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“Poor Service and Poor Hot Water”

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Novotel Newcastle Beach
Ranked #4 of 22 Hotels in Newcastle
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
46 reviews
27 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Poor Service and Poor Hot Water”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 20, 2011

If you're like me there are a few things you expect of a hotel. These include a comfortable bed, good nights sleep, cleanliness, a good shower/bath and good service.

The hotel is located in an excellent location and is very close to Newcastle beach (note: the hotel provides beach towels). It is also close to cafes and is a short walk to the foreshore. They could not have picked a better location for the hotel.

The rooms where generous in size (we had a Ocean View Studio) and were nicely decorated. The hotel was very clean and everything was so new.

When checking into the hotel the service was pretty average. Nothing special and no real welcome from the staff member. As part of the check-in process, most hotels take an in-print of your credit card, for charges (and damages). This hotel refers to it as a bond, which is a little disappointing as it makes the hotel sound cheap and insinuates that you're going to damage the place or run off without paying. This is not a term I hear from other hotels.

If you're after a good hot shower or bath then this is NOT the hotel for you. The showers are fitted with water saving devices that require you to spend 20 mins just to get wet.

After my experience with the disappointing shower, I headed downstairs to have some dinner. After taking a seat at the restaurant and waiting 10 minutes without being served, I go up and took my money elsewhere.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank crumycat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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813 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (123)
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English first
Newcastle, Australia
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 19, 2011

When i arrived with my partner i was expecting big things... Concierge at the front door to open the car door, take luggage and park the car... Reception on checkin to explain where everything was located (even breakfast) but i didn't have this so called service at all when i arrived at THE SEBEL. I called reception once i struggled to find where the room was without being given directions from the male recpetionist on that morning to book dinner for us, got to the restaurant and they didn't have a reservation for me. The room was a bit of a let down with the television not working the entire first night we were there, housekeeping not cleaning our room only giving us fresh towels (i do work in hospitality so there was no DND sign on the door that would prevent them from entering the room).

I realised this is a new hotel and feedback is vital for the money that was paid i expected so much more.

However i would like to mention your receptionist James & Kyle from breakfast were outstanding and made us feel welcome.

I have no doubt in the near future once these small problems are dealt withit could be a magnificent hotel.

  • Stayed February 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank XoxoxKiz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Auckland
Level Contributor
44 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 14, 2011

location is near the beach but theres really nothing around, very few bars/cafes/shops. seems to be in the dead part of town. The cafe next door is good though.
a minimalist business hotel, not really designed for families. breakfast was good, but not mind-blowing. room was comfy, the chair in the room was funky but i didn't use it. shower was excellent. overall the hotel was clean, quiet, looked trendy, but didn't have the wow factor

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank scott_nz1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2011

We stayed at this hotel recently and we were not impressed, the pictures you see on the net shows no buildings around it. We booked an oceanview room but it was cut off by the surrounding highrises. This is more of a business hotel, the rooms are smaller than usual and has no couch, only 1 chair, there is no latch for the door and I locked myself out and had to go downstairs to get another swip card for the door which didn't work that well anyway. There was no hotel directory or stationery either. There are many hotels opposite a beach and they still have a pool, this one hasn't and didn't know this when I was making the booking, also there are no toilets in the foyer and had to go back to the room to use it, very frustrating. The orange stripe on the door and the dark grey carpet in the hallway was very tacky and cheap looking, this decor shouldn't be in a 4.5 star hotel and last but not least.. the food, well, I'll try and say something positive, no cant do it. The buffet was not good, the quality and consistency was not there and not much variety. We preferred to go to the cafe opposite called elements... fantastic food. However the staff were welcoming and pleasant at the hotel but wouldn't return there.

  • Stayed January 2011, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank at100363
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 5, 2011

I would like to firstly comment onthe hotel location as there was a preconception in my mind on what my room would be overlooking. My expectation of an ocean view as i had previously stayed at sebel manly beach and shoal bay resort and spa was a room overlooking the beach not a partial view in the distance of the ocean behind a high rise building. 2/5

Cleanliness for the hotel was exceptional apart from the fact that a customer left their room dinning tray with unclean dishes outside their room. However i could not fault the hotel as i did check in at 4pm and did not expect cleaners to be patrolling the hotel on a continual basis. 5/5

Rooms i rated as average due to my misconception of the location of the hotels and the view i would be experiencing. However i was satisfied with the new furnishings an amneties provided. 3/5

Sleep Quality i had to rate terrible and this was due to what was explained to me by reception as a sauna problem. I was not in the room for longer then 10 minutes when the fire alarm rang with bells and whistles and warnings of evacutationswhich lasted a good 10 minutes or more. 40 minutes later it went off again. Luckily we dined out and did not come back to the hotel till about 10pm. I would have normally forgiven the hotel for the first two firealarm however having one go off at 6:20 am was most irritating. I would not have like to been part of the reception staff that morning. i would say however that this event that occured would hopefully not occur for other guest on another occasion however i would need to rate it on my experience. 1/5

A feature i would like to point out for future patrons who park their car in the hotel is that unlike many i have stayed where your room pass would open up the carpark the sebel Newcastle does not have this facility so you would need to ring the reception buzzer whenever you were to come back to the hotel. This i found a little annoying as i like late night drives in cities i stay at just to see the night life. This i find quite baffling for a new hotel as the sebel in Port Macqurie and Manly had this facility?

Service i would have given a 5/5 considering the friendliness of the reception staff on arrival and checkout and the efforts to go above and beyond what was expected however i did take up the revive package and the buffet breakfast made available to me when i was in the lobby was quite disappointing most servings were empty with no expectation on when the serving dishes would be refilled. I did not expect that there was a big rush beforehand for breakfast as the dinning area was mostly empty apart from a few scattered guests. Considering the fact that the alarm would have woken everyone up in the hotel at 6:20 come on management at least focus on ensuring when people come down for breakfast everything was available for the guests so that it would have at least alleviated the irritation and annoyance of the wake up fire alarm. service 3/5

In terms of value for money i have still rated this hotel 4/5 due to the fact that i would probably recommend it as it is very new hotel and as a couple it was priced very competively against hotels like the crown plaza.

I personally stayed at the hotel due to visiting friends over the holiday period and did not spend a large amount of time at the hotel. This is not a hotel for a romatic getaway with breath taking views and great dine in facilities and spas. Target clientelle would be patrons staying for business looking for a fairly competively price hotel with a clean and comfortable room to board. I personally dont believe there is value in upgrading the rooms to a harbour view room i would from my experience just recommend a studio room with a window and keep the 50 dollars difference and spend it elsewhere.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank LMKD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level Contributor
53 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 30, 2010

Having previously enjoyed our stays at hotels in the Sebel Group, pictures of a newly opened hotel with a room and a balcony directly overlooking a fabulous beach in Newcastle - sounded great for a mini break over Christmas.

Unfortunately in reality, the hotel is located well back from the beach (behind another high rise) with only limited rooms having a view over the beach (on the southern side of the hotel). This is contrary to the expectations set by the images you can view online (under www.booking.com and on the hotel's website).

For us it was also particularly disappointing, as we had called the hotel to check our booking and upon the hotel's recommendation upgraded our room to ensure we had a room with a beach view.

Instead we arrived to find out the hotel set back behind another building and in our case, the room allocated overlooking another high rise with only limited and distant side views of the harbour/river frontage. The room and furnishings whilst well designed and fresh appear aimed at the corporate traveller - with only limited furniture and no balcony available in the case of our room.

Matters were made worse by poor communication at the reception - initially suggesting that the hotel didn't have any rooms that overlooked the beach, which left us perplexed given the images and promotion we had seen online.

The efforts of a more senior staff member attempting to resolve the dilemma were appreciated - however given our expectations, we cancelled our booking and sadly headed home.

All in all, the hotel is aimed at the corporate traveller and care should be exercised by the hotel if they are positioning themselves in the leisure market.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank JBCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Newcastle, NSW
Level Contributor
25 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 16, 2010

My partner and I stayed at the Sebel Newcastle Beach for a work christmas function in Dec 2010 and we thoroughly enjoyed our one night stay.
We did not have a chance to utilise the fitness / spa facilities, but colleagues who had assured us they were very pleased.
The staff right from check in were unbelievably helpful & friendly without a hint of pretension. Of course, the hotel is brand new this year, so the hotel was at exceptional standard of cleanliness, and understandably some of the staff were fairly new to the job/procedures but this was not an issue - they were always attentive, smiling and clearly enjoyed working there.
We only booked your basic studio room, we unfortunately only got a view of the high rise opposite the hotel, but the conference room that held the function had a gorgeous lookout over the foreshore.
The amenities within the room were more than adequate (especially the provision of plush beach towels and the iPod / iPhone charger alarm clock!!) and room service / bistro very reasonably priced. The bed was amazingly comfortable and the linen of very high quality - one of the best nights sleep I've ever had.
If it's hot weather, it's a mere 500m to the Newcastle Ocean Baths/Beach and Kiwi Ice Cream parlour and within walking distance of public transport, CBD restaurants & nightspots.
I highly recommend the Sebel at Newcastle Beach - a comfortable, clean & relaxed stay.

  • Stayed December 2010, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank SwayAway
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Novotel Newcastle Beach

Property: Novotel Newcastle Beach
Address: 5 King St | Newcastle Beach, Newcastle, New South Wales 2300, Australia (Formerly The Sebel Newcastle Beach)
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Newcastle > Newcastle
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 22 Hotels in Newcastle
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Novotel Newcastle Beach 4*
Number of rooms: 88
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