AUSTRALIA

WHERE TO STAY IN SYDNEY TO MAKE SURE YOU HAVE THE BEST TIME?

Struggling to decide on where to stay in Sydney? Then check out the wide range of accommodation I’ve stayed in over the years, to see if any of them are right for you!

The Sydney Skyline looking on from the Royal Botanical Gardens

When it comes to booking accommodation in Sydney, things can get a little overwhelming.  Where should you stay? Circular Quay? Darling Harbour? Bondi Beach? The list is almost endless, and as soon as price becomes a consideration, things can get even trickier. A view of the Opera House or the Harbour Bridge can quickly raise the price of a hotel stay, even a sub-par one. As someone who has spent many years in and around Sydney, for both work and leisure, I can certainly offer my fair share of recommendations when it comes to places you should stay.

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BUDGET OPTION

Despite the cheap accommodation, this hostel has million dollar views!

ROOFTOP TRAVELERS LODGE

This is the only budget option I have stayed at in Sydney, and let me tell you, in terms of value for money, this is my number one choice! I lived at the Rooftop Travelers Lodge for around 10-months, and I absolutely loved my time here. There are only 4 people in a room, and each has its own bathroom. They also have a computer in every room with free Wi-Fi. I don’t think you can beat that kind of value. The Kitchens are located up on the roof (along with some free BBQs), so you can enjoy some of the most amazing views of the Sydney skyline while you’re eating. There are regular buses which run every few minutes from right out of the front, which head straight into  the heart of Sydney. Alternatively, you can explore Glebe itself, and take in the local bars, restaurants, and shops. It really is a winner!  

146-148 Glebe Point Road, Glebe, Sydney, NSW 2037

MIDRANGE

Check out those floor to ceiling windows!

ADINA SERVICED APARTMENTS, DARLING HARBOUR

When I first saw this apartment on Booking.com with its full kitchen, maisonette bedroom and floor to ceiling windows with incredible views over Darling Harbour, I thought it was to good to be true. But when I walked into my room and saw those gigantic windows, I knew I’d hit the jackpot! This is a gem of a hotel for the low price, and it’s only a couple of minutes’ walk from Darling Harbour and all of its attractions. In the opposite direction, you have all the shops on George Street and beyond. It really is a winner.

Having a kitchen means you can eat in, saving you a tonne of money, because unless you know the city quite well, it can be expensive to eat out. The bedroom is up on the maisonette level, with fitted wardrobes offering plenty of room for short or long stays. The bathroom is also on this level and the best part of all – there is a bath! After I walked around Sydney all day, clocking up twenty-four thousand steps, soaking in the bath at the end of an exhausting day was sheer bliss.

What a spectacular view right? This was from my balcony!

There are two mini-marts around the corner to buy your groceries from, or you could stretch your cash a little further and walk the extra 10 minutes to the Woolworths on George Street, opposite the QVB, which is much bigger and a lot cheaper.

At night, when it’s time to put those views to bed, you can pull down the full-length blinds and forget the city is there – except for a bit of traffic noise below. Well, nowhere is perfect, is it?

55 Shelly Street, Sydney, NSW 2000

RYDGES NORTH SYDNEY

Open plan living, dinning and kitchen

Although this hotel is reasonably priced, the décor in the rooms are a little tired. When I first stayed here with a work colleague in 2019, we shared a two-bedroom apartment with a kitchen and spacious living area. It had very tired looking furniture and paint was peeling off the walls.

Unfortunately, the staff is not so great. They were either helpful and accommodating or downright terrible. There was a wonderful porter who chatted to me in the lift that made my day so they should put him on the front desk as he was so happy and jolly.

My room

This is the only hotel I have ever stayed in, where you can’t check in until they have taken $100:00 security deposit off your card. They also pick and choose who they ask, which is unfair. I know this to be true as I have stayed here on several occasions and many of my colleagues didn’t have to pay a deposit at all, whereas some did. You get the money back when you check out, but that’s not the point. It’s funny how other hotels will swipe your card for around a token $1:00 and then if you trash the room, you have to pay for the damage.

Room service food isn’t that great, it’s not the best quality, but strangely enough, it was a little better when I ate in the restaurant. There are plenty of nice places to eat in North Sydney, such as the Firehouse on Walker Street, just a couple of minutes walk, so avoid eating at the hotel if you can.

MANTRA, SYDNEY AIRPORT

It’s a pretty standard room, I know, but most people usually stay just for one night. However, this hotel is only a 15-minute train ride into Sydney!

When you just want a nice, comfy and convenient hotel near Sydney Airport, then this is it. I have stayed here a few times and love how efficient it is. Checking in is a breeze and the staff is really helpful. I arrived very late one night after my flight was delayed. I was starving, so I ordered room service. I ordered curry and it was delicious. The rooms are simple, clean, and stylish. There are no wardrobes, just a simple rail with some hangers on the wall. At first, I thought it was a bit odd, but when I realised, it is not really a place designed to stay more than one night before or after your plane.

The simple yet stylish bathrooms

A little tip: If you arrive at night, find out about getting one of the airport shuttles which drops you off at the airport hotels. You can catch them right out the front of arrivals and costs approximately $7. If you choose to take a taxi for the 3-4 minute ride, you will be stung with a $16 fare like I was. When leaving however, my outward flights were morning departures, so I simply took the easy ten-minute walk to the terminal instead. If you only have an overnight bag, and you are happy to do so, try walking as it’s only a 5 minute walk.

NOVOTEL SYDNEY OLYMPIC PARK

The restaurant and bar area at the Novotel

A few years back, when I was working as a travel agent, I was attending our annual ball that was held at Sydney Olympic Park. Our hotel was literally across the road from the ANZ Stadium, just a few minutes’ walk down the road to where our event was being held, which made it incredibly convenient. If you’re ever attending an event in the area, then this hotel is an absolute winner! However, it is around 40-minutes by train into Sydney, so if you are planning to do the touristy thing, this might not be the best option for you. If, on the other hand, saving some money is a high priority, then you’ll be pleased to know that it is much cheaper to stay here because you won’t get hit by those infamous, city centre prices. The room itself was also great. Sporting a jacuzzi bath, a mini kitchen and nice furnishings, my comfort was sorted after a long evening out. And the icing on the cake – the staff are lovely!   

Olympic Blvd, Herb Elliott Ave, Sydney Olympic Park, Sydney Olympic Park, 2127 Sydney, Australia

The living room and kitchenette area. The couch also converted into a sofa bed.

LUXURY

Check out the magnificent views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge hiding just behind the hotels on the right.

MERITON, NORTH SYDNEY

This is a nice new hotel that is modern, stylish and situated only a few minute’s walk from North Sydney train station or the Greenwood Shopping Plaza with its high fashion stores and fresh produce.

The rooms are really lovely. It’s a combined living, kitchen, and dining room set-up where you can experience a cracking view of Sydney harbour from the balcony. I stayed on one of the top floors, so try and request one of these when booking if you can. There’s no bath, but there’s a good shower, as well as a small laundry area just off the kitchen.

My hotel room with kitchen at the Meriton

The staff is a bit of a mixed bag. Sometimes they were cold or uninviting and others very cheery and helpful. There is no room service, but there are plenty of great restaurants and bars around here.

To get into the city, simply catch the train, which will take you around 5-7 minutes. You can even get a little trip across the Harbour Bridge each time you go. The trains have two levels, so make sure to sit in the top carriage on the left on the way there and top right when you are on the way back as this will give you the best views of the Opera House.

STAR CITY CASINO, DARLING HARBOUR

The lovely pool area cabana’s at Star City

Myself and my husband stayed here for a couple of nights one wintery weekend in Sydney. Its located on Darling Harbour, the place you go to have fun, so naturally, it makes sense having a casino here. It was great walking out of our hotel being so close to all of the attractions this area offers.

The hotel is very fancy and the public areas are decorated lavishly. There is even valet parking, which will make you feel like a million bucks when you hand over the keys to your beat-up Toyota. We were in the Sapphire Suite, a lovely double story two-bedroom and two-bathroom apartment with a fantastic city view. We loved it so much and are hoping to go back one day. The pool area is really lux, with an elegant bridge that you can strut over if you want to be the center of attention and also has great city views. Though as the weather was shocking, I never got the chance to have a dip.

Our 2-story apartment

It would have been so rude not to try our luck at the poker tables in the Casino while we were here. They were so much fun! I used to think that the house always wins and games like this are a waste of time, but we actually walked away a few hundred dollars richer. We even got lucky on the pokies (Australian slang for Poker Machines). Though, I have to admit, not having the hassle of getting a taxi home and instead just rolling upstairs after you decide to call it a night was way more fun.

When we got up to our suite on the final night, my husband decided to order some room service. So what do you order when staying in a beautiful 5-star hotel? Caviar? Nope. Oysters? Nope. Burger and fries! God love him. Guess how much this meal costs? $20:00? Guess again. $30:00? Nope. Wait for it… $45:00 for a burger and fries! You could have knocked me down with a feather. It was good, but not $45:00 good.

The incredible views from our balcony suite

Thanks for reading my post on places I have stayed in Sydney. This is one of my favourite cities in the world and I know I will be able to add to this list over time, as I know I’ll definitely be back, as I still have so much to see! Regardless of your budget you will find something in your price range, but the best advice I can give is to shop around, and book early!

Are you planning Are you planning on visiting Sydney in the future? Where have you stayed while here? Let me know in the comments section below.

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