The northern half of the city between Circular Quay/The Rocks and Town Hall station is the nice part of the CBD. Between CQ and Wynyard station is mostly offices and between Wynyard and Town Hall is mostly shopping. The travelodge is a good location although only 3, maybe 3.5 star. The Menzies, located on top of Wynyard station is also a good 4 star bet or if you want 5 star in a good spot at a decent rate, try the Amora on Jamison St.Thank you so much for this info. I have come up with several hotels and now I am concerned about location. Any advice or direction on the following:
I would avoid any hotel and I guess this includes the Metro, that is located between Town Hall station and Central station. This is the rougher southern part of the CBD. The accom is cheaper and it has great little cheap eats, particularly in the Chinatown area, but it can also be the hangout area for the bums and junkies and gets the drunks on Fri/Sat nights.
Certainly, don't try to stay out anywhere near White Bay. It is a reclaimed industrial area and has absolutely nothing worth seeing, doing or staying at.
So anywhere between Park St and the harbour, going south to north, and between Kent St and Macquarie St going west to east would be fine and within 15mins walking distance of anything worth seeing in the city.
The train from the airport is very handy but has one failing. It's part of a through suburban route from East Hills into the city and so you are sharing with other commuters. If your arrival or departure coincides with the morning or evening peak hour rush then the trains will be very full with very little room for luggage. They are not dedicated airport expresses nor specially built airport carriages. A cab from the airport should not cost you more than roughly $60. I got airport to Northern Beaches, ten kms over the Harbour Bridge last week for $81. Tell the driver to head down Southern Cross Drive and he should think you know enough to not go the back way. Most drivers are honest but there's always the odd one. If the meter gets over $70, it's not gridlock and you've not reached the CBD I'd be asking him why.
Cambridge Hotel at 212 Riley Street
Holiday Inn Potts Point at 203 Victoria Street
Meriton Apartments on Pitt St, Kent St or Campell St
1888 Hotel at 139 Murray
Simpsons of Potts Point at 8 Challis Ave
We are totally clueless about the area. Thanks so much.