Need hotel help for Sydney 26 Dec./3 Jan

Sep 28th, 2001, 09:52 AM
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Need hotel help for Sydney 26 Dec./3 Jan

We're travelling with a 9 yr old, so it sounds like Darling Harbour is a convenient area to stay in.
- We're trying to find a hotel around $150 to 200 AUD, a room with 2 beds or big enough for an xtra bed. What can you suggest?
- Most hotels raise their rates(some are even double)for New Years. I expected Dec. 31 to Jan. 1, but many are from Dec.28 or 30,& keep the high rate until Jan. 4. Any ideas on hotels that aren't out to gouge for the holiday?
- Any good/bad coments on any of these hotels:All Seasons Darling Harbour, Novotel D. Harbour, Park Royal D. Harbour?
-I've found a few hotel web sites, but none that are discounted. Any ideas?

Thanks for any help!
Sep 28th, 2001, 12:53 PM
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Check out The Russell Hotel at the Rocks ( best location) but better still check out the web under Sydney accommodation - Rocks area - where you should find a number of hotels like The Lord Nelson - The Observatory Hotel etc which are not 5 star but are budget, good value stuff. There is also a very good B&B/private hotel in the Rocks which may cater to your wants.
You are not far from Darling Harbour either and there is lots to do in the Rocks area anyway so go for it!
Sep 29th, 2001, 12:00 AM
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Hi, P!

Certainly Darling Harbour is a great place for kids, so it would probably be more suitable than the Rocks... during December and January there are lots of family-type activities around there, and you have Imax and the Aquarium nearby as well.

However, the problem with inflated hotel rates is probably going to surface everywhere unless you are willing to go really "down-market" and choose a hotel that doesn't cater specifically to the tourist trade. These are the small, old "pubs" where the check-in counter is the bar, and you share a bathroom. If that is not going too far "down" for you, get back in touch and I will suggest a few names.

A further idea... your nine-year-old will want probably want to be near a swimming centre, since most young Aussies spend the January holiday in or near the water; Darling Harbour doesn't really fit the bill here. Maybe it would be worth cutting costs by looking for accommodation near a beach and travelling to the scenic spots. Manly is only a half-hour ferry trip from everything of interest, and as well as a beach AND several enclosed salt-water pools (some of them rock pools), it has an aquarium and a fun pier. Moreover, the ferry ride to Circular Quay is a very agreeable experience, straight down the harbour, past Fort Denison, the Opera House, and the Harbour Bridge. Manly is full of guest houses and b&bs, and I would expect the prices would be lower than the areas you have been looking at... though you may not find a vacancy this late, since locals often snap up this area for their holidays. Worth investigating, however. Whatever you choose, best of luck!
Sep 29th, 2001, 07:31 AM
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Try the Wentworth. Find it at We stay there when in Sydney.
Sep 29th, 2001, 10:49 PM
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Thanks for your input.
Since it's our 1st time to Sydney, we didn't realize that this was the NYears party area.
I think we'll maybe we'll stay in Darling Harbour till the 30th, then move to a different area. Any suggestions?

Oct 2nd, 2001, 12:09 AM
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I suggest you try the fantastic Sydney Central YHA for $80-100 a night. Go to:
Oct 3rd, 2001, 11:49 PM
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Here's a follow-up suggestion re hotels that MAYBE don't inflate their prices too much over New Year.... try the Grand Hotel in Hunter Street. In spite of its name, it is really more of a pub, not very big, but nicely kept. It is not one of the big tourist-trap hotels, and when I checked last, a couple of years ago, its rooms were under $100 a night. Its location is great... right at Wynyard Underground Railway, ten minutes walk one way to the harbourside, five minutes walk the other way to the best shopping areas. Their phone number is 029232 3755. (hope you don't mind my answering twice, but we have a nine-year-old, too, and we love to travel with her, so of course I did some thinking about your problem.) Alan.
Oct 4th, 2001, 07:40 AM
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Have you considered a serviced apartment? We were in Sydney for a week at Christmas/New Year's 1999-2000 with our seven year old, and stayed at the the Waldorf, Liverpool Street, 1 block to Darling Harbor, easy walk to Hyde Park, longer but still easy walks to CBD and the rest - two rooms, two baths, living/dining, kitchen, laundry, etc. - very reasonable (+/- $150 AUD, I think) - not luxurious, but we weren't there to be in a hotel room. There are many such options around Sydney, some fancier (and pricier), but it's the way to go if you're going to be there for more than a day or two. Most travel websites will direct you to appropriate links.
Oct 10th, 2001, 06:37 AM
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Two more suggestions that you may want to try out if you are really serious about saving money..... everyone praises the Russell at the Rocks, but if you walk straight past this lovely little place, heading for the Harbour Bridge, you will come to the Mercantile Hotel, which is in a great location right in the heart of the Rocks, and so close to the bridge that you are almost under the approach! It's a pub, with drinking downstairs and two floors of rooms... definitely "down market" but perhaps a rare bargain in Christmas/New Year. Might be noisy when everyone is in party mode, however!

In the same (cheap)vein... if you are set on Darling Harbour, you might try the tiny Duke of Cornwall on Harris St. Drinks downstairs and a single floor of rooms upstairs. The place isn't much to look at, and I doubt if the tourists ever give it so much as a glance... but it's on the edge of Chinatown, and a six-minute walk through colourful Chinatown will have you in the middle of Darling Harbour. The sign out the front says "Rooms from $40 a night, $200 a week." That could represent quite a saving for a family on a budget. Best of all, you are three minutes walk from the Powerhouse Museum (it's on the same street), which is great for kids... I take my two there every school holidays. It's a hands-on science-type museum with loads of activities for kids (some free) in school holiday periods. I can check the phone numbers of these two hotels if you are interested. Good luck!
Oct 14th, 2001, 12:09 PM
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Just returned from Sydney. We stayed one block from Darling Harbour at the Southern Cross Harbour Hotel. A lovely small (2 yr old) suite/hotel. The rooms are suites with a bedroom, bath, living area and kitchenette. You should contact them. We had a queen size bed and our daughter spent a few nights with us in the living room area, on a day bed. But, you can order a room with a sleeper sofa. The employees was WONDERFUL. Also, the monorail stops right at the hotel. Excellent location. If you are making reservations through the U.S., contact the 800 phone number of Clarion Suites and asked for any special rates. Make sure it is the Southern Cross HARBOR Hotel at the corner of Goulburn & Harbour Streets as there is almost a Southern Cross. No matter where you decide to stay -- you must stay at Darling Harbor with a child. So many things for children! There is even a marvelous lazer light show on the water on Friday and Saturday nights! Enjoy your trip! Make sure you visit the Rocks Market on the weekend. Lots of performing artists and face painting for the children.

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