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“Not appalling, but everything that's wrong with Australian hotels”

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Marlborough Motor Inn
Ranked #8 of 10 Hotels in Cooma
Reviewed 2 July 2014

One of my friends works for a Chinese government organisation which recently did a study on Chinese tourism to Australia. One of its findings was that Chinese tourists who visit friends and family here come again and again. They love it: there's so much to do here, and people are friendly, and the food's brilliant, and there's a lot to like.

But Chinese tourists who stay in hotels only come once, and don't come back. Before coming to Australia, they've stayed in hotels in China, which are generally great value for money, and have a reasonable level of attention to detail. And Australia isn't usually their first trip abroad: they've usually been to Thailand for their first holiday (because of the cheap flights and visa-free access), and Thai hotels set an extremely high bar. Then they get to Australia, and they're horrified by Australian hotels. They have to deal with indifferent service, extra charges for things like WiFi, appalling decor, cramped rooms, and poor facilities.

That's a general issue in Australia, but the Marlborough Motor Inn just typifies that set of problems.

My wife checked in for us while I stayed outside with the kids, so I don't know what the check-in experience was like.

We paid A$ 177 for one room with four beds. There was a double bed and two single beds, and almost no space at all between them. The beds had nasty 1980s bedspreads which made the whole room gloomy. There were two hideous table lamps on the bedside tables, and a horrible charity-shop picture of a clown on the wall. There was a small (maybe 18") TV, with a built-in DVD player. I had to re-tune the TV so that it could receive SBS. The hotel claims to have Austar, but I followed the instructions to get it, and it didn't work.

The heater worked some of the time in the evening (although it was broken and noisy). The staff told my wife that the heaters were centrally controlled: I assume this is why there was no heating during the day. We had to dry our wet ski clothes with hairdryers. There was one tiny bin in the bathroom and no bin in the room. The bathroom was so small that the sink had to be in the bedroom, by the front door. The bathroom (toilet and shower) was tiny and completely dark, unless you turned on the light and very noisy fan. The downside of turning the light on was that you could see the bathroom in all its glory: tiny, old, and tired.

I did meet a cleaner who was very friendly. But whoever designed and manages the rooms clearly had no respect for customers. The whole thing was slapped together with a "that'll do" attitude. It's not difficult or expensive to make a hotel room fresh, bright and comfortable, but like many Australian hotel owners, whoever owns the Marlborough clearly couldn't be bothered.

I accept that hotels in Cooma have to make all their money during the ski season, so I don't mind that I paid 50% more for a motel in Cooma than I did for the Sheraton Miyako in Tokyo (I choose that as a comparison because Australian hoteliers make the excuse of expensive labour and expensive land to justify their poor quality, so Tokyo is a good place to choose for comparison). But if I'm going to pay that much, I expect a hotel room that has seen some paint at some point this century, and that maybe has some post-1985 bedding.

On the plus side, the room was clean.

  • Stayed: July 2014, travelled with family
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8  Thank BruceShanghai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marlborough M, Manager at Marlborough Motor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 28 July 2014

Hi Bruce,Thank you for taking time to put your research to paper. I have lived in this country for 25 years and found Australians to be friendly and easy going people. I now consider myself an Australian too. I have also travelled to China, Thailand, Vietnam Japan and other counties. The accommodation has been from opulent to very ordinary. Hotels in Guangzhou for example during Canton Fair is almost 3 times the normal. Breakfast in a hotel comprised a bun, an apple and a Popper. Chunky furniture and hard beds. But that is for the Asian market. Australian market is different. I agree many hotels in Australia are fairly ordinary but they are rated by an independent organisation (Star Rating Australia) using world standards. With regard to different charges, hotels have unbundled the tariff like airlines. They have lowered the room tariff but started to charge for other things like breakfast and WiFi. The cost of internet in Australia is very high compared to other countries thus the pass on of WiFi charges. We provide free high speed WiFi as you would known. Most motels were built in the 60's and less than 30 sq.m. There have been few motels built since as cost of new motels is prohibitive.
The room you rented had only 3 beds for 4 people, 1 Queen bed and 2 singles. This took approx 5.5 sqm out of 18 sq m. Bedside tables desk and a couple of chairs took another 3.5 sq m leaving 9 sq m of free space. In addition there was the 12 sq m which comprised the entry, bathroom luggage rack, vanity and storage cupboard with 5 sq m t free.
Australia is undergoing a retune of TV frequencies, with our area being retuned during your stay which required retuning the TV's several times during the week. It is all done now. We apologise but that was beyond our control. TV in your room is 32" as required to meet the Star Rating. Due to the low temperature experienced here during winter, central heating is the only viable alternative. The rooms are empty during the day so there is no need to heat empty rooms. However if you had told us that you were staying in the rooms during the day, alternative arrangements would have been made. We do not have have drying rooms but do have a clothes dryer for guest use. All you need to do is ask. There is a rubbish bin in the bathroom and another in the cupboard space as required by Star rating. The vanity is in the entry area next to the bathroom, not in the bedroom. This is quite common. We apologise if he fan was noisy. This will be attended by our maintenance team. Yes, the bathroom needs a makeover. The Marlborough was built by Sir Reginald Ansett in 1965 and in it's time was the premier motel. Taste has changed. The present owners do not wish to overcapitalise the motel and as tenants we are reluctant to spend our money on someone else's property. Catch 22.
When it comes to tariff as mentioned above I have stayed at a barely 2 star motel in Guanghou for more than what I paid for a 4.5 Star Best Western in Shenzen. Both could have done with some TLC. Most hotels give rooms away in off season so comparing Sheraton Miyako in off season to peak season in Cooma is not a good comparison.
I will pas on your comments to our housekeepers. Thank you.

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68 - 74 of 130 reviews

Reviewed 25 June 2014

A very happy stay with a very cordial staff who made us very welcome. The room and bed was very comfortable and nicely decorated. The room had good heating, had very adequate tea making and shower facilities. The dining room offered excellently cooked meals and served a very yummy breakfast. Room service was also available. Would highly recommend this motel to any traveller.

  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Isabel T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marlborough M, Owner at Marlborough Motor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 27 June 2014

Hi Isabel, Thank you for your review. Look forward to your next visit. We have just introduced Internet TV in our Deluxe rooms.

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Reviewed 21 June 2014 via mobile

Lovely hotel with welcoming management. . .they make you feel welcome. . Not just another motel.
Comfortable rooms with free wifi and good room heating for winter.
Thanks for the hospitality..
Good clean rooms. . Showers good..

Stayed: June 2014, travelled on business
1  Thank Robert L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marlborough M, Owner at Marlborough Motor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 22 June 2014

Thanks Robert, I will pass on your comments to the rest of my team. We have also introduced Internet TV in our Deluxe rooms so you can surf the net on your TV or watch movies.
See you again soon.

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Reviewed 3 June 2014

Marlborough Motor Inn - Cooma terrific place to stay, Friendly welcome, stay there anytime, great meals, lamb shanks & steak wonderful, rooms very comfortable to sleep, shower, and relax whilst your away, try the spicy scrabble eggs yum, close to town, go the for a few days and see it all, snowy mountains, local towns, also Bega - Eden etc, not far from Canberra, (thanks again Chanda) Cheers Megan (Aangela's Florist) & Peter (Sydney Coach Charter) see you soon

Room Tip: ask for any, but if your a couple for a quiet few day the areas are nice
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  • Stayed: June 2014, travelled as a couple
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Thank Megancartwright2005
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marlborough M, Owner at Marlborough Motor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2014

Hi Megan and Peter, It was a pleasure hosting you. Tommy, Saras and I look forward to seeing you again.

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Reviewed 1 June 2014

We've stayed a couple of times at the Marlborough and on both occasions we've found the rooms to be very clean, comfortable & with good heating. This is an affordable place to stay on your way to the Snowy. The Singh family that run this motel are especially friendly and accommodating to your needs. They make you feel so welcome, which is lovely after a long trip. We will definitely stay here again.

  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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Thank Zuno9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marlborough M, Owner at Marlborough Motor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 4 June 2014

Hi Zuno9, Thank you for your comments. I will pass on your kind words to our housekeeing team. Look forward to seeing you again.

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Reviewed 6 May 2014 via mobile

Lovely place to stay. Great wifi coverage and what a curry.. yum yum. This is the best place to stay heading north or going to the snowies.
Clean rooms with good air con. Happy to return here when passing through.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled with friends
Thank Jason G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marlborough M, Manager at Marlborough Motor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2014

Thanks Jason. We have been complimented for our new WiFi. And the curry is still a favourite. Wait till we put Chilli Crabs on Menu!! It will be a Winter warmer.

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Reviewed 1 May 2014

The first time we stayed in this motel it was covered by our NRMA emergency breakdown car insurance. Mr Singh welcomed us at 2am as warmly as if it was 5 in the afternoon! Such lovely hospitality!
We have stayed there several times since and we just wouldn't look anywhere else in Cooma. Yes it's an older motel, but for cleanliness, customer service and value for money it is absolutely unsurpassed.

  • Stayed: May 2014
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Thank Donna W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Marlborough M, Manager at Marlborough Motor Inn, responded to this reviewResponded 7 May 2014

Hi Donna, Thank you and pleasure to host you and your family.
Chandra

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Additional Information about Marlborough Motor Inn

Address: 19 Monaro Hwy, Cooma, New South Wales 2630, Australia
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Cooma
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Free Parking Children Activities (Kid / Family Friendly) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 10 Hotels in Cooma
Price Range: £41 - £63 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:3 star — Marlborough Motor Inn 3*
Number of rooms: 60
Reservation Options:
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Also Known As:
Best Western Cooma
Cooma Best Western

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