My husband and I booked to stay at the Emerald for a week with our 6 month old baby, while my parents also booked an apartment for the same period, so that we could enjoy a family holiday together. Both apartments were booked using Wotif.com, given the rates for the apartments were vastly cheaper than those offered on The Emerald’s own website. I frequently book accommodation through Wotif however, and have never had a problem.
Both on Wotif, and The Emerald Website, there were two apartments offered – “Classic Apartments” which were un-renovated, and the newer “Deluxe” apartments, which were fully renovated and newly furnished. My husband and I booked the more expensive renovated apartment, while my parents booked a Classic as they weren’t too fussed. Both apartments were two bedroom and had air conditioning. A MUST if you’re holidaying in Queensland. Especially with a young baby.
We arrived two days before my parents and checked in. I was informed that we had been given a “lovely” ground floor apartment – Apartment 14. Instantly I feared being shoved into a dark and gloomy ground floor joint, but was informed with a smile that there was a lovely private courtyard. I then replaced my petrified thoughts with those of me sunning myself on the lovely patio while the baby slept.
Anyhoos, we let ourselves in and my dark and gloomy fears were alas, realised. All the lights were on, and it was still dark as heck. I ran out to see the courtyard, which was very shady and also gloomy and full of crazy ol’ bush turkeys lurking about.
I tried to hide my disappointment from my husband. We had spent more than $2,000 on a week of this accommodation, splurged on the “luxe” apartments and ended up with this. On closer inspection, the apartment was SEMI renovated, but also semi disgusting.
One of the bathrooms was renovated, the other was old and crusty. The bedrooms were nice, but opening the cupboards revealed chests of drawers and shelves that were so yucky, I would sooner have placed my clothes in the garbage bin then in them or on them. The furniture was nice and the kitchen was nice but overwhelmingly the apartment had a dark and depressing feel about it.
I began to complain quietly to my husband, but once again, wondered if I was over-reacting. I needn’t have wondered much longer, as a thousand mosquitoes circled around me, my husband and our baby – wherever we went. They were EVERYWHERE. Despite the apartment being fully fly-screened. What the? I can only put this down to the subterranean nature of the apartment, which also backed onto a waterfall in the common area of the building. Regardless, I wasn’t overly keen on my baby contracting Ross River Fever during our week long sojourn and decided that this was enough for me to request a room switch.
I asked politely whether we might be moved to an apartment that wasn’t so “dark”. I was informed that we could be moved, but not for another two days. As Margaret, the lady at reception, looked at what she could do to move us, she muttered “I can’t put you in that one because they don’t like me putting wholesalers there”. I had the over-arching feeling since our arrival that booking through Wotif made you a second class citizen of the Emerald City. Nonetheless, we agreed to stay in there two nights, take our chances with contracting mosquito-borne tropical diseases and move as soon as the new room became available.
We went back to the room, when I then realised the air conditioning only operated in the main living area/kitchen. I hoped that by leaving the bedroom doors open, the AC would send cool air into our sleeping quarters, but it wasn’t to be. The living area was icy cool but the bedrooms were warm and required us sleeping with the fans on. IT wasn’t overly hot on this particular week but once again, I was disappointed as most holiday apartments advertised as having A/C, have it throughout and not just in the main living area.
I then turned on the TV and found that the sound was switching on and off, on and off in a staccato-like fashion. ALL of the foxtel channels were doing this, so I rang Margaret in reception and told her very politely that the TV appeared to be misbehaving. She responded with an air of irritation that “nobody else had complained about the TV” and when I told her that It was for SURE unwatchable due to the volume wavering every one second from full blast to silence and back again, she remained silent and did not offer to do anything about it. “Oh well, I guess if we’re moving soon…” I squeaked. Margaret was quite intimidating you see.
As luck would have it, Margaret had managed to move us into another apartment the very next day, rather than two days later, as originally organised. She told me this during our television conversation, as though she was doing me a REALLY BIG favour. I responded with glee and thanks and excitement, as at this stage, I was still being VERY nice to Marge.
The following day, after no TV watching, no light, hot bedrooms, and a mosquito convention, we rang to see if the room was ready. Once again, it seemed we had irritated the HECK out of Margaret. She told us she would CALL US WHEN THE ROOM WAS READY. Which seemed to be some kind of secret code for “Leave me ALONE”.
Lo and behold, the call arrived later that morning and we packed up our multiple bits of luggage, the groceries we had bought, the baby cot and high chair we had rented and shuttled ourselves 100 times up and down in the elevator to our new apartment. (Being a serviced apartment, there was no help to move our luggage, which was fine. But it took us about 5 trips)
The new apartment was, oh, I don’t know, 17 MILLION times better than the old one. I then realised that we were for sure being taken for a ride and shoved into what could only be the worst apartment in the block, as we were the Wotif imbeciles who surely wouldn’t know any better. I was filled with joy as there didn’t seem to be an insect outbreak in this one, and my skin could once again feel the warmth of UV light. Both bathrooms were renovated and the cupboards weren’t icky. I was delighted and relieved! (And at this point, not remotely angry)
I ran downstairs and gave Margaret a BIG ol smile and said “the new apartment is SO MUCH BETTER! Thank you SO MUCH!” (Word for word). Margaret looked at me and gave me a sarcastic half smile that was less a “you’re welcome” and more of a “thanks for wrecking my day."
At that moment, I decided that Margaret was INCREDIBLY rude and should NOT work in hospitality. I decided from that moment on I would treat her with the disdain that she had treated me with. Margaret and I were THROUGH. FINISHED. KAPUT.
My parents then arrived and got upgraded to a deluxe apartment, even though they didn’t pay for it – lucky them – and were taken to another FABULOUSLY gorgeous apartment. Once again, cementing the fact that apartment 14 was the WORST apartment in the joint.
My husband and I scooted off to the beach with our little bubs. Luckily, my husband forgot something and popped back to the room, only to find water spraying EVERYWHERE in the hallway from the hot water heater in the bathroom. He ran and told Marge who called a plumber. I fear if he wouldn’t have found it at that exact moment, the apartment would have flooded.
To cut a long story short, the plumber came quickly but the hot water heater could not be replaced until the following day. So we were given a set of keys to the adjoining apartment which we were to use to shower and bath the baby. This apartment was ALSO glorious. WHY we were not actually moved into this apartment, I do not know. But anyhow, we shuttled once again back and forth to shower and bath the baby.
The next day, the hot water heater was installed, after the water being turned off for a couple of hours in the morning. So no running water, whatsoever. Then we were told not to use the hot water for another few hours. So all up, 24 hours of water dramas.
Granted, they did what they could to accommodate us as best as possible, but did not apologise or offer to move us into a different room and when we asked if we would be compensated for the inconvenience, were told that it “wasn’t their fault”. Well, it certainly wasn’t ours, but when you’re paying $350 a night for a room, you don’t expect this kind of hubaloo to occur, and when it does, the OBVIOUS thing anyone with half a brain in hospitality would do, is attempt to apologise and compensate the customers who had been
inconvenienced. When we pressed it, we were told we had to ring Wotif, who would THEN ring them. WHAT? So we did. Wotif agreed it was not a good situation and that we should have at least one night refunded.
They said they would get in contact with the Emerald and would let us know.
We continued our stay and had a marvelous time in Noosa. In the end, the apartment was great and suited our needs, except for the air conditioning and the fact that we were treated RUDELY by Margaret. The location on Hastings was great, though the pool was constantly in shade and too cold to swim in.
Upon return to Sydney, we were told by Wotif that The Emerald REFUSED to compensate us in any way, shape or form, and that we should take it up with the ACCC. Before I do so however, I thought I would post this review. So in summary, AVOID apartment 14, and be prepared to deal with rude Margaret. I note that I am not the first reviewer to comment on her rudeness. And do not expect to get a cent refunded if the hot water heater explodes and floods your apartment.
As an end note, we are frequent travellers, and never have issues with our accommodation or the staff. We're not "those" kinds of customers. We're easy going and happy and nice and totally willing to go with the flow when treated with respect and kindness. (Especially when we're paying good $$$ for the privilege). The last place we stayed in Noosa - we had a surfboard stolen from the balcony. The staff were SO helpful and kind and polite re: the whole episode. They did everything they could to help, even though it wasn't their "fault".
What this tells me is that even when something BAD and unfortunate happens, that is beyond anyone's control - as a hotel property you have a choice in how you deal with it. One way sees the customer singing your praises, and the other, well, ends up here.
Customer service was something that was definitely lacking at this property and the way they dealt with us from start to finish left a seriously SOUR taste in my mouth. We will NOT be returning.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Noosa's most spacious accommodation is located right in the heart of famous Hastings Street Noosa and in what many regard as the best non beachfront location.The choice of Classic (3.5 star) or Superior (4 to 4.5 star) apartments enable guests to choose the accommodation that is right for any requirement. Classic apartments are spacious and well maintained, whilst Superior apartments offer modern fit outs and furnishings. The Emerald offers original Classic or luxury Superior accommodation, combined with 5 star service and style.Set amidst this exquisite boulevard of savvy boutiques, al fresco eateries and fine art galleries, the Emerald Noosa is a hidden gem. Literally 100m away from the azure waters of Noosa's Main Beach and close to the Noosa National Park which offers a network of walking trails throughout 477 hectares of forest, heathland, clifftops, picturesque bays and rocky coves opening out to the spectacular seascape of Laguna Bay.The streetfront Cafe, Bar and Restaurant offer a great vantage point to view the action on Hastings Street. Enjoy the privacy that the design of this tranquil resort offers, whilst taking advantage of the magnificent location.Our professional, friendly team, are available to assist you with any recommendations you may require to make your Noosa holiday a getaway to remember. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- The Emerald Resort Noosa Hotel Noosa