Pubs & Bars Pyrmont, NSWStayed at Novotel Darling Harbour for a couple of nights during early Jan 2013, and we were quite impressed, glad we chose to do so, via a Travelzoo promotion.
The service was very good across the board, from concierge to reception to housekeeping to maintenance to waitresses we were treated with respect and taken care of pretty well most of the time.
The room was quite good, very clean in all areas, well presented, a good size flat panel tv, comfy beds and pillows, good size towels etc., the room wasn't overly large but we expected that and all things considered was pretty good.
We had the buffet breakfast included in our package and it was fairly good too - the range of food wasn't massive and the provision of certain things such as plates, glasses, butter occasionally ran out but were fairly promptly replenished. The setting and city view is just fantastic, and the staff were very good.
The pool area was great, good to see a full size tennis court available, the gym area also was great.
Special requests were promptly addressed and the overall location is very, very good.
It was quite family-friendly, I noted they do claim such in their website etc. and was pleasantly satisfied that they did indeed provide much for kids and families - 2 operational Nintendo Wii game consoles for free, a few PCs with internet access also for free (though there was no free wireless), a small but nice little kids play area near the dining area etc. - recommended for families with little ones fine.
There also appeared to be quite a lot of other family guests with small children during our stay, which was great.
The Novotel carparking charges are prohibitive, at $45 per 24 hours per vehicle it's ridiculous and I will be examining other alternatives to avoid that in future.
If we are able to take advantage of a similar promotion / cheap deal in future I wouldn't hesitate to try and plan our trip to stay here again, very good.
Cafes Newcastle, NSWChose Elements Cafe Deli during the morning late Dec 2012, and we were all disappointed with it.
Much of the floor and table areas were noticeably dirty, and the clearing & tidying of tables after customers seemed quite slow and poor even though they were far from busy.
Also, the floor area beneath our tables was a little uneven and on a bit of a slope, which is always annoying for a dining table.
The service was average at best, our wait staff failed to provide the correct drink for myself, served a smaller unappealing end piece of banana bread to another of our party, and one of the coffees was also disappointing.
Little of the menu seemed to jump out as enticing, and quite a few of the products I perused looked over-priced.
Normally I would prefer to try a place a few times to better ascertain their overall quality, and in such a good location I expected better here, but it was so poor I doubt I'll visit again for quite some time.
Have a good hard look before deciding to sit down here.
Amusement Parks Main Beach, QLDWe took our 6yo son to SeaWorld Gold Coast early November 2011 (during school times and not during schoolies weeks) and I was very disappointed.
We got there around 1.5hrs after opening time during a weekday which we were hoping would not be too busy, and were instantly shocked at the massive queue of people lined up for the main entry. As we slowly progressed in the queue I soon saw that many of the entry booths were closed and very few staff were visible or working to assist customers. It took ages to just get to a booth to pay to get in and many of the kids in the queue were pretty unsettled during much of it youd think management would recognize such and allocate more staff / open more booths for the morning.
Once in, the amount of areas closed with signs such as we are working on improving this area and will re-open soon was astounding, many of those and other open areas were very dated and appeared poorly-maintained.
We didnt find one area within the entire facility where we could swim that was included in the very expensive general entry fee and I was amazed to discover that the only swimming area was within another enclosed area FOR WHICH YOU HAD TO PAY EXTRA FOR! I actually went straight up to the entry gate with my family without knowing this and just tried to go straight in, the staff-member there had to let me know we had to pay, and I was like: Really?!
So we paid of course and the facilities within that area were pretty good, thankfully the son did enjoy that.
Some of the restrictive walking routes were annoying, but most were ok.
The rest of SeaWorld was mostly either closed or unimpressive, Im unlikely to go ever again nor recommend it to anyone unless it clearly improves greatly.