The highly-publicised $30m revamp and relaunch of Blue Mountains icon – the Hotel Hydro Majestic in Medlow Bath – has been met with a mix of jubilation and castigation.
Some love it, others hate it, judging by the wildly swinging reviews on TripAdvisor.
“Hydro-Not-So-Majestic,” deadpanned a reviewer yesterday, giving it one star. Another thought it was five stars all the way: “back to the glory days,” wrote Maxfield from Newcastle.
The Hydro Majestic reopened in December to much fanfare.
The reviews, for both food and accommodation, are so extreme that GM Ralf Breugger says to him many of the bad reviews look dubious.
“We’re disputing some of the reviews,” he said. “A lot of them are from first time reviewers and many haven’t actually stayed here.”
Instead they’ve eaten the contentious High Tea – much ado about the price of scones and cream.
Probably more than anything the reviews show how strongly people feel about the Hydro Majestic, which sprawls on an escarpment above the dramatic Megalong Valley west of Sydney. Opened in 1899, it comprises 16 buildings yet has only 58 rooms and suites; many of them tiny by modern standards, according to numerous scathing reviews of the accommodation. “Everyone has an opinion, everyone has a story and everyone feels they have ownership of the Hydro,” Mr Breugger said. “People are turning up with photo albums, even videos. Everyone wants to tell you they stayed there before.” Consequently the hotel is generally full while the restaurants are doing hundreds of covers each day. Yet clearly in the minds of many, teething problems remain.