Hotel Review – The Intercontinental, Sydney

Sometimes it is nice to lash out.

And the Intercontinental Sydney is a pretty special place to lash out ‘in’.

If you have been following my blog for a while you will know that I am a ‘cheap and cheerful’ traveller. Mostly I like to watch my pennies so that I can travel for longer or include some special activities that enhance the adventure in some way, but even I appreciate a little luxury every now and then.

The Cortile Restaurant
The Cortile Restaurant

When you step through the sandstone doorway of the Intercontinental, it is to step back into a time of elegance and grace. The Intercontinental was constructed within the walls of the heritage-listed New South Wales Treasury building, originally built in 1851. The lower sandstone floors have been lovingly preserved, while everything else is up-to-date comfort.

On the way through to reception, I strolled past The Cortile restaurant, which was busy with people enjoying a chilled glass of wine or two with their lunch. Half their luck and what a nice way to settle into the weekend or simply to toast the day.

The lilies at reception added to the elegance of the surrounds and their perfume wafted under my nose as I waited for check-in to be completed. Their scent and style all added up to a pretty special welcome.

Room sign number 2207

The Room

  • Room 2207:  Has sweeping views out over the eastern part of Sydney Harbour and out to the Heads. Ferries and sailboats skip across the dusty blue water leaving sheer white trails in their wake.
  • Space: The room is very airy and light with the large picture windows revealing Sydney at its best. The room includes a full-sized desk which would make working there a delight, however the ever-changing view may prove to be a serious distraction.
  • Bed: King size and comfy. I sink down slightly as I stretch out and I feel like I am being cushioned and cossetted by the ample feather-down pillows.
  • Amenities: To keep you on track and fired up, a pod coffee machine is provided as a well as a good selection of teas. As you would expect, a loaded minibar is in place to cater to every taste however the price tag is as luxurious as the decor.
  • Bathroom: The bathroom is a little tired and shows its age (the hotel was constructed in 1985 however I am sure it would have been renovated a number of times since then). Despite that the shower, over a full-sized tub, is excellent and not the usual enviro-dribble you often find in hotels.
Tea with a view over Sydney Harbour
Tea with a view

The highlight of the stay was the access to Level 31. This is an executive or club lounge area and it is an amazing way to experience Sydney. I could sit there all day and not get bored watching all the ‘traffic’ on the Harbour. It felt incredibly decadent to settle back into the lounge chair and watch the world go by from on high, especially the ant-like people who swarmed around the Opera House or clambered up the Harbour Bridge.

Cruise ship reverses away fro Circular Quay
A cruise ship reverses away from Circular Quay

To access Level 31 it does cost extra, but there are benefits in spades. Refreshments are laid on all day – breakfast, lunch (duck spring rolls and pumpkin and rocket salad), afternoon tea, and ‘happy hour’ drinks and delicious snacks until 7pm.

It is a haven of peace and relaxation with excellent WIFI if you want to work or connect. Or you can just stare out the window and watch the changing light and colour of the water as the day wanes.

The breakfast buffet at Level 31 Intercontinental Hotel Sydney
A delicious breakfast to super-charge the day.

I loved watching the view change (Yes, I did sit there for quite a while) as the stream of ferries carried tired worker bees home, and then made room for the twilight sailors unfurling their little sails in various coves and bays. The small boats were careful to stay out of the ‘fast lane’ in the centre of the harbour populated by the faster ferries and enormous cruise ships.

It was a special experience and some wonderful luxury after my most recent €10-per-night trip through Italy. I doubt that we will be back to the Intercontinental anytime soon, but my memories will sustain me.

What is the most luxurious place you have stayed?

The Basics

A  room at The Intercontinental Hotel Sydney
Room 2207 – comfy and spacious.

What: Rooms at the Intercontinental Hotel start from $358 per night and access to Level 31 and parking is at an additional cost.

Where: 117 Macquarie Street, Sydney. A two-minute walk to Circular Quay, an easy five minute walk to the Opera House, and a 15-minute walk to the Pitt Street Mall and main shopping district.

When: early November 2018.

Why: Serendipity and tagging onto a conference.

How: You name it – drive yourself or catch a taxi, train or bus to Circular Quay.

Who: Myself, the Brave Man and quite a few other Lucky Ducks.

Related Posts: For something nice to do while staying in the city, read my post about the walk you can do around the edge of Sydney Harbour and through the Botanic Gardens. 

Related Blogs: To see what other people think about the Intercontinental, check out Trip Advisor.

The view over the Harbour from a room at The Intercontinental Hotel Sydney
A room with a view…

#sydney, #intercontinentalsydney, #luxuryhotels

Wishing you all a happy, safe and relaxing Festive Season. I will be taking a break from blogging over January as I plan my 2019 adventures! Take care and talk to you in the New Year! Mel

2 thoughts on “Hotel Review – The Intercontinental, Sydney

  1. I love staying at the Intercontinental (I’m old enough to remember when it opened!) AS you say, a touch of decadence.


    1. If only I had the budget to travel like this more often!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this:
search previous next tag category expand menu location phone mail time cart zoom edit close