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“Econ hotal at a High price”

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Best Western Plus Apollo International
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Charlestown
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Econ hotal at a High price”
Reviewed November 13, 2013

This is an ok business mans hotel but nothing more, don't think you will get an excellent service, because you wont, you may like me get hit on the Head by a shower head. You may want to consider the use of the mini bar - the price for a pack of chips wow, what a mark up, ( it would sort the economy out if everything was marked up like this. And if that wasn't bad enough they try to put beer on your bill that you haven't drunk ( check your bill, even if the company is paying. Be careful if you think this is a non smoking hotel, because it is not. If the person in the next room is smoking as during my stay you can share there smoke ( don't complain because you will be ask " what do you want me to do about it" The meals are great if you like them fresh out of the microwave, having said that, they were the specials, or is that a name for reheats from the previous night. The fresh steak was very nice. Finally customer care is not the motto of this a Motel, I call it this as I couldn't call it any thing else

Room Tip: Do not leave personal items in the room, as you will notice they have been checked out.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank p509w
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerApollo, General Manager at Best Western Plus Apollo International, responded to this review, November 21, 2013
Dear Valued Guest
We refer to your review. We truly value the opinions of our customers and we apologise that we did not meet your expectations.
The Best Western PLUS Apollo International hotel has recently undergone a multi-million dollar extension and total refurbishment, so your derisory reference to “Motel” and your assessment that our property is merely “OK” is most disappointing.
The prices that we charge for the mini bar are much the same as those that you would to expect to pay in any hotel and not much more than you would pay at the local petrol station. The stocking of mini bars is labour intensive, and costs have to be covered. I apologise for the beer charged to your account. After investigating this issue, I note that we apologised for this error and adjusted the charge. We handle over 90 mini bars a day and make every effort to correctly charge out items that are consumed. However in this case we clearly failed. We are a trusted, and well respected, business in Newcastle and take offense at the accusation that we would attempt to charge a guest for something that he or she did not consume!
We are a non-smoking hotel, and we have signs to this effect throughout the hotel. However, guests do smoke on the balconies of the guest rooms. I believe the room adjacent to yours was a smoking guest and his smoke must have wafted through into your room. The explanation you received from one of our receptionists is not acceptable and I will deal with this team member accordingly.
Our Chef has worked in some of the top restaurants in Europe. He has won numerous awards and he takes considerable pride in his work. So it is most disappointing for him, and his team, to hear your negative feedback. You can be assured that you were not served food heated up in a microwave. Had you complained at the time, we would certainly have dealt with your complaint.
We have no idea what you mean by your final comment "Do not leave personal items in the room, as you will notice they have been checked out."
Our front officer manager, Robyn, called you to discuss your various complaints. We do hope that you will give us an opportunity to make amends and assure you that, upon your return, every effort will be made to make your stay as pleasant as possible.

Sincerely,

Richard Christie
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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721 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (201)
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English first
Australia
Level Contributor
48 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed November 7, 2013

My friends and I chose Babbingtons in the Apollo Charlestown for our October breakfast get-together. A continental buffet breakfast was on offer with the option of also choosing a dish from their hot menu at an additional cost. Our group (of 10-14 people) has had buffet breakfasts at several large hotels in the Newcastle/Lake Macquarie area, and we found this one to be disappointing. In comparison to The Mercure Madison, which is in the same suburb, the range of food on the buffet was quite limited. The menu stated that a range of bread varieties as well as english muffins was available, however, only white bread was provided. When asked what else was available wholemeal was the only other option available upon request. The was only a couple of cereals. There were no savoury dishes on the buffet such as cold meats or cheese. It is common place these days in hotels for a continental breakfast buffet to include access to a pancake maker for serve-yourself pancakes. Both the Madison and Noah's at Newcastle provide that option within their continental breakfast buffet tariff. More than half of the place settings at our table did not have cutlery, and instead of bringing out enough for the rest of the table, each person had to ask for cutlery. Considering we had booked the table 3 weeks ahead, this was poor. The feedback from the rest of my group was similar to my comments here. We won't go there again.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank AussieDeb54
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerApollo, General Manager at Best Western Plus Apollo International, responded to this review, November 14, 2013
Dear Valued Guest,

Thank you for completing the survey regarding your breakfast at our property.

On behalf of our entire team, I would like to apologise for not meeting and exceeding your expectations. At the Best Western PLUS Apollo international we strive every day to provide a superior customer experience and it is clear that in this occasion we weren't able to do that for you and your group.

However I would like to point out that at the Apollo International we do provide a variety of house made pastries, a selection of at least 3 breads, a range of 5 cereals inclusive of 2 types of muesli, freshly cut fruit platters, 3 types of poached fruit, 2 flavoured yoghurts, 3 fresh fruit juices, tea & coffee and a variety of preserves and spreads. I must also mention that we have now introduced waffles and a continental platter to the breakfast menu.

During the morning you were served by Linda, who is our most accommodating and experienced breakfast waitress at the hotel, who continuously gets commended for her service. After discussing this matter with Linda she explained that the table was set and ready for your group. During the breakfast however the utensils were used, and as for all the other guests, these are continuously replaced.

Having viewed your profile and the extent of your travels we truly value your constructive feedback. It is comments like these that we are able to use as a training tool in improving not only our offerings on our buffet but also our service standards, ensuring we provide a better experience in the future to all.

Please consider joining us again so that we can have another chance to provide you with a superior service that we believe we can deliver. Please call me directly to discuss the matter further.

Sincerely

Richard Christie
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Port Macquarie, Australia
Level Contributor
6 reviews
Reviewed November 5, 2013

This was our first stay at Apollo International Hotel, we were fortunate to get one of their specials as we would not been able to afford the full rate. The moment we walked in we were warmly greeted by Scott at the front desk. After checking into our room, there was a slight issue, Scott immediately attended to it professionally and promptly. His Customer Service was outstanding. The Room was great, quiet and lovely views of the bush. The staff in the restaurant and the cleaners were all so friendly. They all made us feel welcomed. I would not hesitate in recommending this hotel.

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MPWandAW
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerApollo, General Manager at Best Western Plus Apollo International, responded to this review, November 6, 2013
Thank you for taking the time to complete a review on your recent visit to the Best Western PLUS Apollo International.

Your feedback is very important to us as we are able to improve in areas that we are unaware of, and reward those staff members that have excelled in their customer service.

We hope you will come back and see us again soon.

If I can be of assistance in the future, please don't hesitate to contact me at 02 4943 6733.

Sincerely,

Richard Christie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
72 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
Reviewed October 23, 2013

We stayed here for a night on the 4th floor. The room was clean and modern. I believe this hotel has just been recently renovated. The views from the balcony were stunning, looking over the bush with Newcastle in the backdrop.

Check in & check out was a breeze. We ordered room service, Cutlets & Fish & chips. The food was pretty good, although the mash potato was terrible.

We were in room 412, and with the hotel being on the Pacific Highway we were a bit worried about the noise. We couldn't hear any road traffic.

  • Stayed October 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MattMonty88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerApollo, General Manager at Best Western Plus Apollo International, responded to this review, October 24, 2013
Dear Mr Monty

Thank you for completing the survey regarding your recent stay at our property.

Your business is very important to us and we value your feedback. By telling us what you liked about your stay and how we can improve, you are helping us deliver a superior experience for you and other guests in the future. We hope to see you return in the not so distant future.

I will be sure to pass on the wonderful comments in regards to the smooth handling of your reservation at the front desk and I am pleased to hear that you enjoy the spectacular view that we have to offer.

If I can be of assistance in the future, please don't hesitate to contact me at 02 4943 6733.

Thank you again for taking the time to complete the survey. We appreciate your loyalty to our brand.


Sincerely,

Richard Christie
General Manager
BEST WESTERN PLUS Apollo International Hotel
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
Reviewed October 21, 2013 via mobile

Friendly staff at check-in, the rooms are basic but clean and nice. Walls between rooms are a little thin (don't need to hear the neighbour's activities) - and the left-in-left-out driveway is annoying.

Still, very decent budget accommodation.

  • Stayed October 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank ScottyinAU
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerApollo, General Manager at Best Western Plus Apollo International, responded to this review, October 22, 2013
Dear Scott

Thank you for your feedback in regards to your recent stay at the Best Western PLUS Apollo International.

Having newly extended and refurbished the hotel, we pride ourselves on offering impeccable service and a superior product at a most competitive price. I thus find it very disappointing to hear about your poor impressions of our sparkling new property.

Your comments have been taken onboard and I will mention to the check-in staff that they did a great job on arrival.

I hope that you will still consider us on your next trip to our beautiful city of Newcastle. If I can be of any assistance in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Kind regards

Richard Christie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
58 reviews
29 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed October 18, 2013

I stayed here for business and was recommended to me by a work colleague. This hotel is set on the hill top of Charlestown approx. 15 mins from Newcastle NSW. It looks like your typical conference, function style hotel, aesthetically pleasing, ample parking and just a pretty spot. On arrival after a stressful day working and then having to drive around bushfire closed highway thankfully check-in was relatively pain free.

I stayed in a nice air conditioned quiet room with a comfortable bed and well-appointed bathroom facilities. I also had a nice little balcony with a view into the bush surrounds with the sounds of nature tweeting in the background. TV was nice sized modern model and reception was good.

As I was very tired and starving I thought that I would go to the motel restaurant for dinner. I looked at the menu and the crumbed cutlets took my fancy. I tried ringing down but got no answer so I made my way to the restaurant and even though the restaurant had 5 people in it and it was a Thursday night I was told that the restaurant was full? OK so room service or local takeaway?? Being absolutely shattered I chose room service,

My food order was promptly delivered with a smile and I was ready to tuck into some yummy crumbed cutlets, and at $28 I was expecting quality. Oh Well!!! at $28 + room service delivery fee (I think $4) I got 2 cutlets bit of mash and beans. OK must be good then, Nooooo, they had to be some of the worst cutlets I have had since I gave up interstate truck driving. The cutlets tasted like they were frozen past their use by date 12 months ago and what about the mash – sorry but cannot bring myself to write about that??? Simply this was a $12 truck stop meal not a $28 + room service fee restaurant quality meal = not even close. The only thing missing was the smell of diesel. If I was not so tired I would have gone down the road for - anything, and gladly paid for it out of my own budget!

Breakfast on the other hand? The sun filters through the windows of the restaurant with a backdrop to the bush, blissful but after the dinner episode I was not expecting much. There were the usual continental choices of fresh fruits and cereals, breads, rolls etc as well as a good selection of cooked breakfast. With much trepidation I chose eggs benedict. While waiting a friendly Kookaburra came and sat under my window so that relaxed me for what I feared was coming.

Breakfast was excellent , chalk and cheese to dinner. The eggs benedict, the hollandaise was fresh and the eggs were perfect, the Croissants were so good that I had two with jam. They say you should have a good breakfast and this made me feel ready to attack a new day

All in all the staff are friendly and helpful. The lady behind the counter though needs to learn to relax. She was trying to be efficient and professional but she seemed to be a little stressed all the time.

The mark of a hotel with its faults is “Would I stay there again” – Yes I would. The hotel is convenient for what I need and is comfortable but unfortunately I would definitely not risk eating dinner there. It was just too expensive for roadhouse food and Charlestown has many fine takeaways and restaurants nearby to choose from anyway.

Room Tip: Eat out - At the prices the restaurant charges it is not worth the hit and miss experience unless so...
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Nev64
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerApollo, General Manager at Best Western Plus Apollo International, responded to this review, October 21, 2013
Dear Valued Guest

Thank you for taking the time to give a most constructive review our property. After recently refurbishing and extending the Best Western PLUS Apollo International it is pleasing to hear that you thought highly of your room and facilities of the hotel.

It is however very dis-heartening to hear that you felt this way about the food received from the Babbingtons restaurant. Babbingtons has recently gone through a refurbishment, menu change and complete chef overhaul. Our head chef has also worked with some of Europe's best chefs and both of us will personally look into the seriousness of the situation. The Crumbed cutlets are undoubtably the most popular dish on the menu and usually get the best feedback.

Thank you for the positive feedback in regards to the breakfast, it's always great to hear that they are doing a superb job in the breakfast room.

I truly hope you consider giving us another opportunity in the future to prove that we truly are the best hotel with the best staff in our great city of Newcastle!

Kind regards

Richard Christie
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Zurich, Switzerland
Level Contributor
75 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 69 helpful votes
Reviewed October 4, 2013

Check-in was a bit lengthy, discussing all the noise options (Highway, Kids, etc.) but that was my fault. We ended up with the room where, on the floor above, a hyperactive girl was jumping around. At ten pm all was quiet until 7 am sharp when she woke up. The rooms were okay, but nothing special. Location is way out of town along a very busy road. We didn't check out the Restaurants.

Room Tip: Go for a room in the back unless you love motorway noise
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  • Stayed September 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Werner010
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GeneralManagerApollo, General Manager at Best Western Plus Apollo International, responded to this review, October 4, 2013
Dear valued guest

I am disappointed that we did not meet your expectations and that your stay was affected by others in the hotel. Your impressions of our hotel are vital in helping us provide the highest level of service to which we are committed to.

Having newly extended and refurbished the hotel, we pride ourselves on offering impeccable service and a superior product at a most competitive price. I thus find it very disappointing to hear about your poor impressions of our sparkling new property.

We appreciate your observations and have taken your comments on board as we are continually working on ways to improve our guest experience.

We hope that this has not marred future stays and would like the opportunity to welcome you back to the hotel in the near future.

Kind regards

Richard Christie
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Best Western Plus Apollo International

Property: Best Western Plus Apollo International
Address: 290 Pacific Hwy, Charlestown, Lake Macquarie, New South Wales 2290, Australia (Formerly Quality Hotel Apollo International)
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Lake Macquarie > Charlestown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 3 Hotels in Charlestown
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Best Western Plus Apollo International 4.5*
Number of rooms: 94
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
BEST WESTERN PLUS Apollo International Hotel is a 94 room, recently totally renovated and extended 4.5 star hotel, located 10 minutes south of Newcastle CBD and providing easy access to the city and local beaches. Set against a backdrop of native bush reserve, Apollo International provides quality accommodation, professional personalised service and well appointed modern facilities. Just minutes drive to the heart of Newcastle and 2 hours from Sydney via the F3 expressway. Unmistakable in appearance, the hotel offers arguably the newest, largest and most luxurious guest rooms in Newcastle. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Quality Inn Newcastle
Best Western Plus Apollo International Greater Newcastle/Charlestown, Australia

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