The Shangri-La Hotel is sexy and sleek. Positioned on a hill overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge, it offers some of the best views in Sydney. Book a north-facing room at a premium to ensure the best outlook. The other side of the hotel faces the city and views from this side lack the wow factor. It is a very short walk to all of the attractions of Sydney Harbour, but be aware that it is accessed via a steep hill.
All of the 563 rooms were refurbished in 2011. Rooms are large by city standards and are stylishly decorated in browns and Autumnal colours. Bathrooms are cutting edge. We were lucky enough to be upgraded to a Premier Grand Harbour View Room on one of the higher floors, which had a 270 degree view of the harbour. It was particularly magical at night when we spent hours just sitting on the window ledge, taking in the panorama.
It is worth leaving the comfort of your room to visit the hotel’s Blu Bar and adjacent Altitude Restaurant on the 36th floor. The Blu Bar has the look and feel of a Manhattan cocktail lounge and offers one of the most stunning vistas of Sydney through its floor-to-ceiling windows. Drinks were expensive, but worth it. As a result, it is often listed as one of the best places for cocktails in Sydney. It gets extremely busy with long waiting times for a table. A small annoyance was that hotel guests were not prioritised and, on busy weekends, you may be refused entry if the bar is full. Get there early to secure a table or make a reservation at the Altitude Restaurant to guarantee a view without the wait. Expect to pay high prices for its impressive, Australian cuisine.
The hotel is extremely well equipped for the business traveller, with free Wi-Fi, an excellent business centre and the Horizon Club level, which has a private bar and lounge. This offers a range of service including complimentary breakfast, drinks, free suit pressing and shoe shine. Its popularity with those in Sydney on business can make it seem impersonal at times. The lobby is vast and busy. The main breakfast room offers a gorgeous buffet breakfast, but feels frantic and crowded during peak hours.
Much more relaxing is CHI, the brand new hotel day spa. All of its treatments are based on authentic methods found in the traditional wellbeing practices of most Asian cultures. The design is opulent and it offers one of the premier day spa experiences in Sydney. Our massage was first class. Adjacent to the new spa is the indoor swimming pool, Jacuzzi, gymnasium and sundeck. The pool is adequate but, compared to the spa, a little more ordinary. We were not disappointed, but had expected a little more.
The Shangri-La is a wonderful choice for both leisure and business travellers to Sydney who want a stylish hotel with incredible views. It is not the place to go if you demand highly personalised service, however it is perfect for those who want a chic and sophisticated city hotel with a destination bar and restaurant.Write a Review
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