Before leaving for our trip to Australia last summer, I spent a lot of time deciding where to visit and stay. It was difficult making choices as there were so many places I wanted to see! Although I am not really a city person, I knew I wanted to experience Sydney. After a lot of research I decided we would stay in the area known as the rocks. This is the oldest part of Sydney and situated close to the harbour, opera house and famous bridge. Having chosen the location, I set about looking for accommodation. Sydney is an expensive city to stay and the rocks is probably the most expensive area of the city. There are numerous accommodation options, many well out of my price range! However I finally found a hotel that had good reviews and was affordable. The Rendezvous Stafford is part of the Singapore owned Rendezvous chain. There are 13 hotels in the group throughout Australia, New Zealand, China and Singapore. The Hotel. ******** The Rendezvous Stafford is conveniently situated at 75, Harrington street, a few minutes walk from circular quay, where ferries leave regularly for destinations such as the Zoo (well worth a visit), Manly beach, Bondi beach and Darling harbour. It is a fairly small hotel with 61 rooms. We arrived by taxi from the airport, about a 30 minute drive. From the outside the hotels appears small and welcoming. When we arrived we were immediately helped with our bags by the concierge. The reception area is brightly lit with complimentary fruit on offer. The receptionist was efficient and very friendly. My first impressions were that I was going to like staying here! I had booked a studio room for our 3 night stay; as I wanted to be able to self cater, at least for some of the time. The room is accessed via a key card. Our room was on the second floor and had a spacious balcony with a partial view of the Sydney harbour bridge. The room was really well planned with a decent sized kitchenette leading to the sleeping area. The kitchenette consisted of a hob, fridge, microwave, toaster and kettle and sink. There were several cupboards to store food. When we arrived I was pleased to find a little basket with complimentary tea, coffee and chocolate. There were adequate pots and pans and utensils plus enough crockery and cutlery for 4 people. The room was serviced every day and used tea and coffee replaced. There was a small table for eating with 2 chairs. It would have been good to have been given an extra chair as there were 3 of us! The sleeping area consisted of 1 queen bed and a sofa bed. The queen bed was really comfortable and although I had read a few reviews criticising the sofa bed, my son found it comfortable and slept well! The room had a flat screen TV, although there was so much to see and do in the area, we rarely had time to watch it! The T.V sits on a long desk and there was a writing pad and pen provided for guests use. The bathroom was well fitted and really clean. There was a bath and shower and plenty of white fluffy towels. Another little basket at the side of the sink was provided with complimentary toiletries. Overall I loved the room and found it really quiet too. Other facilities. ************* The hotel has a lift to all floors and is suitable for guests with a disability. On the ground floor; next to the reception area, there is a small outdoor pool and sauna. The sauna was not in operation when we were there in August and we didn't use the pool as the weather was chilly. The poolside has tables and chairs. There is a breakfast lounge next to the pool although we didn't eat here so I can't comment on what its like. The hotel has a small reasonably priced guest laundry. This is something I find really useful when travelling for any length of time and I made good use of the washer and dryer! Next to the laundry is a small gym. My oldest son was keen to work out whilst I did the laundry! The hotel offers free internet access. The hotel advertises free car parking, although this is not something we needed. Overall ********** As you probably guess I was really impressed with this hotel and would love to stay again. The staff were really friendly and helpful. In fact the receptionist even offered to check us in for our flight to Singapore, printing our boarding passes choosing us decent seats whilst we were out exploring the area. The location is excellent, just a few minutes walk from circular quay, the opera house and Botanical gardens. The hotel is also conveniently situated for all public transport links to other parts of the city and beyond. The Rocks has numerous restraurants, cafes and shops to suit all tastes. There is a good sized Woolworths about a 15 minute walk from the hotel if you are self catering. I booked this hotel via the Wotif site as this was the cheapest option. I cant remember exactly how much I paid per night but it was around £120.It is of course well worth price checking as there are deals to be bagged! If you are planning a trip to Sydney, then I can highly recommend this little gem!
I have just stayed in Surfside coogee for a week. This is quite a small hostel, in the suburb of coogee in sydney. Its above mcdonalds and theres loads of cafes and restuarants around so you dont need to worry about going hungry. The company Ozintro have this hostel as the base to sleep everyone who books their activity week, so theres always loads of people there up for a good time. If you want a quiet hostel then this is not for you. There are dorm rooms that sleep 12 and 4, and private rooms that sleep 2. I didnt meet anyone who had a room to themselves so just assumed that they are all dorm rooms. Theres a seperate boys and girls bathroom on both floors which is handy, and the whole hostel is cleaned thoroughly everyday. You get used to the smell of bleach! Theres a common room where you can cook, and theres a big widescreen tv with sofas. Theres also 4 computers that people on ozintro can use for free. This is a sociable hostel, though theres a very transient population. With all the people just staying for a week for ozintro your unlikely to find many people to make best friends with. Im not sure of the cost per night as I got it included with my ozintro complete package. I enjoyed staying there but wouldnt want to stay there if I wasnt on ozintro as it would just make me want to go out all the time. This is definately a party hostel, although on a sunday its blissfully quiet!
My job has taken me to many destinations in the Southeast Asia and South Pacific region and I have stayed at a variety of hotels in Australia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, South Korea and Japan. The Regent Hotel in Sydney was probably one of the best I have experienced, all things considered. I stayed at the Regent for 10 days recently. I selected the hotel and made the booking through the Four Seasons website (this is one of their hotels). There were no hitches and I was able to occupy the room as soon as I arrived at 8:00 am. When my stay was over, checkout was equally smooth. The Regent is conveniently located near the lower end of George St., on Circular Quay and next door to The Rocks, a well-known historical area of Sydney. It's within walking distance of the train station, ferry terminals and the Opera House, and not far from downtown shopping, the monorail and Darling Harbour. The lobby was rather plain and barn-like: not particularly conducive to sitting around. My room was one of the least expensive and, although it was comfortable enough, it was rather small. Of course, I didn't go to Sydney to spend all day in my room, so it wasn't all that important to me, but one consequence was that there was relatively little cupboard space. The air conditioning was excellent and did the right thing when I altered the fan speed or thermostat: something I've found to be rare in hotel rooms! The room had the amenities you might expect from a high class hotel, such as a safe, well-stocked minibar, multi-channel TV with remote control, wall sockets for connecting PCs and mobile phone battery charges, tea and coffee making facilities and an alarm clock. As with all hotel rooms I've ever experienced, it was impossible to figure out how to use the alarm clock! :-) The bedside light switches were sensibly large, not crammed into a panel so small that you can' t find anything, as some hotels seem to favour. The bathroom was excellent and spotlessly clean, with a sensible safety device fitted to the shower temperature control to prevent accidental scalding. The water temperature control actually worked at its optimum setting but it was overly sensitive if altered - good thing there was a safety device! Room service was excellent but the food was rather expensive. When ordering room service, one is told when to expect the food to arrive and it always arrived on time and was still hot. The bell-boy, laundry and housekeeping services were prompt and courteous. It seemed to me that the Regent values its service to guests very highly. Would I stay at the Regent again? Yes, unless I especially wanted to try one of the alternatives.
I am currently staying at 'The Biltmore Hotel' on Campbell Parade, on the sea front at Bondi Beach. However, something is definitely rotten in the state of Denmark, and I am writing this opinion to advise you to find a better place to stay should you visit this area. I am staying in a 4 bed dorm, which consists of an average sized room with 2 bunk beds. Also in the room is a small fridge and a sink that is hanging off the wall. There is only 1 plug socket in the room, but unfortunately the fridge has claimed it. So what you have here is a bog standard, totally average slice of hostel accommodation. The rooms are all in some state of disrepair, although I wouldn't go so far as to say any were in terrible condition. The hostel has a complete lack of facilities.....the kitchen is small, cramped and has a ridiculous lack of cooking utensils. All but one of the pots are without handles, and there is one blunt chopping knife which sadly lacks a handle. There are a reasonable number of bathrooms, although the showers are pretty poor. There is a tv room, though again this is tiny, and has uncomfortable sofas which are blatantly falling apart. There is no other common area, and so most people end up hanging out on the fire escape on the back of the building, which has a charming view of the bins. Overall the hostel is not too dirty, I have spotted a few cockroaches and mice, but I guess that's to be expected. The carpets and overall appearance of the building is pretty shoddy, and it definitely gives the impression that it is crying out for some sort of facelift. Now all of this I could easily stand. However, there are two main problems. Firstly, the rent, which is ludicrously high at $155aus a week for a bed in a dorm. Compared to other hostels in the area, this is expensive, and compared to hostels in the city centre of sydney, or even other parts of australia, it is extortionate. Guests should be warned that should they fail to pay their rent by 10am, there is an additional $10aus surcharge, with no excuses accepted. The other problem is the way the hostel is run. The manager is incredibly strict, and warnings are handed out like yellow cards at a football match. This has a serious affect on the atmosphere of the place. This manager makes no secret of the people she dislikes, and has been known to hound certain rooms, even coming in unannounced in the middle of the night to catch people out. Its fair to say, there is often an uneasy atmosphere around the place. Overall, i am still having a great time, I have been in the Biltmore for nearly 2 months now, and will probably stay (unless the rumoured rent rise kicks in at Xmas), but this is entirely due to the excellent friends I have met. Should you be coming out o the Bondi Beach area, I would definitely advise you to stay at one of the other hostel, which are cheaper, cleaner and more fun.
This is a small hotel with about 60 rooms with an interesting turn of the century facade, but a modern light and airy reception area. All the staff in the hotel where very helpful and pleasant. I would recommend if you stay here that you get one of the harbour view rooms as you can see two of the Sydney icons, the harbour bridge and the opera house, directly from the bedroom window. The breakfast is a help yourself to continental or cooked, the lunch and dinner menus in the restaurant are nothing special, but you can visit one of the many restaurants in the Rocks district, which is 5 minutes away right on the water front, where the food varied and excellent. You are about 10 to 15 minutes walk from the heart of Sydney and where some of the shops are open late, some till 11:00pm. A lovely hotel and much better than staying in one of the big city centre ones, and cheaper too.