Holiday Inn Old Sydney
If you think of Sydney, Australia, as a purely summer time destination, you need to visit during the Vivid Festival in winter.
At this time of year, Sydney transforms into a night time wonderland of crowded streets, light shows and displays, and street food. It’s crazy busy, and reminds me a little of a bustling international marketplace.
I was lucky enough this year to squeeze in a visit to my old hometown, and to stay at the Holiday Inn at Old Sydney (or The Rocks, as most of us Sydney siders call it) for the Vivid Festival.
Location and Views
The Holiday Inn possibly boasts the best views of Vivid Festival in Sydney. I’m treated to a harbour view room, and watch the colours splash across the Opera House at night like silent fireworks, and the lit up boats sail across the harbour. Waking up early the next morning, I walk across the Rocks up to the Botanic Gardens, and I’m greeted with a clean, silent Sydney. It’s the perfect way to get your first glimpses of this city.
On a practical note, the Holiday Inn is well placed to check out Sydney’s most iconic tourist attractions: the harbour, Circular Quay and its ferries, the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House (and Opera Bar), various Rocks breweries and pubs, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Walsh Bay, and the Botanic Gardens. It’s surrounded by great cafes, restaurants, and bars, and easily accessible by bus, train, and ferry.
My room with the rockstar view is a King Superior Room. I sink into the bed after a day of traipsing around Sydney and it’s heaven. The pillows come in a variety of firmness and are labelled accordingly. Another day and I arrive back at an ungodly (for my mid 30s age) hour in the morning from Frankie’s Pizza, and if possible, it’s even comfier. The bathroom is a good size, with a nice shower and bathtub.
As mentioned in an earlier post, the hotel has a good roof-top event space, replete with a roof top swimming pool.
Standard Internet is free in all rooms for IG members, and costs $18.95 per night for non-members.
Staff, Ambience, and Dining
The staff are genuinely lovely and helpful. The night I check in is a pumping night in the Rocks for the Vivid Festival, and they suggest some areas to me and help me with maps. I didn’t get to check out the restaurant or bar on this occasion because of my Vivid activities, but I did help myself to some room service one night when I was exhausted. There’s an option to have it delivered “take away” style, without the full white napkin and cutlery service. I opt for this, particularly as I’m having wedges with sweet chilli sauce and a coke – not exactly requiring plates or cutlery. 😉 It’s also cheaper than the full menu.
Would we stay here again?
Definitely. The service was impeccable, the views were spectacular, and the room was comfortable. I recommended this hotel to my parents and family shortly after I stayed in Sydney, and hopefully get to have a family visit in the future.
Location & contact details: 55 George Street Sydney, 2000 Australia Bookings: 1 877 660 8550
Check In & Check Out: 3pm and 11AM.
Cost: King Superior Room from $200.