The last night before Sydney we stayed in what was touted as a “4-star resort & spa” in a place called Port Stephens-something (warning: memory failing, town name may be inaccurate).  From the front, it actually looked quite nice!  From the front…

Hey, we’re in the hotel driveway, why are we pulling out? And turning down this street? And driving for 2 minutes? And pulling up to a motel-looking building?  Oh, its the same hotel?  What do you mean, we have to cross a concrete multi-level parking garage to get to reception?  Oh, and there’s 4 security doors to pass through just to get to the main area? Fantastic.

In other words, we were right smack in the center of things.

I take one star off the rating for the parking garage “Path”.  I take another for the cot in the room that one of the 4-share people is supposed to sleep on.  And I take one more because the name of our “wing” was Zenith, or peak, tip, end of the line.  Woo! One-star spa!

At least they have one, right?  Hang on to your britches.  Or hot pants.

Its not really a happening place.  The only place to really drink is the hotel bars, so most of us head there for the night.  Its actually quite cheap drinking for once, and a decent enough bar.  Unfortunately they close at midnight… and that’s when the trouble began…

At quarter to twelve I’m wondering when they are going to announce last call, but it doesn’t come until 10 minutes later.  So with very little time left until closing they want people to buy their last round of drinks, drink them, and leave.  Never mind the official closing time itself, just this is pretty absurd.  In any case, midnight rolls around and they want people to leave.  Its quite obvious these guys get their power trips of the day during this time because they start getting verbally aggressive and abusive about it.  Our tour manager has about 5 cm worth of a drink left in his glass a little after midnight and there was no concession, he had to leave.  They ended up grabbing him by his shirt and pushing him through the door.  At least his glass emptied – but it was on his shirt.  Not only that, but a few other girls were finishing up a game of pool and one of the bouncers swore at them to get the f*** out.  Classy.

So, it was with heavy hearts that we had to leave the hotel whateveritwas.  The next morning, however, more than made up for it!