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“Disappointing”

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Dorsal Boutique Hotel
Ranked #6 of 9 Hotels in Forster
Reviewed January 24, 2011

My husband and I recently stayed at the Dorsal for one night. Whilst the exterior is very inviting and modern the inside is boring. We were put in room 506 on the top floor. It is at the rear of the building with a tiny side balcony facing towards the beach. The room was spacious and very clean however lacked warmth and character. It had no decorations or wall hangings. The brochure states that most rooms have king sized beds however ours was only queen and was uncomfortably hard. We were supposed to have free car parking, however the car park under the building was full and we were left to park on the street. The only great thing about this hotel was its location. Wouldn't bother paying the money to stay again.

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank pabsSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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142 - 148 of 159 reviews

Reviewed January 22, 2011

I booked this hotel on a last minute website as we required some accommodation in Forster for 1 night.

After reading the reviews on here I was expecting the absolute worst, but was actually quite suprised.

The hotel is completely over priced and is at best a 3 star hotel (not worth the $200 per night we paid) However it appeared to be the best option in Forster - everything else was sleazy Motels (no thank you!) and the Hotel is located right on the beach front.

We arrived at about 9:30 pm. I walked into the Hotel to be greeted by name, they had been waiting for us to check in and we were given our room details at once.

Reception area was small but well presented and parking and room were both easy to find.

On entry into our room we were very pleased...we had expected horror after reading the reviews, but the room was neat, clean, tidy and very new looking, modern decor. All Mod Cons - Flat screen TV, Aircon, Ceiling Fan, Clock radio, In room safe and Tea & Coffee facilities.

Bathroom and towels were very clean, and new looking.

We went down to see if the kitchen in the restaurant was still open, they were'nt but the staff said they would be happy to make us a dessert and any drinks we liked. All the staff we encountered were very friendly.

The Breakfast that is included is 'Continental' so just some toast and cereal. We opted to purchase a hot breakfast, which was a bit pricy but very tasty and when I asked for some extra sauce it was delivered promptly without fuss or additional charge.

Overall the Hotel is a Good 3 star, neat tidy and clean with very friendly staff. I am very snobby when it comes to accommodation and dont like to stay anywhere dingy, but I'd happily stay here again if I was in Forster as it appears to be the best on offer.

My main gripe with the hotel is the price, I feel it is over priced for what it is. Also the toiletries in the bathroom were really basic (i'd expect better at the price) I am unsure why there are so many bad reviews here - but can only hope the good service we received is a result of the hotel reading these reviews and mending their ways!

  • Stayed: January 2011, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank rbtravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 12, 2010

Sadly I didnt read the reviews before booking at the Dorsal. It appears there have been ongoing problems for some time. Possibly some things have been rectified but all in all I agree with a lot of other reviews. Booking through Wotif did not give us good prices at all. It just slots you into the cheapest rooms with minimal water views the same price as the rack rate.

It certainly looked the swankiest place around in the advertising as a boutique motel with water views. But the finish was sadly lacking and over all grossly overpriced. The staff certainly for whatever reason (overworked, underpaid untrained, unhappy) were indifferent to us and other guests.

The location saves the day but need more competitors in the area to sharpen up service and offerings. It's location would do well as an eatery all day in summer - all day breakfasts, summer salad setc . With no chef there till evening we could only get muffins, friands or mince tarts with our coffee. Staff not clued up on cocktails etc. It just seemed like profit focussed establishment, relying on the location to get them by.

I looked for comment / feedback card but none provided. Beware they don't care!

  • Stayed: November 2010, traveled as a couple
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2  Thank GrammyCentralCoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 23, 2010

We just had the worst experience ever with not being able to access our room on returning home tired from a wedding reception in Forster. We checked into the Dorsal in the afternoon and got ready for the wedding which was just up the road. On returning to the hotel after the reception we found that only 1 key of the 2 we were given would let us into the reception area and then to our HORROR neither key would let us into our motel room. We tried ringing the night bell and the buzzer on reception but as the office was unattended no one answered. We also tried (about 20 times) to phone the hotel thinking the call must divert to someone after hours but again no one answered. So here we were 2 women at 1am by this stage locked outside on the street. with noweher to sleep. In desperation we went back to where the wedding reception was and luckily the brides mother was just saying goodbye to the final guests. Thankgod she took us back to her hotel room (at a different hotel) where we half slept/not slept on the lounge in her room until we thought reception would then be open at 7am back at the Dorsal. Otherwise we would have been waiting outside all night. On returning to the Dorsal still in our wedding clothes the next morning we were greeted by the manager on reception who had NO sympathy would what we had just experienced and when we asked how this could happen she only replied "well it's not my fault" even though aparently the night bell rings in her room and the phone should be diverted to her as well. Not only did she have no sympathy but she also showed no concern as to where we did sleep and our safety nor did she ask if we were alright after the ordeal. The owner was called at our request and she tried our keys the next morning and she too could not get the door to open with them and gave no explanation of why they wouldn't work either. The thing that hurt most was they never apologised to us or showed any concern for us. We were also abused verbally from the woman on the front desk who said she was the Manager!!!! as we were walking towards the lift. This was the Worst nightmare ever. I have never been treated so badly before in my life. This place needs their staff to undertake some serious lessons in customer service skills. I would never stay here again and am not surprised to hear other people have had bad experiences also, but I think our experience of being locked out onthe street till morning was probably the worst yet!! Not to mention our safety was at risk.

Stayed: October 2010, traveled with friends
2  Thank Trish039
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed September 17, 2010

We found the staff fine, if a little hard to find on occassions. Used Wotif to book and found our "special" rate was in fact rack rate - not happy Wotif! Views are superb from the balcony. Hotel is very new and rooms well kept, but bathroom was tiny. Definitely not set up for a stay of more than a couple of days. Ate in the restaurant at night and found food superb! Beds are a little hard for those used to soft mattresses, a common "fault"

  • Stayed: September 2010, traveled as a couple
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Thank KiwiMark69
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 23, 2010

There are so many complaints I could make about this hotel. My partner and I stayed there for our honeymoon and were extremely dissapointed. Our air conditioning broke down on the second night and all we were given was an old itchy blanket to keep warm. Nobody bothered to fix it. Our safe was also broken, we spoke to Jasmine at reception who assured us it would be fixed but it never was. The bathroom was dirty, it looked like mould was growing in the grouting. The beds are a joke, two uncomfortable king singles pushed together, it was worse then sleeping on carpet. We were supposed to stay 5 nights but came home after 3.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank daveandjay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 2, 2010

I'm not a "joiner" of websites, so it takes a bit to get me motivated and share my experiences. The Dorsal - and the remarkably bad customer service I encountered - finally swayed me.

Stayed here while in town on business and was drawn, as many people are, by the location. When I got to my room the view held up but the fitout didn't - cheap inclusions, hostel like storage (as in lack of it) and nasty nylon capet. Could have lived with this if I hadn't been foolish enough to want to eat at the restaurant. From beginning to end the experience was a farce - Fawlty Towers with menace, rude, uncooperative, dismissive, plain nasty in fact. Breakfast was as per previous reviews - bare as bones and just as appetising.

Someone here had the vision to buy a great site and build a good structure. That's where the positive story ends. I would never, ever recommend the Dorsal to a friend and would suggest that the owners sack the management and find people to run it who know what they are doing and actually realise that being remotely pleasant isn't actually all that hard.

  • Stayed: April 2010, traveled on business
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4  Thank finistere50
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Dorsal Boutique Hotel

Address: 1 West St, Forster, New South Wales 2428, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Forster
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #6 of 9 Hotels in Forster
Price Range: $168 - $227 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Dorsal Boutique Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 24
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