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Julie Jan 20th, 2003 06:15 PM

'last-minute' deals at Sydney hotels
We plan to arrive in Sydney in late March, and so far have not booked a hotel. I've heard that rates are considerably cheaper if we book just a few days ahead. How well does this work in practice? We don't want to end up with a room the size of a broom closet!<BR>

aaaa Jan 20th, 2003 09:26 PM

If you have your heart set on a particular hotel, then you are better off booking ahead. But if you are flexible, then it can work very well. I would suggest trying to book something a week or two ahead, instead of a few days ahead, though. The prices will usually not be all that different and you may have more to choose from.<BR><BR>Two websites I have had good luck with are and You may also want to check and, although their rates are slightly higher. <BR><BR>If you are going to be in Sydney for more than a few days, you may have to get creative using last-minute booking services. For example, you may have to use two different sites in order to get the best rates for your entire stay at one particular hotel. Or you may want to use initially and then if you like the hotel, switch to to see if you can get a good weekly rate. You may pay slightly more, but it eliminates the uncertainty.<BR><BR>Rates vary according to availability, so if you use alast-minute hotel site, you may get a great rate for several days and then a not-so-great rate for 2-3 days. The overall cost is still usually less than what you would have paid if you had gone through the hotel's website. <BR><BR>Last-minute hotel sites have all categories of hotels: 5-star with all the amenities, apartment hotels, single rooms with shared bathrooms, boutique hotels and large chains--the whole gamut. You needn't worry that you will end up with a room the size of a closet!

liz Jan 21st, 2003 01:37 PM

You should have no trouble getting last minute hotels and very good ones too just as long as its not over the Easter period when there are school holidays and the Royal Easter Show. <BR>The prices are really good and if you not only check but its holiday/hotels forum you may get a few goodies thrown in as well. I am not on my usual computer so cannot give you the holiday/hotel web site but it should be advertised on the other one.

Julie Jan 25th, 2003 05:15 PM

Thank you both. I've checked the websites over the past few days and find it interesting how much variation there can be at the same hotel from one day to the next. For instance, sometimes there is a cheaper rate with buffet breakfast included than the next day for the room only! <BR>We can be flexible as to hotel, but in general I think we would like to be within walking distance of Circular Quay. I have learned that and many other things from this site, and I thank everyone who has provided so much information for those of us from overseas.

jt Jan 25th, 2003 10:20 PM

I don't agree Circular Quay is the best hotel area. I think you're relying mainly on Alan's advice for that, which is understandable since 95% of his Sydney area advice is a lightening bold of genius. But if there is one debatable area, that surely is it.<BR><BR>Circ has easy access to ferries which is a huge plus. But it's kind of cut off from the lively evening areas of town, aside from places devoted to swilling alcohol. After bank hours, it has a deserted feel except for tourists, and a kind of artificial twee atmosphere like pier 39 area of SFO (yuk!).<BR><BR>I would prefer the QVB/Town Hall area, which is part of a long strip of interconnected pedestrian malls, with flyover walkways to the Darling Harbor and it's ferry dock. It's more convenient to the inevitable visits to central train station and lots more.

liz Jan 26th, 2003 12:11 PM

I can't wait for registration to come in today!!!!!!!!!!<BR>Alan tells it how it is - and that is that the best place to stay is down near Circular Quay 100%. Bye the way what is a &quot;lightning bold of genius&quot; daft jt? Is this your last dash at being rude before registration comes into effect today? If you cannot control your prementrual tantrams then perhaps medication will do the trick.<BR>Don't just believe me or Alan Julie, perhaps you can do a search on this site for the comments from people who have stayed in Sydney and what they have said about staying near Circular Quay. The area that jt is talking of is not convenient for anything other than shopping in the city which is something that you can do anywhere in the world.<BR>By all means give a differing opinion but in doing so jt you don't have to ridicule someone who gives so much time, effort and great information to many people who frequent this site.

rude Jan 26th, 2003 01:07 PM

Liz,<BR><BR>I, too, can't wait for registration so that your nasty, rude responses might be eliminated. How dare you berate jt for his/her opinion, which was not stated with any personal vitriol towards Alan. You, on the other hand, make everything a personal attack.<BR><BR>You must be a very unhappy person.

johanna Jan 26th, 2003 01:34 PM

I am a newcomer to this site over the past few wks and everyone has been extremely helpful...esp.Liz...I agree that the circular quay area &quot;the rocks&quot; seems to be a wonderful place to stay to get the feel of the local area and I dont drink...but I can go to a pedestrian mall anywhere. I certainly appreciate all the time and effort everyone has given me and again, it is up to me to make the final decision. I also choose not to wait until the last minute so that I know that I have a room before I arrive...Many thanks<BR>

Alan Jan 26th, 2003 03:21 PM

Hi, Julie and others!<BR>While I usually do &quot;push&quot; the Circular Quay area (guilty as charged!) for people who have a limited time in Sydney and will be doing most of their sightseeing on the water, I certainly don't have anything against the Town Hall/QVB area, and, indeed, I have often recommended hotels like the Criterion, the Coronation, the Grand (near Wynyard, actually) and the Park Regis to budget-seekers, as these are close to subway stations and to the cheaper convenience shops (so that you can save by buying your food and eating it in your room, which is how I survived with a family in New York) such as Coles Express and Woolworths Metro.<BR>The problem with this area is that the atmosphere changes very quickly, and for the worse, if you are not VERY careful about where you stay. The Pentura on Pitt just passes muster as a reasonable locale, but a block further down there's an Accor Hotel which I wouldn't recommend at any price above a backpacker rate. The Waldorf, going down towards Chinatown and Darling Harbour, is okay, but further down there are some grossly overpriced hotels in what is really a pretty dismal area... the Holiday Inn Darling Harbour, the Novotel, the Southern-Cross-on-Harbour (there's a nice joke there in the name, which omits the &quot;the&quot;: they're not even close to SYDNEY harbour, but they are, from their position in Chinatown, quite close to DARLING Harbour, which is a collection of ugly hotels and convention centres built around a river-width stretch of water called Cockle Bay... not the view you came to Sydney to see!) I am dirty on these places because I think they play fast and loose with the facts in order to &quot;trap&quot; the hapless tourist who, once he's arrived and installed, is disappointed but will grin and bear it rather than complain. One poster here emailed me privately about a room at the All Points (?) which boasted &quot;harbour views&quot;. Now, I am sure you all know what &quot;harbour views&quot; means in Sydney... those white sailboats, the ferries, the Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge, right? Just like in the picture books. Well, when, on my advice, he wrote back to them and asked exactly what he would be looking at, it turned out that the &quot;harbour views&quot; were due west across the just-mentioned Darling Harbour (no sail boats, nothing blue) and towards the factories of White Bay and Rozelle. How sneaky is that? <BR>So, without commenting on the bickering above about who is being rude to whom, all I will say in my own defence is that I am trying, in my own small way, to promore the little budget hotels who don't have a multi-million dollar advertising budget designed to pull the wool over your eyes, but just offer you a decent room at a decent price. This does NOT exclude the Town Hall area... it just restricts the choices somewhat! I don't know whether the atmosphere around Circular Quay is as &quot;twee&quot; as San Francisco or not.... I will accept jt's assessment here, as he obviously has some basis for comparison. But I wonder if that put-down of the Rocks would include, for instance, the residential area around the Lord Nelson Brewery, which is one of my main recommendations for that area? Better, surely, than that George Street strip of fast-food joints and patrolling policemen which is just down from the Town Hall!<BR>So, jt, make that 97%, will you?

xxxx Jan 26th, 2003 03:27 PM

Liz,<BR><BR>If you would calm down a minute and stop being so defensive, you would see that jt was paying Alan a compliment. He said that 95% of his advice is a lightning bolt of genius--a very flattering thing to say. He disagrees however,that Circular Quay is the best place to stay. He's entitled to his own opinion, and I appreciate gettting a different perspective.<BR><BR>You seem to think that anyone who disagrees with you or Alan deserves to be ridiculed, or that your opinions are the only valid ones. (Alan, thankfully, does not share this view). Circular Quay is a good area, but if someone prefers to stay in QVB/Town Hall and go shopping, so be it. Travel is a subjective experience and what is enjoyable for one person can be totally wrong for someone else. I,too, prefer staying further south because I like the stroll up George St. to get to Circular Quay. I'm sure that are many others who feel likewise. To each his own. <BR><BR>This is not your personal forum and your opinion is not the only one that counts. Nor is it the definitive one--just one opinion among many. <BR><BR>I'm sure that you will respond to this post with another one of your flaming tirades, replete with capital letters, shouting about what a great job you do. But before you twist your arm out of the socket patting yourself on the back for all the advice you have given, I suggest you take your fingers off the keyboard, turn off the computer, and go outside and mingle. This little forum in cyberspace has taken on waaayyy too much importance for you.

Alan Jan 26th, 2003 03:55 PM

But then again, xxx, isn't cyberspace awfully convenient for people like yourself? I mean, where else in the world can you berate someone, and have your put-down published for the world to see, while signing yourself &quot;xxx&quot; at the address &quot;xxx&quot;? Liz and I are, at least, brave anough to identify ourselves! Do you think that this might be one of the reasons that Liz has &quot;lasted&quot; on this board for at least three YEARS? (Oops.. sorry about those capitals!)

abc Jan 26th, 2003 07:02 PM

This thread was originally about last minute hotel deals, and like so many threads, it has gotten totally off-topic because someone dared to disagree with one of the &quot;regulars.&quot; Let's respect one another's opinions. We can disagree without being disagreeable.

formerfan Jan 26th, 2003 07:19 PM

Alan, <BR><BR>If you're going to criticize xxxx on her comments, then why not call Liz on her rude comments as well? Her comment about &quot;premenstrual tantrums&quot; was totally out of line. <BR><BR>If the two of you have so much time on your hands that you can &quot;last&quot; on this forum for years and years, more power to you. I for one, am out of here.

ohyeah! Jan 26th, 2003 07:39 PM

Goodbye former fan bubbykins. Can't you stand letting fodors know your identity now? At least with registration hopefully some of the useless, never-do-anything posters will POQ.

Marcelo Jan 26th, 2003 07:57 PM

I read the US board a lot and always there is whatever as well as jt daft answering posts. <BR>I think then that they are American and do not understand the way Australians speak English or they think that what they say is the only way to say it right when that is not the case. <BR>Why do I see people who always want to bring other people down? Can you not say things like &quot;I think&quot; or &quot;I found that&quot;?<BR>If everyone who gave good suggestions stopped doing it then there would be no one on this site. So I think that people who are not native to the country should identify that fact so that other people can understand that they are only speaking of one event and not from a background of good knowledge. <BR>

Johanna Jan 26th, 2003 10:03 PM

Help!I have enjoyed ther wotif web site suggested here and have tried to book hotels for sydney. Perhaps I am not internet savy...I assumed that when one day is listed it means the first day of the wk and all the wk is available. I am looking for 4/01- 4/05 but it appears that there are only single days in between?Will there really be rooms last minute? Thanks

Alan Jan 26th, 2003 10:22 PM

Hi, Johanna!<BR>You're probably far ahead of me in knowledge here, but my understanding of the site was that it was for last-minute vacancies which were sacrificed at a discount... and you're asking for April (you have, I trust, remembered that in Australia April 5 is written as 5/04, with the month last?); maybe the reason you're not getting anywhere is that the hotels won't list leftovers for April until a couple of weeks before. Here's a suggestion: check to see the price for your preferred hotel on wotif for next week, then do a google search for their phone number. Ring them directly and ask them if that price will be applicable for a room in April also.... since you want a full week, they may be tempted to say &quot;yes&quot;. What have you got to lose?

Alan Jan 26th, 2003 10:28 PM

Formerfan, I didn't criticise xxx for her comments, I called into question the ethics of her making those comments anonymously... quite a different thing. If you read my message to her again, you will see that this is so. I feel that this easy access to abusing people under a cloak of anonymity is the single great &quot;flaw&quot; in the wonderful invention of the internet, and will, eventually, sound the death knell for forums such as these, which will be very sad. Anyone out there agree? (obviously the anonymous people won't!)

not usually anonymous Jan 26th, 2003 10:49 PM

&quot;Is this your last dash at being rude before registration comes into effect today? If you cannot control your prementrual tantrams then perhaps medication will do the trick.&quot;<BR>Liz's rude &amp; vindictive comments are absolutely inexcusable particularly given jt was obviously paying Alan a (well deserved!) complement! I hope registration brings to an end such obnoxiousness &amp; personal attacks.<BR>

Marcelo Jan 27th, 2003 02:55 AM

As I see things it is Ok to make rude statements about Allan, perhpas not this time but other times, but when either liz or <BR>Allan say something then it is dreadful and everyone who does not like it hides behind xxx or abc and makes even worse comments. I have read before where someone only a week or so ago said something nasty about Liz and I suppose that is ok to you. I do not think so. I have been to Australia and the people there are much less rude than Americans. The are not as fronting as USA. If you do not like it then stay on your American site and leave people alone.

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