We had a problem (see my other reviews) with the Hotel we were to stay in this weekend in April for my mothers birthday. So I contacted American Express who managed to find me a suite at the Shangri La in Sydney. When I am staying for family gatherings we always book a suite as it enables us to have a private meeting place and for our elderly parents to take leave of us as they please and we can continue catching up in the living room.
What follows is not the experience most will get of this hotel as there is only one room like the one we stayed in but nonetheless what follows is an indicator of the Hotel generally and will give pointers on location, service, food, ambience etc.
The Shangrila Sydney is a real find. Its tucked away in the Rocks area but on a hill so that its high which makes its harbour views even more special. Suffice to say it looks over, the Park Hyatt, Quay West, the Four Seasons, the Langham and the Marriott so the views stretch further than other hotels.
So we arrived and the lobby is nice but not outrageous like some hotels, Nicely scented though. Reception took me to guest relations as I was flagged as a special guest apparently. The lovely Carmen at Guest Relations advised that as I was celebrating my mothers birthday they were pleased to upgrade me to the Royal Suite. This was an upgrade 5 room categories above what I had booked and in fact the best suite in the Hotel on the top floor.
As I said not everyone will experience this but it was truly amazing. My apartment at home is nice but this 'Penthouse' in the sky way above Sydney Harbour was something else altogther. It was twice as big as my apartment and the furnishings were luxurious and the rooms, all 9 of them, expansive. The living room had the most extraordinary view of the harbour bridge, opera house and right through to Sydney heads. the living room had a grand piano and fire place in it but it was the view that was most amazing. We watched at dawn on Saturday as the MV Ooosterdam came through Sydney Heads and finally some time later berthed at Circular Quay. If you like watching hustle and bustle of a city from on high this is the place and not just the suite but any room facing the Harbour would give you the same view.
The bathrooms in the suite were nicely stocked with good towelling and toiletries (Bulgari in the Royal Suite and L Occitane in the normal rooms). Turn down was efficient and unobtrusive with water left and a nice touch with a bookmark left on the bed.
Room servce was good and reasonably priced including the wine list. I got a bottle of a favourite red wine of mine for only a bit more than two and a half times what you might pay in a liquor store which gven the usual mark up on room service wines is amazing. Room service food was generous and the dinner excellent. Breakfast was very good but dinner was way above most Hotel Room service.
Every staff member you met was just excellent. Caring, courteous and happy to be there for you.
I got to see a normal room during my stay and I can add that they are well appointed and luxurious and large. The bathrooms are great too in the normal rooms and the views just the same as the Royal Suite.
On checkout the staff were just as welcoming as when I checked in and I was wished a pleasant onward journey by Kerrin the duty manager.
So whilst views, decor, food can make a great hotel what makes an extraordinary one are the people who make you feel like you are staying in their home and not their workplace and that is what this extraordinary hotel specialises in. Stay there you will be amazed.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- The Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney is perfectly positioned between the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge in the historic Rocks district. Within walking distance of the city's major shopping venues and tourist attractions, the hotel offers panoramic views of Sydney Harbour. A wide selection of dining options including Australian cuisine at award winning Altitude Restaurant, Mix and Grill in the all day dining restaurant Café Mix and fabulous cocktails at the glamorous Blu Bar on 36. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Shangri La Sydney
- Shangri La Hotel Sydney