A hotel deep in the heart of Australia’s busiest city that’s actually good for kids? If you’re skeptical, it’s with good reason – many of the hotels that can be found in CBDs around the globe rightly spruik their access to theatres, shopping and iconic sights but kid-friendly credentials aren’t common. Swissôtel Sydney, however, is an all-rounder. Sitting opposite the historic State Theatre and on the same block as the bustling Pitt Street mall and Sydney Tower Eye (formerly known as Centrepoint Tower), this 369-room venue dials up the indulgence for the pre-school to primary school set with a clever Kids Room program, which fills your room with toys, colouring-in essentials and more. All that adds up to more time for the grown-ups to explore the hotel’s many luxe touches.
Less than half an hour in a cab from Sydney’s domestic airport you’ll arrive at Swissôtel, but even though it reaches 25 floors it hides in plain sight – head west along Market Street, past the window displays of Myer and the bright lights of the State Theatre across the road, and you could miss its discreet entrance. You’re just 70 metres from the 200-plus stores of the stately Queen Victoria Building, 90 metres from the city’s premier Westfield and a 25-minute walk from the famed Opera House.
The hotel has seven room types and two kinds of suites, starting at the 30-square-metre Premier Room and topping out at the 66-square-metre Signature Skyline Suites, which maximise the hotel’s positioning by offering views to the CBD’s twinkling lights. The aesthetic here is an executive one – think dark wood accents with sleek white and silver cabinetry – but if you check into a Kids Room the little ones will be too won over by play tents and princess-themed doona covers to notice such chic touches. The double beds in these rooms are super comfortable and the generous bathrooms – with bath toys – will help you get wind-down time started right.
Food and drink
The hotel features one main eatery – JPB Restaurant, which is discreetly tucked away at lobby level. The restaurant serves a buffet breakfast each morning with all those Aussie brekkie staples – bacon, eggs, smoked salmon, pastries and cereals, plus charcuterie, congee and dumplings. Nab a banquette seat by the windows to take full advantage of the sunlight streaming in. By night, it also offers dinner and a pre-theatre menu. A few steps away, you’ll find Crossroads Bar with comfortable sofa seating or the more private pod-like booths. It’s a popular spot for high tea and serves a menu of bar favourites.
For business travellers
There are four intimate meeting rooms, seating between 8 and 12 people, as well as two Mac desktop computers, a scanner, printer and fax in the business centre. Larger gatherings of up to 400 people are held in one of three conference/ballroom spaces at lobby level.
For wellness travellers
The hotel has a 15-metre outdoor pool and jacuzzi open from 6am until 9pm; both are heated but keep your robe close in the cooler months to guard against the high chill factor when hopping in and out. The gym, with treadmills, crosstrainer, bikes and free weights, also operates during these hours. The wellbeing offering also includes a sauna and a spa with a treatment menu that even covers teen facials.
The fab factor
Sometimes, a family night in can do more to enrich the soul than anything a city can serve up. As part of the Kids Room concept, you can order in popcorn, cue up a G-rated DVD and get the kids nice and snug in their pint-sized dressing gowns.
Best for: Families are well catered to; those on a shopping getaway or in town for an event will also love its proximity to the best the city has to offer.
Number of rooms: 352 rooms and 17 suites
From: $299 per night
Wi-fi: Regular access is free and fast; premium access (recommended for games, entertainment and uploading or downloading large files) is $19.95 per day.
Parking: Valet parking costs $80 per night
Address: 68 Market Street, Sydney
Telephone: +61 2 9238 8888