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“Nothing special about this place”

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Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Ranked #29 of 178 Hotels in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed January 23, 2013

This is a regular hotel, with small rooms, mediocre food and a four seasons price tag.
The staff is nice and well trained and the location is good, but unless you have a hole burning in your pocket and want to over pay for what you are getting, stay elsewhere. I was really disappointed in this hotel.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled on business
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1  Thank Ibrahim A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded January 24, 2013

Ibrahim

Thank you for you comments about our hotel. I am sorry that we did not meet your expectations on this stay.
I am glad to read that you felt the staff were nice and well trained however I am disappointed that the hotel's rooms and food was not to your liking.
Please feel free to email me directly with any specific feedback as we continually strive to improve our hotel and to provide a wonderful experience to our guests.
Sincerely,
David Macklin
Hotel Manager
david.macklin@fourseasons.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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4,151 - 4,157 of 5,814 reviews

Reviewed January 21, 2013

I stayed at the Four Seasons for a week at the end of October (this review is long overdue). The property isn't my usual style. I tend to choose boutique luxury properties, rather than stay in large chains. I went with the Four Seasons this time because the location absolutely cannot be beat. It sits at the entrance to The Rocks on the corner of Circle Quay. I paid extra and had an opera house view. The view was worth every penny. I spent way too much time, staring out the window, watching the ferries come and go.

The room itself was a decent size (though not overlarge) and well-presented. So what was the problem? A few different things--

Construction was going on during my stay. This meant tarps draped over lobby walls, traffic patterns rerouted and restaurants closed. It also meant drilling pounding through the walls of the spa during my treatments. The hotel's architecture is dated, so I understand the need for the facelift. But I saw no effort made on the part of management to compensate the guests for this inconvenience.

Speaking of the spa--if you read through my reviews, you see I'm a bit of a spa junkie. I'm a former massage therapist with back issues, so I will almost always take advantage of spa facilities if given the opportunity. I had two massages here. My therapist was superb. But the massage beds were absurdly narrow. I didn't realize it at first, but my initial appointment took place on what was the spa's largest bed. That was bad. During my second appointment, I had to tuck my hands under my hips so I could keep my arms on the table--if I'd known that would be the case, I wouldn't have booked the appointment, no matter how good my therapist was. I said something to her about the problem and she apologized profusely and begged me to say something to the management. She said she and her manager had approached senior management more than once to see if new equipment could be purchased, but had seen no changes. She also told me she got this feedback all the time, and that just that afternoon she'd had a client who'd booked three hours of treatments give up an hour in, saying she was just too uncomfortable to continue. It was absurd.

The weekend I stayed, the hotel had an odd kind of bridal show going on (I say odd because there were exhibitors selling bridal accessories, but there were also people selling products like bookmarks and slippers). The event took place in the atrium, which made the lobby of the hotel noisy and overcrowded, and which caused the one hotel restaurant to close for breakfast an hour early both Saturday and Sunday. I paid a bed and breakfast rate through Booking.com, so I wanted to take advantage of the meal. But, like a lot of other guests, I didn't want to get up at dawn while on my vacation. So I, like apparently half the hotel, I came down at nine, with one hour left of service. The restaurant was caught absolutely flat-footed--the breakfast buffet was half empty, no one was at the door to seat people (there was literally a line a dozen people deep), tables were dirty. I thought it might be best to forgo the buffet and order a la carte, hoping that would be faster. That was a mistake. I sat at my table for 40 minutes. My order was taken, but I didn't receive so much as a cup of coffee during my time there. The table next to me had a similar experience, the four women sitting there finally giving up and leaving. I followed their example 10 minutes later and went to the Starbucks down the street. When I brought this experience to the attention of the front desk manager, asking him to take the meal off my bill, I was told there was nothing he could do because I'd booked the through Booking.com rather than through the Four Seasons site (I should also mention there was an issue about my room and its price that supposedly was caused by the reservation coming from Booking.com. I use that site exclusively and have never had trouble with any other hotel. Thankfully, Booking.com made it right).

This is the first time I ever stayed at a Four Seasons hotel. I don't think I'll be back. There are too many other hotels out there offering better facilities, services and hospitality. For the price--and with the reputation--I expected far better. Stay at the Shangri-la if you want to be near The Rocks.

Room Tip: If you choose to stay here, book a room with a Full Harbor View.
  • Stayed: October 2012, traveled solo
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Thank KMarieR
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2013

This was my first time at a Four Seasons hotel, so I didn't know what to expect. My husband and I arrived in Sydney at the Overseas Passenger Terminal fresh from a very relaxing cruise. I had done some research online and decided this location looked great since we would be rolling our luggage from the ship. I couldn't have been happier with the distance. We walked to the end of the port area and crossed a street. We had arrived. We were welcomed and checked right in.. at 6:30 am. The lobby was elegant and spacious, and our room although not large, had a view of the Opera House. I requested a power converter box be sent up, and it was, along with a complementary bottle of champagne to celebrate our anniversary. That was a nice surprise! The hotel was convenient to shopping, the Circular Quay and ferries. We had the buffet breakfast the next morning prior to our early morning tour. The variety of food was impressive and the quality as expected. Waitstaff were very attentive.
We decided to take the train to the airport and with a walk of less than a block, $33.00AU and 30 or so minutes, we were at the airport. Couldn't have been easier.

Room Tip: We requested a room on a high floor to minimize potential noise from the street. Windows in our room...
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Sednezer
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 19, 2013

This hotel definately has WOW factor. The location is simply wonderful. It is just a short block away from Circular Quay.......From there you can simply get anywhere in the city. We had a gorgeous room with a beautiful view of the harbour and the Opera House. The amenities were quite lovely (L'Occitane toiletries), the beds were incredibly comfortable. Tea/coffee were available in-room. However, I discovered on the first day, that the hotel have complimentary special coffee available in the lobby in the morning......So starting the day with a cappucino or latte was a nice touch. Also available was bottled water and cold towels outside the front door for the runners/walkers........
What was truly lovely, was the turn down service provided. To arrive back at the hotel after a long day and dinner to find a fresh bucket of ice was very much appreciated. The hotel was quite impressive and the staff very helpful and knowledgeable.
While not a glass and concrete "new build" that some travellers prefer, if you want great service, comfortable beds, wonderful location, and attentive, knowledgeable staff, than this IS the hotel for you. There is something charming and special about this hotel. It is warm with an "ambiance" that is missing from it's more modern counterparts!!!
Thank you for the memorable stay. I'll be back..........
R. McQuade

Room Tip: Try to get a room with a harbour/Opera House view.
  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with family
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Thank Robertam187
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2013 via mobile

Having read the reviews here we were not expecting the same FS brand of service and quality as Asia or in the US. So we stayed here with little expectations.

This was the first time we had stayed at a Four Seasons where our children did not get any welcome amenities. We had asked for adjoining rooms and were advised they could not be guaranteed but they would try their best. We ended up with rooms next to each other (doors about 5m apart) and not connecting. It was not convenient at all and when I asked if any connecting rooms were available they said no, only if we upgraded to the next room category. Not very helpful, but we were only here for one night so we let it go. Not very family friendly .. At Park Hyatt, Shangrila and Radisson they were all able to guarantee adjoining rooms.

Facilities: The swimming pool is funny, as it looks like a motel pool and is accessible through a strange route through the hotel's open atrium. There is no food or drinks service outside of lunch hours on weekdays, but there are two water dispensers if you are thirsty. Not very glamorous.

Breakfast: I didn't think the buffet was anything special. The waitress was super friendly but as I was getting my eggs, a staff came up behind me and made a sighing noise to get me out of the way so he could put back some clean plates. It was weird. The restaurant may want to fix the flooring near the breakfast salad table as I almost tripped on the uneven floor.

Rooms: they were pretty ordinary. Try to avoid low floors and facing Cahill Expressway unless you want to be woken up at 6 by trains, trucks and cars. Some rooms have doors very near each other so you can hear doors closing. Bathrooms are on the small side.

Overall, I'm surprised this hotel can be a Four Seasons. It is a very ordinary hotel. Nothing seems to have changed since I was there 23 years ago. I think that explains the rate which is on the low side. I hope they do something radical to this hotel to qualify it as a Four Seasons.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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2  Thank lovetotravelhk
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
David M, Manager at Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded January 20, 2013

Dear Guest,

Thank you for taking the time to give us feedback about your recent stay.
I would like to extend my sincere apologies for not meeting your expectations.
We pride ourselves with making children feel welcome with children amenities, and inter-connecting rooms and I would like to investigate this further. Unfortunately, this review has limited details of your reservation, therefore, may I ask you for some additional details so I can take a look at your reservation. Please email me directly to ensure your confidentiality.
We continually strive to improve the guest experience and I will personally follow up with these concerns.
Again, I am very sorry and am confident that this was an isolated experience that I will be able to prevent.
Sincerely,
David Macklin
Hotel Manager
david.macklin@fourseasons.com

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 18, 2013

As you would expect for the money that you spend to stay here, the service is impeccable. The location is brilliant. We had a room with a harbour view, and as it was our first view of Australia, it had such an impact on us for the rest of our holiday. For me one of the highlights of the stay here was the bed, it was the most amazing bed I have ever slept on and after at 15 hour flight with no sleep, it was so welcome! We ate dinner at the woods restaurant and could not fault it in any way, the service was good, the food was amazing and when there was a mistake on our bill, it was corrected before we even had the chance to mention it. I have stayed in many hotels that class themselves as five star, but very few have the well trained staff that the four seasons have. Other hotels would really do well to find out about their training systems! I also used the treatment room whilst there and was so pleased with the service that I received as well as with the staff. I cannot fault the Four Seasons at all and I highly recommend it to anyone.

Room Tip: If you can afford it, go for the one with the harbour view, well worth it!
  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank lovestravelling162
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

I just stayed at the Four Seasons Syndey in January 2013 on a business trip. This is my second stay at this hotel, and while it is still very good it is beginning to show some age. The location is excellent for tourists, as it is right at Circular Quay in the Rocks, close enough to walk to the Opera House and the Harbor Bridge. For business people doing meetings in the central business district it is a little bit off, but walkable in about 15 minutes. Service is great, and the morning breakfast buffet is very nice. Be sure to order delicious "flat white" coffee.

Unfortunately, the rooms are on the small side and could use a touch up. The air conditioning system in my room was not really working and made a ton of noise. The fitness center has old equipment in poor condition, with only 2 ellipticals (one of which was out of service). On one Monday morning the fitness center had no headseats. Another morning the water fridge was empty. Small things but noticeable, for a Four Seasons.

The rate was on the cheap side, especially compared to the Park Hyatt, which I hear is better but I have not yet tried it.

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled on business
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Thank MSB1203
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Address: 199 George Street, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney > The Rocks
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Business Hotel in Sydney
#12 Spa Hotel in Sydney
#16 Romantic Hotel in Sydney
#25 Family Hotel in Sydney
#29 Luxury Hotel in Sydney
Price Range: $225 - $758 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Hotel Sydney 5*
Number of rooms: 531
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stunningly situated overlooking Sydney Harbour in the historic Rocks district, a short walk from the city's shopping and business centres, Four Seasons is vibrant and elegant, with dramatic harbourfront views and a luxurious day spa featuring exclusive skincare and aromatherapy treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
4 Seasons Hotel Sydney
Four Seasons Sydney
Sydney Four Seasons

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