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Travel Blogs from Sydney
Had leaving drinks for my last ever job in Oz. Sniff, sniff. Was in Alliance Bernstein for 2 months and had a great time there. Lovely bunch. Anyway first stop was to a bar that was giving out free rum punch, nice! A dozen of us ended up in the Hilton Hotel, where Jimmy - a japanese businessman - bought us all bottles of some v pricey champagne. …
What a luxury to have several days in Sydney to explore this harbour city! One great way to do this is on the Sydney Explorer hop on/hop off bus that provides a 2 day ticket with tours of all of the areas of the city as well as associated tours of the outlying areas such as Bondi Beach. Using this service, you get to sit back and relax while …
Bondi Beach - a short drive from downtown Sydney but yet worlds away. The Sydney Explorer hop on/off bus ticket included a route out to the beach so even though it was a bit overcast and cool, Jonathan and I headed over to check out this famous strip of sand and surf.
Most of the photos that you will see of Bondi Beach show hundreds of …
Excursion day today. The sunshine and bright blue sky beckoned and what better way to enjoy such lovely weather than to take a ferry ride through the Sydney Harbour to an outlying suburb called Manly.
The Circular Quay on the Sydney Harbourfront is not only a tourist development but also a busy commuter area with ferries and city trains …
All good things must come to an end and so the dawn of Sunday brought with it the start of my journey home. We packed up and shipped out, and after a quick nosy at Ohau point to see if we could see any more seals, Chrissie & I said our farewells to Lee & Rebecca (who were heading back to Wellington) and made our way to Christchurch.
How has this hotel rated in the past?
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TravelPod Member ReviewsHilton Sydney
The only thing we liked about this hotel was it lobby and location
This review is the subjective opinion of a TravelPod member and not of TravelPod.com.
Historical Traveler Reviews Hilton Sydney
A good hotel
Stayed there for a week in October'05.
I had a regular room in 42nd floor and I was completely happy about it. Completely renovated room (including bathroom) and while it wasn't the largest room in four-five star hotels I've been in, it certainly wasn't the smallest one either. Windows were small, but there wasn't really that much to see anyway.
Extremely modern interior everywhere in the hotel, you might like it or not... Taking the lift down from 42nd floor sometimes took quite a long if there were a lot of people around, but likely there's nothing much there is to do about it?
Excellent location with plenty of shops around. Take monorail to Darling Harbour or walk to Circular Quay.
All in all, a pleasant surprise after reading horror stories here. I would certainly stay there again!
Not good enough!
Not even going to go on about this as I could - in great detail. The bottom line is that this is meant to be a 4 star hotel (in some places it's listed as 5: yeah, right!) and considering the amount one is paying you do not expect small rooms, bad room layous, bad lighting, cold room service, old fittings in the bathrooms and generally what mixes together to make it a 2 1/2 star experience. Even more amazing to think they closed it for an amazing renovation - so epxectations are high: and ALL because of their promotions, I might add. I am all for the old saying you get what you pay for. But am not in favour of the revised version that many hotels seem to follow these days: you DON'T get what you paid for. Don't stay here if you want to pay a lot of money for an ordinary experience - ok, so the views are great but you don't eat, sleep or feel the view.
Perfect Hotel for Sydney
Stayed in the hotel last week, thought it was the perfect hotel for Sydney, close to all amenities, circular quay, darling harbour, the tower, shopping, casino etc.... Train station pretty much underneath hotel. Loads of bars and restaurants nearby.
I agree the glass restaurant was to expensive but hey don't eat there, I didn't, plus there are plenty of other great restaurants in the city. The Marble bar is excellent, has a fantastic outdoor section.
The rooms are slightly small but had superb view of the city, great bed with choice of pillows, flatscreen TV, DVD player, electric blinds (whoever couldn't work that out, doh!!!!) , great bathroom with nice powerful walk-in shower.
Staff were friendly, always helped when needed, Magic button was good, used couple of times to get extra towels and always delivered within 5 minutes and taxi to airport, there on time as well.
Needed to use key card to access floor level which got a bit annoying but good security measure.
All in all, more designed for business users (lots of suits) but I would definitely stay there again.
My second stay in a couple of weeks
Here is my report on Stay #2 at the new Sydney Hilton. My earlier report is on this site. I plan to stay here quite a bit in my quest for HH Diamond status this year, so have taken it upon myself to get to know the place very well, and the many room types, which at first glance are pretty confusing.
Checked in about 1.15pm and all went well. Both rooms ready. Gives us 2 x room keys. One worked the lift the other did not. This is a MAJOR roblem there the staff say .. many of the gold room keys simply do not work in the lifts for higher Executive floors.
This time got an Executive Room for ourselves and for Lynn's daughter Gemma who was celebrating a birthday. I was told that "Executive Rooms" are identical pretty much to "Deluxe Rooms" interior wise - only difference being one has gold room key access to Executive Lounge, and the others do not.
We got 3816 and Gemma was 3809. Only 30 yards apart and on same side of corridor but warning - ALL the rooms sold as the same type are NOT the same. 3809 was down end of corridor and the sister room at other end is 3822. (This applies for floors 34-38 and may well also apply to lower floors - not sure.)
Avoid 3409+3422 up to 3809+3822 is my strong advice. These rooms are absolutely TINY. There is literally one metre/one yard from king bed end to the wall. True. Our room had space for the rock solid and goofy chaise lounge as well as the metre walk space, so in a small room that is a lot of space to lose. 3809 did NOT have a lounge of any sort due to the tight space. It was a real stretch to call this a "Deluxe Room." I was told 3416+3423 to 3816+3823 are slightly larger than other rooms on these floors. Ours (3816) certainly was much larger than 3809. 3816 was near lift, but no real noise level from that I experienced.
OK, now to the rooms themselves. New bathrooms, so that is a nice plus compared to the junior Suite we had last visit which had 10-15 year old bathrooms in it.
Separate large shower. In fact far too large for this room size, and as a result the basin/vanity area was less than a yard wide in total. Ridiculously small and being recessed, really cramped for an "Executive/Deluxe Room". Why they did not enlarge the bathtub to fit one of those Jacuzzi styles, and add a new shower to that beats me, as it would have allowed a ton more living space in these little rooms which really are FAR too small to have a separate bath.
Neither bathrooms in this or the suite had fans, or phones or input of the audio from TV/DVD. The latter I like if you need to visit the loo in middle of TV news or a movie etc. Every half decent hotel on earth has had in-bathroom phones for 20 years I'd guess. Huge mistake not adding these tiny little touches.
Toiletries were BVLGARI in suite but far more basic fare here.
The shower has a semi see through frosted glass wall facing bed. So anyone going into bathroom means the bed gets a fair bit of light falling upon it at night. Pretty annoying in the middle of the night when one person visits bathroom, and other is asleep. As we found.
The living area is really cramped. A glass top work desk took up far too much of the room, and really should be placed against shower wall rather than being an "island", that dominates the room. And which you painfully walk into at night.
Our room had a totally non-functional Italian styled "chaise lounge" that was rock hard. A really silly choice for any hotel. One circular pouffe type deal and that was it apart from the king bed.
The flat screen TV was much smaller than suite, but still a good size, and was at least integrated into the CD/DVD player, and far neater in appearance than the ugly wiring mess in the suite. And all rotated as one unit which was functional and smart. Unlike the suite, no DVDs or CDs were supplied. Still found it tough to get TV to work via the 2 remotes. Supplying a few DVDs/CDs for use and sale is a VERY smart idea, and just an extension of the mini bar idea. As there were none here, did not try the unit.
This room had clearly marked buttons to operate the electric block out curtains. The Suites do need some signs for sure on that score as buttons are simply not marked at all. Same silly little "archer slit" vertical windows as rest of Hotel, instead of decent sized panes of glass to allow some views.
In-room amenities were very good and up to speed with what you'd expect for a new "6 Star" Hilton. Full coffee/tea making stuff with milk sachets, ironing board, 2 fluffy robes, 2 pairs slippers, in-room safe, large hairdryer, wine glasses, opener, new quite large well stocked mini bar, neat little business folio with post-it notes, paper clips, eraser etc.
It was Gemma's birthday which the Hotel knew at time of booking and hotel sent her a large personalised cake and fruit, with note from General Manager - a very nice gesture but delivering it at 10.30pm when they were fast asleep was really bizarre timing!
Dumped bags in room and headed out to watch the AFL Grand Final which my beloved Swans were contesting - had not won it for 72 years. I had $4,750 riding on this result.
Went to P.J. O'Brien's Irish Pub to watch match and it was a real zoo - 1,000 people and 20 deep at the bar. Went back to Hilton and asked Concierge if he could suggest anything less frantic and less crowded.
He pointed us to the Hilton GAB bar, which had 2 large Plasma screens and only 10 folks inside. Amazing. No-one had thought about that place. All nice and new and comfy, and a nice place to watch a Grand Final! They had a great deal for large gourmet meat pies (various fillings) plus a large beer or glass of wine for $A6.50. Unheard of value in the CBD, much less at a Hilton!
Had booked "Glass" Restaurant for dinner a week or so ahead - essential to get a table in that place. My previous stay they were 100% booked. This booking was for 9pm for drinks if we wished, and a dinner table for 9.30pm. We decided to skip the drinks and got down there at 9.37pm and Maitre'D seemed pretty shocked to see us as we "had not re-confirmed". Huh? Anyway, he steered us to the bar and staff gave us a Taittinger bubbly each to apologise for mix up - very nice gesture seeing I noticed it was $24 a glass on menu.
Ushered to our table soon afterwards. Excellent and professional service all through. Food is pretty expensive - starters $15-$20 and mains generally $35 and dessert etc just as pricey. Food menu surprisingly limited compared to huge wine list. Typical noveaux cuisine tiny serves - Lynn's Barramundi was literally 2 or 3 square inches in size with a couple of Balmain bugs perched on top. But very tasty she said. I had a sirloin steak - small but tender. We were not terribly hungry after an afternoon nibbling at GAB then Executive lounge, but if you were famished "Glass" is certainly the wrong place to head.
The white butcher's paper covering the white linen table tops was way out of line for a top restaurant at dinner I thought. A few $100 bill per table of 4 would cover a dollar or two linen laundering I'd imagine? Maybe OK for breakfast which is often messier, but for a Fine Dining place - not cool.
Booze cost is the killer at "Glass". We generally drink only bubbly, and the lowest price for domestic fizz was $A64 a bottle for Chandon, and it is simply absurd there is not a more affordable choice. Lowest priced white I saw was $35 for something costing a fraction of that in a bottle shop. And apart from that I recall everything else was $40+. Huge wine list. Most impressive. Much of the cellar is on view in Restaurant via the 'Walls Of Wine' which is a nice feature.
The very top end wine ran literally into $1,000s a bottle. Many seemed to have remarkably low mark-ups actually. 1996 Dom Perignon for $A338 and 1989 Grange Hermitage for $A400 are very near bottle shop prices. Odd they'd be so reasonably priced yet basic brands marked up by ~400%.
The place was PACKED and new diners were entering way after 10pm, so right now this is THE hottest place to eat in Sydney. No doubt about it. Having the only rest-rooms a long hike away way outside the restaurant is a dumb idea, and you'd have to wonder what they were thinking with that kooky idea, as "Glass" seats a LOT of folks.
Breakfast next morning at "Glass". We got there about 11am, but it was an absolute zoo. Now this place is expensive at $74 a couple, but price does not bother some folks it seems. A line about 15 deep to get near buffet area. Excellent food and selection and staff - as reported from last visit. And I'll make the same comment again re coffee - they are INSANE not to have some brewed coffee there for self serve.
Once again we needed to wait 15 minutes for someone to rustle up cappuccinos from the fancy machine. After I wake up I just need CAFFEINE and normal pour yourself filtered coffee is just dandy. This nonsense of needing to order it off waiter is dumb, as they are often so busy they forget as they did here. If you CHOOSE specialty coffee, sure do it that way, but right now that is the ONLY method to get a caffeine hit.
We have another stay in a few weeks, and hope to try one of the corner Relaxation Suites. I understand these are about twice the room area of the Executive rooms. Look forward to reporting back then.
What were you all expecting?
I am shocked by the bad reviews the Hilton has got. I have stayed in some of the best hotels in the world and I will agree that it is not up there with the best but it is still above averge.
I think as a Sydneysider we are all expecting so much and of course we are going to be dissapointed in same way.
We asked for a non-smoking room and recieved a smoking but were quickly moved. We were on the 41st floor, stunning views through the small windows.
The room was very modern, strange desk with chair in the middle and awful looking timber above bed. Our bathroom had been completly renovated ( unlike another review) nice bath, seperate shower, very modern.
Beds were nice and soft as were the pillows ( and you can ask for what ever kind of pillow you want. How many hotels do that? )
Staff were overly nice and said 'hello' everytime they saw you.
'Glass' restaurent for dinner is to expensive for the tiny meals they serve. The meals are really really small. Mains are like small entre sizes.
THE BEST THING ABOUT HILTON is the Buffet Breakfast. By far the best buffet breakfast anywhere I have stayed. They have everything covered. It was not busy when I was there although it took the waiter 30min to appear.
You can order waffles, eggs, pancakes, freshly squeezed juice. Beautiful pastries it has everything.
If I did not know what to expect from Sydney Hilton I would be extremely happy with the room, staff and food. I think people of Sydney had this unreal expectation. I agree the rooms are more modern then luxurious but hey it is 2005!
Give it a miss
With all of the hype I was expecting much more.
the rooms are ok, the food is terrible (for the price).
The staff are obnoxious.
Would not recommend it at all, there are much better hotels in Sydney.
Good effort - but not good enough....
Great looking hotel, with a host of friendly staff, but it doesnt quite fill the space that it should.
Design takes the stage - and a lot of money by the look of it... lighting by artemide must have netted them a small fortune- but its design over substance.
location is good opposite QVB and a short walk to circular quay, though you do get the impression its still in start up mode. Whilst the rooms are good and minimalist- they are small and the bathrooms have had a "changing rooms " overhaul- though the plumbing is an issue. (gurgles and bubbles throughout the night)
Blinds that are electric are a great addition to black out for the weary traveller- and food choices are reasonable. Glass restaurant looks great but failed to deliver on the hype whilst we were there- backed up by the local reaturant critics with similiar issues ....
Bars are outsourced to market operators great idea - but being a resident holds no pull on a sat night... be warned you will queue and if you arent wearing a collar you wont get in...
Overall good for hilton- but there are better places to stay for the money.
Umm...not that exciting
The hotel has been refurb, but the rooms are small and the bathrooms even smaller.
For the money Sydney offers many other hotels which can deliver much better accomadation.
For me, a business traveller the rooms are the key, and this would be my one and only stay at the Hilton.
The rooms lack design for the traveller, just cramped in the stuff.
The Glass bistro was ok, but very pretencious....wine list was bottle shop wine so over priced it was an insult.
Hilton Grand Opening
The refurbished Hilton Sydney reopening with a bang - quite literally. All the staff were out in force to promote the official opening, along with a band that would not have looked out of place in Rio, lots of drums and whistles. The foyer of the Hilton is all glass and marble with an amazing sculpture but unfortunately is a wind tunnel and is quite cool. There were teething problems with the Cino Cafe in the foyer - having to wait 45 mins for a salad wrap and coffee is not really acceptable in a hotel claiming 5 stars. The rooms were very well appointed and although not large are very well laid out. The bathrooms are very light and compact but functional and there has been great attention to detail with fittings. Double glazing in the windows would have assisted with keeping the street noise down - as would some signage in the room that there were electronic shutters. An incident with my room door being left open by housekeeping did not sit well with me - but it was dealt with very seriously by the security staff. The food cannot be faulted - it was delicious - although we couldn't get into the Zeta Bar one evening, 'list only'! Unfortunately there were also teething problems with the elevators and being caught in one for an hour with eleven other people was not very pleasant and even though compensation was promised, one week later and have yet to have any contact from the Hilton Sydney. BUT I am giving it another go ...
Avoid Hilton Sydney Airport
I travelled to Australia as education consultant of an Australian university. On my return trip to Manila, I was booked by the university for an overnight stay at the Hilton Sydney Airport. I was informed by a notice from the university that the booking covered room, meals and phone. The reservation was confirmed through a fax by Hilton reservation officer with the university submitting its company credit card number.I arrived at the hotel before midnight of 15 April 2003 from a long and weary travel and was looking forward to much needed rest. However, at front desk, I was promptly informed that my reservation was exclusively for room stay only. Then, I was curtly told that I was not going to be accommodated unless I present my own personal credit card. I was inclined to disagree but was too tired and wanted to catch some sleep immediately. I obliged and presented my card.The next day, to my surprise, I discovered that my credit card was charged $100 by Sydney Hilton Airport. I called front desk from Manila and was told the charge was for deposit guarantee in the event that I incur "incidental expenses".Being charged for some future "possible" expense violates universal fair trade practice. Charging an imagined expense to one's account, and doing so without the courtesy of informing or asking for one's approval is outrightly illegal.But more than this, the incident indicates discriminatory practice by front desk personnel, if not the company Hilton Sydney Airport.