We were planning our first trip to Rutherford, Australia to visit our family. A Google search brought up the Mercure, Maitland as being the closest - i.e. within walking distance as we did not plan to hire a car. Further investigation showed it to be of a motel style with adjacent eating facilities, so on paper it met our needs. We were using Thomson (who used Austravel) to book our trip so we asked then to sort the hotel booking. First problem - the Mercure was not bookable via Thomson as no contract existed. We told Thomson we'd go elsewhere and within a week, they had a contract in place to enable a booking to be made. We checked out Tripadvisor to see what were letting ourselves in for and all seemed good.
A few travellers had commented that the proximity to a busy route could lead to a noisy room, so we emailed them in advance to request a quiet room. Their response was prompt, courteous and positive. We had a good feeling about this place already! Our room was at the 'top' end of the site and was really quiet. Having said that, the site and the surrounding area is quite open so the traffic noise 'gets lost' anyway. Coming from London, UK, we are no strangers to noisy, built up areas and this place is pretty quiet all over!
We also had a second request to make of the Mercure before we travelled and that was to see if we could send a 15 KG package in advance. No-one visits family empty-handed and with airlines being so mean with luggage allowances, using DHL is much more cost-effective than excess baggage costs! An email was sent and again, their response was prompt, courteous and positive. The package was stowed until our arrival and they were quite happy to recycle the packing box afterwards.
On arrival, we found our room to be clean, smell-free and welcoming. During our stay, the room was cleaned daily. Although there is a reminder notice on the door, remember to pull the door shut when you leave the room as the door closing thingys are not that strong. The air-conditioner unit provides both heating and cooling and we needed both during our late-August stay, as it was quite warm during the day and the nights were cool. One morning we were presented with dense fog! The tiled bathroom's shower cubicle is roomy so no elbow-bashing during showering. No problems with adequate hot and cold water. Although we didn't come to Australia to watch TV, the room TV gave good pictures, but there are no international channels provided. The king-size bed was comfortable and we slept well.
We ate at the adjacent Looms restaurant in the Bradford Hotel and found the service and food to be satisfactory. Again, the staff proved great as I dropped my mobile whilst there and it was discovered and recovered the following morning.
Another measure of the Mercure's attitude to customer service occurred one morning when we turned up a few minutes late for breakfast to find the restaurant door locked. A passing member of staff spotted us and within a few minutes they re-opened and let us in.
Our first visit to Australia was definitely enhanced by our stay at the Mercure. ALL the staff were courteous and accommodating and the site's facilities met and exceeded our expectations. We can't comment on the room cost, as it was not itemised in Thomson's bill.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The BEST WESTERN Hunter Gateway consists of 61 well-appointed rooms; all situated at ground level, with easy access and off street parking. Opened in October 2007 this modern, Motel and Conference Centre complex is situated 5 minutes west of historic Maitland the gateway to the Hunter Valley wine region. The BEST WESTERN Hunter Gateway is ideally located for a break on route, either traveling to northern NSW or southbound to Sydney. Enjoy a short break to go winetasting in the vineyards, play golf or travel to Port Stephens to cruise the bay on a dolphin watch. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Bradford Hotel Maitland
- Best Western Plus Hunter Gateway Maitland/Rutherford, Australia