Sydney’s Hilton underwent a dramatic and expensive refurb back in 2001.
Prior to its revitalisation, the Hilton was looking tired and dated. The 70s glamour had worn off, and it was no longer considered one of the premier places to stay in Sydney’s CBD.
The renovations restored the Hilton’s former shine, giving it a sleek, contemporary look. New amenities were added, and top-notch restaurants and bars were created.
If you’re looking for somewhere to stay in Sydney for a business trip, or an easy home-base for a few nights out involving restaurants, bars, and clubs, then the Hilton is the perfect spot for your stay. If you want something classier, cosier, friendly, or even unique, I’d recommend other hotels like the Observatory, the Shangri-La, or boutique hotels in Potts Point or Woollomooloo.
Our stay was in the Hilton Guest Room. It’s the smallest and cheapest of the rooms available at the Sydney Hilton. (We decided to use our HHonours points for a more luxurious room in a city we hadn’t stayed in before – Auckland).
The bedroom is small and minimal, yet comfortable and serves our needs for the one night we are there. There is also a small business desk and a large LCD TV. Surprisingly, there is nothing in the minibar fridge. North Nomad tells me that many of the Hilton chain hotels are starting to remove stocked items from bar fridges these days.
One of the good things about the Hilton is its uniformity. For a business traveller, it gives you a sense of home away from home. For me, I appreciate the Hilton’s beds – always a good experience. The king sized bed with its mountains of soft pillows is ridiculously comfortable.
The bathroom is small, but comes with a bath, which is always appreciated in a hotel. The toiletries are the stock standard Hilton body lotion, shampoo and conditioner and soap.
Location and Views
The Hilton sits in the middle of Sydney’s Central Business District. It’s in a perfect position for restaurants, bars, nightclubs, theatre shows, concerts, and for visiting landmarks like the Opera House and Sydney Harbourbridge, and tourist attractions like the Aquarium.
The views from the Guest Room are Sydney’s cityscape. For tourists to Sydney, I’m sure this is a fascinating view. I worked in the CBD for over a decade. I feel hemmed in by buildings and have that touch of anxiety like I’m about to go to work in the morning and dreading it.
Staff and ambience
The Sydney staff are polite and efficient. I wouldn’t call them friendly or pleasant, like the staff were at Auckland. That’s not the Sydney way. But efficiency and civility is something I do value in hotel staff, so I can’t complain about the lack of pleasantries.
Meals and drinks
As I mentioned in the Nomads’ review of The Hilton at Auckland, the only downside of the Hilton brand is that the branding is so consistent, there’s little variation in the menus from country to country, let alone between states. They always have vegetarian options, but they’re heavy on the cheese and pasta and not the most vegan friendly.
This time we get take away. North Nomad gets Hungry Jacks (Burger King for our Northern American readers) and I treat myself to Iku – a casual, vegan café in Sydney that I have been sorely missing in Toronto.
Would we stay here again?
It’s convenient when you have a night or two where you need to be central to everything in Sydney’s CBD. And you know exactly what you are getting quality wise and service wise. If I was visiting Sydney for business again, I would use the Hilton. On special occasions, I’d probably branch out and use one of the luxury boutique hotels.
Location & contact details: 488 George Street, Sydney, Australia 2000 Tel: 61-2-9266-2000 Fax: 61-2-9265-6065
Check In & Check Out: 3pm and 11:00AM.
Cost: King Hilton Suite AUD $199 per night.
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