Walking past the buildings entrance on Market Street, you would hardly recognise that this was one of Sydney’s top boutique hotels. With only a faded brass plate hanging against the wall baring it’s name and the white flag hanging in hope of a breeze, it is only if you glance inside and see the plush blue chairs, polished luggage trolleys and the concierge, ready to help direct you both to the check-in desk or to any of Sydney’s famous landmarks, that you realise that this a hotel – the Swissôtel Sydney.
After being swallowed by one of the three huge elevators, complete with floor to room mirrors, polished aluminium buttons and the first taste of the extravagant decor soon to come, you are deposited on the eighth floor which is in fact the lobby. With televisions welcoming you, the Crossroads bar inviting you for a drink – with a wine list sure to impress, and the hotel restaurant, the expansive room is full of the Swissôtels signature red creating a warm feeling like you are stepping into a home.
For my three-night stay I was staying in one of their basic rooms, but even then the size and features were more than suitable. When staying in a hotel everything is usually stuffed in, too many things causing a sense of claustrophobia. I found that this didn’t happen at the Swissôtel as everything was picked to perform a purpose, simplicity.
Walking through the rooms door, complete with alcove and mail or newspaper holder to give you the sense of coming home to an apartment, I was greeted with a short hallway opening out onto the bedroom. In front of me, a mini-bar disguised in a cupboard and Nescafe coffee maker, to my right the bathroom furnished with both a bath and sizeable shower. The shower was huge much to my delight and completed with two shower heads – both a hand-held option and a ‘rainforest’ option, the nozzle suspended from the ceiling.(Check out Shower Enclosure online resource to know more on enclosed showers)
Entering the bedroom there was a in-built wardrobe spanning the length of a wall – enough space to hang each piece of clothing with room to spare for all the shopping which will be done. Which with Myer next door, the QVB (Queen Victoria Building) across the road, and Pitt Street Mall – the main shopping strip in Sydney – and recently completed luxury upgrade at Westfield Shopping Centre a 30-second walk away, there is no shortage of options.
Also in the room is a flat screen TV, perfect for watching one of the ample in-house movie options, comfortable armchair and a desk which was overtaken immediately by my arsenal of technology that I had bought with me for the trip – I was there on a working holiday after all. Spending hours over the weekend sitting at the desk I found that even with notes strewn across the top I had plenty of room; and the accompanying chair was comfortable even after sitting in it for a number of hours without moving. If you do bring a lot of technology with you when you travel you may be slightly disappointed with the number of available power points – there was only one under my desk and involved a bit of crawling to get too. I did come with a surge protected power board (not joking!) though and so was able to make the most of the single point.
But a hotel stay is made or broken with the bed. To have a disturbed night often leaves you with a negative impression of the place, a place which you would probably avoid in the future. Even through a midday nap I found the noise drifting up to only be that of buskers from the street 22-floors below – a brass trio playing jazz, but even still at that height it was subtle and easy to nap with the music as a backdrop rather than a distraction. I was also able to nap comfortably with the blinds closed. The room was totally darkened – something I really appreciated as I find it hard to sleep with even the slightest slither of light.
The bed, which I managed to take a photo of before I dived onto it was comfortable and large enough to get lost in. If I was travelling with a partner I would have ample room to roll about in without worrying about falling off the edge, but being solo I got to take up the whole area. The quilt was light, not at all a heavy enshrouding mass which is what you will often find when staying at a hotel. I did note that in my room, although not needed during my stay, there were no spare blankets or pillows in the closet.
And the view? Each morning I woke to the Tower of Sydney looming outside my window!
But why stay here rather than another fancy hotel down the street? I found that my stay at the Swissôtel was enjoyable because of the little things. The art work located through the hotel interested me with it’s bold colours and simple lines and curves, the feeling of coming home created by adding walkways into the rooms or having a mail box where letters or newspapers were placed rather than bags which hang on the door, or that each night a tea trolley was placed near the check-in desk in the lobby with a selection of tea, coffee and pastries which pleased my sweet tooth. It’s the little things which make a stay at a hotel more pleasurable and that is what the Swissôtel Sydney is able to provide.
It is also all about the location. Located in the very heart of the city, next to department store Myer and opposite the QVB where the Town Hall train station is located if you decide to try your hand at public transport to venture to Bondi Beach or beyond. You are a 10minute walk to Darling Harbour’s attractions and restaurants, 15minutes walk to Circular Quay and the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House or 3-minute walk to Korea Town and just on to China town for a mass of cheap meals.
As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.