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.
- 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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