Sebel Reef House, Palm Cove

Sep 5th, 2004, 11:47 PM
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Sebel Reef House, Palm Cove

I recently spent two weeks in Sydney, Alice Springs, Ayers Rock and Palm Cove, and it was an incredible vacation. Palm Cove was beautiful, but this hotel was a huge disappointment. It's billed as a five-star property, but my room was in a state of disrepair, which I found inexcusable. Tiles in the bathroom and kitchenette were chipped and moldy. The wood frame around the main mirror in the room was loose, and they did not fix it during my stay. Also, the wood desk was chipped. When I complained to the front desk and manager, they sent the head housekeeper to my room and she said she was "embarrassed." But this was not a housekeeping issue; the tiles and desk needed to be replaced and the mirror frame fixed. We went back down to the front desk, and the manager looked for a new room. There wasn't one.
What really bothered me, though, was what happened -- or didn't happen -- next: Nothing. The manager did absolutely nothing to appease me at that point, when she should have offered a discount or to pay for a tour (of Great Barrier Reef or the Kuranda Skyrail/train). At the very least, she should have offered free dinner at the restaurant. None of that happened.
I tried to find a room at another hotel along the beach. The Outrigger and Angsarra were booked. One place had a room, but I didn't like it. When I returned and informed the manager I was staying, I said, "At least you can offer me dinner." A few minutes later, she calls to say that I could either an appetizer and main course or main course and dessert. I didn't say anything, but the more I thought about it, the more annoyed I became. When I went to dinner, I told the concierge I should get an appetizer, main course AND dessert. He started to go on about how the plan was for dessert or the appetizer. At that point, I cut him off and reminded him that we wouldn't be having this discussion if the hotel had given me a decent room. He gave in, perhaps not wanting to tick off further someone who stands 6-foot-8.
I understand that even the best restaurants and hotels aren't perfect, that occasionally there are problems with the food or the room. It's entirely possible that every other room there is perfect, that I got the bad one of the bunch. But to me, one mark of a great hotel or restaurant is how the staff handles problems. In this case, the Sebel Reef House failed miserably. The staff could have easily appeased me, but didn't. Heck, getting a full dinner was a battle, and it shouldn't have been. The grounds are beautiful, the restaurant is terrific, but I wish I had stayed at the Angsarra or the Outrigger Palm Cover, instead.
andrews98682 is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 07:06 PM
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Well said, Alan, you beat me to it.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 08:07 PM
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Thanks, Pat.... Good God, what if he had turned up at your place???!!!! Better check that mirror in the john!
Alan is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 08:35 PM
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No, Pat, I take that back.... I wish he HAD chosen to stay with you. You would have known exactly what to do with his complaints, wouldn't you? You would have served up his dessert with your usual sweet smile, while the dog in the kennel down the back said, "Hey, where's my plate gone?"
Alan is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 09:18 PM
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Hi Alan - from friends in the restaurant trade any my own waitressing experience in long-ago youth, I know that kitchen and waiting staff do have their sweet revenge on difficult customers. The opportunities are indeed vast and often too tempting to miss!

pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 10:06 PM
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I'm sure those who wish you'd stayed at Angsarra or Outrigger the most were the gracious people at Sebel Reef. Had they been even minutely as obnoxious as you, you would have (and should have) been evicted.
They owed you nothing more than the room and the opportunity to go elsewhere. Too bad you didn't......say about 7,500 miles.
The scope of your delusion of superiority is exceeded only by the depth of your ignorant and boorish behavior.
You are an embarrasement to your hosts, the traveling public in general, and your countrymen in particular.
Go back to Vancouver, Washington, and please stay there!
Pottle is offline  
Sep 6th, 2004, 10:29 PM
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Oh my God!!! A chipped desk! What on earth is the world coming to? I think your comment about the fact that one of the other hotels you mentioned actually had a room to offer you "but you didn't like it" says it all!! If your room at Sebel Reef House was so bad that you'd consider moving surely this other must have been worth moving to. Let's face facts andrews98682 you didn't really just want a free 3 course dinner, or discounted tour tickets, you really wanted all of the above AND the room for free didn't you! Go on admit it. By the way do you feel proud being so threatening toward a hotel concierge with your 6 foot 8 stature?
Daneille is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 02:24 AM
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I have to say, I was resisting entering a comment as I find the pig headed attitude of andrews98682 quite pathetic.
However, Alan has pretty much summed it up for all of us.
I would like to add if I may, Palm Cove is one of the most beautiful places I have ever been privelidged to visit and all the accomodation is of a very high standard indeed.
Things do go wrong and things do get broken and damaged, its called wear and tear, however if these trivial things are your biggest problem then you really don't have any problems at all.
And if you allowed this triviality to overshadow a stay at one of the most beautiful places on earth then you really are a sad shallow creature indeed, I suggest in future you stay in your no doubt perfect home and wallow in your own self pity.

Mucky is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 04:22 AM
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HI Andrews98682,

Well I think you have managed to ruffle a few feathers here.

Are you by any chance an insurance assessor? If you are you really should leave the job behind when you go on holidays you will have a much better time.

Paul_S is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 02:03 PM
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Well that's a relief Alan, you ARE human after all ;-)

If anybody fancies running a 'FoBOREite of the Month' competition I guess we've got our first nomination. Can't wait for the end of the month: "And the winner is...".
Smalley is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 04:07 PM
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I recall having a fit once when checking into a room at a hotel in the US and discovering that it did not have a door into the hallway (it had been taken down for repairs.) They did help us find a room elsewhere, but no free meal. I guess you have to be 6'8".
aren is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 05:53 PM
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just charming...I can see why Alan was so dis-spirited!
margo_oz is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 06:36 PM
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I did complain to Pat and Mike about the 2 room suite they upgraded us to. I thought it was an unnecessary kindness and thought they should have saved it for people like andrews98682. They argued with me and made us stay in the upgraded room and forced us to have supper at Phoebe's fabulous Garden Room twice and wake up in the morning and have extra portions of tropical fruit and doubles on pastry

Why are we assuming that 98682 is andrews (American) zip code. Couldn't it just be his small town telephone number in rural France, or the amount of money in his pension fund, or the number of times he's been to Stuart's Well to see Dinky?

We had an ungracious guest once, who was whining to all our other guests. We said we'd give her money back if she'd leave, rebooked her into our fictional sister property, resold the room to the next walk-in and turned off the lights in case she came back.

We never heard from her again but I wondered if she was the out of control drunk who assaulted a bicycle cop that evening on the Plaza and ended up in the police report in the next morning's paper. Who wants to speculate on which country she came from?

Yours in hospitality,


PS this thread could easily exceed Michi's record breaking " Non tourist things to do in Sydney....."
AndrewDavid is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 06:49 PM
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I'm afraid, AndrewDavid, that I am guilty of making an assumption about andrew98682's nationality, but the postcode idea never occurred to me; it's just that I can only think of one country which sends tourists to Australia where the people stand six-foot-eight. In most countries, including our own, they stand 202cm.

Maybe, andrews98682, if you're still reading this thread, you can enlighten us on this one. We wouldn't want to unfairly tag the wrong people!
Alan is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 07:08 PM
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you should be a detective! i was wondering the very same thing....excellent deduction.

as a former new yorker, i would be willing to bet he comes from the tri state area, as well. that's where they teach us to be rude and demanding. seriously.

i can tell you right now that if you posted this exchange on a new york-centric web site, the 15 responses would be from people writing things like "the nerve, JUST dessert and NO coffee?"

a wise man who runs a nice hotel in samoa explained that this is a guest "type" and that he is "reaching" for this level of property and expects a lot for "all the money."

a wise man, he.

kerikeri is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 07:53 PM
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He could be a chinese basketball player who was adopted by english missionaries and assumed their surname

AndrewDavid is offline  
Sep 7th, 2004, 09:38 PM
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Anyway it looks like andrews98682 has crawled his 6 foot 8 frame under a rock and is too scared to come out and face his accusers. One can only hope that he has learned from these comments and that he realises that people do not really care for those who throw their weight around and use standover tactics.
Daneille is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 06:14 AM
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Good on you Andrew, you've given me the best laugh of the day. I think you'd better come back swiftly - Phoebe's extended her menu - last night it was deep fried soft shell crabs, better than those that I tried in Vietnman. by the way, she does remember you and sends her love.
pat_woolford is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 03:20 PM
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Funnily enough, AndrewDavid, I heard from someone (maybe Pat) that YOU were actually a Chinese basketball player who was adopted by English missionaries, etc. Is "98682" the postcode for Santa Fe, and do you write for this forum under two pseudonyms? (I have a feeling, from our brief meeting, that you don't stand 6'8".... but then, I'd hazard a guess, neither does andrews98682.... I think he chooses to add his appendage size to his height to give himself something to brag about).
Alan is offline  
Sep 8th, 2004, 03:53 PM
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As someone rightly pointed out previously andrews98682 would live in Vancouver, Washington, USA. if you used his name as a USA zip code. I notice that he did have another post where he said that he was a 31 yr old single gent. Therefore we can assume that he is not widely travelled and therefore we can assume that to him a mouldy tile would equate to at least a reduction of 2 stars in rating.
I mean it was like when I went to Washington DC, went up the the White House, the disappointment and sense of hurt that I felt when Bill and Hillary did not come out to meet me was totally overwhelming. At least Monica could have come and waved and given me some tea and scones but no! nothing! This rejection has hurt me to the very core and I can tell you that I will never go there again! So Andy could be feeling the same as me. Therefore Al, cut him some rope and be the understanding man that I know you to be!
lizF is offline  

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