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“Great location but massively overpriced!”

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Bannisters by the sea
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Mollymook
Certificate of Excellence
Bondi, Australia
Level Contributor
89 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
“Great location but massively overpriced!”
Reviewed February 2, 2013

Our stay didn't get off to the best start with a missed call from the hotel during our drive down from Sydney to enquire what time we'd be arriving. I called straight back and spoke to a rude lady who huffed, told us we were "late arrivals" and then proceeded to tell us reception would be closed when we got there. We arrived at 9.45pm - hardly late! The night manager was great when we arrived though and check in was quick and efficient. He even offered to help with our bags as our room was on the upper floor and we'd carried them down the stairs to reception. On arrival in our room I was shocked. It certainly wasn't the 5 star standard we were expecting. The first thing we saw was a lot of dirt on the floor alongside a very tired old wardrobe/storage unit that looked like it belonged in my student accommodation in the 1990s. The main part of the room was nicely furnished and we could tell even though it was dark that the view was good. The carpet in the room however left a lot to be desired with two areas that had been cut out and replaced and an iron print on the floor! Again not exactly five star!
The bathroom was spacious however the one thing that leapt out again was the dirt on the floor. We've attached a picture to show what greeted us - a combination of pubic hair, dirt and long hair which my husband wiped up with a tissue. I was not impressed and at this point my husband and I talked about cutting our losses and just heading home but decided to sleep on it. Despite all this, the bed in the room was really comfy and we both slept really well.
The next morning I tried out the shower. The water pressure is abysmal and the temperature varies all the time. The shower unit itself is a funny half cubicle shape which when combined with a fixed shower head that only moves up or down really limits your movement and I kept banging my arms on the door. After the shower I went to use the hairdryer (kept in the bottom of the wardrobe) but I decided against as it was covered in dirt and brown sticky stuff (see photo).
We headed to breakfast which was pretty good but the buffet was fairly limited. When you are paying $400 a night, I don't think it would be too much to expect a decent coffee with your breakfast but no! Anything from the espresso machine comes at an extra charge!
Over breakfast we decided to stick
out the weekend as we really needed a break from Sydney but I went to reception to complain about the cleanliness issues. I was dubious about the kind of reception we'd get based on the phonecall the night before but to be fair our issues were handled well. Karen was great and immediately responded to the pictures I showed of our room and she certainly recovered the service failings that we had with some goodwill gestures and an immediate call to housekeeping to get the cleanliness addressed, with the promise of escalation to management when they got in.
The pool area at the hotel is ok but tiny. There are nowhere near enough loungers for the 32 rooms and the poolside area is pretty cramped.
We'd planned to spend most of our weekend out and about exploring the local area which is stunningly beautiful so for us the small pool area wasn't too much of an issue.
Overall we had a relaxing stay but the hotel is massively overpriced at $395 a night in peak season for the basic room. That's the same room rate as some of the top hotels across Australia but without the quality and facilities to match.

  • Stayed January 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank natnats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, General Manager at Bannisters by the sea, responded to this review, February 14, 2013
Dear Natnats,

Thank you for your comprehensive feedback from your stay at Bannisters. Whilst you have highlighted some great customer service from Karen and our night manager, I am very disappointed to hear of some housekeeping and reception shortcomings you experienced at Bannisters. This is certainly not the experience we wish for our guests.

If I could trouble you to contact me directly at Peterbacon@bannisters.com.au or on (02) 4455 3044 I would like to follow up on your stay personally.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,
Peter Bacon
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (177)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Sydney
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
Reviewed February 1, 2013 via mobile

We recently spent a couple of nights at Bannisters. The hotel is actually a renovated motel, which explains the small bathrooms (especially the shower!). But on the whole our room overlooking the ocean was well appointed although the battery clock didn't work. I also spent awhile trying to figure out how to turn on the TV until I realized it had been turned off at the power point! Breakfast at Rick Stein's was good both days although we encountered a bit of competition for outside tables. We loved the infinity heated pool and the bar. Absolutely stunning location!

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank NicolaSydney
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, General Manager at Bannisters by the sea, responded to this review, February 3, 2013
Dear NicolaSydney,
Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Bannisters, I am very glad you enjoyed the restaurant and had a relaxing stay with us.

Our hotel was originally built in the 1970's and has had many renovations and refurbishments over the last decade to modernise the hotel whilst still paying homage to its history. We do advertise this in several places on our website and it's great to see you appreciated the uniqueness of Bannisters.

Thank you for your patronage and we hope to welcome you back to Bannisters in the future.

Warm regards,
Peter Bacon
General Manager
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed January 23, 2013 via mobile

We have just enjoyed a wonderful two nights at Bannisters. Everything was first class, spotlessly clean and comfortable, we had a great room with fantastic view and everything we needed. We had room service breakfast which we ate on the balcony overlooking the ocean, fantastic! The breakfast arrived on time beautifully presented. The pool area was very relaxing and we had a delicious lunch. Later, we ate in the Rick Stein restaurant which was excellent. All the staff were friendly, efficient and helpful which made our stay so enjoyable. The location of Bannisters is perfect, the surrounding area is beautiful, we walked along both beaches which are stunning. Mollymook is a hidden gem. We shall certainly visit Bannisters for another relaxing break when we return to Sydney from the UK next year! A great Hotel!

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Joy O
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, General Manager at Bannisters by the sea, responded to this review, January 26, 2013
Dear Joy O,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review our Hotel and Restaurant.

I am very pleased that you had such a relaxing time at Bannisters and truly enjoyed our beautiful Mollymook area.

I wish you a safe trip back to the UK and hope next time you venture downunder we will see you again.

Best regards,
Peter Bacon
General Manager
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Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 22, 2013

Excellent dinner at Rick Steins and also lunch at the Pool Bar - very friendly and attentive staff & great food. Amazing views. Just had an wonderful 'crystal' massage at the Day Spa. 5 * all the way.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Helen C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, General Manager at Bannisters by the sea, responded to this review, January 26, 2013
Dear Helen C,

Thank you very much for taking the time to review your visit to Bannisters. The day spa’s crystal massage is a new treatment and it is wonderful to receive such lovely feedback.

We look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

Warm regards,
Peter Bacon
General Manager
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time2travel88
Level Contributor
32 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
Reviewed January 21, 2013

This 'hotel' is WAY overpriced. When you are paying about $500 a night you expect far more for your money.

The pool is lovely and the key feature of the hotel but it is very small. It is the size of an average backyard pool. Having not been to the South Coast before we spent some time exploring the surrounding areas.

Upon our return at 6pm in the heat of early January we returned ready for a swim. To our utter disgust the one and only pool area is turned into a 'restaurant.' I didn't pay $500 a night not to even be able to utilise the facilities.

The waitress granted us permission to swim until 7pm but with 30 people watching on...I don't think so! We asked for suggestions on other places to see or things to do in the area to which we were given the response 'There is nothing to do. That's why people get stoned all day.' I almost fell off my bar stool.

We were going to stay two nights but opted only for one.
I would not bother going back.

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank time2travel88
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, General Manager at Bannisters by the sea, responded to this review, January 26, 2013
Dear Time2Travel88,

I appreciate you taking the time to provide us with your feedback although I am disappointed that you did not enjoy your stay at Bannisters.

We are a small boutique hotel that generally attracts couples and with only 23 rooms our infinity pool is never overcrowded. Unfortunately our hotel size and close location to two high profile swimming beaches does not justify having a separate pool away from our bar.

I must admit as we have lovely warm weather and daylight until after 8pm in summer it is a rare request for guests to use the pool after 7pm rather than soak up the ambiance of the beaches and I am very sorry we were unable to cater to you and your partner. Please feel assure I understand your position and have taken your comments on board.

In relation to the comment made by the waiter in the bar I am truthfully flabbergasted and should you have the time I would truly appreciate you contacting us directly so I can investigate the matter personally.

The South Coast is an amazing part of Australia and our area has many things to see and do. I do hope you venture south again and look forward to discussing the matter with you personally.

Kind regards,
Peter Bacon
General Manager
info@bannisters.com.au (attention to Peter Bacon)
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Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed January 20, 2013

If you are looking for peace and tran, as per Bannisters website, look elsewhere. Noisy and strong smell of garbage abound. 

The rooms, we tried two (spa balcony and courtyard room), are can at best be described as tired, unacceptable when paying over $400 a night. The in room spa in the courtyard suite (room with no view) was good but this is really the only redeeming feature. As this resort sells itself as paying 5 star luxury it fails and would more accurately be described as a 3 star resort. 

The restaurant: the food was good and very well presented as to be expected when paying $200 plus for two. 

  • Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Forhana
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, General Manager at Bannisters by the sea, responded to this review, January 26, 2013
Dear Forhana,

Thank you for your feedback and on a positive note I am happy to hear you enjoyed your dining experience at Rick Stein at Bannisters.

I am disappointed to hear that you found the found the hotel noisy. The courtyard suite is a nice large room but as advertised the room is above our reception area and does not have the same views of the pacific. Without your booking information it is difficult to pin point exactly what happened with your stay however due our high occupancy during summer wear and tear can occur very rapidly. I regret due to this occupancy we would not have had the available rooms to make upgrade you and make your stay more comfortable.

I understand this has stained your overall impression of Bannisters however we certainly value your patronage and I would appreciate the opportunity to welcome you back personally in the future. Should you venture south again please feel free to contact me directly to make up for this less than perfect experience.

Warm regards,
Peter Bacon
General Manager
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 18, 2013 via mobile

My husband and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary with a 5 night stay at Bannisters. We had a luxury suite overlooking the pool with wonderful ocean views and while it was expensive we had a fantastic stay. The staff were very friendly and welcoming. Breakfast was included and was delicious, with high quality service. We really enjoyed the atmosphere of the pool bar as we were able to relax with cocktails and then enjoy a delicious light meal. The staff here were attentive but not over the top.
We enjoyed a beautiful anniversary dinner at Rick Steins restaurant and again the service was friendly and attentive. We were able to enjoy the local beaches and relaxing by the pool. Even though it was peak time, the pool area was not crowded. Milton is a lovely town to visit nearby, and we also thoroughly enjoyed dinner one night at Cupitts Winery overlooking the hills behind Milton. We would recommend Bannisters without hesitation.

Stayed January 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Cathy S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Peter B, General Manager at Bannisters by the sea, responded to this review, January 30, 2013
Dear Cathy S,

Thank you for taking the time to review your stay at Bannisters and thank you for choosing us for your 30th anniversary celebrations.

It's wonderful to hear you enjoyed exploring the local area and relaxing pool side. I do hope we get a chance to welcome you back to Bannisters in the not too distant future.

Warm regards,

Peter Bacon
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bannisters by the sea

Property: Bannisters by the sea
Address: 191 Mitchell Pde, Mollymook, Shoalhaven, New South Wales 2539, Australia (Formerly Bannisters Point Lodge)
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Shoalhaven > Mollymook
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Beach Business Center with Internet Access Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Restaurant Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 8 Hotels in Mollymook
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Bannisters by the sea 4.5*
Number of rooms: 34
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Originally built in 1970s as a seaside motel, a succession of upgrades and refurbishments now sees our accommodation offering 4.5 star rooms with panoramic ocean views and private balconies. We offer a choice of ocean deluxe, spa rooms, luxury suites, jacuzzi decks and penthouses as well as Rick Stein at Bannisters restaurant, a pizza bar and rejuvenating day spa. With close proximity to local surf beaches, Bannisters makes an excellent choice for your coastal retreat. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Bannisters Point Hotel Mollymook
Bannisters Point Mollymook

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