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“Mixed bad”

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Holiday Inn Old Sydney
Ranked #43 of 178 Hotels in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Reviewed March 16, 2014

We booked this hotel aware of all the reviews saying that the location was brilliant but everything else left much to be desired. The location is indeed brilliant, just a 5 minute stroll from Circular Quay station very central and with loads of cafes and bars dotted around nearby. We were given room 608, which was fairly high up (6th floor of 8) and on the 'front' of the hotel with views of both the opera house and the harbour bridge. The views were spectacular, although for about half the time various enormous cruise ships blocked them out. Having said that the last such ship was the QM2, which is something of a sight in itself. One thing to note is that I’d guess the majority of rooms in the hotel won't have such good views either due to being too low or being to one side of the hotel.

Many comments about noise from the street on previous reviews; we didn't hear any, only the sound of the ships horns from the various boats using the harbour. Again, this is probably dependent on exactly where your room is.

The room itself was a decent size and clean. The furniture was ok but was looking pretty tired and the carpet was getting threadbare. Similar story in the bathroom, which was clean and functional but in need of an overhaul. The main issue with the room though was the air conditioning. I've never experienced a helicopter landing in my bedroom before so I can't say for sure, but I'd imagine the sound isn’t too dissimilar from the air con at this place. The first time we turned it on we were actually laughing at the noise, so we tended to just leave it on whilst we were out and accept a slightly warm night. Would hate to have the choice between heat and noise in the height of summer though!

The staff on reception were helpful at check in and out, the extent of the interaction with them. It's probably been said in many of the previous reviews, but it’s well worth signing up to the free IHG member program before staying here as that gives free wifi at the hotel. All you have to do is get a member number and give that to reception at check in, then you have free wifi throughout the hotel.

Lastly, the roof terrace was small but cool and offered some really good views, especially as the big cruise ships came in or out of the quay. We enjoyed a bottle of wine up there whilst watching the sun set and all the ferries rush around below.

In summary, a great location and at least a chance of spectacular views, but also in real need of an overhaul. If you can get a cheap deal and are a deep sleeper (or can survive without aircon) then this could be a good bet, otherwise I'd be tempted to look at other options. If they do renovate and sort the air con this place would be a winner.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Old_Lidunian
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2014

Dear Old_Lidunian,

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. I apologise for the noisy air conditioner which you had in your room during your stay. I am pleased to let you know that we have a new air conditioning and heating system being manufactured with installation confirmed for June / July of this year. This will include the latest in electronic temperature control and fan speed for customer comfort. I am sorry that we had not had this installed prior to your stay with us.

Next month we will also be rolling out new lobby and bar furniture which will be a great improvement to our public areas. In the coming months we will also be replacing the restaurant furniture and carpets to give it a new life.

We were pleased to read that you enjoyed your complimentary WIFI as you had joined our IHG Rewards Club. Thank you for your loyalty.

The QM2 departing the other night was a great sight and something which amazes us each time she comes into port!

Thank you for your very thorough comments, they are greatly appreciated. Please accept our apologies once again for the difficulties which you had with your air conditioner.

Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney

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1,170 - 1,176 of 2,404 reviews

Reviewed March 15, 2014

Great central location - near to all key attractions. Attentive staff. Average rooms, clean and comfortable but no frills. No real value in rooms 'with a view' as blocked most of the time by cruise liners. In need for refurbishment but good base for short visit to city.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
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Thank DChick333
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2014

Dear DChick333,

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. Thank you for your kind words about our staff. It is starting to come out of cruise season so our guests will find that the frequency of the cruise ships at the overseas passenger terminal should decrease over the coming weeks. This should allow for more unobstructed viewing of our beautiful harbour.

In the coming weeks we are about to roll out several new upgrades to our public areas which should have a very positive impact on you,our customers.

Thank you once again for choosing to stay with us.

Wishing you safe future travels,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney

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Reviewed March 14, 2014

Smack Bang in the middle of The Rocks, views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, two minute walk to Circular Quay, everything you need on your doorstep or a short taxi ride away!

Go to the Roof Top Pool Area, through the day and at night, breathtaking! Take the ferry from Circular Quay to Manly even more breathtaking!

Hotel Staff are excellent, we had two double rooms, they were a little tired, the bathrooms were very small, but all in all, well equipped, clean, comfy rooms. Very good selection at breakfast and staff as always were excellent.

  • Stayed: February 2014, traveled with family
    • Value
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Thank Lisa Y
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2014

Dear Lisa Y,

Thankyou for taking the time to review our hotel. Your positive comments about our staff, location and breakfast offering are much appreciated.

The ferry ride over to Manly is certainly a highlight of many peoples visit to Sydney which is right outside our door! If you enjoyed our view from the rooftop, you would be amazed to see it on NYE, its absolutely breathtaking!

Wishing you all the best,

Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney

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Reviewed March 14, 2014

We recently stayed in the Holiay Inn Old Sydney. The room was extremely forgettable - average in every way. We did not have a harbor-view room, but it was not a great loss. If a cruise ship docked in the harbor, which they did almost daily, the view is blocked anyway.
Noise was a problem. Our room faced Playfair Street, and they were emptying trash containers at 10 PM on a Sunday the first night we were there. The room air conditioning made clunking noises that made it hard to sleep another night, and we ended up turning it off.
There is a great view from the rooftop, where the pool and hot tub are located. The water in the pool was rather cold in March, making it uncomfortable to swim. The hot tub was not overly hot, and bubbles were not very strong. The pool is not handicap-accessible, as you have to climb a short flight of steps to access it.
The breakfast buffet was $24, but it was very good. They have their own juicer, which you can use to make fresh-squeezed juice from oranges, pineapples, grapes, watermelon, carrots and celery, for example. You can get a cappucino from their machine. One morning, eggs benedict were on the buffet. Sometimes they also have fresh passionfruit. Omelets made to order are available, but we didn't take advantage of these.
The location, in the Rocks District, is extremely good. There are many, many good restaurants in walking distance of the hotel. You can also easily walk to the Circular Quay and the Opera House.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank Visimom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2014

Dear Visimom,

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We were disappointed to read that your room did not meet your expectations and apologise for the loud air conditioner. We are actually about to have the entire system replaced in the coming weeks and apologise that this had not happened sooner. We are also working closely with the local council to stop the out of hours garbage collection which appears to have taken place. This is not a common occurrence and we apologise that this has happened.

There have been quite a few cruise ships docking in the harbour this year however it is now about to change seasons and the traffic should reduce by about 50%.

Thank you for your positive comments about our breakfast offering which we sincerely appreciate.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused, I'm sorry that we did not get it completely right for you.

Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney

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Reviewed March 13, 2014 via mobile

Based on George Street in The Rocks, this hotel is well located to circular quay and. The Rocks area. Hotel is a bit tired but has very attentive service, clean rooms and comfortable beds. Bathroom is clean but showing age.

This is pretty much what I expected for the price and I wasn't disappointed.

Stayed: March 2014, traveled on business
Thank Galvo1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2014

Dear Galvo1,

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel and for choosing to stay with us. We were pleased to read that the hotel was all that you expected.

Wishing you safe future travels,

Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney

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Reviewed March 13, 2014 via mobile

The Holiday Inn Old Rocks is the best located hotel - right in the middle of the main attractions for restaurants, shopping and land marks- added plus hop skip and jump away from trains and taxis.
However the room furniture is tired and the carpet can smell a little musty- but amidst this the cleanliness is 10/10 every area including the sheets etc were extremely hygienic.
The staff are a pleasure to deal with- kind and courteous!
Would definitely recommend this place, it is a little expensive side and of they refurbish their rooms it would be a highly sought after hotel.
Because it is bang in the middle of the main attractions can be a little noisy but mention at check in you will prefer quiet room they are quite accommodating.

Stayed: March 2014
Thank Yani N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2014

Dear Yani N,

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We were pleased to read that you enjoyed our location and found our staff to be kind and courteous.

We have just overhauled our preventative maintenance program which is starting to deliver some greater improvements to our heritage listed rooms. Currently we are about to complete level 1 of the hotel.

Thank you for choosing to stay with us and for recommending us, we trust you enjoyed your trip to Sydney.

Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 13, 2014

I have stayed here three times (two shorter stays and one long stay), and I can say it's a good hotel, but it does have some faults.

Pros:
- Staff is friendly, from the breakfast crew (Don, Antok, Pauline), the front desk (Shannon and Lomot), and even our maid (woman with the "Carhartt" sticker on her cart).
- Beds were clean and comfortable with soft sheets
- Views are good, even from non-Opera House views (if you like the city, of course)
- Hot Breakfast is good, especially if you like an English breakfast (think baked beans and scrambled eggs), although each day they created something special from Eggs Benedict to Vegetarian Omelets. It's not 5-star, but it IS breakfast with a smile (if you're nice). Of course, there are people who seem to find their toaster complicated (it isn't), and I have seen more than one fire started in it.

Cons:
- For some reason, to turn on the bed-side lights in the room you have to turn on the VERY annoying overhead light in the entry. The first day I literally opened the fixture and disconnected the lightbulb. Why on earth do they force you to turn on an overhead light just to have a reading light on next to your bed?
- The "Guest Information" book was FILTHY. I literally did not even want to touch it. And a child had obviously colored in it with a pen.
- The shower was not great. There are two settings on the shower head, what I call "rainforest mist" and "fire hose". I think the shower heads need to be replaced.
- I have no problem leaving a key in the room in order to keep the AC going (many hotels are doing this now), but on our last morning the maid (not the nice lady but a man) removed our key and took it with him! I think he must've thought we were checking out?
- Furnishings in the lobby are looking old, BUT they displayed a board next to the check-in desk of updates they will be making soon. I hope one update includes painting the interior a new color because day after day of mustard yellow was tiresome.
- The balcony is not really worth it on the few rooms that have one. The door was filthy and there is no furniture.

Of course, the biggest PRO is the location. You cannot get this close to The Rocks or Circular Quay without paying a fortune. And if you get sick of English Breakfast (I did after ten days), you can pop out the side door to "The Fine Food Store".

It isn't posh or trendy; it is a Holiday Inn. It's good for what you get, and the faults are manageable, and could even be improved. They don't pretend to be more than they are. I would stay here again.

  • Stayed: March 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Thank JesseRay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded March 16, 2014

Dear JesseRay,

Thank you very much for taking the time to post such a comprehensive review.

Thank you for recognising so many of our team by name. This means a lot to us and we will make sure that they are recognised for their great service.

Within the next 4-6 weeks our new lobby furniture will arrive which should make a fresh impact in our hotel lobby. In a further 8-12 weeks our restaurant will also have a makeover with new furniture, carpet, a new cooking station and some lighter paint work. We are really looking forward to sharing these with our guests.

Our hotel colours are part of a limited palette which we are authorised to use due to our hotels heritage listing, however I can understand why we receive this feedback on occasions.

I apologise for the dirty guest compendium, there is no excuse for this and I have passed your feedback onto our Housekeeping Manager to share with her team. I will also have the issue of the spare key card being removed which turned off your air conditioner.

The maintenance team are making their way through our balcony rooms at present and are currently giving them a full overhaul, I apologise that your particular room appears to be one of the rooms which is about to be completed. Our electricians are also about to install a new air conditioning system with new controllers. At this point we will also look at remedying the issues with some of the bedside lighting switches. We appreciate your constructive feedback on this issue and understand that this may have been frustrating.

Wishing you safe future travels, thank you for choosing to stay with us.


Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Old Sydney

Address: 55 George St, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney > The Rocks
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#6 Green Hotel in Sydney
#40 Luxury Hotel in Sydney
#43 Family Hotel in Sydney
#48 Romantic Hotel in Sydney
Price Range: $162 - $382 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn Old Sydney 4*
Number of rooms: 176
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Heritage Listed Holiday Inn Old Sydney is one of Sydney's little secrets,uniquely positioned between the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House within the iconic area of The Rocks. Holiday Inn Old Sydney is the closest hotel to the Overseas Passenger Terminal providing a hassle free accommodation option pre and post cruise. The hotel is closely situated to the Circular Quay Ferry and Railway stations also providing easy access to Sydney Airport via the Airtrain. Each of our 176 guestrooms come equipped with a choice of soft & firm pillows, flatscreen TV's, high speed internet access. Enjoy spectacular views to Sydney Harbour or an outlook onto the historic Rocks from the comfort of your room. Stroll down the harbour-side promenade past the museum of Contemporary Art, to lively Circular Quay and experience an excellent selection of restaurants and bars. Here you can catch a ferry to Manly Beach, Watsons Bay, Taronga Zoo or enjoy a fabulous harbour cruise. Holiday Inn Old Sydney is only moments from the majority of Sydney's best attractions and a variety of great shopping options, including the Rocks Markets, Queen Victoria Building, Pitt Street Mall and Oxford Street. Experience spectacular views of Sydney Harbour, the famous Harbour Bridge and the world-acclaimed Opera House from the famous Holiday Inn Old Sydney rooftop, equipped with heated outdoor pool and spa. Holiday Inn Old Sydney also offers a complimentary business centre with computer and internet access to keep you connected whilst away from home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Old Sydney Hotel Sydney
Old Sydney Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Sydney
Sydney Holiday Inn

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