What We Love
- Views of Sydney Harbor from the higher floors
- The lobby and restaurant’s soaring 19th century arches
- A great location for the tourist trail (but easy to escape it too)
What To Know
- Valet parking costs approximately $40 per day
- Wi-Fi costs around $23 per 24-hour period
- There’s a fee for breakfast
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
This hotel combines a 19th century property (once the Treasury Building), and a 20-floor modern tower into one of Sydney’s swankest stays. Underneath soaring old arches sits a bar and lounge serving cocktails and high tea as well as Café Opera, a modern Australian restaurant. The 509 rooms are contemporary with a mocha and cream color palette, and marble bathrooms with tubs. Large windows (and window seats) make the most of the Sydney Harbor views. Odyssey Health Club includes an indoor pool, gym and sauna, as well as treatment rooms for reflexology, shiatsu and remedial massage.
In the Area
Central Sydney is well placed for tourist circuit highlights like the Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Royal Botanic Gardens. There’s also Circular Quay, where you’ll find the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia housed in a huge Art-Deco maritime building. Nearby is the historical Rocks neighborhood, where you can try to score a table at Neil Perry’s ever-popular Rockpool restaurant, which helped put modern Australian food on the map. The Rocks Market (weekends 10 am-5 pm) sells arts and crafts, jewelry, and more, while on Fridays you can fill up at a foodies market (10 am-4 pm).
How to Get There
Amongst the top tier hotels in Sydney, the Intercontinental Sydney has what I think is the very best location in the city – – – lovely views, close to the ferries and trains of Circular Quay, and a very short walk to both the Opera House and Botanic Garden. It also has a friendly and efficient staff. Having said that, I am concerned that its standards have slipped a bit since my last visit. Guests from three continents were flummoxed by an elevator key-card system that worked erratically; the unusually expensive buffet breakfast (the only breakfast offered in the hotel, according to my server) was not particularly special, and it took three requests to a bored server to get a second cup of coffee. Also, the advertised Sydney Harbor views from the top floor are only open to their “club” members. This is a minor quibble, but reminded me of discount airlines that separately charge for seat assignments and baggage. Not what I would expect from a first-class hotel.
A trip to the Intercontinental Sydney used to be a joyous occasion. You felt special, were warmly welcomed and for a moment....you were the only one who mattered to each staff member you encountered....USED to be...
Now, you are a nameless transaction. Even with "Platinum Elite" so called "status", a pre-visit note that this was an anniversary visit, afforded no special attention - or mention. Not even a bottle of water...or two. (No, those are $6.00).
The decor is stuck firmly in 1993...Bed comfort not within a football field of the Sofitel Mybed offering and WHO still has a shower within a bath? This is so dangerous for their more mature clientele. One of the smallest flat screen TV's I've seen in a hotel room for quite some time although the generic "welcome" on the screen was probably the most personalised service experienced during our overnight stay.
Staff are non existent. A Saturday morning check out at 11:00 am saw just one assistant tending to over 6 couples - with more arriving. So, dropped the key in the express check out and decided that this once Grande Dame has had its day. Time to move over and let the professionals take on the mantel.
Disgusting, terrible, horrible. Only a few words I can use to describe how bad this hotel is. Management is a joke - from making fun of what my husband is wearing to making funny noises and repeating him in a mocking tone. I’m absolutely disgusted. Not only that but they make you wait for hours and hours for the “assistance” they provide you. We wasted our honey moon night on the phone because they weren’t willing to help us.
Expired food in the mini-bar. For our inconveniences (it was about 10pm and we still hadn’t eaten) they offered to bring us up a cheese-platter. Can’t believe I waited an hour and half for that cheese platter. When we called up they said they forgot about us. By then everything was closed and the mini bar food was all I had. I went to eat the chips, they tasted very stale. My partner grabbed it and showed me it was super expired.
And no apology!
Don’t stay here!