I’ve held off writing this review for several weeks so that the anger I felt whilst staying at WBBH had completely subsided and I could write with an objective perspective. I stayed there over New Years for a few days in a very nice room and knew full well that a party atmosphere and some noise would be part of the proposition. Indeed, it was one of the attractions. What I didn’t expect was thirteen hours of non stop rock concert level noise on NY eve afternoon and evening and another twelve hours of the same on NY day. The music levels in this place aren’t just loud, they are bone jarring, window rattling, walls thumping, can’t hear each other talk, loud. I have difficulty in expressing the volume level of the music system but it was beyond anything I’ve experienced. Closing the windows made little difference, it was coming through the walls. There was no point trying to have conversations in the room during this time when the music system was in operation, we had to literally shout to hear each other say anything. The music started at 1.00 after lunch on NY’s Eve and went until 2.00am. The following day, 11.00am until 11.00pm. I have no idea how the resident neighbours allow sound levels of this magnitude in what is principally, a residential area. The hotel and Doyle’s next door are the only commercial properties and you can hear the music loudly many, many houses away. We had to go for a walk away from the hotel several times to get some relief from this racket and most of the closer houses seemed empty. I can understand why.
This review wouldn’t have been written had the hotel just been a pub or music venue without any accomodation. If they want to make that much noise with their business, go ahead, risk your liquor licence and annoy the neighbours all you like. However, this venue pretends to provide boutique upmarket accomodation (and it is very nice) which surely must include some consideration for those staying in-house. They are promoting the accomodation part of the business as a luxury stay as implied in the name so there’s no getting around the principal of providing that level of experience. At $800 per night you would think that hotel guest’s comfort would be the overriding consideration here but the Laundy’s and their staff clearly regard that as secondary to operating a music venue with rock concert like noise levels. After nearly a century of ownership the Doyle’s must be rueing the day they sold the place to this mob a few years ago. The effect on their own restaurant next door must be profound also.
We’ve both been to plenty of loud concerts over the years so we aren’t wowsers but the effect on the overall stay was considerable. We both felt slightly unwell towards the end of the second day of this racket, feelings which persisted for another day or so. Effectively, it just ruined what should have been a lovely few days in a special part of Sydney.
Lastly, I’ve read the other reviews centred around excessive noise and there seems to be a standard response from WBBH management expressing surprised concern over the comments and the issue. Despite this, they continue holding these music events whilst taking $800 a night from unsuspecting patrons like myself expecting a luxury experience, knowing full well that the two are completely incompatible. And for the sake of appearances, vein concern at the complaints that follow. I’m now aware that the hotel holds many of these music events over the course of the year and I’d advise anyone to check very, very carefully about possible events during your intended stay. I won’t be going back.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Response from JudyB2741, Manager at Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
Responded 2 Mar 2020
Thank for your review we really appreciate your comments and welcome the discussion about New years Eve and what to expect. Sadly I don't know your details as you have not specified your name here so I can't address your concerns in person. We are very disappointed that you did not enjoy your New Years Eve experience and would have loved to address this at the time 2 months ago but understand why it took you a while to voice your concerns. We totally welcome this discussion online as we do like to discuss the noise issue head on as we want guests to be fully informed prior to booking. We in fact sent 4 emails and made 2 phone calls to each guest booked on NYE and NYD to ensure they were fully informed. If your booking is the one I suspect it is I think we may have spoken to your brother and not you and I perhaps you didn't receive our NYE confirmation information? We also sometimes find that even though we repeatedly discuss with guests that this is a big noisy event they do not fully comprehend this, we totally understand and regret this. I wholeheartedly agree with your comments about the "Rock Concert" nature of New Years Eve and New Years Day. This is definitely what we offer for this period as opposed to our normal relaxed beach side experience. It is great that you have brought this up online so potential future guests for NYE and NYD fully understand the nature of the party atmosphere they will experience. When we have the opportunity to speak to guests prior to booking NYE we carefully try to assess if the guest expectations will be met by the event and in many cases actually suggest that this event may not suit the guest ie. guests with young children or under 18 year old, and older guests ( we also try not to stereotype as many over 50's do actually love the event). Thank you so much for bringing up this topic. Those looking for a relaxed beach side experience which we are normally known for should avoid the 2 weeks prior to Christmas when we have lots of events, Boxing Day, NYE, NYD and Australia Day when we always have large party events. Please don't hesitate to contact me personally should you ever wish to discuss any concerns. Warm regards Judy Beardsell Accommodation Manager
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC