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“Quirky throwback to yesteryear”

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The Cecil Guesthouse
Ranked #15 of 19 Katoomba B&B and Inns
Reviewed 17 January 2012

Staying at the Cecil guesthouse is like walking into the set of an Agatha Christie movie, or reliving early childhood memories of English seaside guesthouse holidays. It was built 100 years ago, and still retains many of the features of a property from an earlier era, such as tea-rooms, pantries, and art nouveau furniture.

Unfortunately, time has not been forgiving on the Cecil Guesthouse. The tennis court will not be host to tennis any time soon, and the pool table is more scratch than baize. But the overall impression is one of charm, and nostalgia, albeit somewhat tumbledown.

In its favor, it is good value, the young Brits working there are very helpful and friendly, and the breakfast room, with morning sun slanting in over lovely mountainside views, is a charming place to start the day. I was particularly impressed by their honesty, in providing breakfast for free, even though the site I'd booked through had not informed me as such.

It's not the Ritz, and doesn't intend to be. It's called a 'guesthouse', and that is, with all its connotations, what you get. But we had a lovely stay there.

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled with family
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1  Thank Andy C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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59 - 65 of 82 reviews

Reviewed 14 January 2012

Price: TOO expensive for the quality of service and what you actually get.
Advertisement: Inacurate, the photos and comments do not depict of what is actually there.
Location: Hard to find, behind the main street through a narrow alley, parking is terrible and small.
Recreation: Billard table - broken. PingPong Table - standard, Tennis court - No net, has too many weeds, could be used for hide and seek.
Hot Water: Sometimes.
Local Wildlife: 8-legged kind Everywhere.
Bed: Comfortable and warm
Bedroom features: No table, single closet which smells of mildew. Bathroom is actually a ship kit bathroom, which is ideal for children. But not actually a bathroom. Windows broken and slowing coming apart. A lot of nice decorations but putting lipstick on a corpse isnt going to make it any better is it.
View: LOL
TV Room. No tv reception.
Tea Room: I have seen better in a small caravan.
Breakfast Room: Old and rustic, meaning old and unkept
Breakfast: poor, eg for a poor person.
Overall if H2G2 had a stop-over, it would of been classed as the next best thing to stubbing ones shin on the tow-bar of a car.

  • Stayed: December 2011, travelled solo
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Thank Jac1975asc
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 December 2011

My husband and I stayed here in August 2011, whilst driving from Melbourne to Sydney. It was our 4th night on the trip, which we had booked in the UK. We had looked at their web site and cannot understand how we missed the negative reviews. Anyway we did somehow. We booked a "superior room (or was it deluxe?) en suite" Cannot remember the exact words but we wanted a bit of comfort for two nights in the Blue Mountains ! My heart sank as we eventually found the alleyway which led to the hotel, and sank even further when we read the words backpackers hotel, not something we remembered seeing on the web site. I would also say their picture on this site was extremely misleading, the view being of ? somewhere else nearby but not of view from hotel. The reception was shabby, with dirty windows in the reception office. Chairs rather scruffy.
Checked in and were shown to our room. It was freezing cold, the windows appeared in a very bad state, the en suite was a large "drop in" wardrobe looking affair. No room to undress in it and close the door as well, your knees twisted to one side whilst on the loo, to allow room for the sink. Could not see where the extraction fan went to but since the top of this "wardrobe" was well below the top of the high ceilings in the room, and since said ceiling had dampish looking marks I had my suspicions. Water took forever to drain out of the tiny sink. There were two dents in the walls of the room, like fist holes, and the door had an old keyhole stuffed, (? for privacy) with an old tissue
We had a great meal out, and I stole myself back. On the plus side we had left a heater on, the beds were spotless, and there was an electric blanket but it was hardly the standard of accommodation we were led to expect, and costwise was much the same as we had already been paying so that was no exscuse . Breakfast was DIY, as was the washing up. Did not have anyone in sight to look after us. Guided by the other table as to what the routine was.
I loved this building and its period detail . The potential is amazing. It could be fantastic. Someone must buy it and let it shine. It could be stunning, but at present it's not for those wanting standards you can find and expect in most places these days and believe you are actually booking.
Would not stay the second night and left early the next morning.

  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Agnes W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 November 2011

Had an excellent stay at The Cecil. Friendly staff and amazing views!

  • Stayed: November 2011
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1  Thank AshleighJB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 October 2011

Let's face it, this is Australia. Things are expensive. The Cecil was one of the only places with availability last minute, so we decided to take the plunge.

Yes, the decor is a bit worn, and the games room is rather basic (playing pool on a slanting table with a tip-less cue was interesting!!) but the bed was comfy enough, the toilets were clean and the showers excellent. Breakfast was basic but sufficient and there are plenty of cereals to choose from.

Overall, a good option for a short break in this wonderful part of the world.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with friends
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2  Thank steveJHartlepool
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 21 October 2011

Someone states it is the original wallpaper from 1904 and I believe them. I has a reasonable negleted garden. Large leaky windows in the common areas (so cold at night). Retrofitted ensuites. Breakfast was a very adequate tea/toast/ceareal station....make your own. You can imagine it has changed much from the fifties so this is what you expect if you come here. We had a family of four with and ensuite and breakfast for $100 so I guess I can't complain. You can sit in the colder table tennis/pool table zone and complain or move into the tv room and be warm and imagine it's 1950. It is hard not to interact with the other guests which is good. Warning there is a sign with the word "backpackers" so it admits to be targetting the budget market....the owners admit not many backpackers actually stay. The driveway is on Katoomba st which is the main st but leads down between the shops as the hotel actually fronts the other street. The kids liked it. I am fond of it. My wife complained. A bit of cleaning up, some renovations and basil fawltey would complete it.

  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled with family
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Thank benandlara
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 24 September 2011

I stayed here for one night in September 2011. I only booked it the night before we stayed and the rate was pretty cheap. It is a cheap place to stay so you get what you pay for. The location is excellent for Katoomba but the standard of accommodation is pretty low for a B&B or even a 21st century hostel. There is no wifi/internet. The "ensuite" is a wardrobe with a toilet and shower. The breakfast is very basic. The beds are comfortable and the staff are very welcoming and helpful. The bed had an electric blanket (big plus!) and the ensuite was clean.

Let me say, if someone had the time and money, this could be a wonderful guesthouse. There are pictures and articles in the house showing its former glory, but these days its glamour has seriously faded. At the present time, it really is a backpacker destination and at that still not the best.

If you're on a budget and looking to stay in downtown Katoomba - and you aren't terribly fussy on accommodation - the Cecil makes a good option.

Please, whoever owns this place, get the money from the bank and do it up! There is a gem of a gueshouse here just give it some love!!!

Room Tip: Go ensuite and get an electric blanket, central heating is non-existant!
See more room tips
  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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Thank newryman99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Cecil Guesthouse

Address: 108 Katoomba St, Katoomba, New South Wales 2780, Australia
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Blue Mountains > Katoomba
Hotel Style:
Ranked #15 of 19 B&Bs / Inns in Katoomba
Hotel Class:2 star — The Cecil Guesthouse 2*
Number of rooms: 13
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Hello future guests,It is our pleasure to announce that The Cecil is under new management as of 02/12/12. We are in love with The Cecil and passionate about making your stay a pleasurable experience rather than just a bed for the night.We look forward to ensuring you enjoy your stay.Cecil Management ... more   less 
Also Known As:
The Cecil Guesthouse Blue Mountains/Katoomba, Australia

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