Melek Yildirimtekin visits her hometown of Sydney to fall in love with the sunburnt country all over again with a stay at The Shangri-La Sydney…
Australia is a magical place that falls on many people’s travel wish list but it isn’t exactly very close to the GCC, or anywhere for that matter. In saying this and even though it’s a decent 14 hour plus flight from the Middle East, imagine arriving after a long flight to this view of Sydney. The Shangri-La Hotel in Sydney is a five-star hotel located at the historic area called The Rocks.
It’s within walking distance to Circular Quay, the CBD, Harbour Bridge and the Opera House and the luxurious hotel offers harbour views from every guest room, no matter which room option you choose.
On arrival we had our own private check in allocated to us and even though we were early, our room was ready, so we dropped off our bags with the concierge and got stuck right into the advantages this hotel has in terms of location. As we had arrived on a weekend, we were lucky enough to experience The Rocks Markets, just a five-minute stroll away, vendors offering handmade items, unique gifts and even stuffed toy kangaroos.
We were booked into a Horizon Opera House City room and it was spectacular. These rooms showcase amazing views of the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay, where ferries come and go throughout the day. The rooms feature modern design and furnishings for a relaxing stay with soundproof windows, plush duvets and signature bed linens. We had a corner gorgeous suite with floor to ceiling windows looking out to the Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge and even all the way towards Pyrmont.
We had a Super King Size super soft bed, spacious living room, a grand bathroom, with a tub right up against the window looking out to the view. We really loved the large marble bathroom with a separate bath and shower, plush Shangri-La towels and bathrobes and L’Occitane products.
As we were booked into a club room this meant we were able to enjoy the perks of the Horizon Club. The goal of the club is to offer tailormade, hassle-free travel experiences in some of the world’s most desirable destinations. Horizon Club guests can enjoy Shangri-La’s unique spirit of hospitality, and a feeling of always being at home away from home.
Benefits include bespoke holiday and business travel planning, as well as amenities and services to match guests’ individual needs. You can enjoy a private check in as mentioned before and have tea and coffee delivered to your room daily with a wakeup call. You can also experience many food and beverage services for free located in the Horizon Lounge on the 30th floor looking out again at the amazing view.
A light breakfast is served every morning, offering a perfect spread of freshly baked breads, hot buffet, teas, coffees, pastries, fresh organic yoghurts, fresh fruits, & muesli. The best thing about this breakfast was that it wasn’t over the top, a small but quality selection.
Coffee, tea and juices are available all day with a wonderful afternoon tea served from 2pm, offering sandwiches, tea, coffee, juices, scones and a variety of small cakes, perfect to put your feet up with a cuppa after a long day of sightseeing. Evening drinks and canapes are served from 6pm-8pm, the perfect excuse for a drink before heading to dinner. There is also access to more than 2,000 digital newspapers and magazines plus complimentary water and seasonal fruits delivered to your room.
That evening we were booked for a dinner for two at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Altitude. Located on the 36th floor, with floor to ceiling glass windows not only did the view wow us but the service, the food and beverages completed our experience.
The outstanding Sydney Harbour views accompanied the finest contemporary Australian cuisine. An 18-person private dining room is available for more intimate gatherings. The restaurant has won many awards including “Three Chef Hats”, Gault&Millau Sydney Restaurant Guide. The signature dishes from their experienced chefs are crafted with meticulous attention to every detail and presented at your table. This is definitely one of the highlights of the hotel and well worth a visit.
The next day after breakfast, we walked down to the Ferry terminal and got a ferry across to Taronga Zoo and we spent most of the day at the Zoo looking around. Upon our return to the hotel we were booked in for a 60-minute signature massage at the Hotel’s CHI Spa which was a fabulous treat after a long day walking around.
When we got to the spa, our host pushed open a huge secret door which lead into the long hallway of the spa. The host got us seated and offered a relaxing herbal tea, with a selection of green and chamomile already brewing. The treatment room was really spacious with a super soft comfy massage bed, light music playing and beautiful oriental scents. The ambiance was very relaxing and we couldn’t wait for the massage. The therapist worked hard on our tired and sore muscles and it was the perfect fix after lots of walking and a long haul flight.
That afternoon, feeling fabulous after our massage we were booked in for our complimentary High Tea for two in the Lobby Lounge. The lobby is wrapped with floor-to-ceiling glass windows and features extravagant views of Sydney. It is an ideal place to relax and enjoy a refreshing drink while listening to lounge music. On our arrival we were served with a glass of fizz. The beautiful high tea had delicate and light, scones, finger sandwiches, cakes petit fours and the service was simply fantastic.
Other things near to the hotel to go and see include: the Botanic Gardens, rooftop at the Glenmore Hotel, The Sydney Harbour Bridge Climb, Hyde Park, Kirribilli Markets, Oxford Street, Paddington for shopping, Darling Harbour a short 15 mins walk away from the hotel ), Sydney Aquarium ( which is also in Darling Harbour ) and Manly and Watson’s Bay by ferry.
We can’t recommend this hotel enough for its perfect views of Sydney, delicious food, excellent service and gorgeous rooms. It’s well worth the long flight!