Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Hotel Review: Shangri-La Sydney

Located in Sydney’s hip district The Rocks, the Shangri-La Sydney is based in the historic and cultural centre of Australia’s most vibrant city. Once a tourist hotspot, The Rocks is now incredibly popular with Sydneysiders too, owing to the plethora of high end restaurants, artisan shops and art galleries. The best thing about The Rocks is it’s right on the harbour, the view of the Harbour Bridge and the iconic Opera House are just priceless. Situated on a quiet street just a stone’s throw from the equally luxe Four Seasons, the Shangri-La is peaceful and serene…and just what I needed after a busy day of shopping exploring the city.
Inspired by James Hilton’s 1933 novel Lost Horizon, Shangri-La hotels pride themselves on their hospitality, service and serenity. The Sydney outpost certainly did not disappoint, from the moment I stepped into the lobby I enjoyed first class service and tranquil surroundings. In typical Aussie fashion, the staff were lovely and attentive - I had a super speedy check-in and was shown up to my room within minutes. The checking in process really sets the tone for your whole stay at a hotel so when it’s as perfect as this; you know you’re in for a treat.

I don’t quite know where to start when describing the room. It’s opulent but understated, the height of luxury without being ostentatious, supremely comfortable yet beautiful. Although the d├ęcor is neutral with soothing and calming tones, it looks exquisite rather than dull and corporate like so many other large hotel groups. More Bottega Veneta or Oscar de la Renta, less Roberto Cavalli.

Unlike tiny European hotel rooms, the rooms at the Shangri-La Sydney are sumptuously spacious and roomy yet homely. The room comfortably houses a spacious desk, cosy sitting area, plenty of storage room and a ginormous bed – incidentally one of the most inviting and comfiest beds I’ve ever slept in. Even the bathroom has ample room. I took full advantage of the beautiful marble bath (which are all too rare in hotels these days) and indulged in a bubble bath before bed. Between the bath and the bed, I had the best night’s sleep for my whole trip.

I’ve purposefully saved the best til last; the incredible view. The Shangri-La enjoys a prime location in The Rocks with breath-taking views across the harbour. My room featured huge windows on two walls, looking out to Harbour Bridge on the left and Sydney Opera House on the right. To say the view was mesmerizing is an understatement. As much as I enjoyed the pretty lights on the bridge and the illuminated Opera House at night, watching the sun rise over the Opera House is something I’ll never forget. For the first (and last) time, a 6am wake up call was a blessing in disguise. How beautiful is that view?!

I honestly could not find a single fault during my stay, not one tiny thing. Everything was perfect, flawless and effortless, which is how a 5* hotel should be done. If you go to Sydney (which you must) you have to stay at the Shangri-La, it’s a heavenly corner of paradise. 

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