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“Beautiful”

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Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
Ranked #27 of 177 Hotels in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Beautiful”
Reviewed November 2, 2012

My wife and I stayed here recently and were rewarded with a magical stay. The hotel beng so close to The Rocks and what they have to offer in terms of food, wine bars and street entertainment was perfect for a romantic get away.

We opted for a suite and high floor. The view was so good of the harbour and Harbour Bridge we actually kept the curtains open all night. Sydney is a stunning city. I've stayed in Shamgri-La Hotels many times around the world and this hotel lives up to their strong reputation for luxury.

Room Tip: Stay on a high floor - the views are worth the effort and $$
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  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
4 Thank GrampsD49
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
55 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2012

The Hotel is good and has all the features of a 5 star hotel. However its standards fall a little short of other members of the group such as its Singapore & Hong Kong hotels.

We booked into the Horizon Club. The Club reception desk was frequently unattended or short staffed, but some staff in the Club lounge may be able to assist. Check in took longer than expected due to only 1 staff member being on the desk but our room was ready though we checked in a little before the official check in time.

The bedroom & bathroom were comfortable and of good size and quality but the decor is a little dated and in need of refurbishment. The Darling Harbour facing rooms can get warm in the afternoon sun but pulling the curtains plus air conditioning alleviates the problem. Our air conditioning was not working efficiently in our room but was fixed when reported. The view from our room on the 32nd floor was very nice indeed.

The Horizon Club lounge on Saturday night filled quite quickly and standing room only was available after about 6:30pm. The canapes were good but lacked the variety of other Shangri-La accomodations. The staff were obliging though under pressure. During our visit the lounge ran out of plates and we waited for 10 minutes before more were brought out. A little later they ran out of cups..... Breakfast is OK though the scrambled eggs were somewhat sloppy. The view from the Club lounge is superb showing the beauty of the harbour.

Horizon Club guests can avail themselves of a more substantial breakfast selection at Cafe Mix. Cafe Mix is not a large Cafe and on Sunday morning at 9:00am we noticed a long queue awaiting seating.

The location was convenient for us as we wanted to visit The Rocks/ Circular Quay area. But if your need is to travel further uptown it can be quite a walk; otherwise use public transport. The walk from George St to the hotel is a short but steep rise which may be provide some difficulty for the less mobile. Taxis are readily available.

Check out was speedy at the desk (or you can use Express Check Out).

I think this hotel is a little overpriced when compared to similar properties in Sydney CBD; and if you pay by credit card, a further 1.5% credit card surcharge is added to the bill. I find it hard to believe there is insufficient margin in the rate to absorb the credit card charge.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank bundeera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Australia
Level Contributor
76 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2012

I recently stayed at this property on a business trip for sydney for one night. The booking process was efficient and check-in was speedy and professional. My room was on L21 with City/Opera views. I must say, I saw little city and amazing harbour views which did include the opera house, circular quay etc. The room was large, spotless and welcoming. The bathroom was huge with excellent amenities. There is plenty to see within easy walking range including archeological digs, the harbour bridge and the spectacular rocks area. I had a room service meal which was delivered piping hot and quite good value. Sleep was not a problem with triple glazing and block out blinds. The room was cool, quiet and dark which is just how i like it. The king size bed and perfect array of pillows had me asleep 15 minutes into the in-house movie I ordered (worry batman) and I didn't stir until my alarm went off the next morning. The room had plenty of storage, a couple of writing areas and a lovely lounge and lamp in the corner near the window which was perfect for quiet reading. The TV was large and the mini-bar and tea and coffee very well stocked. Prices were high for mini-bar but they always are. breakfast was full buffet in the cafe grill area and is possibly the best buffet breakfast i have ever had and i have had quite a few. There is empahsis on the asian market but the 'australian' style food was exceptional - eggs scrambled with truffle, corn cakes, smoked salmon etc. It is worth it for the breakfast alone. All in all, I could not find fault with this hotel. The pool and spa area were immaculate and fully staffed as was the gym. I highly recommend this property to the business traveller, couples and solos.

Room Tip: Ask for a high floor. they will be quieter and have better views.
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  • Stayed November 2012, traveled on business
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank goldie01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
20 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2012

I have stayed at this hotel few times; love the location and lovely view of the Harbor Bridge and Opera House. During my recent trip, I found service had deteriorated a bit - I am sure this is temporary and will be corrected.

Room Tip: Choose higher floors with unobstructed Harbor view.
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled on business
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    • Service
Helpful?
Thank akk1060
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed November 1, 2012

My husband and I travel a lot, since our son was born he travels with us and so in 8 months he has been in 8 countries so far. We were staying with him in many hotels around the world, mostly 5 stars, but this one was the biggest disappointment of ours.
My husband was travelling in business and we have decided to extend his business trip to family holiday and a bit of honeymoon.
We got married just 4 weeks earlier and had not had any honeymoon, so when booking the room, my husband mentioned it and asked to have a nice view if possible. On arrival we were told that the main harbour view rooms were available only at additional charge...ok fair enough, no special treatment, but why should they care...I thought. Only when shortly after us our coleague arrived to the same hotel and got a room with a view even without asking or paying for it, we were a bit disappointed...clearly no additional charge was required for all....and customers requests meant nothing to them.
On arrival the room was not ready, so we had to wander around to wait for our room, to be fair we arrived early, so I cannot blame them for that.
The room was ok, darling harbour view was not too bad.
...but when you pay for the 5 star and book in with a baby, I would have hoped that dangerous corners will be secured, our son hit one of the corners and bruised his head.
When we travel in 5 star I usually leave some of my cosmetics home, because hotels provide them and replace everyday, not Shangri-La. I would have hoped that the cleaning staff will replace the body moisturiser at least once in those 5 days we stayed there. I would have hoped that drawers in the bathroom would close and not half open every time you try to close it and that drawer handles would be there instead of just holes. And that if the cleaning staff removed the bin and see rubbish and dirty nappies in the place when the bin used to be, they will not leave them behind....what did they think that I collect my sons dirty nappies? I would have hoped that if we book an expensive babysitter through the hotel, she will not get stuck in our minibar... and that if you ask the staff for reasonable parking, they do not lie that the hotel one is one of the cheapest in the area, while it is 2 times more expensive to alternatives. ...and most importantly...that if they do HAVE to put two single mattresses together to make a double bed, they will at least make it well, so that the bed it reasonably flat, rather than bumpy middle with sides going down and with the mattress topper that is soo uncomfortable that you wake up in pain every morning.

We planned to stay in Shangri-La for 6 days, but ended up cutting our stay short and leaving early. We are not planning to stay in Shangri-La ever again whether it is for business or leisure.

  • Stayed October 2012, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Joanna L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northants, UK
Level Contributor
37 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2012 via mobile

A beautiful hotel with incredible views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, especially from the Horizon Club and the 36th floor bar.

Gracious service and lovely rooms complete the experience.

Do book for the 36th floor bar and restaurant well in advance!

  • Stayed October 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BritPaul
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
75 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 61 helpful votes
Reviewed October 29, 2012

This has been the third booking I have made with the Shangri-La and I was saddened how disappointing it was.
I had booked this hotel for a very special evening so did so through the American Express Platinum service for the "extras" afforded to what they report as their premium customers.
Extra's include early check in, upgrade "if available" on arrival, fruit platter and other amenities in the room as well as $100 discount on food and drink from the bill.
Of all my stays that the Shangri-La I have never been afforded the upgrade service.

I was checked in by the American Express concierge. She was polite and welcoming. She advised me that unfortunately there was no room upgrades available however she had been able to secure me a "nice" room. I did explain that this booking was for a particularly special evening however she said "there was nothing she could do". For the price that I was charged I was somewhat disappointed. I requested for ice to be delivered to my room as I needed to keep some items chilled for the evening.

Upon arrival to my room it was rather plain with no fruit platter or any of the amenities that were discussed at check in. The ice had not been delivered despite the person who checked me in requesting it happen straight away.

Having shopping to prepare for the evening I headed out and stopped by the Shangri-La lounge for some lunch as they were serving afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea was rather plain with a small selection of cakes, tea, coffee and softdrink. No savoury choices available I requested a club sandwich off the room service menu to be delivered to the lounge.
Forty minutes later the sandwich arrived. A nice but not spectacular club sandwich, fries and a small salad. I was honestly shocked when presented with a bill for $38!!! $32 for the sandwich and what I can only guess is $6 "embarrassment" tax for the poor waiter who has to present this bill.
I've travelled extensively and this would have to be the most expensive club sandwich I have ever purchased. For $38 I would go to Aria. For $38 I would go to Doyles. For $38 I would certainly not be ordering a rather disappointing hotel club sandwich.

At this point I was livid. I went back downstairs and requested to speak to the manager. The manager declined to see me and I was referred back to person that checked me in at the Amex table.

I explained my extreme disappointment with the lack of promised amenities, the lack of deliver of the items that I had requested, lack of the upgrade on every stay I had made and finally the outrageous price that was made for a simple club sandwich.

It would appear that despite requests made by the staff member they are either ignored or simply not passed on.

After some time and phone calls an upgraded room was able to be found. The staff member made numerous phone calls to get the amenities to be delivered. My bags were moved to the new room of which was nice and made me feel more optimistic about the evening.

Despite what had now been 3 requests for the amenities they still had not been delivered. I phoned the Amex desk and the staff member who I spoke with had left for the afternoon. I explained to the concierge that I was actually embarrassed to be phoning and having to "beg" for the items that the Amex desk had already promised 3 times. He was polite and about an hour later the items were finally delivered.

Overall I have the following impressions of the hotel.

The base rooms are stock standard. If the hotel is going to position itself as a 5 star property they need to increase the perceived "value" by exceptional service. Unfortunately they have failed poorly at this endeavour. Clearly there is either poor communication or staff requests to departments that are in control of amenities don't bother to follow requests made.

If you are booking through Amex platinum or centurion services don't expect an upgrade. While they report that they will always do their best out of three visits I was never offered an upgrade. The only reason I was upgraded was because I was prepared to complain.

Finally rooms that are on the western side of the building (facing away from the harbour) get significant sun in the afternoon. This makes the rooms very hot and the airconditioning struggles. Be sure to close the curtains if you don't want to return home to a hot, stuffy room.

If you are planning to use room service, be aware that it's some of the most expensive I've experienced in Australia and also on my international travels. By all means if you have "credit" use it but if the cash is coming out of your pocket it's not worth it. There are many restaurants, and a very good pub just around the corner at half the price and better quality.

The buffet for breakfast is very good with choices of both european and asian choices. Coffee was strong and made to order.

Upon leaving I spoke with the Amex staff member that checked me in. I explained how non plussed I was with the stay. She did not apologise, she did not offer any sort of incentive to return and once she had dumped me at the check out desk disappeared never to be seen again.

While some of the amenities may be considered 5 star I don't feel that they are living up to the expectation in their standard rooms or service.

Other options close by include The Four Seasons if you are keen on staying at the quay however I would suggest at looking at other properties closer to the center of town.

Video review here at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVDwoNBE4VA

Room Tip: Choose a eastern side room for the views and to avoid the afternoon sun that makes the room hot and...
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  • Stayed October 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gefsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Shangri-La Hotel Sydney

Property: Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
Address: 176 Cumberland Street,The Rocks | Sydney 2000, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney > The Rocks
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Kitchenette Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#3 Business Hotel in Sydney
#11 Spa Hotel in Sydney
#15 Romantic Hotel in Sydney
#17 Family Hotel in Sydney
#27 Luxury Hotel in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Shangri-La Hotel Sydney 5*
Number of rooms: 563
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

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