I stayed at the Sydney Marriott Hyde Park in November, 2009 and November 2010. 2009 was a great experience. 2010 not so good. The GM (general manager) made three decisions between the two stays that adversely affected the hotel.
1. Hired a new F & B (food and beverage) manager. The new F & B manager either fired or did not hire new conceirge lounge staff. Instead the lounge at night is staffed by inexperienced wait staff from the restaurant. They are not happy to be working the lounge because they are losing out on tips in the restaurant. Also, it is different staff every night. Finally the F & B manager is trying to cut costs by prepackaged hot, fried food rather than the unique freshly prepared items from 2009. At least one of the nights the staff never refilled any of the food and most trays stayed empty for over an hour.
2. Outsourced housekeeping.The housekeeping contractor did a poor job using substandard towels. The bed had four decorative shams and no sleeping pillows the entire stay. We voiced our complaints and were provided a bottle of wine that we could have had in the lounge but we don't drink.
3. Contracted with a new internet provider. The old iBahn allowed us to use our ATT roaming service. The new provider did not have any free wireless in the lounge and did not have any roaming agreements. Therefore the only way to get internet was to fight over the one computer in the lounge or pay $25/day. Upon complaining we were given a free day access.
I don't understand how one of my top Marriott hotels can go to being one of my worst Marriott hotels in only one year.
Thank you for your post. It is helpful to have information like that.
My wife and I are planning a trip to Australia in 2011. I was pricing out the Marriott hotels in Sydney and had started to look for an alternative based upon their pricing alone (they seem rather high).
It is very apparent that a GM can make or break a hotel. I'll certainly strongly consider (as in likely do) stay in a competitor to Marriott when in Sydney for both pricing and review reasons.