We don’t go away very often as a family. In fact the last time we did all go away was nearly a year ago. The reason for this is because our 2 year old still doesn’t sleep. The idea of all being in a hotel room together feels like self-harm to our already sleep deprived little minds.
When my husband first suggested that we join him on a work trip to Hawkesbury (he was going to the races with work), my initial reaction was, NO WAY. He then suggested that we could get a separate room for the girls and given it had been a long time since we last went away, I agreed. He booked us into The Sebel Resort and Spa in Hawkesbury
I would like to point out that I was not paid nor did I receive any discount for writing this review.
My husband actually misunderstood the room set-up so we did end up in a room together but I think this was his error not the hotel. He booked a spa room which came in $530 for 2 nights.
He then noticed Scoupon were doing a deal for $150 less. The hotel were helpful, they cancelled and re-booked using the voucher. He then paid extra to upgrade to a spa room (which he thought had a separate bedroom.) The day before we left he called the hotel to ask about checking in early. The lady was helpful and advised if he called first thing on the morning we were arriving they should be able to assist us. On the day we were arriving he called them and was told an early check-in would be no problem.
Trunki’s packed, car loaded – we were all excited.
When we arrived at the hotel there was an area to park in front of reception so you can check in. Once you have your key the main car park is not too far and there were lots of spaces.
My initial impression was that it wasn’t the most grand or luxurious hotel I’ve been to but it had a relaxed and cosy ambience, was generally well maintained and clean. Some of the carpets looked a little tired and our bedroom one was probably due a change however that made it easier to relax with children.
At first the receptionist said an early check in wasn’t possible until my husband mentioned that he had confirmed it with a lady on the phone that morning. My husband was having difficulty downloading the Scoupon voucher on his iPhone. We tried to make a couple of jokes with the receptionist but she wasn’t really engaging with us. She was efficient but a few more smiles wouldn’t go amiss. Another receptionist arrived as we were leaving. This lady was friendly, chatty and warm. This same lady helped us the following morning with advice and maps for where to take the girls for a fun day out.
As we walked along the corridor to our room every member of staff we met en-route smiled and said hello. These are the kind of things I love, they give me a warm fuzzy feeling. Sometimes I think I would forgive anything as long as staff are friendly. We arrived early and got to our room to see it was clean but no cot or sofa (and also realised my husband’s mistake – luckily we were all too excited for me to have a melt-down at the prospect of all of us in 1 room). We knew we were early so weren’t concerned. It was clean, spacious, light with an amazing big spa bath so I was happy. A knock on the door from a cleaner (who we later learned was called Sabrina), apologising that the cot and sofa bed wasn’t made up and asking when we’d like it done. We said there was no rush, we were off to explore so happy for her to do it then.
We headed out to the children’s playground and swimming pool area. There are several charming little seating areas dotted around the courtyard. Outside the gazebo breakfast dining room are more tables and chairs with a small water feature and pretty lights. I really feel that whoever is responsible for the look and feel of the hotel has done a wonderful job. It’s not the most beautiful building but they have done their best to create a pleasant and relaxing environment.
The swimming pool, whilst small is clean and warm. The Jacuzzi was in working order and we spent hours in it. There was also a gym and sauna which we didn’t use.
Sabrina was in the room fixing the cot and sofa bed when we returned from our exploring. We asked her if she knew of a babysitting service and also for advice on restaurants in the area. She went to great lengths to offer suggestions and tried someone regarding the babysitting. She then came back to me later with the ladies number. She went above and beyond what I would have expected and is an asset to the team with her friendly and helpful manner.
I called reception 3 times that day:
- To ask for some forks for the food I brought the girls
- To ask for towels and where I should dispose of nappies
- To tell them I’d lost the key
NOTHING was too much trouble and they came to me straight away.
When my husband returned from the races we headed to the bar for dinner.
Both people serving behind the bar were friendly and helpful. I have to mention Alex as he was really helpful, chatty and engaging with our 2 crazy girls who were running around the bar. The food was reasonably priced for bar food and tasty although it did take a little longer to arrive than we would have liked. They had a small selection of games and children’s books which provided entertainment for a few minutes at least. We set up a tab to our room however weren’t asked to sign for anything which is a little disconcerting. When we got the bill at the end it all seemed correct.
The man who had brought me the key and towels arrived and gave the girls 2 princess drinking cups which was a lovely and unexpected touch. He even took them off to be washed after the plastic wrapping had been removed. I later found out he was the Guest Experience and Loyalty Manager – Peter Diego.
The continental breakfast included in the price was exceptional. The chef was on hand to cook eggs however you requested and there was a huge selection of hot and cold food and drinks. There was even a pancake machine. The restaurant was large, light and clean and all the staff were helpful.
To sum up The Sebel Resort and Spa in Hawkesbury, with the Scoupon, deal I would say it is good value and a relaxed place to take children. Most of the staff went the extra mile to be friendly and helpful. I’d particularly like to thank Sabrina, Alex and Peter who seemed to truly care about our experience. The hotel is not grand but it has a relaxing and charming feel to it and I felt happy being there with the children running around. The breakfast was an absolute winner too.