Sydney is anchored by its vast and splendid harbour — locals lunch beside it, commute over it and admire it at every opportunity. At the towering Shangri-La Sydney, which peers out over Circular Quay, you’ll be treated to a near-permanent panorama of the city’s biggest drawcard in all its glory. Read on for the full review.

Every room in this five-star hotel gets a glimpse of the waterfront, with window seats for extended gazing to boot. From Level 36, at the hotel’s incredible Blu Bar on 36, the views border on iconic: huge windows peer out over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, with the city glittering behind.

Where is Shangri-La Hotel Sydney?

Shangri La Sydney room

Shangri-La Sydney looms over Circular Quay, in a corner of the CBD near the Cahill Expressway. It’s approximately a 30-minute drive from Sydney International and Domestic Airports.

What’s near Shangri-La Hotel Sydney?

Nothing is too far from Shangri-La Sydney. The Rocks and the Museum of Contemporary Art are just five minutes’ walk away; Barangaroo and its galaxy of restaurants is 15 minutes by foot and, in less than 20 minutes along the water’s edge, you’ll be on the steps of Sydney Opera House.

Room types

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A room for every type of traveller? It’s possible, considering there are over 20 room types in total. The main variation is room size, with rooms spanning 40-42 square metres in the Deluxe Opera House City View Room right up to a staggering 242 square metres in the Royal Suite. The other notable differences are the views (some are of Pyrmont Bay; some seem as though hung directly over the famous “coat hanger”). Other inclusions, such as marble bathrooms with bathtubs, bathrobes and slippers and pillow menus, come standard for all rooms.

Restaurants and bars

Altitude, the hotel’s on-site eatery, shares the incredible views of Blu Bar on 36, both residing 36 levels up. The menu is hearty and satisfying with a modern European feel — in practice, that means meals such as chicken roulade with truffle jus or pumpkin risotto with crispy sage. Altitude also serves hot breakfast, spanning everything from potato rosti to waffles.
Blu Bar on 36 has a reputation quite apart from the hotel, deserved for its impressive panorama of the harbour and skyline. This is special occasion territory — perfect for a celebratory evening of drinks or a fancy high tea.

Travel for work

All room types feature full-sized executive writing desks and Wi-fi is free in all rooms. A business centre resides in the Lobby Lounge, offering a haven for business travellers to get some work done outside of their rooms, with printing facilities also available (it’s worth checking the opening details prior to your stay). The Shangri-La Hotel also now offers free Wi-fi as part of their limousine services so staying connected while in transit is easy (and luxurious).

The Horizon Club, available when booking a room with this allocation, is a useful add-on for business travellers who don’t want to sweat the small stuff. Not only do Horizon Club members gain access to the Horizon Club lounge, which offers complimentary daily breakfast, beverages and evening canapes, there are additional benefits such as free garment pressing, access to a private boardroom and late check-out.

Spa, pool and gym

Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, NSW

Wellness facilities are abundant here. The indoor heated pool is a haven of cool whites and soothing blues, and there’s also a whirlpool spa, dry sauna and sundeck. Chi, The Spa is where the indulgence can really be turned up: relaxation pods, incorporation of therapeutic-grade, ethically-sourced natural Sodashi products and an extensive menu of treatments ensure a blissful retreat from the everyday.

What you need to know

Children are eagerly welcomed here, too — you’ll spot some kid-specific benefits for Shangri-La Circle club members, such as a helpful 50% discount on meals for kids aged seven to 11.  

Best for: Views of Sydney Harbour
Design: Sumptuous
Ambience: Elegant
Number of rooms: 564 rooms
Rates: $280
Wi-fi: Free
Parking: Valet parking (including unlimited entry and exits) is available for vehicles under 2.1 metres in height for $85 a day; vehicles over this attract a $105 daily fee
Address: 176 Cumberland St, The Rocks NSW 2000
Telephone: (02) 9250 6000

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SEE ALSO: The Best Hotels in and Around Sydney’s CBD

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