We stayed here for three weeks over Christmas & New Year 2011 whilst visiting relatives in Sydney. We knew what to expect having heard all about it from our relatives who visited the apartment reception before we made the booking. They successfully got us an "upgrade" to an apartment with a beach view and new carpet.
When we arrived we were horrified by the stained, smelly bedding and towels. Our relatives lent us towels for the duration of our visit and we had the sheets re-laundered to get rid of the smell. The blankets and bed covers were hung out over the balcony to air off. They smelt as if an old tramp had been sleeping in them. Disgusting. I later found out that the reason was that all the linen and bedding are stored in a big room under the stairs of one of the apartments and there is no ventilation to the room. Some of the stuff must have been untouched in there for years. No wonder it smelt so bad.
The mattress on our bed was so saggy that we struggled to get any sleep at all on most nights and if we did then we were awakened at 5am every morning by a number of Australian magpies howling and whistling outside our bedroom window. They seemed to live on the site permanently.
Apparently the Reef Resort is owned by an elderly lady who bought the land in the 1960s and subsequently built the apartments in the 1980s. They obviously haven't been refurbished since then and are extremely tired and shabby.
On a more positive note the location is good, being beside the lovely Mona Vale beach and it's within easy walking distance of the Mona Vale shopping centre which has two good supermarkets and lots of independent shops and also takeaways. The grassy area between the apartments and the beach is a haven for the early morning keep fit fanatics and is a good place for kids to play. Like most of the other Northern beaches it also has a number of free BBQs and picnic tables scattered around the area
Don't bother with the BBQs at the resort. They didn't work, despite the owner having the cheek to charge for their use. The spa bath by the pool was similarly temperamental although the pool itself was OK but the area around it in keeping with the rest of the "resort" - tired.
One good word though must go to the lady on reception and the guy who does the maintenance. They try to rectify any complaints but they seem to be fighting a losing battle with the owner's reluctance to spend any money on the place.