Four Seasons – Sydney, Australia -☆☆☆☆
Date of Travel: April 2010
At time of booking we had requested an Opera View Room (overlooking the harbor). We were excited to enjoy an aerial view of the Sydney Opera House while lying in the king size bed as shown on the website photos. This request was received and guaranteed. Upon arrival, the check-in staff were unwelcoming and quick to rid themselves of our presence. We arrived to our allocated room and immediately noticed that the view was of another large building adjacent to the Four Seasons. In order to see the opera house, you had to walk to the far side of the room to the window, then angle yourself awkwardly to catch glimpse of the boat like white edifice.
We called down to change rooms, but the only alternative was 15 flights down. They assured us that this improved view would not make up for the inexorable freeway noise at such a low-level. Although this was a disappointment, we decided to keep our original room, unpack and get to sightseeing.
The customer service at just about every restaurant/establishment in the city was either poor or non-existent, but we had a great time exploring Darling Harbour. We also took a ferry and visited Watson’s Bay for a little hike. You are presented with a breathtaking bird’s-eye panorama of the Tasman Sea as you stroll along the towering cliff tops. The local naturist’s beach does catch you by surprise, so be prepared for the sudden exhibition of nudity.
Later in the evening we decided to catch an opera at the Sydney opera house (seemed like the thing to do). It ended up being so boring that we took intermission as an oportunity to escape. Hopefully when you’re in town they’ll have something a little more captivating scheduled.
Back at the hotel, we experienced many additional issues with the staff. The lobby bar did not offer a non-dairy milk option to order with our hot drinks, so we made our way to the neighboring Starbucks for something suitable. We returned to the lobby bar with Starbucks cups in hand and routinely settled in to check our emails on the hotel lobby’s wonderfully complimentary wi-fi. I couldn’t help but notice a waiter giving us strange looks, and soon enough he was asking us to gather our things and please leave the hotel. Yes, he thought we were a couple of kids off the street making use of the hotel’s amenities. My husband whipped out his room card and made ol’ matey aware that we had every right to be there. The waiter looked surprised, but he clearly felt stupid, so he found another excuse to kick us out: “You know, bringing Starbucks into this upscale establishment is like bringing McDonalds into a fine dining restaurant.” We didn’t feel the need to argue, so we left the bar area, and settled in to another corner of the lobby. The manager came out from behind the front desk (recognizing us from our original room complaint) and offered us free drinks from the bar. We explained how rudely we were treated and wanted nothing to do with the bar staff. The manager quickly apologized for his employee’s behavior and said there were absolutely no rules about bringing Starbucks in with us.
Other than that, this hotel is of a 4 star quality and does not uphold the Four Seasons standard of luxury. Obviously, that one manager was very pleasant, and all other staff members were remarkably less notable. The entrance and public areas of the hotel are well-kept, but rather outdated. Our room was moderately spacious and the bathroom was small, but had a nice layout. The television’s reception wasn’t consistent throughout our entire stay, so that was a little disappointing. If we’re in the area again, we will most likely choose a different hotel.