Just spent 2 great nights here over the Australian Open middle weekend. Overall a fantastic stay and perfect location for the Tennis as the free shuttle tram stop was right across the road, plus it was reasonably priced for such a weekend.
However, there were a few things across the stay that we found irritating/funny/confusing which I feel stating here, for a new hotel still finding it's feet, would go far as constructive feedback to put to use for future guests!
Firstly - the reception area really is not welcoming. No door-man, push doors (not automatic) which are covered in grubby hand prints and didn't appear to be cleaned the entire time we were there, and a general bland and cold area, makes for a serious bad first impression. Although the decor is modern and the entire place somewhat funky - I missed the traditional hotel style reception with someone to welcome us as we stepped inside and to take our bags.
The way the rooms and apartments are split across different buildings, each with different entrances and little in the way of clear signage for guests to know where they are going, is confusing. I understand the place is built now but feel like whoever is in charge of things has never walked through the place in a guests shoes clearly.
The one bedroom apartment we stayed in was pokey! Beautifully decorated and clean but very small all the same, and looked nothing like the one-bed apartments pictured of course! They would have been better leaving it as a normal hotel room instead of squeezing in a kitchen and living area! There was just enough room to talk around the bed to get in at night and we had to leave the slide-door open because otherwise, we were sleeping in a box!
The pool being located in the main building, meaning we had to get a swipe card to access it from reception each time we wanted to use it, was completely inconvenient and left me annoyed.
Which brings me to the access overall.
The keys to our hotel room were just that - keys, on hugely oversized keyrings! This was just hilarious to me that a brand new hotel with seperate buildings as explained above, and access issues to the pool, would choose old fashioned keys instead of investing in a swipe card system everywhere, where guests could come and go with the simple touch of a card! Did anyone think how annoying it is to carry around that huge keyring all day in my bag which is already at capacity with stuff I needed for spending a day at the tennis?!
And this is not to mention that opening and locking our apartment door was cumbersome and difficult. We had to check several times we had done it right and it hadn't worked - the door would open again unlocked. If we weren't double-checkers, we could have been at the tennis all day while our apartment lay wide open to everyone in that building!
In contrast then, inside the pool changing rooms, the lockers for storing your stuff while you go for a dip are operated by a 'enter a 4 digit pin then #' system. So advanced and fancy that I couldn't get the thing to re-open when I got back out of the pool and had to call for someone on reception to come and open it with the 'master-swipe-card'!
I think there must have been several different designers working in this place when it was being modelled!?
A few other things - there was only one bowl in the kitchen meaning we had to eat our cereal separately each morning!
One side of the 4-slice toaster didn't work.
The foxtel only worked when the door to the TV cupboard was opened.
Just two towels for a two night stay and had to ask at reception for pool towels - come on people! Again, has anyone on staff ever tried this place out in a guests shoes?!
I realise the above all sounds very negative but honestly, overall we had a really nice stay. I just think they should call themselves what they are and not a 4.5 star hotel - upmarket serviced apartments, plain and simple!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- ABOUT THE SEBEL Spacious and elegantly decorated apartments offer guests privacy and headspace as well as kitchen facilities and a dining area, allowing for tailor made self sufficiency. ... more less
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