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The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel
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Reviewed 14 February 2011

My husband and I were leaving out of Sydney in mid-January on a cruise. We were leaving on a Saturday, and we got in on Friday, so we only stayed one night, but we would recommend this place, and would stay again for sure. We arrived before check-in, but they were very accomodating. We left our luggage in the office, and came back later for check-in. The room was nice. We booked an "en-suite" bathroom. There were no issues with noise at any point during the stay. It was very close (walking-distance) to dowtown Sydney (aka the bridge and opera house, oversease passenger terminal, etc). Breakfast was good, altho it is continental, so don't expect more than that. As others have mentioned, we did have to go get the girl from the restaurant to check us out, but it was not an issue at all. She did it very happily. Across the street there is a convenience store. We were able to buy some umbrellas there, since it was raining and we didn't pack any. The only downfall I would say were the stairs. We were leaving on a 2-week cruise, so we had a lot of luggage, and there were no elevators, AND we stayed on the 4th floor. So there was a lot of lugging up and down stairs. Other than that, I wish our stay was longer...It was a unique place to stay, close to everything, and you can't beat having fresh-brewed beer a couple flights of stairs below you!

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank LydiaStabler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2011

A good experience overall but we did have some misgivings about this place. The way it is run seems to make it obvious that it is a pub / brasserie which offers accommodation as a sideline, which means that as a "hotel" guest you do feel like an inconvenience at times. The 2nd floor reception seemed to be closed much of the time so you need to find someone from the bar to help you need anything - which isn't always easy when they're busy - and breakfast in the bistro was a particularly unrelaxed affair (but more about that later).

The rooms themselves are perfectly nice but some are better than others - we had to move rooms during our stay so we did stay in rooms on both floors 2 and 3, which are quite different. The 2nd floor rooms are really lovely, large and with exposed stone walls and bags of character; the 3rd floor rooms are plainer, smaller & hotter, and the 3rd floor landing always seemed to have drying bedding draped over the stair rail, which was a bit offputting.

It was breakfast that stuck in our minds the most though. Apart from the fact that it ends at 9.30 prompt (and you will be reminded if you dally), which is early if you're on holiday and that the coffee is limited to one small cup, the service was so hilariously inept and erratic that my husband and I started to take bets on when the waitress would turn up and what items she would offer and then forget to bring on any given day!

Day 1 started out not too badly. The waitress didn't give us a menu or tell us what was available but asked us if we wanted fruit and toast so we said yes and sat down. Then she returned about 5 minutes later and asked if we wanted drinks so we asked for tea and coffee. The food arrived and was very nice indeed, but as she served she informed us that we'd have to leave soon because breakfast finished at 9.30 (this was only 9.15 and a fair number of people were still arriving).

On day 2 she asked us did we want breakfast (well, we were in the dining room at breakfast-time so this was a bit of a no-brainer) so we said yes and she suggested toast so we said yes and she immediately ran off to get it - so my husband ran after her to ask if we could also have fruit. As she scampered off after bringing the food we asked if we could have drinks and she looked surprised by the request but kindly agreed that we could. The peanut butter then needed 3 reminders before it finally arrived. She did bring us someone else's toast just as we were leaving though.

On day 3 she offered drinks just as we were sitting down so we said yes, expecting her to come back and take our breakfast order but she didn't. When she brought the drinks we asked if we could have some food and she looked around as if surprised that we didn't have any but nicely asked what we would like and brought it. Except she forgot the fruit. And the peanut butter.

On day 4 she ignored us for 15 minutes until we asked her if we could have breakfast, which seemed to surprise her a bit. We ordered one portion of toast and 2 of fruit, at which point she again dashed off before we had a chance to ask about drinks. When she brought our 2(?) portions of toast we leapt in to ask about drinks and she kindly agreed we could have some. After about 10 minutes we ate our toast (and peanut butter) because it was cold but the drinks still hadn't arrived so we got up to find her to remind her. Eventually they came but to be honest we'd gone off the idea by then and it was nearly half past nine anyway so we had a quick sip and left.

I think a pad and pencil might have helped her a bit - or even just a short script to follow - or maybe a menu she could hand out??? The young lady was very pleasant but a waitress she was not. And it wasn't only us, all of the other guests seemed to have the same experience - everyone spent the entire time with confused and frustrated expressions on their faces. Maybe they were trying to get a complete breakfast on the table before the 9.30 curfew!!

Joking aside, this is a nice place to stay. The location is excellent and the staff (when you can find them) are very friendly and helpful. The food in the bar is very good and although it did get extremely busy and noisy downstairs on Friday & Saturday evenings the noise didn't seem to reach the bedrooms. The management just need to pay a bit more attention to the accommodation side of things so that paying guests feel more welcome in their pub.

And someone needs to get that poor girl a pad and pencil....................

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank sandra_wright
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 February 2011

We stayed here for two nights prior to flying home following a cruise. The rooms are located at the two top levels of this historic building and there is no lift/elevator. However, they will carry you luggage for you. As we were on the top floor (four flights up) that was appreciated.

Although it is a historic building it is air-conditioned which functioned fine. The bath was clean and modern.

As for location it is in the Rocks area and walking distance to Circular Quay and the Opera House. Parking can be a problem as don't know if they have the facillities for such. Parking on the streets is available at a price of $4.40 per hour. We didn't have a car so no problem for us.

To add to the charm of this place is the bar on the ground floor. which also serves bar food and they brew their own beer. The place seems to be very popular with locals.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank k2iks
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 February 2011

authentic historic pub on first floor with good food and even better food in the restaurant on second floor. Rooms were quite nice, as long as you can share a bath without heartache. Staff courteous but not effusive as are most people in Aust. Great location for Circ. Quay and Tourist info HQ a mere 2 blocks away. Very quiet in room in spite of bar below.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank breggie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2011

I stayed two nights ‘pre-cruise’ at this hotel in mid January 2011, arriving early afternoon on a Friday and checked-out on Sunday morning.

Having never been to Sydney (or Aus) before, I used TripAdvisor, Google Maps etc. to piece together where I wanted to stay. My main criteria were: easy access to the Overseas Passenger Terminal (OPT) at Circular Quay and a reasonable price for ‘The Rocks’ area (Sydney is shockingly expensive for someone used to prices in Asia). In addition, I also happen to love beer. This hotel was better for my purposes than I imagined.

As has been said in other reviews, the ‘main’ business of the establishment is the brew-pub, not the hotel (I believe there are only nine rooms). Contrary to what has also been said, I found the staff to be friendly and accommodating. I walked through the door on a busy Friday afternoon with my luggage: large suitcase, garment bag and carry-on. As soon as one of the ‘girls’ saw me, she got one of the ‘guys’ and he carried my large suitcase up to the office. They had my reservation on file (always a concern), and check-in was a breeze.

My room (205) was a double with ensuite (AUD 190/night) at the far, west end. It contained everything listed on the hotel’s website. While I don’t know the exact size (they’re all probably a little different depending on the floor/location in a building as old as this), it had plenty of room for two people. Everything was immaculately clean and worked as it should. The bathroom had lots of counter space and good lighting. I especially liked the overhead ‘rain shower’ with good water pressure and seemingly unlimited hot water. The bed was large (at least ‘Queen Size’) and comfortable with quality: pillows, linens and a down duvet. There were eight packs of instant coffee, eight packs of real cream in the fridge, lots of sugar and eight tea bags - a selection of regular and herbal.

After 29 hours of ‘travel Hell’ from Korea, a shower and a shave had me refreshed and ready to sample some beer. After a couple of pints, I decided to check out the ‘Friday Night Market at The Rocks’ (basically, over-priced tourist rip-off junk) so I went back to the hotel to sample more beer and talk to the friendly, local ‘regulars’. The pub closes at 23:00 which is good if you want to sleep, but bad if you want to party. I wanted to party, so walked back down to The Rocks and found a pub with a good, live band and reasonably (for Sydney) priced beer… more friendly locals, and the girls even had me up dancing (which is rare).

The complementary continental breakfast in the brasserie was fine. One gets: coffee or tea, two pieces of toast (white or brown) with butter & jam and a fruit plate. Also, a selection of self-serve cereals (the granola/muslix/’trail mix’ was very good with whole nuts & dried fruit), milk, orange juice, apple juice, and real yogurt (not processed crap full of artificial flavour, sugar & gelatin). I wished ‘bacon & eggs’ were included, but they’re not… it’s just what it says – ‘continental breakfast’.

On Saturday morning I wandered out of the hotel and did this route on foot: across the road to Observatory Park (nice view of the bridge) and through the Observatory (opens 10:00); down to the Tourist Info. Centre at Circular Quay; found a supermarket at Wynward Rail Station (to buy several things I can’t get in Korea); went back to Circular Quay and over to the Opera House; along Farm Cove through the Botanical Gardens; up to the Art Gallery; through The Domain; past St. Mary’s Cathedral; through Hyde Park; went up the Sydney Tower; then along George St. back to First Fleet Park at Circular Quay. I stopped for a late lunch and a beer; did the bridge Pylon Lookout - $9.50 (I refused to pay $200 to do the ‘bridge climb’) – continued along Hickson Rd. to Dawes Point Park; then back along Lower Fort St. to Millers Point and the hotel at around 18:00. After showering and dinner Saturday night, I stayed at the hotel pub and drank my favorite of the many beers brewed on the premises.

It’s quiet at night and there is a convenience store directly across the road. Busses go right by and there is a constant flow of taxies if that’s what you want (I only walked).

The location of the hotel is perfect for access to/from ships at both: Darling Harbour and Circular Quay (a 5-minute walk down Argyle St.). When I woke up on Saturday morning, I looked out the window, and was surprised to the Pacific Dawn (ex-Regal Princess) tied up almost literally next door. As my planning focus had been on the OPT at Circular Quay, I didn’t realize access to/from ships at Darling Harbour would be even easier (that may depend on the particular jetty though).

Sunday morning I had to wait 10 minutes for someone to come to do check-out. So what? – I wasn’t in a rush; and within eight minutes of walking out the door (dragging my entire luggage collection), was at the OPT ready to embark the ship.

In short, this place has character! It’s super-convenient for a pre or post-cruise stay. While it doesn’t have 24-hour room service or a pool, it has something much better - you can walk out of you room, down the stairs and directly into a real, brew-pub frequented by the locals – a beer drinker’s paradise.

Clean, comfortable, convenient, spacious and reasonably priced – I can find no fault.

  • Stayed: January 2011, travelled solo
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6  Thank cruisemonkey
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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