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“Beautiful but something was missing”

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Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Ranked #30 of 174 Hotels in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Menlo Park, California
Level Contributor
29 reviews
26 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Beautiful but something was missing”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 1, 2008

Okay, this place is beautiful. It has amazing views of the harbor. That's the reason we stayed there for the first 2 nights of our honeymoon. We loved the comfy bed and the L'Occitane products. We liked the rooftop pool and hot tub as well as the gym. This place is nice in every sense. My husband and I felt it was so fancy we were almost uncomfortable wearing casual clothes around. We also felt that for the price of our room we were entitled to certain things like free wi-fi, which costs $30/day. It seems that the more expensive the hotel, the more you pay for simple things that are free at most hostels. The Four Seasons is no different than other high-end hotels in this respect. We also felt like we didn't get a feeling for how the locals lived. Later in our trip we enjoyed staying in a less touristy neighborhood and exploring the local restaurants. In that way we got a much better feel for life in Sydney. So if you want to be pampered and aren't concerned with local life, stay at the Four Seasons. Like I said, it is very nice, you just get a feeling that you're in a bubble after a while.

  • Liked — the spa
  • Disliked — the expensive internet
  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
1 Thank enceladus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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5,222 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
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United Kingdom
Level Contributor
6 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 30, 2008

Myself and my new husband stayed at this hotel recently as part of our honeymoon. We stayed at a total of 8 properties during our 3 week trip to Australia and this is the only one that will be getting a negative review.

Firstly the plus points- fantastic location which could not be better, and stunning views of the bridge and Opera house. The concierge were very helpful and friendly, the guy who brought our bags up was lovely, and they were also able to recommend some good restaurants. For me- thats it.

The room itself was very tired, the furniture was a bit 80's and although everything was very clean, it just did not have the high quality finish and look I was expecting for a hotel chain with this reputation. It just was not in my opinion of 4* quality. Another thing which I really found irritating was the lack of mirror over the dressing/writing table. The only mirror for applying my make up was in the bathroom, and it may just be me but I like to sit down in front of the mirror and take my time getting ready! I guess if we had not paid so much for the room I would not have had such an issue but I just felt it was not good value for money. I also think it did not help that we had stayed in a Shangri La hotel in Hong Kong and not only were the rooms stunning but they absolutely gave us the special treatment.

The other major gripe I have with this hotel is that there were definately some form of room refurbishments going on while we were there on the floor above ours. On the first day we arrived we were very tired from our flights and attemtped to have a pre dinner nap at around 4.30pm, however there was very loud banging and drilling from above. I called reception and explained and they told me there was work going on but it would be finished by 5pm. I asked if this was going to continue throughout our stay and was told it was but that it would only be between the hours of 9am and 5pm. I was not really happy with this as we were not warned of any refurbishment when we booked, but I decided to let it lay as figured I was probablly just grumpy from the long flight and lack of sleep! The next morning I had to ring reception again when the work had clearly started at 8am, I was prettty much fobbed off and told as far as they were concerned it was not supposed to start until 9am. Nobody came back to me and I relaised at that stage nobody was interested. The next morning as we were leaving there was drilling from above which started at 7.30am. Its not even so much the noise that upset me but the the complete lack of service that went with it or follow up of my complaint.

The hotel does need some updating so I can understand why it is going on but I feel you should be made aware when booking if you are going to be disturbed by noise during your stay.

Another thing which I found a little annoying was that twice they came around to do the turn down service at around 6.30pm whilst we were getting ready to go out for the evening. Surely most people at this time in the evening are having showers etc.

  • Liked — The views and the location
  • Disliked — The noise of the refurb, the lack of service and the poor value for money
  • Stayed September 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank outdoorsfans
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Huntington Beach, California
Level Contributor
178 reviews
31 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 74 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 24, 2008

I was very pleased with my 4 day stay at Four Seasons Sydney.

I thought that my Opera View room was adequately sized and nicely appointed. It was very quiet. I could never even hear the A/C.

Although my room was not ready when I arrived at 9:00 a.m., I was allowed full use of the spa, fitness room and pool. I worked out in the fitness room, had a dip in the pool and jacuzzi, showered and changed for the day. My room was available at about 11 a.m.

The only negatives about my room were that only instant coffee was provided to use with the French Press coffee maker and the make-up mirror was mounted (obviously by a 6 foot plus person) way too high for use by the average woman.

The location could not be beat. Even if I stayed in another hotel I would definitely choose the Circular Quay/Rocks area again. I could walk to the Opera House, Ferry terminal, botanic gardens, modern art museum, Sydney Bridge, weekend market and all the shops and restaurants in the Rocks area.

The concierge desk was very helpful in recommending tours and restaurants.

The restaurants in the hotel were very expensive but there are numerous options outside of the hotel and the concierge was good about recommending inexpensive cafes for breakfast (not just pointing to the hotel dining room as would occur in some other hotels).

There is no extra charge for use of the well equipped spa fitness room, sauna and steam rooms. Coffee, tea, juice and fruit are complimentary in the spa all day.

The price for my room was actually less than a comparable room at the nearby Marriott and I was able to get a weekend discount for Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights, which was not offered by other hotels. I would definitely return to the Four Seasons.

Helpful?
2 Thank LSCats
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
S.E. Asia
Level Contributor
102 reviews
41 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 189 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 8, 2008

After writing 5 reviews of this hotel and having first stayed here in 1985 it is finally over. Each visit in the last few years has shown a more tired, less professional, shabbier and incredibly a more pretentious hotel. As the hotel has declined the staff has become more haughty. Particularly the front desk which has a collection of snooty youngsters with a total lack of a service mind set. An early arrival is always fraught with problems (one has little choice about when to arrive due to airline schedules). To be lectured on the "official check in time" is not much appreciated after a long and sleepless journey. Paying top dollar for a corner full harbor and opera house view room (which we always book) the one we were finally given (1709) after 2 hours of "housekeeping" and being totally ignored for over 3 hours was hardly the spectacular view of previous rooms we have enjoyed. If you looked to the left from the small window you saw the bridge, if you looked to the right the opera house! For that and a old Nokia TV (yes Nokia) and shabby sofa with stains you pay $600 per night. Still charging for internet for premium rooms this once great hotel which stood above all others in Sydney has finally hit the bottom and after 23 years of patronage this is one customer who will never return. Kables is not worth eating in any more.Even the shabby room could have been tolerated with a more cordial and helpful reception. We stay at Four Seasons Hotels throughout the world and this one has now become an embarassment to the brand. The front desk would be a scandal at Courtyard by Marriott.
Each review we have written has shown a rapid deterioration of service and ammenities. The bathrooms and marble showers are still wonderful and the beds are comfortable but those things can be found at many other hotels in Sydney. Goodbye, Four Seasons Sydney- you are not what you used to be and we are now researching a new hotel for the next visit to Sydney.

  • Liked — Location
  • Disliked — Front Desk
  • Stayed August 2008, traveled on business
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
    • Business service (e.g., internet access)
Helpful?
9 Thank Wine_Merchant
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
London, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
191 reviews
80 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 198 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2008

On arriving at the hotel after a 10 hour flight we found that they did not have intercommunicating rooms as we had specifically requested.
They tried to make out it was our fault, but when we told them that we were on a round the world trip and every other hotel had got it right, they changed their attitude and managed to find us two intercomunicating rooms but as one was a suite there would be an extra charge, which they reduced because of the mix up.

Apart from that the service in the hotel was faultless, and apart from the rooms being old fashioned, we were very happy.

If I was to go back again and the hotel had not been renovated I would opt to stay at the Observatory instead.

  • Stayed August 2008, traveled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ilana613
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level Contributor
96 reviews
77 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2008

This hotel is located in a great location on the door step of Circular Quay and The Rocks.

The service was outstanding. On check in they even remembered my name despite the booking being in my partner's name.

The hotel is a refurburbished older style building so the rooms have a 'make-do' feel given the space Four Seasons had to work with. The standard rooms are not huge but very comfortable. The bathroom is small but not annoyingly so.

What I do love is the impressive view - no matter how many times you see the harbour you can never tire of its beauty. You can't beat overlooking the Opera House and Harbour Bridge as the ferries come and go in Circular Quay.

It may not be the most modern in appearance but this hotel is definitely modern by experience.

Stayed June 2008
Helpful?
2 Thank ClassyLad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
florida
Level Contributor
18 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 16, 2008

Our recent stay at the Four Seasons was excellent. The location was perfect for walking about Sydney or hopping on a ferry to various sights. We began our vacation here and stayed in the Opera House/harbor view room, which was gorgeous at night. We ended our vacation back in Sydney and returned to the Four Seasons- we could have chosen other hotels but returned because we liked it so much. On the second stay, we booked a city view room, which was fine. Both rooms were large and clean with very comfortable beds.The staff is very professional as well as friendly. There are endless fantastic restaurants in the area to choose from as well as great shopping. We most definitely enjoyed including the Four Seasons in Sydney as part of our Australia vacation!

  • Stayed July 2008, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Check in / front desk
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank 4manns
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Four Seasons Hotel Sydney

Property: Four Seasons Hotel Sydney
Address: 199 George Street, 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 Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#11 Business Hotel in Sydney
#12 Spa Hotel in Sydney
#16 Romantic Hotel in Sydney
#25 Family Hotel in Sydney
#30 Luxury Hotel in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:5 star — Four Seasons Hotel Sydney 5*
Number of rooms: 531
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Stunningly situated overlooking Sydney Harbour in the historic Rocks district, a short walk from the city's shopping and business centres, Four Seasons is vibrant and elegant, with dramatic harbourfront views and a luxurious day spa featuring exclusive skincare and aromatherapy treatments. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
4 Seasons Hotel Sydney
Four Seasons Sydney
Sydney Four Seasons

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