Normally I don't take to heart what I see on Trip Advisor, being in the Industry and knowing the service and facilities and location we give and reading some peoples comments, I understand that it was their expectation not met, not our facilities and services not upto standard. Eco Resort means insects and animals!! However my family and I stayed at Pacific International Apartments recently and I was highly disappointed and felt I had to write. Something I would NEVER normally consider doing
This was a very special holiday for us. It was a Pre - Xmas surprise for our 4 Children, 2 of whom have never been on a plan or out of Queensland. We had spent months meticulously planning this special getaway. As a Manager at a famous and very busy Island resort in QLD I took a lot of time and planning this for my family to ensure a very memorable experience. Such a pity the memories aren't fond ones.
Firstly, I spent 3 months contacting various properties in Sydney that would be suitable for my needs, these were extravagent, my preference was for 3 Bedrooms, but 2 Bedroom with rollaways was sufficient, and I wanted a kitchen, 2 bathrooms and a balcony. I wanted something spacious, as with 4 children, I didn't want us all tripping over each other and to still have some "us" time. I ended up choosing Pacific International Apartments even though they don't have 3 Bedroom apartments, their location and offer of a Deluxe 2 Bedroom Apartment was sufficient. This is where I then started experience issues......
1. I emailed from the properties website requesting a quote and gave the dates required and number of people. It took 4 days for them to reply to me, only to ask for dates and the amount of people. This should have alerted me straight away! I replied to them stating that as per previous email these details have not changed and gave them again. It then took another 3 days to reply to me with a quote. I was happy with the quote as it was cheaper than the advertised web rate, however still $325 per night, they quoted the accommodation on offer as " Iquoted to me as "We can offer you and your family our luxury 2 bedroom apartments. They
are our largest and most popular apartment and is completely suitable for a family of up to 6." I took the virual tour of the 2 Bedroom Apartment on their website, and visited many other websites checking out pictures etc and was impressed by what I saw, mainly, plenty of room with a Kitchen and Balcony and 2 Bathrooms. so I booked this. It took another 3 days to hear back from them confirming my booking and requesting credit card details, but for the wrong date! They had confirmed us arriving on the day that I had requested we checkout! I went straight back advising them of this error and that prior to me giving the credit card details, I wanted them to confirm to me the correct dates. Another 4 days later, I received an email apologising and advising it was a typing error and indeed my correct dates was confirmed in the system and again requesting credit card details. I gave these details and requested that full payment be taken on that card and a separate card to be given on checkin for incidentals. All too easy right???
2. Well apparently NOT! By this stage I was used to not hearing from them for days on end, so when I hadn't received confirmation by the day prior to our arrival I still wasn't worried. I was out of office on this particular day for a few hours on a business lunch, when I returned I checked my messages and yes low and behold I have a message from the Hotel advising they have not yet received credit card details and if they don't hear from me within the next few hours they would cancel my reservation!! I called them and advised them I had already given them my details etc etc and she was still telling me that they didn't have them, as I was about to send them again, she found the email that apparently just must have been missed (sitting in their inbox for 4 days!). Then I went through hassles to actually make this payment over the phone. However, in the end by late that afternoon all seemed confirmed.
3. On our day of departure, unfortunately we missed our flight, no fault of the hotel at all this time it was our issue. We rebooked a later flight for that night and I called the hotel and advised them of our later arrival time and double checked on 24 hour reception and we could access late (11pm or there abouts). I was told absolutely no problems. Unfortunately more bad luck for us, our later flight was cancelled due to the plane being hit by lightening and we were unable to travel until the following day. I called the hotel and advised them of this. They advised me that I would receive no refund on this night due to cancellation policy, again being a Manager at a large resort, I understood this and actually at no time requested this. I did advise that seeing I have paid for it I expect to check in as soon as we arrive and they were not to "resell" the room for that night. Of course no problems. When we did finally arrive in Sydney and to the Hotel, they could not find our booking. As you could imagine, with the experience over the last 24 hours, this is definitely NOT what I wanted to hear, especially making 2 phonecalls to them the day prior. In the end she did find it. I double checked bedding for 6 was organised, espeically rollaways over double sofabed. She advised no rollaways had been put in as she was worried about room., which didn't really make sense to me as what I had seen on their website they were large and spacious apartments. We asked to please still have them, our girls hadn't had a decent nights sleep as they are both restless sleepers and they had to sleep together the night prior. She advised us that she would organise this while we were out trying to catch up on our activities for the day.
4. We went up to our room, which would you believe it after all this was on the 13th floor!!! When I walked in I was again disappointed. If this was the "deluxe" and large 2 Bedroom Apartment, I would hate to have seen the standard ones! There was 1 x 2 seater sofa for 6 of us. Remember, I was advised that it would be perfect for our family of 6! It was certainly not what I seen on the website and was quite pokey! Our views were over a grotty rooftop with ironing boards that had been thrown over and landed on a roof. I can say, that at least with being up 13 floors we could see the city and the nightime lights were quite a nice view, just don't look down! To me it was well under the $325 per night we were paying but I was gratefull I wasn't paying the asking price of $500!!! Now I understood why she was worried about putting rollaways in here as there was just nowhere to put them, my husband and I worked out all would be ok, we would put one in the 2nd bedroom and the other in the loungeroom. We were going to be out most of the time anyway.
5. We made it back to the hotel at 1am after a very busy day with very tired children, only to get to our room (after walking directly into the hotel that is supposed to be accessible by key only after 9.30pm) and there are NO ROLLAWAYS!!! By this time I was over it all, kids wanted to sleep so we decided to not chase up at this time, we would chase it up the following morning and for that night they could settle on the sofabed. We pull it out to find out that it was not made up. No sheets or pillows in sight!!! By this time my Husband and I had enough. He tried calling reception for 25 miins with no answer, the girls ended up sleeping on the loungeroom floor in the meantime my husband went down to reception to sort this issue out. The duty manager was having a hard night, lots of problems, hence no answer on the phone, he had to deal with a party in one of the rooms, and elevators not working as someone had poured alcohol in the buttons (could have been anyone as the hotel was not secured and anyone could walk in and out), another woman locked out of her room as her card was unactivated etc. He did the best he could and had sheets and blankets brought to us within 10mins. We then had to make up the sofabed for our girls and finally get some sleep!!
6. Finally the next morning, we were up early to begin again making up lost time, and my husband seen the duty manager on that day. Again, he profusely apologised and advised this wasn't standard procedure and offered us complimentary breakfast to which my husband accepted. He also advised he would refund our accommodation for that night. We decided to not waste time that day and I went to reception to request me move breakfast to the following morning when we had more time to which he agreed. I again checked we would receive a refund on the previous nights accommodation, especially seeing we had already paid for a night we hadn't used, then paid for another night for something that we didn't receive in full. This again was agreed to and processed. We did make it back that night to rollaways in our room. We did have to rearrange the room to be able to accommodate a rollaway in the lounge area.
7. We checked out the next morning and we spoke with the guest service manager. All our issues were brought to his attention and we filled him in on quite a few that he was not advised about. We again checked with our refund to be told that it was his decision to make and he did decide that he would refund us one night, it was as though we should thank him for him for his troubles as he made this decision for us. Whereas this had indeed already been promised to us the day prior! He kept advising me that this is not normally the standard etc etc. Which normally when I hear that, I believe that is normally the case, however, we experienced nothing but problems from the start of enquiry to checking out! He was helpful in assisting us shuttle transfers to the airport etc. However, I was getting frustrated as I don't feel he was actually listening to what I was tryinig to say. Just going into auto pilot telling me what they have been trained to say in the circumstances. He didn't seemed phased that this very expensive and special holiday had been nothing but a shamble and a lot of due to their errors and miscommunications. We went for breakfast, however, when we got to the restaurant, we were advised we needed vouchers that should have been supplied by reception. Now this is no biggy as it's only upstairs (like 10 stairs, can look down onto reception), however, you would think after the 30 mins we were talking to reception, someone would have given us our vouchers for this rather than just watch us walk upto the restaurant to only have to come back down and collect these!
As a Manager at a resort, I was horrified at our experience and how it was dealt with. Overstall the staff are friendly, but don't seem overly experienced with how to deal with issues effectively and actually listen to their guests complaints. I was not after a full refund, I just wanted them to accept that they assisted in giving us a weekend from hell and to acknowledge this. For a 4 star Hotel and the rate they charge, you certainly do not get value for money. I could have stayed at 5 Star Meriton World Tower for the same price for a 3 Bedroom Apartment but suffering vertigo didn't wish to be 63 floors up, but now I wished I suffered the vertigo rather than stress we experienced at Pacific Int Apts. I will certainly not be returning and wished I had read the comments on this site prior, seeing there is 2 positive comments out of 17 and the pictures that are displayed would have alerted me to stay elsewhere.
I hope Pac Int Apts do take in the comments their guests have left on Trip Advisor, as they are all correct (except the noise factors etc, you are on George St in the City, that is your choice not the Hotels fault), and noisy guests, I know the duty manager was trying to calm things down with the guests haveing a party while were there also, but he can also only do so much. But the service, facilities, procedures etc can certainly be improved and when you book something you should get it!
I would still like to know what apartment is on the website, if anyone has stayed in one that resembles it please advise what type of accom this was, as it certainly wasn't the 2 Bedroom Deluxe Apartment that is apparently their most spacious that they gave us!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Located in Sydneys entertainment precinct, BreakFree on George Sydney offers accommodation to suit both business and leisure travellers. Just 35 minutes from Sydney airport and close to Capital Square Lightrail Station, Chinatown, The Star Casino, Sydney Entertainment Centre, Paddy's Market, Capitol Theatre, Sydney Entertainment Centre, Cockle Bay and Darling Harbour. BreakFree on George Sydney gives you access to all Sydney has on offer. The accommodation at BreakFree on George Sydney consists of studios, one and two bedroom apartments, all with high-speed broadband access, pay-to-view movies, selected Foxtel channels, lounge and dining area. Most apartments have private balconies (available on request), fully-equipped kitchen in two bedroom apartments, kitchenette in studios, one bedroom apartments, washer/dryer available in all two bedroom apartments, ISD/STD direct dial phones and voice mail message service, individually controlled air-conditioning and tea and coffee making facilities. We offer guest services at BreakFree on George Sydney including 24 hour reception, concierge and same day laundry service. From your doorstep take a short stroll and sample the best that Sydney City has to offer with multi-cultural dining, vibrant night life and a host of bars, clubs and entertainment catering for all ages and budgets. If shopping is on your wish list, the designer boutiques of Pitt Street and the bustling market style of Sydneys famous Paddys Markets are both within close proximity of BreakFree on George Sydney. BreakFree on George Sydney caters to a diverse range of travellers and is well suited those looking for affordable inner-city accommodation. Please provide your own baby blankets for the Baby Cot. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Breakfree On George Hotel Sydney