Saturday, July 01, 2006

Back in Aus- Where to Stay in Sydney

So I'm back in Australia again and decided to stay in a different hotel this time. I'm pretty much a Starwood devotee but the company booked me at the Sydney Hilton in the Central Business District. It's really only about 3-4 blocks from the Four Points at Darling Harbour but the vibe is totally different.

It feels very New York City here in the center of the business area near Town Hall Station and in between Pitt and George Streets. If you head out on George Street and walk about 5 blocks you're in Circular Quay and The Rocks. (Circular Quay is the hub of the ferry system) Across the street from the hotel is the Queen Victoria building which has gorgeous colonial architecture, unique stained glass, and 4 levels of primo shopping. Take the escalators down and you're at the subway. There's a drug store (called "chemists"), supermarket and money exchange a plenty.

What I miss, though, is the view. The Hilton has just undergone a complete remodel and installed delicious bathrooms with deep soaking tubs and modern fixtures. The rooms are still tiny and the tall buildings all jut up against each other blocking out the view (both just like in NY).

I say if you're going to travel all this way, it's worth it to aim for a harbour or bridge view- that's quintessential Sydney. True, you can go everywhere from the center of the CBD, but I think it'll be back to the Four Points where I can overlook Darling Harbour, have a gorgeous mall across the way, and eat on the water less than 1 block walk. When I travel on business, my feet are tired at the end of a long day, and I just LOVE having my crisp, white, steele barreled Australian wine and John Dory overlooking the water.

Other hotels with great views- actually it's hard not to have a water view in this entire city- but in the median price range try Marriott Sydney Harbour or Novotel. In the high end try Quay Grand (fabulous place for a bar scene too), Four Seasons, Shangri-La, and of course, the Park Hyatt.

More to come, I have another week of touring left.

Eg