As can be expected - the Intercontinental Sydney is in a prime location (Macquarie Street) right next to the Sydney Harbour Bridge, Opera House and walking distance from pretty much everything that visitors want to see.
Initial impressions are quite underwhelming - the street visibility and presence is quite understated - however once you enter the parking way, that all quickly changes - with an all glass facade, plenty of fountains and the obligatory marble - all makes it feel quite refined and welcoming.
Upon check-in, I was expecting standard treatment, based on the reviews i had read, however i was pleasantly surprised with the welcome that I received. As a Gold Ambassador, I was not only rushed through the check in process, but even greeted with a welcoming handshake not from over the counter - but from right in front of me. Its the little things that make the stay special and this certainly started things off on a good foot.
Upon entry to the room - well - it was pretty standard. Although i was upgraded to a City View Room - ill be honest - the guest rooms arent anything special. Much like their sister chains, the Intercontinental has a certain 'feel' to it - and the rooms, while certainly comfortable and well appointed, still struggle to differentiate themselves from their sister chains (Holiday Inn, etc). A minor point - but something which could be improved upon, particularly being a flagship branding.
However the appointment of the rooms is top notch. A Well stocked minibar with spirits, wine, beer and the usual juices, soft drinks and water. A nice selection of Toiletries greets your first visit to the bathroom, and the usual large selection of pillows, bathrobes, etc - all designed to give you the customised comfort you would expect from a flagship hotel. Additionally - as an Ambassador, I was greeted with my obligatory welcome basket - with a fresh selection of goodies, and replenished water each night - so that was something nice.
However - I will admit - there is always a downside to any hotel stay - and unfortunately I must say that these issues seriously detracted from my enoyment - id be appreciative if someone could explain them from the hotel.
Firstly - pillow selection was not available. Ordinarily this wouldnt bother me, as i normally just bunk up a few pillows together - however I travelled with a friend with neck issues, and the lack of a firm supportive pillow was a near disaster. We were told that there were none available, and that alternatives were not able to be sourced so we would not be able to have the firm support pillows i have grown accustomed to from the IHG chain. This is a serious issue - and I would advise anyone booking a stay to explicitly state their pillow requirements on their booking to avoid this - however - the hotel has a level of responsibility to their customers - and particularly their loyalty members - to ensure a certain level of comfort - so to this end, i was disappointed.
Secondly - an this one really grinds me - I was addressed as a Ms on all correspondence to the room. Despite checking in as a male, booking as a male, having male checked on all of my IHG membership documents - I was still referred to as Female on my correspondence to my room (Granted, my in house TV did get it right). This is a serious issue - not only is it disrespectful to the customer, but it demeans their importance as a customer of the hotel. I will be happy to discuss this offline - as it is something which should be addressed.
I normally dont have too many problems with hotels around the world - and certainly this was a delightful stay - however the 2 negatives, despite seeming relatively insignificant, certainly detracted from the quality of the stay.
Overall - a 5 star stay - with a 3.5 star treatment.....
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- InterContinental Sydney has been the luxury hotel of choice to meet, do business and unlock authentic experiences that make Australia's harbour city one of the best places in the world to live, work and visit. From its exceptional service and world-class facilities to luxury accommodation and rooftop Club InterContinental that overlooks Sydney harbour, it offers everything you need to make your time in the city count. With a total of 509 rooms and suites, 15 meetings and conferences spaces and dining options offering both seasonal fresh seafood buffet and a la carte dining, InterContinental Sydney caters for everyone. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Intercontinental Sydney Hotel Sydney
- Sydney Intercontinental