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“Beautiful location but needs more” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Sebel Harbourside Kiama

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The Sebel Harbourside Kiama
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   31 Shoalhaven Street, Kiama, New South Wales 2533, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Kiama
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Lake Macquarie, Australia
Top Contributor
119 reviews 119 reviews
30 hotel reviews
Reviews in 50 cities Reviews in 50 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
“Beautiful location but needs more”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013

Stayed at Sebel for a 2 night deal including breakfast. We had done it before and enjoyed our stays. Things seem to have gone downhill since then. We waited for about 15 minutes to be served at reception. Both staff seemed to be sorting out billing problems - not a good sign, especially as we were ignored. We were upgraded to a balcony room, which was nice, with a view of the Hotel entrance, which was not so nice. Our bed was very uncomfortable - seemed to be the result of aging. We looked forward to breakfast, but were quite disappointed. Plenty of food but it was very bland and tasteless. Quite unimaginative in presentation and exactly the same as what we have had on previous visits. So it was an OK experience, but with a little care, courtesy, imagination and some upgrading of facilities, could have been so much better.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 2 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daniel P, General Manager at The Sebel Harbourside Kiama, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Thanks for the feedback jono13

Firstly please accept my apologies for any inconvenience you experienced during your stay.

All the bedding in the hotel was replaced just before Christmas so I was suprised to read that you found your bed uncomfortable however everybody has a differing opinion/taste when it comes to beds.

We have some exciting developments in how and where we serve our breakfasts. I anticipate these changes will be rolled out in the next 3 months Hopefully you will see significant improvement in this area if you do return in the future.

Appreciate your thoughts.

Cheers

Dan
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608 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (140)
Date | Rating
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English first
Sydney, Australia
Top Contributor
69 reviews 69 reviews
29 hotel reviews
Reviews in 48 cities Reviews in 48 cities
66 helpful votes 66 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 27, 2013 via mobile

Positives:
1. Location - centrally located within walking distance to restaurants, cafes, shops, parks, ocean swimming pool and Leagues club.
2. Rooms - large in size with quality furnishings. Big TV with in-built DVD. Balcony is small but is a nice touch. Shower is huge.
3. Buffet breakfast - large range of quality continental and hot meal options. Worth taking up the breakfast option if offered as part of the hotel package.
4. Free car parking located directly under the apartments for easy access.
5. Bed - massive king size beds proved very comfortable.

Negatives:
1. Check In - advised by staff 48 hours prior confirming the booking that check in was 2pm. When we suggested we may be earlier than this we were advised to still come to Reception upon arrival as they would check whether our room was ready. If it wasn't they could organise to hold our luggage. We postponed our arrival accordingly to 1.55pm. Despite this we were told the room was not ready upon arrival. Instead of checking on the room's status with housekeeping while we were still in Reception, we were told they would call us when the room was ready. No offer was made to hold luggage and no advice was offered regarding where we might wait in the interim. We left the hotel. They called my mobile at 2.25pm while I was on another call. No voicemail message was left, so I assumed the room must be ready and headed back to the hotel. I was told that the room was now ready. No reference was made by Reception to the phone call or the lack of a message having been left that the room was ready and no apology was made for the inconvenience caused.
2. Reception - Reception failed to explain hotel facilities adequately, including that car parking was available or how to access it at the time of checking in.
Although there was supposed to be 24 hour reception, we found this service wanting. We woke up around 4am to find our room extremely cold and the unit leaking water on to the carpet. We tried adjusting our air conditioning via the remote but the unit did not respond. We called Reception but no-one answered and it went to voicemail. Despite leaving a message, no one called us back. There were no instructions for the air conditioner in the room so we were forced to climb a chair to try and find the manual override button and switch it off. We called back Reception 20 mins later to avoid them waking us up by calling back. Although Clint at Reception kindly offered to come up to the room to check the unit, there was no apology or explanation for not having responded to my earlier message.
3. Car park - no security on the car park. Seemed to be a lot of people other than hotel guests parked in the car park when we stayed, especially people visiting the beach or restaurants and bars nearby, limiting the number of spaces available to genuine hotel guests.
4. Bathroom - no shelving space to put your toiletries on and no bath which seemed odd as the shower and bathroom if anything were oversized.
5. No swimming pool - although the ocean swimming pool is close by (around 500m walk from the hotel) it was inconvenient to have to leave the hotel and walk for about 10 mins to go for a swim.
6. Lack of waterview rooms - despite being located on Kiama harbour as the name of this hotel suggests, disappointingly it offers very few rooms with genuine waterviews and these I am told generally book out very quickly. Majority of rooms face on to the railway line or suburban streets.
6. Room service - we called at 2.30pm on a Saturday afternoon to order in-room meals from the menu in the room. We were advised that the only options through till 5pm were wedges, chips and pizza despite no suggestion of time limitations on menu in the room. If we had known this we would have placed our order earlier. We chose to walk a block from the hotel and found a wonderful array of cafes, takeaways and restaurants more than willing to offer us a wide range of quality food at half the price irrespective of the time of day.
7. Room maintenance - found the soap holder in the shower worn and grubby, with remnants of soap from previous guest still on it. Power outlet next to bed was found to be loose in the wall.


Tips:
1. Rooms - select a room with a waterview if you can. Failing this try to get a room with a balcony and preferably on the higher floors away from the railway line. If you like quiet rooms or are a light sleeper you could also request a room away from the lifts and house-keeping rooms towards the end of the corridors. We stayed in a room on 3rd floor facing Minnamurra St which we found to be very quiet despite staying on a weekend during school holidays.
2. Bring your DVDs - in-house movies are expensive at $15.95 a pop. The TVs offer in-built DVDs.
3. Visit the cafes and restaurants close by - they offer quality food at reasonable prices and you can walk to most of them. Many offer BYO. No need to restrict yourself to the hotel's food or prices.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Daniel P, General Manager at The Sebel Harbourside Kiama, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Hi klewi,

Thank you for your detailed feedback on your stay at The Sebel Kiama. Your feedback and suggestions will ensure that we are continually improving the quality and service of our hotel.

I apologise that there was some confusion in regards to when your room was ready and that you were not porperly informed about the facilities within the hotel..

The bathroom issues you mention are being rectified as we speak.

I agree that a pool would be a welcome addition to the facilities we have on offer. There are plans investigating future development for the site and I can confirm that a pool, gym and day spa are high on the agenda. I hope that we can provide these facilities for our guests sooner rather than later.

Appreciate your thoughts,

Regards,

Dan
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batemans bay
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
3 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

Excellent rooms well appointed. Facilities adequate and centrally located within walking distance to blowhole and town. Buffet breakfast only just adequate. Unless included would try one of the many restaurants in town. Don't cheffs know how to cook bacon?

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
43 reviews 43 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 13 cities Reviews in 13 cities
36 helpful votes 36 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 25, 2013

We stayed overnight at the Sebel Kiama. The staff were very friendly and helpful. We had a large room overlooking the railway line, but did not hear a thing. Comfortable bed, large TV, large bathroom, good shower. The buffet breakfast was tasty especially the Sebel Bircher Muesli. This hotel is located in a magical spot, and it's only a hop skip and a jump to a lovely rockpool - safe for kids and older adults who like to have a swim. Very enjoyable stay and we shall be going back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
21 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
26 helpful votes 26 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 23, 2013

We love to visit Kiama for many different reasons. But often the limited number of water (glimpse) rooms make it difficult to secure a booking. On arrival our room wasn't quite ready but staff went to extravagant lengths to make us comfortable. The place is tidy and well presented and the old adage location, location location.... prevails.

Room Tip: The water glimpse rooms are worth chasing...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
8 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 22, 2013

The Sebel hotels have a reputation for quality rooms and service. Generally, they did not disappoint during our stay. The family room of king bed and 2 singles was spacious. Buffet breakfast was good. Staff were friendly. The location is magic !
So what made the experience less than delightful ? The bathroom was large but the small pedestal wash basin was ridiculous. It was so small that washing your face left a puddle below. There is no vanity to put your toiletries. The ironing board was in the bathroom. The bath/shower was big but the glass screen was also small, so that too left a pool on the floor - nothing to do with the kids either !
There is a kitchenette with small stove, microwave, sink and crockery which is a nice touch for families but definitely not made for cooking family meals. The fridge is a bar fridge chocoblock with very very pricey minibar and drinks. So not much room to store personal food items.
Also, we watched a pay-for-view movie but this kept stopping through the movie. Staff did not know how to fix but readily credited our bill. Note, this hotel does not have a pool or gym/
Generally, a lovely place to stay and recommended. Just a few items as noted above which dampened an otherwise great stay.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Gosford, Australia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

Stayed in a family room on 15 January 2013. There was a problem with the airconditioner which was quickly resolved by a staff member. Check-in and staff were really friendly and the room is large with a king bed plus two king singles. Some areas of the room needed to be more thoroughly cleaned and I raised this with staff.

The breakfast was very nice and the hotel is in a fantastic location right next to the harbour. Plenty to do in Kiama.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Sebel Harbourside Kiama

Address: 31 Shoalhaven Street, Kiama, New South Wales 2533, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Kiama
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 4 Hotels in Kiama
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — The Sebel Harbourside Kiama 4*
Number of rooms: 88
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Sebel Harbourside Kiama Hotel Kiama

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