We stayed at Oaks in early March for two nights. This happened to coincide with Mardi Gras, which meant the nightly rates were a lot higher than other non-peak times of the year.
The night I was due to fly out of the Gold Coast, a lot of flights were being delayed and cancelled; I tried to reach staff at the hotel to advise of a late arrival and the possibility of not arriving until the next day. I was unsuccessful in reaching anyone at the property for over two hours.
I had two numbers I tried, both of which rang out and went to someone's voice mail. I left a message but never received a call back. I also sent a urgent email to the property asking for someone to call me that night..I received the call back but not until the next afternoon, well after we had arrived.
I found it unsatisfactory that a major hotel was virtually unreachable for such an extended period of time..working for the Mantra Group myself, this is not what you would expect from another large hotel chain..whatever happened to answering the phone within three rings?!
I made it to Sydney that evening and we checked in around midnight. There were two staff members on the front desk..one was checking in guests, the other was down the other end of the desk and appeared to be doing nothing.
Upon arrival there was one person ahead of us checking in, it was the most drawn out process I have ever witnessed. The staff member couldn't have possibly gone any slower.
This became increasingly frustrating as all we wanted to do was get up to our room. After sitting through this, we had to endure it for our check in as well.
While checking in, we enquired about a late check out on Sunday and were advised we could have until 11am at no additional charge, and to stay until midday would be $60. We took the 11am and said we would advise if we needed to stay any later.
Our room was on the 8th floor and we had views of Darling Harbour (although we had not booked or paid for a harbour view room).
We found the room to be spacious, clean and comfortable..certainly didn't experience any of the problems seen listed here.
Location wise, the hotel is in a great spot..you can access Darling Harbour by the walkway on level 2, or walk down to the street level and up through the carpark across the road. Five minutes tops and you are in the heart of Darling Harbour.
Star Casino is also a short walk away, and it's not that much further to get into the city itself, or China Town and Paddy's Markets.
We didn't experience any noise problems, whether it be external or internal.
On the day of departure we decided to stay on later as we weren't due to fly out until 8pm that night.
I went down to reception to enquire about staying past midday - I was told by the very rude young girl on the desk, that to stay until midday was $80 and past that was another nights' accommodation.
I informed her that upon check-in on Friday night, the elderly Indian man had advised it was $60 until midday- she continued to argue the point - which I found very rude and not at all in keeping with good customer service.
She spoke with her supervisor and said that it was definitely $80 and that staying after midday would incur paying for that evening...despite the fact that check in is not until 2pm (working for Mantra and having travelled world wide, I have not encountered a hotel that charges another nights accommodation unless you stay AFTER 2pm).
I left reception very dissatisfied with her attitude and blatant disregard for the guests in the hotel.
I rang once back in the room and spoke with a young man and enquired about the price for another night, he told me that "We have you down as already checked out". I informed him that obviously he was mistaken as we were still in the room, keys and hand -also informed him that we had until 11am to check out. There was no apology for his rude tone or the mistake he had made. I went on to ask if there were discounts available as we were already in-house - his robotic sounding response was "No we don't do that" (where is the incentive for guests to extend with them??).
I then asked if there was an industry discount available as I worked for Mantra and could prove this if needed - again his robotic response was "Only reservations can help with that".
Now as I work in reservations for Mantra, I am well aware that these departments do not work 24/7 as a general rule, and in their absence, the duty manager on reception, or at least a supervisor can assist with such things.
When I asked to speak with a supervisor, he declined and refused to put me through to one.
Despite both of the staff I encountered that morning, we extended to keep the room for the rest of the day.
Management within the hotel need to re-train their staff and put them through customer service courses. Reception and front office staff that create such bad impressions on guests never lead to anything good.
Overall the hotel is in a great spot, the rooms were great - never got a chance to check out the facilities although was told by another guest that the indoor pool was freezing - but the staff really let the place down.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments, offer central Sydney accommodation in an architecturally renovated historic landmark building. Situated in the hub of Darling Harbour and combining the charm and elegance of the 1800’s, with all the modern amenities for your business or leisure stay.With a magnificent neo-classical facade, original tallow wood floors and exposed ironbark columns featured throughout the hotel, as well as views from many of the rooms over the skyline of Sydney and one of its major attractions, Darling Harbour, Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments stands out. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Oaks Goldsbrough Apartments Hotel Sydney