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“The McLaren Hotel”
Review of McLaren Hotel

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McLaren Hotel
Ranked #5 of 10 Hotels in North Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 1 June 2014

We had a quick one night stopover at The McLaren Hotel on Saturday 31 May 2014. We had early bird booked a Deluxe King Room. The hotel phoned a few days ahead to confirm our booking and check our estimated time of arrival. So when we arrived the receptionist was ready for us. She was polite, helpful and attentive. She showed us where the breakfast room was and also where the stairs came up from from the underground car park. She was able to give us directions to nearby shops too.

After checking in we first moved the car to the underground car park. The entrance to the car park was steep and narrow. It was only a very small car park that fitted around 10 cars with not a great deal of room to manoeuvre either. We were heading out later to attend a wedding and knew it would be full when we returned. I would not have liked to try and get out on finding the car park already full, it would have been tricky. But the manager had already told me that McLaren Street was pretty empty over the weekend and we had no difficulties in getting a car park almost right outside the hotel door when we returned. We had also found a church car park right across the road which we would have used if necessary.

I had deliberately booked a ground floor room so we wouldn't have to carry our luggage up any stairs. But that didn't quite work out for us once we moved the car into the underground park. I have no complaints about the stairs or having the take the luggage up the stairs (there wasn't that many) but for anyone who has difficulties I would suggest taking the luggage out of the car on checking in before heading to the underground car park. People with rooms on the first floor obviously have to deal with more stairs as there is no elevator.

The hotel itself was quite lovely. Obviously old but we felt it was decorated beautifully. Lots of lovely stained glass windows. Our Deluxe King room was a good size. Not huge but we were happy with it, especially since it was just the two of us. It had a reasonable size bathroom, a flat screen TV, tea, coffee, a jug and a hair dryer. It had a nice little garden with a small outdoor setting. Our king bed seemed comfortable but during the night got a little hard. The walls were a little thin but it was really only when it was very quiet, like in the middle of the night, that we could hear the odd noise or two, otherwise it was fine. McLaren Street was very quiet and we didn't hear any traffic or street noise at all. We were woken around 7am by the rather lovely sound of Kookaburras in the distance which was kind of nice but annoying at the same time. Just one of those things!

The hotel had a lovely breakfast room. Breakfast was $8.00 for a light continental breakfast (cereal, toast, fresh fruit, tea, coffee). There was also two small nice outdoor areas and also a nice lounge room. We chose to go for a morning walk down Miller Street and after a five minute walk found a couple of nice little cafes and started the day with a lovely hot breakfast which was very reasonably priced. The day before we'd walked up Miller Street and found a nice little bakery only five minutes away where we were able to buy milk and some treats too. The wedding we attended was at Gunner's Barracks and it took us about 15 minutes to drive there.

All in all we really enjoyed our quick stop at The McLaren Hotel and will be very happy to stay again.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank CanberraGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pacrim, Manager at McLaren Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Thanks for taking the time to review our property.

A very detailed and thorough analysis of our hotel indeed! We very much appreciate the kind words, and the pictures you have put up represent our establishment quite accurately.

Thanks again for this positive review, and we hope to see you again in the future.

Kind Regards
Billy

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120 - 126 of 217 reviews

Reviewed 14 April 2014

We were only here overnight and it certainly met our needs. The room was adequate but bathroom very small - the shower area was tiny. The king size bed extremely comfortable. Breakfast for $8 was also adequate. When we returned from our evening out, there was no parking available underground. Having said this, its probably one of the better hotels in North Sydney - as the rest are truly unremarkable!

  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Kate_Tascott
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pacrim, Manager at McLaren Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 3 June 2014

Thanks for taking the time to review our property.

We are pleased to hear that you enjoyed most aspects of your stay, and look forward to maybe seeing you again in the future. All the best.

Kind Regards
Billy

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Reviewed 16 March 2014

We booked for two nights, needing near access to Bradley's Head for a Wedding. We also booked four other rooms for family and friends. Needing easy access for two of our party with mobility issues, the layout of the Hotel and the requested rooms, met our needs. The rooms were all clean, tidy and comfortable with all equipment functional. The standard room ensuite in the Heritage section of the facility was small, though adequate. In the new section, the bathrooms were a good size. Bed & sleep quality was very good with King sized beds. The Breakfast/Sun room was very bright, open and welcoming, with accessible gardens on either side. Continental breakfast is only $8pp. Self service Tea and Coffee is available all day with a lovely Drawing room at the front of the Hotel for guest use, including complimentary Port & Sherry. Free off street parking is available for about ten vehicles, accessed via a steep, narrow driveway. The Heritage section is currently undergoing an upgrade and restoration. This was only a minor inconvenience in the Hallway. Staff were very helpful at all times wrt our needs including, allowing use of the gardens for photos by the Groom's party, recommendation about local restaurants, transport and tourist activities.

Room Tip: The Heritage rooms have old style high ceilings and what appeared to be larger rooms compared to the...
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  • Stayed: March 2014, travelled with family
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Thank RetireeBob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pacrim, Manager at McLaren Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 17 March 2014

Thanks for taking some time to provide us with this feedback. Great to hear you had an enjoyable stay, and that the refurbishment which we are currently undertaking did not affect you.
We hope to see you again in the future.

Kind Regards
Billy

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Reviewed 5 March 2014

I spent nearly a month in the McLaren in January/February this year and was delighted with it. Since my visit was split, I had two rooms each of which was large, light and comfortable with its own verandah to sit out on. The personnel and staff of the hotel were always friendly, obliging and helpful and the atmosphere more like spending time in a gracious old house than in an anonymous hotel. I would go there again any time and have already recommended it to two friends. Thanks to Owen and team for looking after me so well.

Room Tip: I was in rooms 16 and 18 on the ground floor. Those and the rooms around them seemed particularly co...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled solo
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1  Thank Frances F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pacrim, Manager at McLaren Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 6 March 2014

Frances, What a pleasure it was having you stay with us. We are very pleased to hear you enjoyed every aspect of your stay, and we thank you for the very positive review.

Kind Regards
Billy

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Reviewed 18 February 2014

So glad that we stayed at the McLaren Hotel in North Sydney. It was easy to find driving in on Pacific Highway, has limited free parking, and is one of the most charming hotels we have stayed in. The greeting at Reception was friendly and then we were shown to our room, which was spacious and comfortable. There's not a lot of space for toiletries around the sink, but that is its only shortcoming. The shower was good, the bed comfortable, and access to a small garden terrace was a bonus. We enjoyed relaxing in the common living room and on the patio near the dining room during our stay. The staff were all efficient, very friendly, and very knowledgable about the surrounding area (restaurants, bottle shops, etc.) It really was like staying at a friend's home. The continental breakfast was $8 each and very adequate to start our day--a much more reasonable offering than most hotel buffet breakfasts in Sydney which can be 5 times this price. We were delighted to find this gem and look forward to staying here again.

Room Tip: Our room was #12 on the ground floor. Nice to not have to carry luggage up the stairs as there is n...
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  • Stayed: January 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank hendomom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pacrim, Manager at McLaren Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2014

Thank you for the very kind words. We are pleased to hear you thoroughly enjoyed your stay, and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

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Reviewed 18 February 2014

We stayed at the McLaren Hotel on the 7th & 8th Feb 2014 whilst in Sydney for a wedding. What a nice little Hotel. We were greeted by Owen who showed us to our room and made sure we were comfortable, he also gave us some great tips on taxi's and the Twilight Market held across the road every Friday night during summer, a great place to grab some exotic (or normal) food, sit on the grass, chill and listen to the music.
We only stayed 2 nights but I'd seriously consider staying here again. It's a five minute taxi ride from North Sydney train station, close to a pub or two and restaurants and the staff were very helpful. I was pleasantly surprised.

Room Tip: We booked the Junior room, only because our daughter came with us and we needed a room with a single...
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled with family
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1  Thank tkf-oz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pacrim, Manager at McLaren Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2014

Thank you for the positive review. Glad you had a chance to see the twilight markets and some of the surrounding area. We are very pleased to hear you enjoyed your stay with us, and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future.

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Reviewed 14 February 2014

On arrival greeted by an offer to share a complementary sherry or port in the ground floor lounge. The gentleman who greeted me was affable and informed me breakfast served from 7.15am, however given I needed to be out of the hotel and on my way by 7.00am this was a problem. My room was up a steep staircase and there is no lift. I was unable to carry my bag up the staircase however the gentleman kindly assisted. Bit of a problem though the next morning as I couldn't get the bag down the stairs and as no one around until 7.15am I had to shove the bag down. My room was quite typical of such style hotels. Faded at the seams. I had problems with the small bathroom as there was very little room to negotiate getting into the shower. My biggest problem however was the faeces that was in the toilet when I arrived. Not pleasant to find the previous guest's deposits remaining in the toilet. Things got worse (if possible). The kettle and mugs were very marked and I could not bring myself to use them. Although large and in appearance inviting the bed was the worst hotel bed I have ever experienced. I folded the available bedcovers and doona in half and lay on them on the floor and was more comfortable. My room was at the back of the hotel - there is currently a construction site at the rear of the hotel. I was advised that the workers would not start work until after 7am. They were onsite talking and ready to go at 6.30am. Not a problem for me as I was up but should be noted if you are a late riser.
I am afraid I could not recommend this hotel for any reason especially given the availability of other hotels located within a short walk.

Room Tip: Not at the back given construction site and car park.
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  • Stayed: February 2014, travelled on business
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Thank George S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
pacrim, Manager at McLaren Hotel, responded to this reviewResponded 24 February 2014

Thanks for taking the time to review our property. As this is quite unique in the sense that it is not a favourable review, we will certainly take this opportunity to rectify the shortcomings experienced during your stay.
With regards to the stairs being an inconvenience and the absence of a lift , we are a national trust protected building and as such, we are limited in what modifications we are able to accomplish. That said, it should be pointed out that we are talking about ONE set of 14 steps at the normal stair gradient of about 45%. The hotel only has the one extra floor - so the inclusion of a lift would be impracticable. The stairs make up some of the old world charm many guests have experienced whilst staying here and we wouldn't change it given the opportunity. We are more than happy to give you a hand with your luggage on check-out, as we did when you first checked in. Simply dial 9 from your room phone, we are on-site from 7am.

What you discovered in the bathroom is unacceptable. We have spoken to our house keeping staff to find out why the en-suite was not cleaned properly. In the twenty five years of operation we have never had a complaint about the toilets not being clean. So, if this event occurred it would have been an extraordinary lapse on the part of our housekeeping staff. Needless to say they are bemused and very upset.

Moving forward to the other issues experienced during your stay, you have mentioned the kettle and mugs were marked, the bed was uncomfortable and you were located near construction noise. Whilst we make an effort to keep an eye on hotel room equipment we can miss things and as a rule will get immediate feedback from a customer if something is not satisfactory. A replacement kettle would have taken the hotel 2 minutes to fix. With respect to the construction noise - we will notify Monte S'Angelo school that 7AM is the earliest we would expect any activity. The fact that you were unhappy with the bed - we cannot fix. These are high grade Sealy beds and we use them for no longer than 7 years. We have had the occasional comment that they are a bit hard and as a result put $200 feather-down mattress covers beneath the mattress protectors. The result has been a continuous flow of positive feed back on the quality of the beds and the sleep achieved. So we make no apology for that.

To conclude, we are very disappointed that at no time did you bring any of this to the attention of the hotel staff as they would have been able to assist you on a number of levels. You have access to a staff member 24/7.

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Additional Information about McLaren Hotel

Address: 25 McLaren St, North Sydney, New South Wales 2060, Australia
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Greater Sydney > North Sydney
Amenities:
Free Parking Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#1 Best Value Hotel in North Sydney
#4 Romantic Hotel in North Sydney
Price Range: £82 - £110 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3.5 star — McLaren Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 27
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Mclaren Hotel Sydney

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