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“unique venue but disappointing” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Q Station Sydney Harbour National Park Hotel

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Q Station Sydney Harbour National Park Hotel
4.0 of 5 Hotel   |   1 North Head Scenic Drive, Manly, New South Wales 2095, Australia   |  
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Ranked #3 of 14 Hotels in Manly
Sydney, Australia
2 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“unique venue but disappointing”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

beautiful hotel and unique venue.

Amazing service. The hotel is heritage so no A/C which would be fine but there no window and you can't sleep with the door open so you're just hot. When you happen to stay on the hottest day in the last 70 year it become a problem.

I was disappointed the hotel doesn't have a proper spa. my husband bought me an in room massage for my bday but a spa should be part of their services.

Breakfast was okay but overall disappointing. I would have expected more choice.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 3 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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510 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
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (159)
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sydney australia
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
27 hotel reviews
Reviews in 23 cities Reviews in 23 cities
58 helpful votes 58 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 16, 2013

We stayed in room 26 in building P12 using our Advantage Plus complimentary certificate.
Firstly, I was amazed to find that we could use our complimentary night in high season on a saturday night, having booked at the last minute. I upgraded to a harbour deluxe room for a $60 fee.
On arrival, check in was friendly and smooth, although the desk clerk was new and couldn't give me accurate information about using my Advantage Plus card for dining discount at breakfast.
If guests book breakfast at check-in, the cost is reduced from $32 to $20, so that's worth considering. However, Advantage Plus members can obtain the 2 for 1 discount for all meals, including breakfast.
We used the mini bus service to reach our room at the far end of the property, but it wouldn't be too much for an average fit person to walk it.
Given that we had used our complimentary night, we were amazed to find that we were given one of the choice rooms of the hotel. Our room opened onto a shared verandah, which had fabulous and unobstructed harbour views. Surely one of the best views in the world.
Our room was quite small, but was comfortable, with all the usual amenities and a spacious and pleasant en-suite bathroom.
Our building was very quiet, but very close to the 2 guest lounges, which provide free coffee and tea and newspapers.
We walked from our room down to the beach area to have dinner and breakfast in the Boilerhouse, and survived the 260 steps on both occasions. It was quicker to do the steps than wait for the mini bus to take us back up to our room.
Dinner at the Boilerhouse was good. There are several seafood options as entrees. The menu offers the usual main course selections - beef, fish, pork, chicken etc with one vegetarian option. Desserts were great. Service was friendly and efficient, even though the restaurant was quite busy.
Most tables inside the restaurant do not have harbour views.
Breakfast was adequate, but not worth $32. We ate outside, with a view. A kookaburra helped itself to my husband's croissant right before my very eyes.
It would have been a great experience for a foreign tourist - if there were any...there seemed to be a lot of Australian guests, but very few from overseas. I found this strange and a bit sad, as I think it would be a fantastic place for overseas tourist - history, wildlife, harbour views.
The developer has done a good job of integrating the historical site with hotel amenities, which must have been very challenging.
Recommended.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Illawarra
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
4 hotel reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 9, 2013

We found the Q station very relaxing and for the 2 days we were there didn't even want to go out of the complex - just wanted to stay and enjoy it while we could.

Our only problem was the service at the Boilerhouse Restaurant - we rang twice from our room to make a booking which the answering machine said they would return our call to confirm - but didn't. So eventually we rang reception who managed to get them to ring us and they asked that we come earlier (so we thought they might have been booked out later but that night we went was extremely slow (they did say they were understaffed) however, we weren't in a great hurry and were very patient until we waited over 15 minutes for a dessert that we could see was on the counter ready to be delivered to our table.........in that time our coffee eventually came and we drank it!

We couldn't raise any of the staff as they were occupied elsewhere - it was a shame and put a bit of a damppener on our otherwise lovely break away.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with family
    • 3 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
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney, Australia
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
52 helpful votes 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 2, 2013

We are Sydneysiders and have stayed here before - it feels like you are a world away from the hustle and bustle.
It was lovely to sit on our balcony with our canapés and bubbles (brought from home ) and watch the sun setting. The room was lovely and in keeping with the heritage listing.
We dined in Manly, taxi organised by the resort.
Breakfast at the Boilerhouse Buffet was lovely and the free newspaper an added bonus.
Previously had stayed on a wet wintry night so enjoyed the summer!

  • Stayed November 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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Eindhoven, The Netherlands
Top Contributor
61 reviews 61 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

We stayed in this hotel for 2 nights, and it felt like a real holiday. It is such a special place, rich of history and culture, and surrounded by beautiful nature and a lovely little beach.
Walking around the complex makes you aware of its past, as the whole site is very well restored.
The Boilerhouse restaurant is located on the site at Quarantine Beach, and serves a good selection of food. In the weekends buffet breakfast is also served here, and can be enjoyed eating outside in the shade.
We had an awesome weekend!!!!!!

  • Stayed December 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
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NSW
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
11 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2012

We have just returned from 2 nights at the Q station, where we had booked a 3 bedroom cottage to watch the Sydney to Hobart Yacht race.
There were excellent views from the area reserved for hotel guests and although our cottage wasn't ready on arrival (we arrived early) we were able to use the on site shuttle bus to take us to the viewing area (at the hospital precinct) to set up our picnic things for the day.

The cottage itself was huge!
We were in S14 which had full kitchen facilities, 3 large bedrooms ( although the kids bedroom had the best views overlooking Manly & the Harbour) A supurb reading nook / sunroom with same views. The lounge & dining room had great views towards the city.
Overall the cottage was clean, very quiet & away from the main hotel rooms / facilities.
The bed was comfortable, pillows great & bathrobe & slippers provided.

We walked down to the Boilerhouse each morning for breakfast ( which was included) Buffet style with plenty of choices then went for a morning dip at the beach to refresh ourselves!
The 200+ steps there would be challanging for the elderly or unfit - however you could request a shuttle bus to take you there & back if you wanted.

The whole place ran on a loop shuttle bus. Phones are positioned around the grounds where you could ring reception to request a bus, the longest we waited was 5 minutes.
All staff we encountered were terrific, from David & Simon who worked on reception, to Damien the Operations Manager ( who gave us a lift in his car rather than wait for a bus!!) and Alex the Front Desk Manager plus the girls that drove the buses, to the Boilerhouse Restaurant staff, and the cleaning staff we encountered - the whole team are to be commended for their professionalism!

Although not a problem for us as we were able to drive our car to the cottage (and no further) i would make sure you are aware, that once on arrival you need to load your belongings onto a bus to get to your accommodation.

We used the public bus stop at reception to get to Manly, then onto Sydney for the day. These buses ran regularly.
Didn't do any onsite tours but the place is steeped in history that there is lots to see & do.

Would certainly recommend the Q station & would love to return again one day!
Thanks for a great stay!

Room Tip: Cottage S14 has great views towards the city ( not of Harbour Bridge or Opera house though) and view...
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  • Stayed December 2012, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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Sydney
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
24 helpful votes 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 23, 2012

LOCATION
The Q Station Manly was a great weekend retreat and the existing reviews here live up to what this hotel is all about. Before coming to stay here though, do remember what your getaway really entails; it’s a preserved part of Sydney history with historic elements throughout, however transformed to now have the hotel feel. It’s not 5-star luxury if that’s what you’re comparing the star rating against.

The view from the grounds is spectacular. The backdrop of Sydney Harbour could not get any better and you definitely feel secluded whilst still being close to Sydney waters.

We arrived by car and parking is located on the entry of the property. Cars however, must be parked at reception whilst a shuttle bus takes you to your rooms. This was not a problem, but my first tip would be to ask reception to borrow a torch (or bring your own) – parts of the walkways are not well lit.

It’s not an easy walk to Manly’s main restaurant/shopping strip however, less than a five-minute drive if you do have a car. Parking around Manly area is also quite easy as there is free parking in the council car parks for the first two hours - there’s four in the main strip of Manly, just look for the P1-P4 signage.

If you do have a few days here, also take the time to enjoy the walks around North Head area. Speak with reception and they’ll point you in the right direction.

HOTEL
The Q-Station is definitely “different” to your average hotel stay. First and foremost, I’d suggest you visit the Visitor Centre/Museum (on-site) and this is the best insight about the detailed history of these grounds. Until you really absorb what it’s all about, you may pick on faults which realistically cannot be changed for comparisons of other hotel experiences.

We did meet a very friendly staff/worker at the Q Station; Simon – he was driving the shuttle bus services a few times whilst we were there. Thumbs up to him! He has a wealth of knowledge about the area, very helpful and always willing to assist. He provided a number of suggestions of things to do around the Q Station grounds as well as the walks which we did follow through with during our stay.

The hotel grounds are quite spread out – which is where the shuttle buses are handy. We were staying in the “Isolation precinct” of the grounds which unfortunately is as it states - isolated. You could not easily walk to any of the facilities without calling for the shuttle service to pick you up from this location, but it was a very quiet spot (which is what we wanted), with an en-suite bathroom (as some of the other room types didn’t have this option) and away from the main area. The shuttle services were very prompt so it did not bother us either way.

We had breakfast included daily at the Views Restaurant. This was simple, buffet style. I found it a little odd as the layout was behind some people’s tables which was difficult to get to along the back wall, but most times you’re able to squeeze between, like the toaster queue! If you get the chance and there’s space, do sit outside on the balcony deck, but be careful for the birds as they swoop down and snatch food from your table – we saw this happened twice to others during our stay.

We also grabbed a bite one evening at the Boilerhouse Bar. The restaurant was a little pricey for us however the bar was quirky in terms of how they’ve converted this space. Food was good, relaxed environment, and there’s simple outdoor seating available too.

ACCOMMODATION
I believe we were staying in a Retreat Suite.

As mentioned previously, this was the isolation precinct at a time in history so there’s nothing else within this area when you step out onto your balcony – but the trees and the birds. The room is quite spacious, with a separate bathroom and shower, adjoined by a lounge/sitting room. The ceilings are quite high however all the norm requirements of accommodation are available including a flat screen TV, mini-fridge and ironing board. It isn’t the flash-accommodation you may be use-to when staying in other hotels with the same star rating, however the appeal for our stay was the history which was very reflective throughout the property.

Besides being away from the main part of the Q Station grounds, the shuttle service was prompt and would generally arrive within five-minutes from calling, so we truly enjoyed staying in this room.

OVERALL THOUGHTS
We had a great time. After our daily breakfast, we did visit one of the lounge areas equipped with newspapers and large, comfy lounge chairs. Historic memorabilia doted around the walls, which was very interesting to sit back, relax and read of what it once was.

Room Tip: Bring a good pair of sneakers and enjoy the walks around the grounds and North Head.
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Q Station Sydney Harbour National Park Hotel

Address: 1 North Head Scenic Drive, Manly, New South Wales 2095, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Sydney > Manly
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Free Parking Restaurant Shuttle Bus service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in Manly
#3 Luxury Hotel in Manly
#3 On the Beach Hotel in Manly
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Q Station Sydney Harbour National Park Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 82
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located on North Head at Manly, Q Station offers unparalleled sweeping views of Sydney Harbour from Manly back towards the City and South Head. With over 70 buildings spread across 33 hectares, bring your walking shoes with you. We offer a shuttle service on site as no private vehicles are given access - so leave your vehicle at our carpark, jump on board and relax. Whilst here we'd recommend that you visit our Luggage Store Visitor Centre Cafe & Museum, as well as the Boilerhouse Harbourside Restaurant & Bar - both areas are very popular here. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
q Station Hotel Manly

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