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Joined 27 November 2007
Another cafe in the cluttered array of cafe chains that litter the Australian landscape. So I ventured into Shingle Inn and when I walked out, I almost got the Shingles due to lack of creativity, no u.s.p underwhelming staff and really did the right thing and gave them a go, but now that I have I won't be back. Coffee was creamy in texture rather than strong or flavoursome. Cafe was noisy with staff attitude rather than buzzing with the next great novel or a muso writing their next hit. Cake tasted old and dry and if I could be bothered it should have been returned, but I feel the staff was more interested in going home for the day vs worrying about quality and food service.
It's still not the worse cafe in Eastgardens. But try any of the other franchises for a cheaper, better coffee and entire cafe experience.
If I had to be honest I would start by saying that this place is way too expensive considering its rather remote location from Darwin Centre. But lets take away the price alone, as this isnt a concern for everyone.
This SkyCity Hotel is a beautiful hotel in Darwin. I stayed in one of the newer Lagoon rooms on the top story (2). If the water was a bit deeper, I could jump off my balcony straight into the water, but its a lagoon, not a diving platform. There is also another pool which is featured in most of the Casino propaganda but I didnt bother to check this pool out found on the other side of the complex. The Lagoon was sublime and often I was the only one swimming in it of an afternoon or evening, also has a pool bar connected to it.
The room was awesome with huge bathroom, electronic do not disturb and Service my room signage. Excellent toiletries including and air conditioning which is probably making a huge hole in the ozone above Darwin, but it works well considering the tropical humidity, its so needed. My room was a decent walk from the reception are, which wouldnt be so bad if it wasnt Darwin, but you can live with it. If I was elderly or had lots of luggage, I would ask the concierge to drive me by buggy to my room but you can walk slowly and make it.
Room service meals in the room, is like adding $15 to what I consider the normal Sydney main price average. The Hotel is part of the Casino which is great as it has plenty of restaurants, but I was caught out one Saturday evening with no booking and hence nowhere to eat. The city is a $10 taxi ride and not worth it when all you want to do is grab a bite to eat. There is a free shuttle service for guests, but this runs three times per day and not in the evenings. I ended up eating party pies and chips which tastes like it was in the bane maire since last night. I do find it strange you can enter the casino in thongs and stubbies, but hey to each his own, and when in Rome, where sandals.
Reception was fine, though they took an eternity to check me out. I am still not convinced that they added my QANTAS card to my booking, so I can get the Qantas Frequent Flyer points.
Otherwise I just needed directions for to the around the hotel. Breakfast was just reasonable at $17 but really you dont have that many other options unless you go into town. Grabbing a sandwich and coffee in the Casino set me back $11 anyway.
Fantastic Hotel and really has that full resort feel. A little on the pricey side and if you just want a cheaper room in Darwin, look for a Hotel in the Darwin Centre for a 3rd or 4th of the price. You do get what you pay for and it was sublime. Biggest draw back is being out of town and away from the action, its okay if you dont mind grabbing a cab every time and back. Great hotel, crap location.
Why is it that when new management comes in they increase prices - thinking this is the best way to turn around the business?
Sadly they have also sacked all their regular waiters who knew their regulars, was extremely friendly and customer focused.
So after making this my regular weekly Chinese, it's now become an AVOID at all costs lunch venue. I have given the new management three chances before writing this review and lets say, things have got worse.
The first problem is the wait over lunch! The first time it was 35mins, then it was 40mins and the last time (even though the place was rather empty) had me and my work colleague waiting over 1 hour for our food. The worse part was them telling us it will only be 5mins, it will only be 5mins.
As mentioned the prices have increased with the new management. Portions seemed to have got smaller - not significantly, but they haven't stayed the same for sure. They have also changed the names of a few dishes, a fancy name doesn't make the food better, or warrant a price increase. As for actual flavour I think it has dropped off considerably, but this in itself wasn't the reason why I won't come back.
I appreciate that new management and new staff means it will take time for them to learn their regulars, but I feel they have very little interest in delivering the basics of a restaurant, good customer service, good food and at an affordable price. I have officially "sacked" this place after being of it's weekly regulars.
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