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“Gave it a second shot- won't be back a third”

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Gibraltar Hotel Bowral
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Bowral
Certificate of Excellence
Sydney
Level 4 Contributor
40 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Gave it a second shot- won't be back a third”
Reviewed January 3, 2014

After having a pretty poor experience staying here in 2012, I thought I would give it a second shot, as the spa experience was great first time around. During our first stay, we arrived to be told they did not have a booking for us, and then dinner was just an absolute disaster, with terrible service, and after sitting with empty entree plates in front of us for an hour, we were told by the waiter that we were lying about how long we has been waiting for mains.

I thought I would give them a second shot and put the number of issues experienced the first time around down to teething issues. Well I wish I hadn't have bothered.

We arrived to find no linen in our rooms, and the tv not working. We were told by the first maintenance person that it must be because we were 'trying to change the channel from the bed'- being only metres away, would that be unreasonable even if it were the case? As we experienced last time, no robes in the executive suite as promised. Rooms are poorly lit, no bin liners, yellowed grout in the bathroom, carpet is heavily worn, and balcony is rusty and uninviting with no privacy- not that I was terribly worried by these smaller things but I certainly wouldn't consider this a 4.5 star hotel given these things being overlooked. It really does look lovely in photographs but it seems like everything here has been done on the cheap and certainly does not seem like it is only a few years old.

We tried to call through to the restaurant a number of times that first day to make a dinner reservation. Each time, it simply rang out. It was only when we were transferred from reception that someone picked up.

When we arrived for dinner at 7, the restaurant looked to be unattended. We were finally shown to our tables by a gentlemen who seated us and left with our menus in his hand. Shortly later we flagged down a female waitress and got menus. We then sat at the table for half an hour without so much as a glance from a staff member. We overheard one table cancelling an order which had obviously been delayed, and another chasing up their garlic bread entree and drinks. Another table was approached and told that their drinks menu has been misplaced.

Just after 7.30 we decided we would eat elsewhere and approached the waitress and let her know that we had been sitting unattended, without anyone approaching us for over half an hour and that as a result we would be cancelling our reservation (very nicely might I add). She looked at me and simply responded 'ok, sorry' without an ounce of caring in her voice. Absolutely terrible customer service. Had she have said 'I'm sorry we are short staffed tonight, I do apologise' or had even made some other excuse, it would have gone a long way with me but the response I got was atrocious and it was quite obvious that nothing has changed from our last visit in terms of the understaffed incompetent restaurant staff.

The saving grace was Laura, who we spoke to about our experience and she was apologetic and offered to take our orders straight to the kitchen. When we insisted we would eat elsewhere, she offered for us to return for a two course meal at a later date, and even made some alternate recommendations for us. She mentioned that they were short staffed in the restaurant that evening however I think there are issues greater than that.

I could go on and on about why this is not a 4.5 star hotel (housekeeping staff having loud ,
personal conversations in ear shot of patrons) but suffice to say I won't be returning. If you are looking for a luxury getaway within driving distance of Sydney, look at Sebel Resort and Spa Hawksbury Valley or Cedars on Mount View in the Hunter Valley.

  • Stayed January 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Lilydale17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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592 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (223)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Sydney, Australia
Level 6 Contributor
229 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 83 helpful votes
Reviewed December 31, 2013

We managed to get a room and dinner booking for NYE, despite calling them up at the 11th hour. This all because our booking at Berida Manor for dinner and accommodation went pear shape after I was called up on NYE day to be told their chef had called in sick!! Yeah right!
Anyway, on to Gibralter, from the time I called up I was greeting with warmth and hospitality, allowed to stay 1 night even thought they had a 2 night minimum policy. We were greeted again with warmth when we arrived, were given a room upgrade and a couple of drink vouchers, had a fabulous mean for NYE. The fillet steak so tender my knife (which wasn't even a steak knife) just slid through it. The room was comfy and bed even more so. My only grip is I do hate having window into the bathroom, ok it was frosted glass, but if one of you go to the bathroom through the night (which I tend to do) then the bedroom gets flooded with light through the window! Just don't get it.
Breakfast was excellent, probably some of the best bircher muesli and scrambled eggs I've had! So will definitely return!

  • Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sally S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
GHB_General_Manager, Owner at Gibraltar Hotel Bowral, responded to this review, January 5, 2014
Dear Sally
Thank you for your review. New Years eve in the Hotel was lots of fun for all and I am glad you enjoyed your experience. I am so pleased you found the staff welcoming and helpful as that is what we expect from them and it is often difficult for them because there are so many elements to hospitality and they work very hard to do it on nights like New Years eve when there are a lot of things happening. I am also pleased to hear you enjoyed breakfast as a great breakfast is an essential part of any stay at Gibraltar. We look forward to welcoming you back again soon.
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level 3 Contributor
24 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed December 25, 2013

We were very pleased with our stay over Christmas at the Gibraltar. Our room was large, had everything we needed and the bed was comfortable. The Christmas lunch itself was fine - the food wasn't outstanding but pretty good, and the older chap tinkling away on the piano was all that was needed. What did make the stay special though was the friendliness of the staff and the truly excellent breakfasts.

Room Tip: Some rooms are very far from reception / the bar & restaurant so if you were less fit you might...
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  • Stayed December 2013, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Aegidius1966
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed December 6, 2013 via mobile

The Gibraltar offered so much yet just failed to deliver the little extras that make a stay great.
For a new hotel, the furnishing and finishes aren't wearing well, the carpet in our suite looked very shabby.
Service was mixed, while there was clearly some members of staff with a customer focus, on a number of occasions, others needed to be prompted to serve you a drink or replenish the buffet. Having to ask for a mineral water rather than champagne when I'd booked in for a prenatal massage was not at all a big deal, but typified the lack of attention to detail.
A pleasant enough stay, many due to the company, but wouldn't return.

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank ShaunaJ76
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
1 review
Reviewed December 3, 2013

We had a lovely experience with Gibraltar hotel. Rooms were wonderful and the service staff were so lovely and helpful going out of their way to make us feel welcome. The breakfast is also fantastic. Highly recommended!

  • Stayed November 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Jenny Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2013

We stayed here on my wedding night in an executive suite with the spa bath.
I had an off site wedding at Centennial Vineyards but recommended that my guests stay at Gibraltar after a recommendation from a friend.
In total i had about 46 guests who stayed at the Gibraltar for 1 night.
Our room was sensational with probably the best beds and pillows I have slept on in a long time!
Our friends were raving about the rooms and the fantastic breakfast too...
The hotel is located on Centennial Road in Bowral - close to everything!
Our room had a magnificent view of the golf course, amazing spa and modern bathroom and as I said before... Sensational bed and pillows!
Will definitely be back!!!

Room Tip: Chose a room with a view of the golf course away from Harvey's Bar.
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  • Stayed November 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank MissDaniela
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney
Level 4 Contributor
43 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
Reviewed December 2, 2013 via mobile

We spent Saturday night here. The purpose was to attend a wedding held on a nearby estate.
Checking in was smooth and efficient. The layout of the hotel was clearly explained and we were soon in the room. This was a ground floor room, overlooking a superbly manicured golf course. Soon after we had lunch in the restaurant. One small niggle is the corridors are dimly lit, so if you are in to mood lighting you will like it, though I appreciate that energy savings are welcome I suppose.
The selection and quality of the good was wonderful. The service was friendly, even sharing a laugh or too as we settled down to our table!
Back in the room, time to explore the features. The bedroom was fairly standard. Large TV, large King bed and then there was the bathtub and shower! Wow! The bath was an impressive structure, Cleopatra would have been at home using! The bathroom was clean and well lit.
At the wedding, there was a call from the hotel about the reservation. Confused, once back at the hotel, the call was queried at reception. They had no idea what the issue was. There had also been a call to the room phone. All very curious.
During the night there was no discernible noise, apart from the low hum of the air-conditioning.
Breakfast was included in the package and consisted of a good selection of hot food, toast and cereals! A great way to prepare for the day ahead!
We were able to gain an extra hour over the 10am checkout time which we appreciated. Checkout was smooth and also efficient. This hotel would be fine for families, couples and corporates who may wish to hold a business meeting in a wonderful location. There appear to be ample function rooms for any occasion, large or small.
This was a great stay, on a wonderful weekend!

Stayed December 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Intrepidtravella
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Gibraltar Hotel Bowral

Property: Gibraltar Hotel Bowral
Address: Centennial Rd & Boronia St, Bowral, New South Wales 2576, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Southern Highlands > Bowral
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free Breakfast Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 9 Hotels in Bowral
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Gibraltar Hotel Bowral 4.5*
Number of rooms: 76
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Nestled on 100-acres, among century old elm and pine trees and under the shadow of Bowral’s iconic Mt Gibraltar, is Gibraltar Hotel, the most luxurious and modern hotel accommodation available in NSW’s Southern Highlands. Just one and half hours easy drive from Sydney and Canberra, Gibraltar Hotel offers 76 luxurious suites each with vistas of beautiful Bowral woodland or Mt Gibraltar itself. The Hotel also features a challenging 18-hole golf course, the largest conference centre in the region with a unique, elegant ballroom, six breakout meeting rooms, a wedding chapel with a full organ, as well as its own heated indoor swimming pool, cardio centre and luxurious Bowral Day Spa and Grooming Lounge. ... more   less 
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