We stayed on the 2nd floor (room 203), in a one-bedroomed (king) balcony room, overlooking the marina. The room was very funky, with modern decor in a well designed layout. There were 2 TVs (lounge & bedroom) & a dock to play your music through iTunes. The kitchen had everything we needed, as we had organised to make a seafood dinner in (to eat on the balcony), rather than go to a restaurant (highly recommended). The balcony had enough room for a small table & 2 chairs, with a great outlook. There were really good quality knives that cut through our crayfish with ease (important) & very nice cutlery, crockery & glassware. The bathroom was spotless and had lovely Appelles Apothecary products & fluffy towels. The lounge/dining was terrific, with curved furniture to make optimum use of the space - clever. The bedroom was fantastic - a very comfortable bed & modern decor. When it was time to shut the balcony door & draw the curtains, you could not hear any of the revelry that was still going on in the Docklands - it was absolutely quiet & dark - great for sleeping in!
Check in was very friendly, with a special mention to Andrew and Nisha, as it was really busy due to it being NYE (thank you). We would also like to make an extra special mention to Jesda, who organised a surprise hamper on behalf of our parents. It was exactly as they had asked & was waiting for us in our room - really lovely! (Thank you).
We didn't have to pre-book car parking, & it was much cheaper than other hotels in the city ($20), however, we still think parking should be included in the accommodation cost. When we asked for a later check out (11am instead of 10am), it was no problem at all. Again, thank you.
People say Docklands is "dead", but we don't find that at all. There are lots of really nice places to eat at & the James Squire pub is at the end of the marina. There's an IGA just around the corner if you need supplies & shopping at Harbour Town is close by. We used the free city circle tram to go across to the casino - easy.
A couple of things we do need to mention:
1. Going from the car park to your room is confusing and awkward. We were given instructions at reception, but too many to follow easily. We went through several doors before we worked it out. This would be difficult for anyone who is older or impaired in any way. Even when you have luggage it's tricky to maneuver. We thought this was badly designed.
2. The rooftop garden has a strange access unless you knew exactly what to do. We asked hospitality staff who told us, but it was odd, (you have to go to Floor 5 instead of 6 and then walk up stairs). You can't see the marina from up there, but there are bbqs & seating within gardens.
3. The kitchen could do with a scourer etc to wash dishes (we didn't have enough to warrant using the dishwasher). These are only small things, & nothing to worry about, but it's good to know.
4. The foyer doesn't do the Hotel justice & looks quite cheap, but don't be put off by that first impression. There's a lot of purple everywhere, which may or may not be to your taste.
5. The only really disappointing part for us, was we booked quite a few weeks before NYE and rang 3 times leading up to our night to check that we were booked into the highest floor. We were paying double the normal rate, so we really wanted the view for the fireworks. We were told several times that we had been given the highest floor with the best marina views. We ended up on the 2nd floor, which although was still lovely, and had a nice view, was not as good as what we had hoped for, & more importantly, what we were led to believe. We had even called on the morning of NYE to confirm this, yet, when we arrived, it was not the case. As check-in isn't until 2pm, we arrived 15 minutes early, but were told all the rooms had already been checked into, & therefore we could not be moved to a higher floor. It was really disappointing, as we expected to have what we had booked. Obviously dIfferent staff told us different things.
Overall: we had a fantastic NYE. Docklands is a great place to spend the evening, as it feels very safe & friendly, but with a great atmosphere. We would recommend staying at the Sebel Docklands, especially at their normal rate, as it's a great location, modern, comfortable, well equipped, clean & friendly.
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