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“No major complaints”

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Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
Ranked #31 of 178 Hotels in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed August 8, 2008

Stayed in the Shangri-La for four nights as part of our honeymoon in July. We arrived before 9am and were delighted to have been checked in early. The receptionist who checked us in was in training. She was excellent, extremely polite, efficient and welcomed us to the hotel, congratulating us on our marriage. It was a great start.

As part of our booking with Trailfinders, we were given an upgrade to an opera view room. While we were grateful for the gesture, we could not really see the opera house unless we strained our necks out the window. The room was freezing. We turned the air-con off ourselves but for whatever reason, the room still felt cold for the duration, not that we would let that have any major impact on what we thought of the hotel. The decor was rich yet not over-stated. There was a great feeling of relaxation throughout the hotel.

Cafe Mix, where we had buffet breakfast was ok. I couldn't help but think that it was trying to be something it wasn't, and failing miserably. The music was completely wrong and not fitting of a 5-star hotel's restaurant. You could see what the hotel was trying to achieve but something was missing. Clearly, this isn't a major factor in deciding where to stay but something that did stand out for me. The food was fantastic and in general the service was fine. We had wanted to eat in Altitude and the only night we could was a Sunday, when Altitude is closed. I could not understand this, when the hotel looked relatively busy. Go figure.

Staff in general throughout the hotel were ok. While concierge, in particular was brilliant, I would question the staff of Blu bar on the top floor of the hotel. Again, something was missing here, like it was overly-pretentious and every patron was to feel grateful for being allowed to even enter the side bar, let alone the bar that faced onto the harbour bridge. This feeling I got from the bar staff in particular.

While in general the hotel was fine, and we didn't have any major complaints, I'm not entirely sure this hotel is world-class 5 star. I would certainly like to experience some of Sydney's other alleged finest before returning.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Grognads
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, Resident Manager at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2008

We were delighted to learn that the author had a terrific experience at Shangri-La and in Sydney.

Thank you so much for recognising the efforts of the Front Desk in co-ordinating your early arrival check-in and the upgrade to the Opera House category accommodation. A reciprocated smile can go a long way!

Noted your comments about Altitude Restaurant on a Sunday. It’s the quietest day of the week and like many tough decision it simply comes down to labour costs and economics. Most of the leading restaurants in Sydney are closed on a Sunday.

Rob Weeden
Resident Manager.

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5,657 - 5,663 of 6,466 reviews

Reviewed August 6, 2008

What a fabulous stay, we were upgraded on arrival to a full harbour view room, wow...what a view of the Quay and the bridge.

We were treated to complimentary coffee and snacks on arrival as the room was not made up for an hour or so. This was lovely.

Wonderful position to walk to the city centre, about a 20 minute stroll away.

We met friends in the evening and had cocktails in the lounge there, very good service and a lovely atmosphere.

Fantastic breakfast buffett, we were full all day, such an array of choice for first thing in the morning!

Very clean rooms, lovely staff, highly recommended.

Have a cocktail in the bar at the top of this hotel...absolutely heavenly!!

  • Stayed: April 2005, traveled with friends
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1  Thank Eldorado500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, Resident Manager at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2008

Thank you to the author for their lovely words and for acknowledging the upgrade co-ordinated by the Front Desk and thank you for indulging us the wait while your room became available.

Blu Horizon Bar ‘heavenly’ – nice words, we agree!

Rob Weeden
Resident Manager.

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Reviewed August 3, 2008

My family and I stayed at the Shangri La Hotel for 3 nights. We stayed in one of the Horizon Suites.
Upon Arrival we were greeted with warmth and we felt as if we were royalty.
We were whisked up to the 30th floor for check in, where we were greeted by three of the most wonderful people we have ever met.
Sabina, Jerry and Katie, they made us feel so special from the second we arrived, till the moment we left.
Our room had a view of the Sydney opera house. The room had twin beds that were big enough for my two children and my husband and I to sleep comfortably.
Jerry delivered refreshments to our room and gave us helpful hints on how to get around.
We would be out all day, and once we entered our room, there would always be a bucket of ice with cold drinks waiting for us and hot chocolate for the kids.
Breakfast in the Horizon lounge didn't have a large variety hot food, but if it's hot food you want, I suggest you go to the 2nd floor at Cafe Mix. The swimming pool is a little on the cold so if the cold doesn't bother you, its worth taking a swim.

We sadly left the Shangri La on Saturday 2nd August, we felt we left family behind. My children, my husband and I became attached to the three people who made our holiday unforgettable. Thank you to the three of you, for your kindness and service. Keep up the good work.

To Katie, Yianni still promises to be good.
To Sabina, Agathi still practicing to sing like you, and I think that you are just as beautiful on the inside as you are on the outside.
To Jerry, you have the most infectious personality, keep being you, because you are a very special person. You were born to do what you do. You make people smile all day everyday.

THANK YOU

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled with family
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3  Thank Geenz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, Resident Manager at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded August 17, 2008

Thank you for the outstanding review and also for recognising the efforts of our Horizon Club Floors team. Sabina, our Horizon Club Floors Manager, Jerry our Hotel Butler and Katie our Club Floor valet will all be nominated to the August ‘Customer Delight’ team which comes with both reward and recognition. Thank you on their behalf!

Thank you again.

Rob Weeden
Resident Manager.

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Reviewed August 3, 2008

I had booked the celebrations package in a premier grand Harbour suite about 2 weeks in advanced on Wotif.com, a week later I rang the hotel and I asked for an upgrade to one of the Horizon Level suites and the man at the reservations desk said theres a suite available for us and he booked us in. When we got to the hotel front desk the lady told us that we didnt get the room that I have asked for because there were no bookings made, I was trying not to be upset but I was more shocked then upset because I told the lady numerous times I had booked for the Horizon suite but she said there were no such bookings made. We did end up getting a room which was ok, not as great as other Hotels though. There were no champagne in the room, we had to wait an hr for it to arrive. We thought our rooms had a dvd player which it didnt but other hotels had everything included, I rang to ask for a dvd player but the concierge said that they dont give out dvd players to the normal rooms just the horizon levels (which I was meant to be in!) The only thing I liked was Cafe Mix, their buffet dinner and breakfast were great. I wouldnt reccomend anyone staying there unless they keep ringing the hotel to keep checking wether their bookings are still there, I shouldve done that as well but since their a hotel they shouldve known better! The views were alright but I'd rather see it from another Hotel like the four seasons next door.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank Tinkerbell_T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, Resident Manager at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded August 5, 2008

Thank you to the author for posting this review on tripadvisor. We do regret that there must have been some confusion between guest and reservations as we would never confirm an upgrade request until the day of arrival – primarily for this exact reason that the higher category may have been sold to another guest with the net result being disappointment.

An upgrade is a benefit that we delight in extending to our guests. As readers will note in many other reviews we do have a high percentage of upgrades and are delighted when our guests recognise the efforts that go into meeting such requests. Unfortunately not every upgrade request can be met.

Champagne delivery is co-ordinated by our room service team and usually delivered on arrival and at the guest’s convenience so that it is always cold and glasses chilled. Rarely is champagne left in the room awaiting arrivals where we have no designated arrival time – the ice in the buckets melt.

Rob Weeden
Resident Manager

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Reviewed July 29, 2008

I have read most of the recent reviews and quite honestly did not have any negative experiences at this hotel. One must remember that it is excellent accommodation value for money so if you compare it for service with the best hotels in Sydney then it may come up a bit short but it is excellent all the same.

Regarding the poor people who were bothered by Housekeeping, we just put the Privacy light on and had no problems.

We will return as long as it remains value for money.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank HHJMEB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 29, 2008

We stayed at the Shangri La for a full seven days at the end of March. This was a special occasion for us as it was our 25th Wedding Aniversary during the stay and wanted a memorable experiance.. I did email the hotel before hand to let them know this inadvance and also asking could we check in before 12 midday as our flight from Singapore was arriving early morning. I did get a reply stting that if the room was available we could check in but no acnoledgement of the occasion.

On arrival we were able to check in and were told that as we were staying for a full seven days we could have breakfast at half price. The only concesion concidering we were there for a week. As a suprise for my wife I had booked us a Grand Harbour view room. I was not disapointed, the room was excellent.and comfortable
We decided to take breakfast the next morning, I must admit I was taken back at the price and I thought that it was a good job that we were getting it at half price as I would not have been happy to pay the full amount. After that we got breakfast elsewhere. Later that day was when it started to not be as memorable, it seems that there was a big chairmans conference going on and it seems that they got priority over any other guests, we found the lifts slow and always full. The staff were more attentive to there needs over any other guests.

On Check out I had to correct the breakfast charge which they did not seem happy about. Overall concidering what we had paid out for a weeks stay it was not as good as our stay in Singapore, and we remember more of the other things we did in Sydney and not the stay at the Shangri La. We are planning to come back to Sydney in the near future but we would have to thing long and hard if we were to book the Shangri La agin

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank Rugbychamps
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, Resident Manager at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded July 29, 2008

Thank you to the author for their review and on behalf of the staff and management at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney a much belated congratulations for your 25th wedding anniversary.

It was refreshing to read that you enjoyed your week in Sydney and that the Grand Harbour View accommodation did not disappoint and also that we were able to facilitate your early arrival.

We have noted your other comments and can offer that our price for breakfast is very much the market price for most luxury hotels throughout Australia. Certainly there are cheaper options elsewhere but few match the variety and quality of the famous Shangri-La buffet breakfast.

We do hope to welcome the author back to Shangri-La when they next return to Sydney.

Rob Weeden
Resident Manager.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 18, 2008

Me and my wife made the poor decision to stay here as the first part of our honeymoon in April 2008. We were made to feel incredibly unwelcome from the offset and a few months on we are still upset by the way the hotel staff treated us.

We had booked a Horizon room and I admit the views are great. Being on the 35th floor, however, means you are under the popular bar - the music is so loud you can't sleep. It wouldn't be so bad if, as a hotel resident in the Horizon club, you could go upstairs and enjoy the fun. Sadly, however, we were told that like everyone else (ie: people not staying in the hotel and those not paying significant amounts of money for the pleasure) that we would have to wait in an orderly line. The hotel really knows how NOT to treat its guests. Surely hotel guests should be allowed a drink in the hotel bar? I mean isn't that why we pay for hotels with services?

I could recount many examples of why this is a terrible place but here are just a few. Each day when we went to the so so breakfast in the Horizon Club lounge the reception staff looked at us and refused to answer our cheery 'good mornings' - we were left to find our own seats (unlike the other guests who were shown to their tables), had to beg to be served coffee and were once asked how long we would be sitting at the window table as another guest wanted it (even though there were about 20 other free seats).

Every so often I would remind the reception staff that we were on honeymoon, and even if we weren't, I'd like my new wife to be treated with respect rather than disdain. This only encouraged their rude behaviour. On one day they phoned us at 10am (hardly late in the day) asking when we were going to vacate our room as they wanted to clean it. I challenge anyone to call that five star service. Each day, at the drinks hour in the club lounge, we had to ask for wine refills even though every other guest was offered top up after top up. Even on the one day in our four night stay when we decided just to drink coffee and juice we found it difficult to get the staff to give us any.

Aside from the Horizon Club making us feel like second class citizens it should also be noted the hotel pool is cold and gets extremely crowded.

Yes the views are good but you can only stare at a view for so long.

I won't be coming back here and have instructed my travel department to prevent my staff from staying in the chain until I receive an apology for the way we were treated. Almost three months on and nobody has responded to my lengthy letter of complaint, thus my review on here. I explained to the staff at the time that I was unhappy and they actually laughed at one point.

Isn't it interesting the management of this establishment can take the time to respond to positive coverage on here? I wonder whether they will deem it fit to respond to my complaints, either on here, or by a personal letter? Please take this as an open offer to respond.

If you want a true 5 star experience and want impeccable service in a classy establishment check out The Observatory. Sure there are no great views, but the fact that the staff respect their guests makes all the difference. We stayed here for the last part of our honeymoon and were pleased to find good old fashioned manners on display, not to mention a nicer pool and much better breakfasts. The Shang ri la has a lot to learn from The Observatory and should be ashamed of itself for making the first part of our honeymoon so stressful.

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
5  Thank PaulFinchley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
RugbyRob, Resident Manager at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded July 28, 2008

We were extremely alarmed to read this review and have written to the author directly via tripadvisor for additional clarification.

We will be more than happy to update our response pending further detail and correspondence from the author.

Rob Weeden
Resident Manager.

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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 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
#13 Spa Hotel in Sydney
#15 Romantic Hotel in Sydney
#17 Family Hotel in Sydney
#31 Luxury Hotel in Sydney
Price Range: $209 - $540 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
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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