Chatswood NSW

Chatswood Chase – Level LG, 345 Victoria Avenue Chatswood NSW 2067

Overall: Hmmm……basic and unimpressive. Go down to Westfield instead. Nappy change, rest, feed.

Good Points: Clean. Change bench. Nappy bins. Sink with soap dispenser. Sign on the door indicating a Parent Room. Single cute artwork on one wall.

Bad Points: So hard to find! Door difficult to open. No toilet. Very dark. No privacy as door cannot be locked. Toilet paper mounted on both sides of change table – huh?? Hard uncomfortable chairs. No additional powerpoints. No microwave. No bottle warmer. No toys or activity centre. Paper towel on opposite wall to sink, soap and bin.

What a MASSIVE disappointment!! Chatswood Chase is always promoting itself as being so incredibly fabulous, having undergone renovations recently and carrying high-profile brands. But it is sooooo pathetic when it comes to essential basics like Parent Rooms and even Parents With Prams car parking. If you happen to pick up the 2011 Centre Directory, read the blurb about Parent Rooms……and then laugh at it because it is such rubbish!!

According to the Directory, the Parent Rooms are private and have a microwave oven. Hmmm…….no they aren’t and no they don’t. And the maps on the Directory are totally inaccurate too. The map doesn’t show one on Level LG but there is one at the Archer Street end, just so you know 🙂

None of the Toilet signs in this place tell you whether or not there’s a Parent Room, so you have to figure it out yourself by going down every single Toilet corridor and checking the blank doors, Female and Disabled Toilets. Then if you’re really lucky, around the last corner you might find a room with a laminated blu-tacked poster saying ‘Parent Room’. You’re so relieved to finally find one, but know it’s not going to be good inside.

Today we reviewed the only Parent Room we could find on the sprawling LG level. And this was not an easy task. We came up the travelator from a lower level car park and arrived at K-mart. Looking around we found the Dining Court (sounds more posh than Food Court), and to the right there’s a hallway of shops (including A&R; and Smiggle) leading to a set of escalators heading up to Level G. 
We headed towards the escalators and found the Toilets sign on the left, pointing to a corridor between the Medical Centre and Chinese Massage store. The sign just had the Male, Female and Disabled Toilet symbols. From previous experience, I’ve learnt not to trust what the signs say and to check for baby change facilities…..just in case.

So winding around the corridor, which would be hard going with a pram, I checked the Disabled Toilet – no change table there. Next stop, the Female Toilets – nothing there. Hmmm…….maybe there isn’t – there it is!!! Around the last corner, at the end of the hall is a door with a laminated blu-tacked poster saying ‘PARENTS ROOM’.

I was definitely glad to see one, but the office printout sign didn’t fill me with much confidence. Sadly, I was more disappointed than pleasantly surprised by what’s inside.

The first problem is the door. It’s the usual budget pressure-swing door which, when you are juggling a pram and children, you need a bit of strength to open and keep open while you lug everything inside. And it’s quite a narrow space making moving around the room a little difficult if you have a pram or more than one child with you.

Considering the rest of the shopping centre, including Toilets, have had a makeover I had hoped this would have been extended to the Parents Room. Hasn’t happened.

This room is badly lit, especially over the nappy change bench located in the far end of the room. The only nice soothing element is the cute animal cartoon artwork on the main wall. The rest of the place is just plain old uninviting.

The change bench has one change bay, with enough bench space on either side to store your nappy bag and shopping. For some bizarre reason, there’s two toilet roll dispensers mounted on either side of the change bench. Why????

The nappy bins, which would be better placed under the change bench, are located underneath the soap dispenser next to the sink. This means you have to turn away from your baby to dispose of the nappy, instead of being able to just reach down and chuck it in a bin under the bench. 

For feeding your baby, be aware the room is not private (although the Directory would like you to think it is!). The door to the room does not have a lock, and there is nothing to ensure your privacy inside the room. For safety and privacy, I would rather head up to Westfield or at least feed covered on one of the benches throughout the shopping centre. 
If you do want to feed in this room, just know you’re not going to be too comfortable. The chairs are hard plastic and they’re not very clean either. 
If you are bottle feeding, then prepare for another disappointment. Although the Directory says the Parent Rooms have microwaves, they actually don’t! And I didn’t even see a powerpoint where one could be connected anyway.
So for mums who need to warm up a bottle or any baby food, ask one of the cafes in the Dining Court.

The last thing, and probably the best, is probably the bench on the other wall which holds the sink. It’s clean, the bench is big enough to hold nappy bags and shopping, and the soap dispenser is within easy reach of the sink. That said, the paper towel dispenser is on the opposite wall, next to the artwork.
Whoever designed this room needs a wake-up call. It can’t have been designed by a woman who has had children. It’s such a joke, seriously.

I am hoping hoping hoping to find better Parent Rooms elsewhere in Chatswood Chase during upcoming visits, but after today I’m not overly confident. If you have found better at the Chase, please do  tell me because I would looooove to know. For such a glam, high-profile centre, I expected a whole lot more from the Parent Rooms. Especially considering the high number of gorgeous mums with bubs I saw shopping there today. I wonder if they knew how much better the facilities are at Westfield just a few metres up the road, if there money would end up being spent there instead of the Chase. Something for the centre owners to think about hey.