04 November 2009

The Sebel Cairns - my lesson learnt.

It’s not that I didn’t like the Sebel Cairns – truth be told, it’s a gorgeous Hotel in a fantastic location. Let’s just say we got off to a bad start.

To cut a long story short – Qantas lost half my luggage (strange isn’t it? Surely if they were going to lose your luggage – they would lose all of it?) so on check in, I asked if I could purchase some flipchart paper for an upcoming presentation I needed to get ready for. "Not a problem" – as any conferencing Hotel worth their salt should be able to say – "we’ll send it up straight away".

"Fantastic!" I thought – "What a great Hotel!" I thought – "What brilliant service!" I thought.

I got to my room, impressed by the size, nice layout and furnishings – and, sorry for the detail here – darted into the bathroom to relieve myself. Now I don’t know about you – but I travel on my own quite a lot… so I rarely close the door unless I think people can see in through the windows – and even then, I’m more likely to close the curtains instead.

So there I was, happily peeing away when I hear the door open (no knock!), 2 young guys come in chatting away happily (no “Hello! Concierge!”) and put my flipchart paper on the desk. Then the penny dropped. I could almost feel their hearts stop as they heard me peeing (I couldn’t stop to save myself), see the door open and then bolt.

While I didn’t see them, and they didn’t see me – needless to say I ALWAYS use the deadbolt now.

So that being said – I was scared off from the Sebel Cairns for several months until they had a rate package so good, I had to take it up, and I have to say – I was impressed. After staying at most of the good Hotels in Cairns, the Sebel has one of the largest rooms around. The layout is nice and big enough to actually have a holiday there, the bathrooms lovely and the beds super comfy.

Room Service is not worth the wait – you’re much better off hitting theEsplanade for both choice and quality. On my last stay I had a Caesar Salad and Tiramisu – neither difficult dishes and both were below average. The Caesar had no egg, no croutons and no anchovies. There were 2 crisp slices of bacon perched on top and the rest was really just lettuce with salad cream and parmesan. It was meant to be a “Chicken Caesar” but the 3 slices (read: shaved) of chicken breast hardly warranted a mention. The Tiramisu was fine – but obviously a bought-in, bulk made dessert… you know the kind where it’s really just sponge cake alternated by different flavoured creams? Boring. And defiately not worth the exhorbitant price ticket of the dinner, as well as the cost of having to plunder the minibar afterwards.

Verdict: Fantastic Rooms but ordinary food. You may think I'm being harsh - but I find as a Sales Rep, more often than not, I just want to finish a long day with Room Service. It is so disappointing to finish your dinner and be disappointed, or worse still, hungry and find that you are already in your pajamas and not wanting to go out.

My Recommendations: Stay if the rate is good, the Hotel is in a great location - only 5 mins from the Esplanade and all the great Restaurants they have there. Don't order Room Service. Breakfast is okay, but again - I'd hit the Esplanade instead.

Contact: Sebel Cairns

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