Last month, one of my closest friends turned 26 and we celebrated in style, dancing until we were forced to leave the empty premises of our local pub. We had been discussing a girls weekend away so I decided to organise a little adventure down south, as her gift.
With the only suitable weekend being the October long-weekend and 85% of the accommodation being completely booked out already, we were quick to jump on the option of a pub stay in the quiet town of Kiama. I had never been to Kiama but was excited for a weekend of sun, hikes and dancing.
Funny story though, it totally didn’t work out that way, we spent a total of 4hours in Kiama before returning home. Let me explain…
We pulled into the small town of Kiama and stumbled across our accommodation on accident. We were joking about about heading out to the local pub in search for some live music when we realised the pub was also the name of our ‘hotel’. At first, we were a bunch of giggly school girls, excited by the news of an awesome cover band playing that evening. We cracked a few jokes about how run down the joint was but never thought twice about what the room may look like. Unfortunately, we had arrived too early as the cleaners were still ‘cleaning’ our room (please take note of the word cleaning) so decided to check out Kiama.
Kiama is only a short 2.5hour drive from Sydney and is known for its coastal walk and blow holes (well, thats all i knew about it). We arrived a little after 11:30 and were desperate for a coffee and feed. We stumbled across a little cafe that was luckily still serving breakfast and settled in, still cracking jokes about how our evening would pan out. To be honest, we were very hopeful. We had been laughing since we arrived and everything was feeling like it was sailing along smoothly.
After breaky, we wandered over to the light house, in search for the famous ‘blow hole’. The weather was fairly decent and the ocean was immensely calm. Apparently, this is the perfect combination to ensure the blow hole’s lack of existence. We were not too disheartened as the coast looked beautiful and we knew we had a few more days to catch sight of the magical spray from the rocks crevasse (why does that sound so wrong?)
It was creeping up to 2pm, aka check in time, so we decided to sit grab a quick coffee and head back to the Hotel. Milk and Honey is a gorgeous little cafe, located on the headland behind the light house. Not that I have much to compare it to within the area, I would still recommend checking it out during your stay. What i would NOT recommend is staying at The Grand Hotel, Kiama.
In fairness, the pictures looked decent enough and for $120.00 per night, we assumed cleanliness, at the least. Looking back on it, we did some how miss the 2 star rating and terrible reviews splashed across trip advisor (see here). We checked into the hotel and walked up the creaking stairs to our room. On our way, the cleaner (who was “cleaning” our room earlier) asked what number room we were in, followed by a sly comment that the room “was not very good”. We laughed it off and opened up our room to see for our selves.
Holly Molly, am I in the dog kennel at Far Out Beach Club? You would think so. I am by no means a princess, we have stayed at several run down, itchy hostels across Europe but I had NEVER stayed in such an unkept, run down and down right DIRTY room.
For starters, our bedsheets were covered in small hairs, dirt, something that looked like droppings and who knows what else. The paint was falling off around the room, the sink was broken, the room smelt, the carpet was filthy, the towels were disgusting and most importantly, as already mentioned, the sheets were A MESS!
Unfortunately, I have no photos to show you. We laughed for about 20 minutes straight, wondering if it was a joke being played on us or if the cleaner had just decided to skip our room. Trying to come up with a plan B, we started to scroll through booking.com to find an alternative solution. I suggested we ask them to change the sheets, start drinking and hope we don’t care too much later on. After tossing up a few ideas, discovering there was zero accommodation available and overhearing the staff admit they only change the sheets once a week, we decided we would rather just pack the car back up and head elsewhere.
The hotel staff admitted that almost every costumer complains and offered us a full refund. Does that not say it all? Maybe you guys should consider closing down?….
At this stage, we were a little over thinking about the plan B so came to the joint decision to head back to Sydney, use the money for another trip in the weeks to come and head out on the town, in Sydney city.
We may not have experienced our awesome long weekend in Kiama, but we did have a great weekend together, laughed a lot and came home with one hell of a story. It just goes to show, travel does not always go the way you plan and you should always check the reviews.
Have you ever been to Kiama? Or a terrible hotel? Share your experience in the comment section below.