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“Better off in a hostel” 1 of 5 bubbles
Review of Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels

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Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels
Ranked #58 of 179 Hotels in Sydney
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
“Better off in a hostel”
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 31, 2008

The quality of service that we received during our stay was nowhere near what I would expect from a boutique hotel. In fact, it was below the standard of many hostels that I've stayed in around the world.

There were three issues that created problems during our stay, all of which were not resolved when addressed with the hotel manager when informed.

First, upon arrival to our room, the air conditioning had not been functioning. Upon informing the staff at reception, they said they'd look into it. Twenty minutes passed, and nothing had been done. When we went in person to the front desk to follow up, the staff member had stated she simply "forgot."

About an hour or so later, after getting into bed, we heard the sound of the electronic deadbolt opening. The same reception staff member had let a complete stranger into the room - when realising he was in the wrong room he quickly left. I immediately called the front desk to enquire about why our room door was unlocked for a stranger, the staff member informed me that she had been walking down the hall when the person in question was standing in front of our door stating he didnt have his key and needing to get into the room. Instead of verifying at the front desk, they simply let him in. This created a serious concern for me about how much the hotel staff and management value the safety of their guests and their belongings. What would have happened had we not been in our rooms? The individual would have had access to all our belongings.

Finally, when we had checked in, we had requested a wake up call to catch our airport shuttle bus. Luckily we also set our alarms on our mobile phones, since the front desk staff called half an hour late with the wake up call, stating they were "Running late."

All these instances take the experience beyond being able to be attributed to simple human error, but to serious management issues and resulted in unacceptable levels of customer service.

  • Stayed March 2008, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank urbanwellness
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensione_Hotel, Manager at Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels, responded to this review, April 6, 2008
Upon reading the above feedback regarding your stay with us at Pensione Hotel – Sydney, it was a shame to hear that this guest felt the issues weren't dealt with to a satisfactory level. Whilst speaking with the guest regarding the problems raised, I apologised for the disruption to your stay and accepted there were issues which should not have occurred.

With regards to the Air-conditioning issue; unfortunately from time to time, these problems can arise. The issue was investigated as soon as Reception was made aware of the problems, and I can assure the problem was being rectified – however, due to the need to check other systems, it did take a short time to return the service to normal. The mistake was to forget to phone the guest and inform them the problem was being rectified. The Air-conditioning was returned to normal service within 30 minutes of being made aware of the problem.

In my staffs quest to aid and assist our guests, she made an error in allowing access to a room which was occupied by another guest. The staff member was with the other guest at all times and upon immediately realising her error, she took the guest back to the reception desk to check his details. I can assure you that we do truly value the safety of our guests and their belongings and apologise that in an attempt to help this guest, such an error was made.

The request for the wake-up call was placed upon your arrival; and I accept there was a problem with you receiving this call at your specified time. However had this resulted in missing the Airport Shuttle that morning, We would have assisted with an alternative option at a cost borne by us to ensure the airport was reached in time.

We do pride ourselves on our personalised service and resolutions to any guests concerns. I would have loved the opportunity to further discuss these problems and come to a reasonable solution.

If ever there are problems that interfere with a guests enjoyment of our property necessary steps are taken to deal with these concerns.
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1,173 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (181)
Date | Rating
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English first
Melbourne
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2008

This is not a boutique hotel, but a good backpackers. The 'deluxe' room for a $185 is laughable, the only reason we didn't walk out is that there was literally no other accommodation available. The problems were (i) rooms smelt, (ii) windows fithly, (iii) cigarette burns in bedspread, (iv) fan in bathroom didn't work, (v) apart from soap no tolietries provided (vi) the room's layout extremely awkward with cheap ottomans, furniture and TV set and worst of all the noise from George St. horrific, especially with the window open if you want fresh air.

Although, the staff were friendly.

  • Stayed February 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank Kate070
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensione_Hotel, Manager at Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels, responded to this review, February 24, 2008
Pensione Hotel Sydney has been designed to cater to those seeking a budget boutique option for their stay in Sydney. Our rates are comparative with other properties in the marketplace and are reflective of the amenities and service we provide. Our rooms are thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis, so the only scent evident in a room are the cleaning products we use to ensure the rooms remain at a first rate standard of cleanliness. There are no cigarette burns in any of our rooms or bedspreads as our property is entirely non-smoking. The fans in our bathrooms are extractor fans which don't always produce a sound, but are all operating perfectly. As we are housed in a heritage building all of our rooms have their own unique quality and can vary in shape and size. We are tailored to those seeking a different option to the more uniformed hotels. Our website clearly displays the style of our accomodation and explains all the features our rooms and property provides.
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melbourne
Level Contributor
87 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 153 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 23, 2008

This is a really grotty place to stay; we decided on it because its website positions the hotel as a "boutique" hotel, which we understand to mean small, intimate, with a degree of luxury. Instead, its basically a former hostel that has been turned into a hotel. The first indication of this is that you have to PAY for lockers to store your bags if you arrive before check in; I have never heard of such a thing in all the many places I have travelled before. and those lockers are not cheap either! We paid $185 for a room which we thought was a good price point for a boutique; in return for that we got a tiny box of a room that was completely barren of comfort. dingy paint work, a rattly old window that allowed all of the noise of george street to penetrate. there is no bedside lamp so you have to turn the light off at the door and then stumble in the dark to your bed (bring a torch!). the bathroom was also tiny, with scratchy towels and no toiletries other than a piece of soap. there was one glass shelf next to the tiny sink, but it was on an angle so anything you put on it rolled off and fell on the tiled floor. seriously ick!! bad lighting, a TV that did not work, and no desk finished the furnishings. the lifts are extremely slow so that usually the stairs are the best option. we immediately tried to find another place to stay but Sydney seemed to be completely booked out for this saturday night so we were stuck. i used earplugs to keep the noise out, but woke up at 5.30am with a headache from the roar. we ended up checking out at 7am and heading home to Melbourne early because a nice-lie in was clearly not on the cards. I can not believe that it is possible to charge $185 a night for such appalling accommodation!!! I would not recommend this to anyone; if you are on a budget then go stay at the YHA where you can get your own room for a 1/3 of that price; if you are actually looking for a decent hotel, look elsewhere.

  • Liked — NOTHING
  • Disliked — the whole experience was dreadful
  • Stayed February 2008, traveled with friends
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
2 Thank emah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensione_Hotel, Manager at Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels, responded to this review, February 24, 2008
I would like to respond to the above review recently posted. The Pensione Hotel - Sydney has been designed to cater to those who seek clean, comfortable and affordable accomodation as a base to explore Sydney. Our Hotel is only 68 rooms, which in the large Sydney market is considered a small, intimate property. As we are a small boutique property housed in a heritage building we have limited space with which to provide luggage storage, this is why we provide lockers as an option for our guests, should they arrive prior to the 2pm check-in time. The property itself retains many of the original features of the building, including the windows which is part of the unique style of the Pensione Hotel - Sydney. All or our rooms have been designed by leading architects and designers to maximise the space such a building affords us, whilst providing our guests with a comfortable environment. All of our TV's are in perfect working order as well as both lifts on the property. Our rates are comparative to all other properties within the Sydney market. Pensione Hotel - Sydney has been tailored to provide a unique point of difference to the more uniformed Hotels. I welcome everyone to come and enjoy the great hospitality and service we provide at Pensione Hotel - Sydney.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oslo, Norway
Level Contributor
178 reviews
71 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 167 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2008

Payed through the nose to stay here over New Year's. The hotel is very well located, the rooms are nice and comfy, but extremely small, even the deluxe we had (only difference is a few amenities). Staff was ordinary (helpful enough), and we were bothered with a loud alarm going off three times ("the stupid elevator", according to one receptionist).

  • Liked — Location and cleanliness
  • Disliked — small rooms
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with friends
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
Thank kaldal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Singapore
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2008

Boutique hotel is an overly generous term for this place. A more apt description would be glorified backpackers hostel. My family booked 2 doubles after being informed that the quad room was not available. On our arrival, we were told we were upgraded to a deluxe room FOC for one of our rooms which we found was large enough to sleep 4! The price difference was rather significant and we were understandably upset cos we were told it was not available on booking.

The receptionist at night, who was of asian origin, was very very unhelpful and rude about it. She raised her voice and said there was nothing that can be done about it and rudely instructed us to speak to the manager who will only be in the next morning. All the while, she just sounded very frustrated and kept raising her voice. It was as if she was the customer who was let down in the first place!! She just kept repeating the same answer and refuse to help us clarify our doubts, instead, just pushed everything to the morning.

Breakfast offered is a joke. It's charged at AUD$8 or so and consists of a box of dry rations with cornflakes, muesli, a packet of milk etc. A poor backpacker who booked the breakfast option was stunned when handed 3 packs for his 3 day stay and when asked if he was meant to eat in the room, the receptionist just replied (loudly), "we do not have a cafeteria" belligerently.

That said, the receptionist in the morning, a young asian girl, was utterly sweet, helpful and nice. She was far more professional and although had many people to handle, was unfailingly polite and helpful.

Rooms wise, there was no closet for the standard room. Neither is there a fridge, tea/coffee making facilities. There was no window as well. Carpets were threadbare and room was plain with no decorations. Room was also so small that there was literally no space to put my luggage. The 'upgraded' room had pipes (the relatively big ones) running through them in the room. The only thing that can be classified as a boutique hotel is the bathroom which was nicely decorated with good water pressure.

I have honestly stayed in far better hostels in Sydney before and have a word for people who are attracted to the less than accurate photos on their website. Book at your own risk!

  • Stayed September 2007, traveled with family
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 2 of 5 bubbles
      Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank EL_SG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensione_Hotel, Manager at Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels, responded to this review, February 7, 2008
I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the above comments made in relation to our guests stay with us in September 2007.

Firstly, we at the Pensione Hotel, work very hard to ensure each of our guests enjoys their stay with us and it is always a disappointment to hear this has not been the case.

Room types are not always available at the time of making a booking, however we do receive cancellations or amendments to bookings which can mean certain room types become available again. We will always provide honest details of rooms available at the time of your enquiry and supply our guests with the best options of the rooms to accommodate their needs. Occasionally we provide free of charge upgrades to our guests into larger rooms. As is our policy if you wish to change or amend your booking within 5 days of your arrival date there may be a charge involved. This information is provided to all guests at the time of making a reservation.

Our front desk staff are highly trained to provide our guests with top rate service at all times, however occasionally there are concerns which require a managers response. As the manager of the Pensione Hotel – Sydney, I am always willing to speak with all our guests in relation to any concerns that may arise, and endeavour to be available to resolve problems as quickly as possible. On this occasion I was away from the Hotel until the following morning, when, had I been given the opportunity, could have discussed a solution to the problem and provided a result which was satisfactory to our guests.

Due to our very central location we are surrounded by so many wonderful cafes and restaurants with a wide choice of breakfast options. As our hotel does not have a restaurant on site serving a full breakfast, we provide a small continental breakfast box containing Cereal, Fruit Juice, Milk, Fruit Salad and a breakfast bar. This is simply an alternative option available to our guests, should they choose to make use of it.

All of our rooms have mini-fridge and windows, however, some of our room windows do not open due to double glazing we have installed, to minimise sounds associated with being in a central city location. Some of our rooms do have ornate columns in them, this is due to the Heritage Nature of the building and the rooms have been designed to incorporate these. None of our rooms have visible pipes in them.

Our website provides a virtual tour option, which clearly shows our available room types and the product we offer our guests. I look forward to welcoming all future guests and providing them with a first rate accommodation experience whilst in Sydney.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
United States
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 15, 2008

Booked a four night stay in January in a standard room starting on a Thursday. After checking in with a unfriendly receptionist we went to our very small and very dirty room. Besides scuffed walls, there were clearly hairs in the sheets, make-up on the pillowcases,and holes in the towels. After speaking to the receptionist and requesting either a new room or for our current room to be cleaned, we were told that we had no option but to wait until Monday until the manager came in. We were unable to leave the hotel as they would charge for two nights stay regardless if we stayed there or not.

After the first night (using sleeping bags), we went down to request a new room, and were shown what they called a deluxe room but was exactly the same as the standard but with an extra lamp. They also expected us to pay extra for the deluxe room despite the sub standard conditions in our original room.

Not wanting to pay more for another low quality room, we stayed in the original room and had the plesant company that evening from a roach climbing down our wall.

The only helpful staff member who offered us any aid or apologies was the day manager on Monday. We were compensated for at least part of our stay and he was very apologetic.

Overall, this hotel is not worth the money and can be considered a overpriced dirty hostel. The nice website is an extreme misrepresentation of the actual quality of the hotel.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Poor Housekeeping
  • Stayed January 2008, traveled as a couple
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank billybob_22
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensione_Hotel, Manager at Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels, responded to this review, February 7, 2008
I would like to take this opportunity to respond to the above comments regarding the cleanliness of your room during your stay. I apologise that the room did not meet the very high standards we place on cleanliness in the Pensione Hotel – Sydney.

Our rooms are serviced by our very highly trained Housekeeping staff, who strive to ensure they are of top-quality standards, however on this occasion it appears that we did not meet these standards and after discussing this matter in person with the guests’ steps have been taken to ensure issues such as this do not arise again.

With regards to the response from our front desk staff we do spend a great deal of time training our staff in how to handle issues when they arise, however occasionally there are problems which need to be handled by the manager. Again, as the manager of the Pensione Hotel – Sydney, I am always willing to speak with all our guests and make myself available to resolve any problems as effectively as possible, as was the case in this circumstance.

If there is ever any issue with the way a guests concerns are dealt with we will immediately take all necessary action to remedy this.

We have taken all the above comments into consideration and always welcome constructive feedback from our guests. I look forward to welcoming all our guests to the Pensione Hotel – Sydney and hope we get the opportunity to show you in the future that this was an isolated incident.
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Geelong
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2008

Nice interior, clean rooms, friendly staff, perfect location (very close to Darling Harbour). Best city-hotel in this price category I've stayed at.

  • Liked — Helpfull staff, interior of hotel
  • Disliked — No extra blankets in cupboard, but got them immediately when we asked.
  • Stayed December 2007, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Location
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
Helpful?
Thank atta79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels

Property: Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels
Address: 631 - 635 George St, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney > Chinatown
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #58 of 179 Hotels in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
Hotel Class:3.5 star — Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels 3.5*
Number of rooms: 68
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Located in the heart of Sydney’s entertainment and theatre district, the Pensione Hotel Sydney is centrally located and like no other. Set behind a beautiful Heritage-listed façade, the Pensione Hotel offers boutique interiors, breathtaking hospitality and incomparable value for money. Featuring all the desired hotel amenities, with warm and inviting staff that have a great knowledge of the local area, the Pensione is perfectly suited as a base to explore Sydney. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Pensione Hotel Sydney - By 8 Sydney
Sydney Pensione Hotel

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