Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Australia & the Pacific (
-   -   Sydney hotel choice. (

bobbuuck Sep 18th, 2005 03:34 PM

Sydney hotel choice.
We will be spending five nights in Sydney ending January 26. (first trip) We can afford The Observatory as suggested by our travel agent, but it looks quite stuffy for our casual plans of harbor sightseeing and bridge climbing. The guide book makes The Russell look interesting, close to the harbor and much smaller, but probably without views. Does anyone have any thoughts on the Russell vs the Observatory, or another choice near the harbor with good views. Thanks. Minnesota Bob

margo_oz Sep 18th, 2005 07:20 PM

You're not really comparing like with like.

The Observatory is your standard international hotel - beloved of businessmen requiring pampering, although the location is not that convenient. I can't imagine the views would be that good - but then - perhaps from high enough up..... They do serve a good afternoon tea there.

The Russell is a small hotel, not a chain, not air-conditioned, and not fancy - but probably the best location in Sydney -even without views.

It depends on what you want from a hotel. I'd go the Russell any time (it should be cheaper than the Observatory, too!). You should have a more Australian experience.

If you like to spend bigger money, or are really, REALLY conservative, the Four Seasons, and the Holiday Inn in the Rocks are better located than the Observatory, probably have great views (I know the 4-Seasons does - I peeked!) and are closer to where you want to be as a tourist!

As with everything - you get what you pay for - so you have to decide what you want.

EmBee Sep 18th, 2005 11:02 PM

Not sure of the price, but my favourite in Sydney is the Quay Grande. Right on the water at Circular Quay. You definitely need aircon in Sydney in January! The other wonderful location is the Park Hyatt but that, I know, is very expensive.

EmBee Sep 19th, 2005 01:43 AM

Just checked a couple of websites and the Quay Grand is possibly less expensive than the Observatory! It is in a wonderful location and the harbour views are far better than the Observatory.

longhorn55 Sep 19th, 2005 05:40 AM

Another choice in the Rocks which I highly recommend is the Bed and Breakfast Sydney Harbour Bridge on Cumberland Street. You won't have a view of the harbour, but you will have friendly hosts, a delicious breakfast out in the garden, comfy beds and other little amenities. I believe they have AC, but we were there in winter, so I can't be sure. Check their website for more info.

LN Sep 19th, 2005 06:04 AM

On our first trip to Sydney we were celebrating our special anniversary and found the Quay West to have a beautiful view of both the bridge and Opera house. In our opinion it was magnificient as the sights were great and the management and service was way above anything expected!!

We also found good rates on the hotel's parent internet site ( and it isted all of their properties including the Grande. They sometimes run specials too.

mover Sep 19th, 2005 06:20 PM

My wife and I stayed at the Four Seasons for 4 nights in the middle of our trip and at the Observatory the last night of our trip. If, and when, we return to Sydney, we will definitely stay at the Observatory. This is a FIRST CLASS hotel. Rooms were beautiful, hotel was wonderful and definitely first rate all the way.

Travelnick Oct 4th, 2005 05:36 AM

Agree with those not so keen on Observatory's location - street at night is not overly great - dead and dark. If, however, you like your hotel rooms chintzy, Observatory is for you (but sounds like not you). If you want more minimalist - no. Quay Grand has fantastic location -views either of harbour (but noisy) or gardens on other side. Fittings are good (without being great)and has nice kitchen etc. Given choice on similar cost I would go for Quay Grand.
Have stayed in Westin which has great modern rooms (in tower) or older ones (in post office part) with high up room giving some opportunities for seeing harbour and I would also choose above Observatory for my taste. Sebel Pier is another choice near Observatory - but closer to Bridge and bit more convenient. More modern feel, cheaper and feels a bit busier with non-hotel guests at bar.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 04:05 AM.