Detailed review by magdadh
Highlands, United Kingdom
Best Western Darwin Airport is a newish motel-type hotel located approximately half way between the airport and the city centre (it's not in the airport by any means). It offers single, double and family en-suite rooms of a solid three-star standard and it has a residents' car park and an outdoor pool with a jacuzzi.
We stayed in the Best Western Darwin Airport for four nights following a back injury to one of our party, and we didn't have a car so we pretty much spent three whole days in the hotel, the first night in two rooms as there was no family room available and the hotel staff didn't agree to have us in one double room with children on the floor, the following nights in a family room with two single and one double bed.
The rooms, accessible from semi-open corridors, and with a lift to all levels (the hotel is low-rise, so the lift was a bonus for a person who for the first two days could hardly walk), were spacious and pleasantly decorated, nothing special but everything to a reasonable standard. The furniture was solid wood, and the family room had a dining table as well as a sink and a microwave. The bathrooms were good, and the bed linen clean and new. The air conditioning a rather crucial thing in Darwin worked well and without any fail throughout our stay.
The hotel staff were pleasant enough when we checked in, and friendly afterwards, but showed absolutely no willingness to help a person who was effectively and functionally disabled, and no flexibility as far as room choices were concerned (so we had to pay for two double rooms when there was no family room). They were almost unable to comprehend our lack of car and they were nowhere near proactive in helping us find other accommodation when we had to leave due to all rooms being booked up at the end of our stay.
The pool was excellent and a life-saver (almost literally) as it was the only place where the sore back could be nursed back to semi-normality and also the only place for the children to play when not watching television in the room. There were loungers, parasols with tables, bubbly jacuzzi and a space to swim all in a courtyard surrounded by high walls, clean and pleasantly cool.
The biggest failing of the Best Western Darwin Airport was, for us, an almost total lack of catering facilities at the hotel or within walking distance. The hotel offered breakfast in the room at an extra price of something like $ AUD for a piece of toast and a bowl of cereal per person (tea and coffee were free with a kettle in the room). But there was no cafe, nor restaurant on the premises. Next door was a Thirsty Camel off licence (liquor store) and near to that, a pub in which meals were served at lunch and dinner time. However, it was a pub in which people were drinking, some of them heavily, at pretty much all hours. It certainly was not a particularly appropriate place to take a family for a meal, especially outside the standard lunch hours. We did in fact eat there a couple of times, both times at lunch, when it got busier with people having food and generally more child-friendly because of that. Still, it was primarily a pub by a bottle shop. Next to that was a petrol station with a small shop selling basic packaged groceries, which was handy. There was nothing else within walking distance. Despite that, the reception staff had no take away leaflets (these are normally available in great choice in most hotels, especially ones without their own restaurant). All in all, the food was a bit of a failure at the Best Western Darwin Airport.
All of that cost 165 AUD for a double room and 195 AUD for the family room. Frankly, I think this was very expensive and were we in a better situation (i.e. no back problem to deal with) we would definitely loo k for something else. Not because Best Western Darwin Airport was a bad hotel, because it wasn't the rooms and the pool were, in fact, good but because it was, on some levels, below the standard of a three star hotel (no catering on the premises) while charging quite a lot.
It comes cautiously recommended for somebody with a car and wanting a good pool or somebody just staying for one or maybe two nights as the accommodation itself was pretty good. They charge too much, however, for a hotel whose only eating option is a pub with a libearal sprinkling of colonial drunks and which doesn't even have somebody to help a person with a back problem carry their bags to their room.
Best Western Darwin Airport Gateway Motel