My adventure to Australia landed me at this five star hotel. The Shangri-La Sydney. I’ve never stayed at this hotel but it was the number 1 best value hotel on TripAdvisor. And it had five stars!
It’s also part of the American Express Fine Resorts and Hotel program. So if you book via your American Express, you get breakfast for two, $100 food and dining credit, early and late checkout if available and a room upgrade if available. It’s a great deal considering the price was the same on the Am Ex price v online.
This hotel is located at 176 Cumberland street, the rocks, Sydney. It overlooks the Sydney Harbor so you get a great view of the opera house if you are on a high floor and of course right direction. I was upgraded per my package and had a spectacular view of the harbor.
The area is also in the rocks neighborhood which is filled with trendy bars and restaurants along with cute shops. Really an ideal location.
It’s a 10 minute walk between two subway stations, the Wynward and Circle Quay. You have to walk uphill somewhat but it’s a little less uphill via the Wynward route. Leaving I went the Circle Quay route as it was all downhill. Very easy to leave on the subway here.
Other good hotels in the area are the Four Seasons (really the best location, although the people I met who stayed there disliked no views from the hotel. They asked to switch rooms for a view), Sir Stamford at Circular Quay and the Intercontinental. The Marriott Sydney Harbor was also close the the Quay station. I also thought the Amora right next to the Wynward station on York street looked good.
The business district might also be a good option. It was near the museums and shopping malls. I thought the Darling Harbour area was a little touristy and not much else around but that area.
But I digress, the hotel was really great. My room was on the 24th floor with great views of the opera house. The room was large and equipped with plenty of closets and dresser space, a desk and a sitting chair. There were two plush robes and slippers in the closet. The bed was super comfy with soft sheets. I loved crawling in it every night.
The bathroom was large with a shower and tub. The water pressure was great but the shower was slow to drain. The toiletries were made by L ‘Occitane and had the fun extras like toothbrushes.
When I arrived there were special amenities included per American Express. I got a fresh fruit bowl, a small box of chocolates and fresh milk and cookies. Always a nice touch.
Upstairs is a hip trendy bar, Blu, on the 36th floor. It’s hard to get a table and it’s always busy. Drinks are expensive but the views are almost all the way around. Quite beautiful.
The lobby bar was less busy so I decided to get a glass of wine there. The prices were more reasonable but unfortunately the service was awful. Granted there was only one woman waiting on everyone. The lady behind the bar seemed useless.
The breakfast was a really big spread. I was impressed. There were bread stations, fruit stations, cheese and meats, cereals, juices, a fine selection of Asian inspired dishes as well as hot dishes.
Checkout was a breeze. Overall, for $230 a night, this five star hotel was fantastic. I would definitely stay here again!