with bath cost an extra $60 a night'. Granted those were for a spa bath arrangement - but still, 5-star standard is for a full bathroom. bathroom amenities (soap/shampoo etc) were on the better side (but not flash).
The next major was the incidental cost they wanted for everything. I didn't bring a toothbrush, and again was surprised that none were provided. They had one available in room for purchase, but this was $7.50! A tube of toothpaste... $5.
A quick look at the room service menu advertised a steak (not cheap), but then sauces were listed separately for $8 each! There is a huge difference between providing reasonably priced services, and the line that is crossed when you feel you are being taken for a ride and treated with the slightest bit of contempt. We certainly didn't feel like a 'guest', more like a cash cow.
The room it self was huge, but awkwardly laid out. High ceilings yes, but lots of unused space (why not use some of that space for a bath in the bathroom?). The television was only meduim size and a good 5 metres from the bed. LEDs are pretty cheap these days. Time for an update. As another reviewer pointed out, doors are painfully thin - any conversation going on in the hall way and you'll hear it loud and clear.
The bathroom was filled with lots of large fluffy towels, but the room itself was a 'get-in-get-out' type of place that was bare and lacked any sort of comfort. The tap was awkwardly set too close to the basin and there was some black (mould?) substance running along the top of the shower cubical. Once again, strung around the shower nozzle was an advertisement for buying breakfast!
We got the deal through a discount booking engine, but we were still nudging the $200 a night mark. This represented about $50-60 off the standard advertised price. I also understand they are doing a refurbishment, floor-by-floor, but I don't think we got a new one. There were wear-and-tear marks on our walls, although the rest of the rooms was comfortable enough (although still very spartan like the bathroom).
Attention to detail? There were double signs on the glass walls leading to the roof-top garden saying stage 3 water restrictions meant water features have been turned off. I thought water restrictions ended almost a year ago in Victoria? There was no guide in the room (that we could find) outlining the services and facilities in the hotel (where to find the pool for example).
I understand they have now joined the Accor group, but where to place this hotel? It is certainly something less than Sofitel, and in parts less than some of the new Mercure branded hotels (compared to the Grand Mercure at Guangzhou airport this hotel was way behind).
Overall - the staff saved this hotel. But they're not with you when you discover the nasties such as $7.50 for a toothbrush, or $5 for toothpaste, or $8 for a sauce to go with your steak! They can't always save the day!
Perhaps other rooms (higher price categories) will give you some of the amenities you might come to expect from a 5 star hotel. We even didn't get a signature rubber ducky because, well, we didn't have a bath!
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Thank you for taking the time to relay such in depth feedback.
It is disappointing to learn that you had such a negative stay with us.
I apologise that you found your room to be below standard. We are in fact in the process of a multi-million dollar refurbishment which is due for completion in September. This however does not excuse the fact that you found visible signs of wear and tear in your room. Also please note our rubber duck is missing at the moment as we undertake our re-branding process.
I also apologise for the fact that you found room service options to be overpriced. This feedback will be discussed with our Food and Beverage Manager and we will conduct a review.
Once again we do appreciate any feedback which I can assure you is taken very seriously.
Please accept our apology.
Anne Marie Lennon
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.