Average hotel. Stayed here for a conference in March for 2 nights. Got upgraded to club rooms which had a lake view and access to club lounge for continental breakfast.
Positives - Club rooms were nice, decor & amenities were good, room and bathroom clean. Nice view and balcony overlooking Polynesian Spa and lake. Club room also had LCD TV (apparently the other rooms have only chunky CRTs)
Negatives - Poor customer service or poor management - not sure which. Only had a couple of issues but they they have stuck in my mind:
- Asked if I could check-in early (it was 10am), but got told, no you can't as this is check-out time not check-in time. I think this staff member was trying to be funny but it came across as almost rude. I overheard her dealings with other customers and she had the same manner. Was probably limited to this person, but as she was the first person I came across in the hotel it kind of set the tone for me. Rest of the staff was pleasant.
- Restaurant - this is a hotel that caters for large tour groups and conference bookings. However when we tried to use the restaurant one night, we were told that they would only take bookings after 9pm. We asked if there was anything else nearby and after much fluffing around they produced a map and recommended an Italian place and a Thai place, 2 blocks walk. So we wandered out for a walk. But being a Sunday night, the Italian place closed early and I didn't feel like Thai. The only other option was taking a cab into town or another 15 minutes walk into town. So we walked back figuring that by now it's 9pm and we'd try the restaurant. However now we are told no bookings until after 9:30pm, and yes room service is served by the same kitchen so that won't be any quicker. So we ended up with Thai, purely because there was nowhere else to eat near this hotel. (Actually the thai food was pretty good - Amazing Thai, would recommend). This was pretty poor since our conference was probably providing 50-60 guests that night, not to mention the couple of coaches we had seen pull up earlier. This was possibly a one-off (eg one chef down) but surely a hotel like this should have contingency plans in place, especially knowing they had a lot of people staying that night.
(And as an aside, one of my colleagues did try ordering room service that night - it arrived around 9:40 but minus the vegies and sauce it was advertised as having - so obviously some kitchen issues there).
Other comments - hotel is dated, and long walks if you have lakeview rooms. There is only one entrance and exit (I was looking for a shortcut to the Energy Events Centre) but no luck, you have to take the long way around the hotel. Room access is via actual key (with room number and hotel name and address printed on it) so not necessarily that safe if you lost the key. This was quite old-fashioned - but they explained it as being more eco-friendly as 3x AA batteries are required to operate swipecard access, which need replacing every 3 months (no idea if this is true, but it's written in the room guide!).
Rooms and facilities not well maintained, I had a blown-bulb above the bed and there was some sort of running water noise continuously throughout the night (sounded like it was coming from the aircon unit). Bulb was either replaced or started working by my 2nd night. One of the lifts was very jerky and had some floor buttons that didn't light up after being pressed. Generally the place felt pretty clean, but dated.
We had conference drinks at the Bar - staff may not have been expecting us as there only seemed to be one drinks menu being handed around in the beginning.
Club Lounge was nice, but only managed to use it for breakfast, which was continental (as advertised). Reasonable choice of toast, cereals and fruit. Bit of a walk to get to as well. Nice man on duty who made and brought you your tea or coffee.
Location - not great. Limited carparking in hotel grounds, and 20 minutes walk into Eat Street. 12 minutes walk to Events Centre. But nice and peaceful location - good for runners / walkers as well as the gardens are near by.
Overall - given the price that we were paying (conference deal) this was kind of expensive and not worth it. I have stayed in the Novotel previously for a conference, which is better located for nightlife but depends on where your conference is. I also stayed in the Heritage the night before which was noisy but better value, but wouldn't have been suitable for our conference as too far away.
Probably wouldn't stay here again as only the most expensive rooms ($220) seemed nice and they're out of my personal price range.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.