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“Not perfect, but clean and in a great location.”

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Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels
Ranked #62 of 178 Hotels in Sydney
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Staying in accommodation is such a tricky beast as so many factors are in play. It could have been better, but that being said when we stayed we got value for money in a great location.

Firstly, the signage for the Pensione on George Street is dismal. It's small and near impossible to easily spot when you're driving by, couple that with Sydney's penchant for one way and you'll be memorising the streets in no time.

The hotel does not have parking, but you can park in the Capitol carpark on Campbell Street across the road for around $30 (I believe it's for 24 hours. We were there on a Saturday and paid an extra $15 to keep it parked there for Sunday.). Close by and easy access but extremely tight parking, and quite busy.

The hotel reception photo on the website is a lot lighter than what it actually looks like in the hotel. The quaint and aged feel didn't really bother me, but I do think it would be in their best interests to fix the lighting as it does make for a dim atmosphere on arrival. It was overcast when we were in Sydney so that didn't help at all with small entrance and lift or slim stairwell to go upstairs to reception. The elevator does get very hot and stuffy.

Check in was relatively painless but I do admit to being not quite sure about the male receptionist. He was well presented and looked nice but his lackadaisical attitude made me feel as though he had much better things to do than be working at a hotel reception.

Four of us shared a room that was just one flight up and first on the right (may have been 211), which was a double I believe and a bunk. Room was small but not cramped. There was enough floor space, a cupboard with hangers and mounted flatscreen television. The bathroom and shower was a decent size as well. Not so small that you'd knock everything moving around. Everything was quite clean, the bed sheets were a brilliant white. I found the bed comfortable, a little softer than what I'm used to sleeping on but fine anyhow.

The only other aspect that stood out was after settling in and deciding to have a nap there was false fire alarm, but other than that the rest of the stay was uneventful and fuss free.

I do have to commend the staff on check out, they were upbeat, professional, smiling—a stark contrast to check in.

I would definitely consider staying again. I liked the value, location and the easy access to the train station and short walk to Liverpool Street which takes you past the Chinese Garden of Friendship and Darling Harbour.

One tip: There are probably plenty of toilet facilities in Darling Harbour but the ones in the carpark in Darling Quarter were immaculate (as we parked there first being in Sydney well before check in time).

  • Stayed: January 2013, traveled with friends
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1  Thank AvidTravelling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensione_Hotel, Front Office Manager at Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels, responded to this reviewResponded January 29, 2013

Dear AvidTravelling,

What a great review!

You certainly seemed to have enjoyed your stay with us at the Pensione.

I must admit I am quite surprised to hear your comments about the team member on check in as we usually receive nothing but compliments, however glad to see that you noticed the warm and friendly personalities of those on your departure.

I would like to apologise for any inconvenience you may have faced in relation to the fire alarm. Luckily this was a false alarm and nobody was injured, so i thank you for your patience and understanding while we investigated the cause of the alarm.

Please do not hesitate to contact us directly next time you are in Sydney as we would love to welcome you back

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949 - 955 of 1,349 reviews

Reviewed January 22, 2013

The hotel is located in downtown Sydney near Darling harbour and the ferries. A perfect location for exploring Syney. The hotel is situated in an old building with historic value. The staff is very friendly but there were no facilities for luggage transport. Quite a challenge with all the different levels and stairs. The management promised to look for a solution and reacted adeqate to the evaluation form. Cleaning the room and sanitairy facilities must be improved. Other guests also complained about that.

Room Tip: Lots of (small) stairs. Ask for assistance at the reception to transport your luggage. There is an...
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank HansBonsen
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 reviewResponded January 23, 2013

Dear HansBonsen,

Thank you for your review!

I am so pleased to see you were able to make use of the Pensione's great location while you were in city, we are just moments away from the many attractions Sydney has to offer.

Along with our great location does come the heritage listed building as you so rightly mention to which we are extremely proud to be a part of, however we do apologise that due to the building outlay and the corridors that have 3-4 stairs on them can cause an inconvenience when locating your room, however our staff are always more than happy to offer assistance where possible to ensure this does not impact on your stay with us.

We appreciate you bringing these matters to our immediate attention as we love nothing more than to hear about our valued guests experiences as it helps us develop and modify our levels of standards.

Please do not hesitate to contact us directly next time you are in Sydney so we can ensure you second stay is perfect!

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Reviewed January 19, 2013

I don't know when or where the pictures of the hotel were taken but it looks nothing like that. It is an extremely old building with a very unimpressive entry, where you have to take an elevator or stairs to reception. Our room was okay - the beds were comfortable and the bathroom was nice - except for a light out that they couldn't seem to fix. There was no place to put anything - a very tiny closet, no drawers and as we stayed 4 nights we had to have suitcases on the floor and there wasn't much space. It was very centrally located and the free bus to the harbor stopped almost right outside the door and you could walk to a lot of restaurants nearby. The staff were friendly and helpful. We had a room next to the alley so it could be a bit noisy at times and you could hear people coming and going in the hallways. All in all would not recommend.

Room Tip: I frankly would choose a different hotel
  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Janice847
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pensione_Hotel, Front Office Manager at Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels, responded to this reviewResponded January 23, 2013

Dear Janice847,

Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts about the Pensione Hotel Sydney. I am very sorry to hear that your recent stay with us did not meet your expectations.

It may interest you to know that the building the Pensione is housed in dates back to the 1800's! Such a history has enabled the building to be granted Heritage status and therefore does not allow any structural change. At the Pensione we think that gives us a unique edge over the competition, allowing us to modernise the rooms and overall décor whilst keeping the original structure of the building, being part of Sydney’s culture.

We do have a variety of rooms from our Standard Petites for those on budget, possibly looking for a maximum of one or two nights through to our Deluxe Doubles that offer more space with a more modern décor located on our top levels still at a convenient price and as you rightly mention our great location.

We love to see familiar faces at the Pensione and it would be great to welcome you back to the hotel, next time you are in the city, so please do not hesitate to contact us directly if you need anything.

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Reviewed January 7, 2013

Having stayed at the Pensione Melbourne before I was disappointed by Sydney's version. The entry is an uninviting dark and dingy hole in the wall, with an elevator or stairs providing access to front reception and rooms. Service was okay. We checked in early so our room wasn't ready, which was expected, however we were told by the lady at front reception that we would receive a call when it was ready. No one called. We booked a standard petite double room which was surprisingly roomy with a large bathroom but the decor continued the dark dingy feel with dark coloured tiles that got wet everywhere (even with the two drains) from the open shower. The room and bathroom were clean. The bed was two (uncomfortable!) singles pushed together. No view from the window (internal between the walls type view) which also added to the 'darkness' of the room. Walls were thin and we could hear the TV on in neighbouring rooms and doors closing (slamming?!) and people walking the corridors (a herd of elephants?!). On the third day we received no foot towel (and it was definitely needed in that bathroom!) when the room was made up and we lost access to our room (the card stopped working!). The young man at the front reception (who was very friendly and helpful) advised that this sometimes happened when people stayed a few nights?! The location was okay being walking distance to Central Station and close to lots of food places and the price was very good for Sydney, but next time we'll pay more and stay somewhere else.

  • Stayed: November 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank Casi0
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PensioneSydney, General Manager at Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2013

Dear Casi0,

Thank you for advising us of your experience and comparison of the Melbourne Pensione to Sydney Pensione. As you mention the hotels do vary slightly in style and it is disappointing that you did not enjoy your time with us here in Sydney.

The hotel does occupy one the heritage landmarks in Sydney to which we are very proud of, located between other similar buildings on the Centre of George Street close to all main attractions as you correctly advise. We too agree that our location is great for getting to all of the key areas of the city without having to even take public transport and should you wish to head out of the city we are only a 5 minute walk to either the city rail or bus.

Our location does though mean that our main reception and first floor of bedrooms are situated on level one of the building meaning that the entry from George Street is done via the large heritage door facing the hustle and bustle of the city leading you up away from it all. This also means that not all of our rooms face on to the main outlook, however had we of been aware of your discomfort our friendly team of staff would have been more than happy to assist in relocating you to an alternate room with a different view of the city.

I am pleased to hear that there were aspects that you also enjoyed during your stay and we would love the opportunity for you to return to us, allowing us to provide you with a better experience and ensuring that all of your expectations are met.

I would also advise that on your return you try out the Deluxe Rooms within the hotel which have a very different décor to those of the Standard rooms and still at a very affordable price, located on the top levels of the hotel and even more space. I think you will find these very similar to that of the Melbourne Pensione and enjoy the comfort of your surroundings that bit more.

If you would like to come back to us I would be most grateful if you could contact me directly to allow me to ensure you receive the best available rate in a Deluxe Room looking out onto George Street.

Warm Regards

Joanne

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Reviewed January 6, 2013 via mobile

All up very small & considering what you can get for the price I wouldn't come back. No desk in the room, no tv remote, noisy Aircon, no soundproofing, no bin in the room only in the bathroom. No extra blanket, no heating, smokers were in my room before me.

All up you can get a better deal elsewhere

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank Pinchy2000
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 reviewResponded January 23, 2013

Dear Pinchy2000,

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel.

I am very sad to hear that we did not meet your expectations due to the reasons mentioned. It is very disappointing to read such comments as all of the facilities you mention are standard within in our rooms as all come with reverse cycle air conditioning and remotes for the TV. We are also very fortunate to have a variety of room types at the Pensione Hotel. Our Standard Rooms do not have a work desk in them, however our Deluxe Double Rooms are larger in size and all feature a work desk in the room.

Please feel free to contact us next time you are in Sydney so we can ensure you get the perfect room for you. Had we of known of your concerns during your visit, we would have been shore to resolve these matters urgently for you to ensure your stay was a more comfortable one and I do hope that you will return to us to allow you to receive the standard of stay so many others have also enjoyed.

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Reviewed January 3, 2013 via mobile

Checked in around 4pm, the reception gave us the keys to the room only to find out there were already another guests in the room. Shocking!

Went down with our lugagges to the receptionist on level 1 to confirm again. Receptionist finally gave us the correct room. went to the room, found the air con did not work properly, tv remote is nowhere to be found and have to call again to ask for the tv remote.

At night time we decided to explore the city and went back to the hotel around 12am, the hotel was locked and we have no idea how to open it as they didnt give us any info when we first check in. Lucky we came back with our friend who stayed in the same hotel and she got the passcode to go in.

We told all of these dramas to the receptionist the next day and she did apologies and told us that they would not charge us for the fiji mineral water ($4.50) we had the night before. However in the afternoon we received the email from the hotel that they will charge the water into our credit card. I mean, i dont really mind paying for the water we had as i didnt expect them to give us free water in the first place, but dont tell us its a complimentary and then sent us email to charge $4.50 into the credit card. Ridiculous.

As my title review, the only good thing about staying in this hotel is the good location.

We are definately not coming back.

  • Stayed: January 2013
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Thank TravelTheWorldToEat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PensioneSydney, General Manager at Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2013

Dear Tikacj,

I am extremely disappointed to read your comments regarding your recent stay at the Pensione Hotel Sydney.

It is our aim to ensure that all of our guests leave the hotel feeling satisfied and having enjoyed their time with us. I regret that you did not receive this same experience as so many of our other regular guests.

As part of our welcome to the hotel it is protocol to advise all guests of the code for the front door to ensure that you have all of the information necessary whilst staying with us as it is not our intention to cause you inconvenience or delay on entering the property. The door is locked to provide our guests with the comfort of knowing they are secure and also has an intercom should you have any issues with entering that connects directly to our 24 hour reception desk and I sincerely apologise that this was not conveyed to you at the time of arrival.

Our customer service is normally of a very high level and one of the many reasons so many guests come back to visit us and it saddens me that this was not the case during your visit.

I understand that you say you would not return to us but we would love to welcome you again and provide you with the same level of standards so many others have been accustomed to over the years and should you wish to do so please contact myself directly at the hotel as I can assure you your experience certainly was not the norm.

Again please accept my sincere apologies

Warm Regards
Joanne

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Reviewed January 2, 2013

I have stayed here before and be in no doubt - this is back-packer zone.
Sure it is in a handy location, but that's about it. The whole place is in dire need of a renovation...or a thorough clean.
In the few shorts days we stayed, our sheets were not changed. The cups were not cleaned and replaced either. How can you clean a room and not notice ?!
I ain't a prude and have stayed in dorms to palaces, but how's about a little more work on the cleaniness ? Is it so difficult to check on whether your cleaning staff are actually doing their work ? Pride people. Another thing is their lack of security. Haymarket and George Street have crime and homeless people all about. After the doors lock at 10pm you are given a code to enter the hotel. The night I tried this I was accosted by two homeless men sitting on their steps and begging for change. Another night some strangers followed me into the hotel. I enquired about whether thet were guests and copped an agressive reply. Do I need that kinda grief ? It really is hotel management responsibility and not a guest's role to deal with these things, right ?!
Actually it reminds me of of older pub-style accomodation like St Kilda's Prince of wales in the 80's - and that is not a compliment. Consider booking your vacation to Sydney earlier - pay a little more money and stay some place clean like the nearby Mercure.

  • Stayed: December 2012, traveled with family
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Thank Jeff W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
PensioneSydney, General Manager at Pensione Hotel Sydney - by 8Hotels, responded to this reviewResponded January 9, 2013

Dear Jeff W,

I would like to thank you for bringing your recent experience of the hotel to our immediate attention and to those looking to travel to the area. After reading the above comments, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely apologise for your stay falling short of expectations and the discomfort you received in regards to accessing the building and the cleanliness of your room.

The front doors do lock at 7pm each night to ensure that persons not staying in the hotel do not gain access offering guest safety, however there is also an intercom on the door connected to our 24hr reception team should you need assistance or arriving after this time. Our guests are extremely important to us and we do strive to ensure that everyone who stays with us has a pleasant experience and I am sorry that on this occasion we failed to meet this. The other patrons that followed you into the hotel may have been guests, and I am very sorry if they offended you in any way, it is definitely not the norm for people to enter the building with bad intentions as we ensure that only our guests know the combination number, which is changed regularly.

It is a shame that an isolated incident such as this spoilt your stay with us at the Pensione Hotel, as we really do work hard to see each of our guests leave having enjoyed every moment they stayed with us.

We would also like to apologise for not meeting your expectations with our housekeeping service. We do pride ourselves on the level of service and cleanliness, so it is extremely disappointing to read your review. I would like to assure you that the issues raised by your comments have raised great concern for us and have been discussed immediately with the Housekeeping Supervisor to ensure that this does not happen in the future.

Once again, we apologise for not meeting your expectations, and we do hope that this does not deter you from coming back to see us in the again soon as this is certainly not the norm and we love to welcome guests back again and again. Should you wish to do so please contact us directly to allow us to confirm all booking details to suit your requirements.

Warm Regards
Joanne

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Additional Information about 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 #62 of 178 Hotels in Sydney
Price Range: $107 - $340 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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