Our experience at QT Hotel Sydney was a little bittersweet. It started a few weeks before we arrived when we emailed the hotel to arrange a picnic basket to take to Taronga zoo with us, after a week, my email still had no reply so I called the hotel but concierge was unavailable so the front desk staff took my email address and told me that someone would get back to us via an email.
The next day I got an email apologizing for the delay and asking questions about what exactly we wanted in our basket. We promptly replied and yet again another week went past with no reply, we gave up and made other arrangements.
The night before we arrived in Sydney we called the hotel to request an early check in as we would be arriving at 10am, we also made mention that we had been completely ignored on 2 occasions and hoped that our experience at the hotel would not follow these examples. The gentleman assure me that we wouldn’t experience any problems and apologized about the lack of communication, explaining that the manager had left suddenly …(or was fired) and apparently no one was able to gain access to her emails.
On the drive to the hotel, I was not looking forward to our stay, given all the problems we already had plus all the tripadvisor reviews and things I had read about the hotel on the forum. But I thought I would give it a chance to impress me.
We were greeted at the door by the lovely concierge/door lady. She assisted us getting out of the car and helped with our bags. I was a little confused by the way she was dressed but once we got into the hotel it made more sense. She was dressed all in black body suit type pant suit with a little beret on her head and a red wig (a very good wig). I assume a wing as each door female door person we met had the same red hair in the same style. They all pulled it off very well!
The door lady called the lift for us and we headed up to level one – the Reception. The receptionist was very friendly and explained that while our room had already been prepaid through Qantas (not that I’m addicted to QFF.. okay well maybe a little!) they would still need to hold funds on our credit card for incidentals, this is standard hotel procedure. As we were only checking in at 10am our room was not yet ready, they told us they would give us a call the moment the room is ready as it was vacant but needed to be cleaned. We left our bags with reception and went for a walk.
The Room –
An hour later we received a call from reception to say our room was ready. We picked up our key from reception and they told us where to go to find the lifts. The keys are pretty cool, the key itself has a picture of a face, it also came with a black sleeve with a key hole cut out so it is as is you are peeking through the keyhole.
The room access system is fantastic, it’s not a card that you have to pull in and out of a swipe box on the door, it is more of a wave over the sensor kind of key which is much easier to use! No more standing there for 10mins trying to get the card to swipe properly!
The bed was incredibly comfortable, like sleeping on a cloud, the minibar was well stocked with lots of little extra that you don’t usually see like an emergency bow tie and little games to play like pick up stickers. The bathroom was fairly large with a nice high back bath and a rain fall shower, the only thing that annoyed me about the bathroom was whenever you had a shower, water would go everywhere as the draining system is at the back of the shower.
The guest compendium had a lot of blank and missing pages and there was only a “main” menu that didn’t include breakfast so when we did wanted to order room service breakfast we had to go online to be able to look at the menu.
We also found the handset on the phone a little difficult to use, no guide to say press 1 for reception etc – all calls made via loud speaker on the phone base.
We only met housekeeping on one of the days of our stay, the lady was very friendly and our room was fairly clean, she did a great job!
There is no pool at QT Hotel Sydney
The restaurant did not seem very keen on keeping a table or 2 free for hotels guests, they seem more interest in outside business. We tried to make a booking on the first night and were told we can come have dinner at 9:45pm as they have no free tables until then needless to say we got Chinese takeout instead.
Second night we were able to make a booking for 6:30pm and had the girl repeat 4 or 5 times that we had to be out by 8:00pm…“thanks but I heard you the first time”, I found it insulting that she had to repeat it over and over. When we arrived we were actually mistaken for a table of 4 as another couple arrived a few moments before us and as we didn’t follow the server and other couple, we were left standing in the entrance for a few minutes until another waitress or server noticed we were standing there. They once again reiterated “you have to be finished by 8:00pm!!” We found the maitr”e’d who showed us to our seats to be very “stuck up” there was no friendly smile, she just said “follow me” while she literally stuck her nose in the air.
Once we were seated we were introduced to our waitress, and this was when our night turned around. The waitress was a lovely French girl named “Lada”, she was so helpful and kind, very knowledgeable of the food and wine menu. She recommended a very nice wine to go with our meal.
Our meal consisted of…
“Beer Steamed Prawn Cocktail. Cocktail Sauce, Iceberg, Cucumber, Tomato, Tiny Shrimp, Prawns, Horseradish”
“Quick Marinade of Blue Eye. A Dressing of White Balsamic, Spring Onion, Lemon Oil, Finished with Shaved Dwarf Peaches, they taste and look just like a Green Olive”
Both entrees were very nice and refreshing, smaller than you would expect for an entree but bursting with flavour.
“Minute Steak Rib Eye, Cooked No Less Than Pink, 100% Black Angus, Darling Downs NSW, 180g, Anchovy Butter, Watercress, Shallots, Horseradish Salad, Shoestring Fries
“Rib Eye 100% Black Angus, Darling Downs NSW, 350g With Condiments”
These dishes were literally just a steak on the plate, but we both love our steak and these ones were ideal. One of the other waitresses came up with a tray with 6 or so different condiments that we chose to accompany our steaks. It was a very flavourful and satisfying main
After the entree and mains we REALLY did not need desert, but after looking at the menu….who can go past the
“Gowings Classic Profiteroles, Filled with Crème Pâtissière & Vanilla Ice-Cream, Drowned in Valrhona Dark Chocolate Sauce”
“Hot Beignets, French Market Doughnuts, Heavily Dusted in Icing Sugar”
Room service was a little inconsistent. The first morning we called to order breakfast room service and the phone diverted to the front desk, who sent us through to the room service… We placed our order an about half an hour later we had a knock on the door. There was a waiter holding a plate and a bill folio. I was a little taken back as to why it was there was no tray and no covering over my food?!? He came in and put it on the table, I signed the bill and off he went. I really wanted to lie in bed and eat breakfast and watch TV however as there was no tray, I didn’t think housekeeping would appreciate it if spilled all my food on the bedspread, so I had to eat at the table.
The second morning I was able to get straight through to room service, I ordered the same breakfast and this time they sent a tray and had a cover over the food, however there were a different missing ingredients such as bacon and asparagus, nothing major but noticeably different.
The food tasted great but the service was a little inconsistent.
We received a complimentary massage for 2 due to all the issues we experience prior to our arrival, when we called to book we were only able to make a booking for 1 person. So I made a booking for the only time they had available.
I was greeted by the lovely staff when I arrived at the spa which is located on the mezzanine level, they gave me an information sheet to fill and once completed the lady showed me through to the change room and gave me a locker key. She asked me to get changed and put my belongings into the locker and head out to the reception when I was ready.
In the change rooms there are 2 toilets and a shower and a large open large to get changed, this didn’t really bother me but it might bother people who don’t like to get changed out in the open. I got changed into the provided rob and slippers and headed out to the reception area, I stood around a little awkwardly waiting to be told where to go next, after a few minutes, someone noticed I was standing there and showed me through to the “waiting area” and offered me a glass of water or a herbal tea.
After a few minutes the lovely South African (love the accent, makes me miss home!) massage therapist Malay came to get me, she took me into the therapy room and we discussed main areas to work on and areas to avoid. She said she would leave and asked me to disrobe jump on to the massage bed.
The massage was excellent, very soothing and relaxing, at all times Malay made sure I was comfortable and made sure the pressure was just right. The lighting, music and even the smell of the room was prefect, very relaxing.
We headed back out to the waiting area where I had some water and went to get change in the change rooms. When I left I signed something – which we later found out that I had been charged $145 for a 45min massage, this made out check out a little awkward as they demanded that we provide proof that the massage was complimentary.
Something to note is that you are unable to use the steam room unless you are having a spa treatment.
On the spa level there is also a Barber, so if you need a quick hair cut or trim before a big night out, you just need to make a booking and head down!
QT Hotel Sydney is on Market Street which is almost smack bang in the middle of the city. It is just around the corner from the Westfield shopping centre (and the Sydney Eye Tower) and a very easy walk to Circular Quay and Darling Harbour. It is also very close to a Coles supermarket and a few little restaurants so you have the option to purchase your own drinks or food
Staff Worth a Special mention –
Malay in the Spa and Lada in the restaurant. Both provided excellent service. Most of the staff members were friendly but only these 2 really stood out for us.
General Summary –
This hotel has its good and bad points, it offers Free wifi (or maybe that was a part of our booking?) and free in-house movies, both of which is very rare in Australia hotels.
This is a very funky, cool modern hotel! But it is not for the prudish, behind the reception are videos/pictures of bums and people putting on stockings or women’s lips (some have found this to be a little rude). They also offer condoms and intimacy kits in the room but I don’t think it’s about being sleazy it’s about romance, glamour and theatre, which is what the hotel is aiming for in every aspect.
Something I found especially cool was in the elevators; they have motion sensors that change the music depending on how many people get in.
We were left fairly happy (even after a bit of an awkward check out) but a week later when checking over the credit card statement we found an extra charge from the QT, it seems that we were charged for minibar items the previous guests used as our minibar was not checked the whole time while we stayed. This is something I have read happens quiet often here. We called to ask for a refund and it was promptly refunded, the funds were back in our account the next day.
QT Hotel Sydney has had some negative feedback on forums like Tripadvisor over the past few months but more recently the feedback is more and more positive, it’s good to see a hotel that pays attention to feedback and tries to make a change for the better, good on you!
Would we stay here again? Probably, it is in a great location and is very modern and comfortable! Offering free wifi and movies is always a huge tick for me! I would recommend that the hotel look into a slightly higher level of customer service to be able to compete with hotels like the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney and I would recommend that the minibar is checked very well after each guest has left to reduce the negative experiences.