I visited Sydney on the first leg of my trip with a friend who had previously backpacked around Oz then lived in Sydney. I appear to be fortunate to never have experienced "backpacking" nor "hostel dwelling" so when he promised me that Big Hostel, Sydney was amazing, I believed him.
More fool me.
I think a combination of jet lag, a draughty window, a cold bed and no blankets made me feel like I was in a prison.
I was determined that the return leg of my journey would not be so awful. I looked longingly at the 4 seasons, the marriot, but they were expensive, almost £100 a night.
Luckily I had my Sydney guide book and noticed a little place in the back called Y on the Park. Trip advisor backed up the recommendation of the guide book and I decided the fact it was called a hotel, made it instantly nicer than a hostel. I like the finer things in life, what can I say.
Anyway, we booked it through wotif.com about a week before we arrived, and got it for approx. £40 a night for a double room. I read the other review on here that states there are all different rooms but I didn't know that as I booked it online.
Our room had a double bed, ample wardrobe space, a TV, a kettle, tea, coffee and biscuits and a small but decent bathroom which had a bath, shower, toilet and sink.
The decor of the room was a teensy bit dated, as were the corridors in the hotel, but the room itself, and the bathroom were spotlessly clean and the towels were changed daily.
It is really that marvellous compromise between "cheap and cheerful".
I think from memory that breakfast was included. This consisted of venturing downstairs to the trendy looking cafe (trendy compared to other parts of the hotel) and serving yourself in a cafeteria type way. If I remember correctly, you get a token for breakfast, and can have a full fry up, or a continental breakfast.
The restaurant also has a fab internet cafe which was really handy for us.
The reception were REALLY friendly, very helpful, and on the last day, they put our suitcases and bags in storage so we could have a fun day out in Sydney before we had to leave for the airport. It was a very good set up.
The hotels best feature is it is located right on Hyde Park in the centre of Sydney, along with some of the better hotels. It is about a 15 minute walk to Sydney tower, and although the harbour looks deceptively close, it was about a 45 minute walk. But fear not! a two minute walk will allow you to hop onto the train station that will take you to the airport or down to the harbour. It is really well connected.
If I were to stay in Sydney again and didn't want to spend £100 a night, I would DEFINITELY recommend this hotel. It is a hidden gem! It has all the basics, clean, tidy and got everything you need. It isn't luxury, but who needs luxury when its just a place to stay.
No more hostels for me, ever!!
My friend and I stayed here for 2 nights in May 2008 as part of a trip up the East coast of Australia, it was my first time in Sydney and I have to say I was pretty impressed by the value for money that we got from Y on the Park Hotel.
I had booked the hotel using their website, a couple of months before we travelled. I knew the dates we would be in Sydney for and this place came up with some bargain room rates and good reviews so I figured it was well worth trying. The rate I got for a twin room (with shared facilities) was $90 per night, at the time this worked out as about £50 per night for the room which, given the central location, seemed an absolute bargain.
This hotel offers varying levels of rooms, from backpacker, hostel style dorms to private rooms with shared facilities (as we booked) and also proper hotel style private en-suite rooms - something for every budget! In my opinion the private rooms with shared facilities offered the best of both worlds as you had your own space but great value.
The room we had contained two single beds (at strange angles to one another but this was due to the strange shape of the building I think, the room was a hexagonal shape), tea and coffee making facilities, a small fridge, a safe, a tv on a bracket up on the wall and a wardrobe and shelving unit. There was not a great deal of floor space but enough for our suitcases and a chair, the window was large and let in a lot of light but it looked onto a central courtyard and other windows opposite, not an unpleasant view and given the city location to be expected on such a budget.
The shared facilities were great, personally I never saw another person in them, the women's block had 3 showers and 3 toilets plus a number of basins. The bathroom blocks are in the centre of the floor with the rooms going round the outside, there are entrances on either end so its easy enough and a short route from your room into the bathrooms and this seems to have been a very logical way to do it.
The floors are split I believe from talking to the lady on reception, our floor (2) was all private rooms with shared facilities, the floor below us was the dorms and the top few floors contained the private en suite rooms. Again this seemed logical and meant that if you were a family with private rooms you need never hear the backpackers on the ground floor coming in at all hours (apologies for the sweeping generalisation there - speaking from personal observation only!).
The hotel has a great lobby area and very friendly and efficient front desk staff, when I booked online it only asked for one nights payment as deposit, I paid the balance quickly on check in and found all the details matched mine etc. They also gave us some great city maps and recommended a restaurant round the corner for a cheap meal.
On the other side of the ground floor from the reception area is a cafe/restaurant serving breakfasts and snacks, all room rates include a basic breakfast of cereal and toast with tea and coffee but for a few dollars more you can add cooked items and extras to it if you so desired. The food was fine and sufficient enough to get us going in the morning without paying extra but I suppose it depends how hungry you are!
Next to the restaurant is an internet cafe area containing around 10 machines. These are all coin operated to get on the internet and at the time we visited it was around $1 for 30 minutes. The internet speed was pretty good and we were able to achieve all that we needed to in the allotted time. We never had to wait for a machine, probably because Sydney is littered with web cafes catering to the backpacker crowd.
We slept fine in this hotel, no problems with noise or disturbance from other guests and it suited our needs wonderfully.
The location of this hotel is really excellent, it is called Y on the Park because it is literally across the street from the beautiful and extensive Hyde Park (containing the outstanding Botanical Gardens which are a must see). If you walk through the park you can get to Sydney Harbour in about an hour, it is a wonderful stroll to take as the scenery is quite something. However, if you do not fancy such a long walk you can take the train, Sydney has a great and efficient light rail network and Museum station is located round the corner from the hotel. By train you can get to the harbour and opera house in around 10 minutes.
The area surrounding the hotel is full of shops, bars and restaurants so pretty much everything you need can be found within a stones throw of the hotel. On the corner before the park there is a mini market where you can pick up drinks and food for the day if you are on a budget.
All in all I would highly recommend this hotel, split between the two of us it cost £50 each for a two night stay in central Sydney and anyway you look at it thats pretty good value for money. Considering what we got for our money I would say its a bargain, a good, clean room in a wonderful location and hotel staff who were friendly and helpful. If I ever visit Sydney again I will not hesitate to try this place again for a room.