When I’m booking hotels for special occasions my main aim is to find the best views possible.
For our engagement in Paris, I booked a suite with the best view of the Eiffel Tower.
For our honeymoon, I had to find the best views Sydney, Australia had to offer. I spent hours researching the best hotel with the best view of Sydney Harbour – Harbour Bridge and the iconic Sydney Opera House.
Those hours of research led me to only one option: the Shangri-La Sydney. And wow, it didn’t disappoint!
I made sure that when booking the hotel I picked a room that would definitely have views of both the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Sydney is a place I’d wanted to come to for years and after an 18-hour flight, I wanted a great view!
This wasn’t nearly as extravagant as the Paris suite either, coming in significantly cheaper but more on that and the exact room details further below.
The Shangri-La brand is synonymous with luxury and the five-star hotel is fantastic. The hotel is situated at 176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks. This allows the hotel to have 270-degree views of the famous Sydney Harbour.
How to get there
If you’re travelling from the airport then you can hop in a taxi and be there within 30 minutes.
You can also get to the Shangri-La by train. The airport train can take you to Wynyard Station or the Circular Quay Station. These are both roughly 10-minute walks from the hotel. The train costs AUD 17 / £9.
Top Tip: if you have luggage get the train to Wynyard Station and not Circular Quay Station. The walk from Circular Quay Station is uphill and is pretty difficult if you’re dragging your bags. We found this out the hard way!
Lastly, if you’re hiring a car and driving then you can book valet parking for AUD 105 / £56 per night. This offers unlimited entries and exits if you’re out and about during the day.
It boasts a total of 564 rooms and suites. It should be worth noting that not all rooms have views of the Sydney Harbour so double-check before booking. Some rooms have a 270-degree view of both (like ours did above) whilst others only have one landmark visible.
The room we stayed in was the Executive Sydney Harbour View 1 King, High Floor and at the time of booking it cost AUD 450 per night, which was £260 then.
Check-in is at 1500 with check-out being 1100.
You can see the view from my room in the short video below.
The hotel has a host of dining options depending on what you’re looking for.
The Lobby Lounge
This is a whiskey and gin bar with a great selection of whiskey from all over the world, including my home country Scotland. In this lounge, you can also get some gastro pub food including wings and burgers. The starters start at AUD 16 / £8.50 while the main courses start from AUD 26 / £14.
There is also a range of cigars available in the lounge.
It’s open from 0730 – 1530 Sunday to Monday and 0730 – 2100 Tuesday to Saturday.
The award-winning Altitude Restaurant offers views of Sydney Harbour whilst you tuck into some fantastic food. There are many different menus including three and five-course options.
The lunch three-course option is AUD 110 / £58 with the five-course option adding up to AUD 129 / £68. The same course options for dinner are AUD 150 / £80 and AUD 175 / £93.
The Chef’s Signature Menu is AUD 195 / £103 with a wine pairing addition of AUD 155 / £82. This includes wagyu flank and kangaroo tataki.
You’ll also be heading up to the Altitude Restaurant if you’re having breakfast at the hotel.
Blu Bar on 36
This lounge and bar has the same amazing views of Sydney Harbour as you’ll get throughout the hotel.
This is the perfect place to have a few drinks and you’re also able to get a high tea, or an afternoon tea with a view of the Sydney Harbour. This starts at AUD 79 – £42 per person including tea and coffee.
My Booking – Using AMEX
I booked the Shangri-La using my American Express Platinum card and their Fine Hotels & Resorts program. This includes a 1200 check-in time (subject to availability), a room upgrade, complimentary breakfast for two each day, guaranteed 1600 check-out time and $100 credit.
This was superb for us as we stayed here at the start and the end of our honeymoon and the 1600 guaranteed check-out was so useful with our later flight.
We used the $100 credit to buy a bottle of champagne from room service to celebrate before heading out for dinner. I went to open the bottle and dropped it, smashing it all over the room floor. Great start to the honeymoon…!
At least the views were amazing!
Would I stay again? Yes
I’d be back here in a heartbeat. The cost wasn’t outrageous and the views are more than worth it. If you’re looking for the best views of Sydney Harbour then don’t stay anywhere else!
Stayed in May 2022.