Friday 10 to Sunday 12 March 2023
Anita had kindly arranged for me to be picked up at 11 by driver Sharon. We had a smooth journey into Sydney and Sharon dropped me at my hotel around 12:30. My room be ready on arrival as requested so I could drop my luggage and enjoy my last full day in Sydney.
I walked down to Circular Quay, had some lunch and took the ferry to Bangaroo. I walked around for a while, then indulged in a coffee and Australian honey and seasalt doughnut while I was there. Yum!
I decided to take a taxi to the Queen Victoria Building, (or QVB as it is known) which Sharon had mentioned to me. It was indeed worth visiting, for the gorgeous building as well as the eateries and shops inside.
After that I walked around the area, got some snacks then returned to my hotel.
It’s a 5* hotel in the Central Business District, with over 400 rooms and 4 lifts.
I stayed there 6 nights in all and for the whole time there were long waits for the lifts, which often seemed to have a mind of their own. I heard lots of people complaining about them.
When I got in the lift that evening it wouldn’t register floor 16 which is where my room was. Some other people got out at floor 5, then it continued up, stopping with a jolt and wouldn’t move any further. It was 16:50.
I ended up trapped in there for over 90 minutes!
I tried various buttons with no success, then used the emergency one to call for help.
The call went straight through to the lift company and it took 2 calls and a wait that seemed like forever to speak to Henry. He took details, asked me to try different buttons and when that did not do the magic said it would take about 40 mins for a technician to arrive.
Shortly afterwards Charlotte, the duty manager, spoke to me through the lift doors, asked for my phone number and called me. She apologised profusely and said the technicians usually came quickly. That was reassuring.
She said she could see me on CCTV and asked if there was anything she could do. It was nice to be asked but realistically there was nothing apart from to get out of there! I told her how shockingly bad the lifts have been while I’ve been staying at the hotel.
35 mins after the lift had stopped, Charlotte called again to say the lift engineer had arrived and was currently working to resolve the situation. By now it was very hot in there 🥵
A few more jolts later the indicator said floor 17. The doors were trying to open – unsuccessfully! The inside doors opened first, then both sets opened. The lift was between floors. Great to see the technician, but how to get out?
He asked if I could climb out, which was impossible for me without steps or a ladder. So the guy said it would be another 10 mins!
At 18:20 I finally got out with help of 2 lift engineers and a pair of steps. What a relief!
My friend Karen happened to message me to wish me a good journey home. I was very pleased to have the support of someone I know while I was trapped in the lift!
After I got back to my room, Charlotte called to ask if I was OK and offered me a free meal or bottle of wine. I said I’d already eaten and did not want wine as I was leaving the next day. I suggested she refund breakfast, which she was happy to do. I also asked her for the email address of the general manager to make a complaint. He’s emailed me already.
Quite an eventful evening!
I enjoyed my free breakfast! However, the long waits for the lifts continued and I was reluctant to go in them (especially the one I had been trapped in!) but with a room on Floor 16 needs must.
When I checked out I received an in person apology from the duty manager (not Charlotte) who said ‘it wasn’t deliberate…’! What a strange thing to say…!
I left my luggage with the concierge and spent my last few hours in Sydney at the Royal Botanic Garden. It was a beautiful day and 27C.
I enjoyed it so much I lost my bearings and only just got back to the hotel in time for the taxi I had ordered to the airport.
After checking in I had lunch in the Qantas lounge before boarding the plane for the first leg to Singapore.
It was a through flight with the stop at Singapore for cleaning and crew change for less than 2 hours. It was a long walk to the lounge and back during which I had a what’s app conversation with Zoë.
Take off was delayed by one hour and we got on our way.
Despite the comfort of Business Class, which was worth every penny, I got very little sleep. I watched a couple of films – Elvis, and an excellent Aussie film with Kate Winslet called The Dressmaker.
After landing there were huge queues at passport control and the ladies loos, but my luggage was waiting and had already been taken off the carousel. And my taxi home was waiting. Yet more queues for the lifts in the car park and at the exit, but I was home by 9:30am.
These tulips were waiting for me at home from my neighbour Biz.
Lucky me! It’s good to be home!