Hotel/Tours Sydney???

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#1
Deep South Texas
513 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Help!!! We are coming into Sydney 3 days before Sapphire leaves on Dec. 23rd. I'm trying to find a hotel with a fab view of the ship arriving. Is Shangri-la the best? 4 Seasons? Hyatt?
When the hotel says "Opera View," is this what I need, or is it "Harbour View"?
Also, there are a plethora of tour operators on the web. Can anyone recommend a great tour operator for 4 people to the Blue Mountains?
Thanks for any info!
Barbara
#2
London
22,671 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
I've never stayed in any of these hotels, so this is from general knowledge of where they are.

First, you have to picture Circular Quay. The following is a bit of a simplification, but it may help. "Circular Quay" is a rectangular bay off the main channel of the harbour (technically I think the bay's called Farm Cove but I'd have to check that). On the point at the tip of its eastern side is the Opera House. The Harbour Bridge is over the tip of the western side of this bay. The ferries dock at the bottom (south) end of the bay.

The Sapphire Princess will almost certainly dock at the International Passenger Terminal at Circular Quay, because she's too tall to pass under the bridge to get to the other cruise ship docks. The IPT is on the west side of the quay, about halfway down the bay.

The Shangri-La (ex-ANA Hotel) is to the west of the ferries and south of the bridge. The rooms that face north towards the bridge ought, I would have thought, to give a reasonably good view of the Opera House and Circular Quay, and you should be able to see the ship docked at the IPT. Therefore, they should give a view of the ship coming in.

The Four Seasons (ex-Regent) is basically between the Shangri-La and the ferries (although a bit of a simplification again). I have been inside a room there that faced the Opera House, and although the view is from the same general angle, the window was narrow and the view was not good. However, I don't know how much better the views are from the Shangri-La.

The Park Hyatt (if that is the one you're thinking of) is on the west side of Circular Quay, almost under the start of the bridge. It is therefore north of the IPT. The ship will therefore basically sail past the Park Hyatt just before it ties up. However, the hotel is in a curved shape, and many of the rooms face south and have a view of the IPT and the city behind Circular Quay, but would not have a good view of the ship sailing up the harbour. There are other rooms that are in the part of the hotel that faces more east towards the Opera House, and you'd be able to get a better view of the ship coming up the harbour. However, my gut feeling is that as the hotel is low rise, the view of much of the eastern part of harbour is actually blocked by the bulk of the Opera House, so you wouldn't see the ship until she was about to turn into the Circular Quay.

Which of these hotels have "harbour view" rooms and which have "opera view" rooms?
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#3
Deep South Texas
513 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
Thanks for the detailed response, Globelizer! The Shangri-la describes both Harbour View and Opera View, as does the Four Seasons. Does that help you to help me better? On the Shangri-la website there is a picture of a couple in a windowseat overlooking the Opera House and a cruise ship. But I was worried whether this was a deceptive ad... :-(
Barbara
#4
London
22,671 Posts
Joined Feb 2004
I doubt it's deceptive, as one of my favourite bars in Sydney is the one at the top of the Shangri-La and definitely has those views - the restaurant that shares the same floor has even better views. The bar used to be called Horizons when the hotel was the ANA, so I don't know what it's going to be called when they've finished refurbishing it. The hotel's own name change took place earlier this year and the bar was shut when I was last there in August. It had better be open again in December because I'm playing tour guide to a Sydney neophyte.

I think you'll have to ask the hotels what they mean by harbour view and opera view. The Shangri-La may have rooms that look west over Darling Harbour instead of east/north over Farm Cove - if so those might be their "harbour view" rooms but they wouldn't meet your requirements. I can't even imagine how the Four Seasons would differentiate between them - again, you'll have to ask the hotel.

One of CC's Sydneysiders may know more, though, if they drop in to this thread.
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#5
Brisbane Australia
123 Posts
Joined Apr 2004
I think you would be much safer asking the hotels directly as different rooms in the one hotel can have different views due to different angles or obstruction from other buildings (bear in mind you will probably see the best view available on any advertising). So to be sure I would suggest you give them a quick call or email. Have a great holiday.
#6
Trinity Beach, Tropical North Queensland, Australia
299 Posts
Joined Aug 2002
As I was crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge this morning, I took particular notice of the position of windows at both the 4 Seasons and the Shangri-La.

I agree with Globaliser. It would seem Shangri-La would be the best, if you want to be looking straight at your ship. While 4 Seasons is also very close, most of the rooms seemed to be on either side - i.e. looking across to the east (Opera House) and west (Darling Harbour) of Circular Quay. All you would see from the Park Hyatt (lovely hotel that it is) is the 'back end' (if you will pardon the expression) of Sapphire Princess.

As others have suggested, perhaps an email to the hotels would clarify 'harbour view' as opposed to 'absolute harbour/ship view'

Hope this helps.
Enjoy your cruise!
#7
Deep South Texas
513 Posts
Joined Aug 2000
You Aussies are sooooo cool! Thanks for the info on the Shangri-la!
Now, how about the Quay Grand Suites? Comments?
Also, any ideas on day tours of Sydney? I hear an evening dinner cruise is a must... any ideas on which cruise company has the best food and sightseeing?
Thanks again and again!
Barbara
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#8
Sydney, Australia
230 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
Hi BZV143,

I've managed to find a picture that may be useful to you....if you go to :

http://www.luxurydownunder.com.au/lu...otel_ID=SYDLSN

The building marked with the arrow is the Shangri-La hotel, and it shows a ship docked at Circular Quay. This should give you a good idea of the kind of view you could get.

Also, if you go to :
http://www.shangri-la.com/eng/hotel/index.asp

Select Australia, then the Sydney hotel, the first picture on the page gives you a view out of the hotel over Circular Quay, and if you look carefully, you will see there seems to be a cruise ship docked in the International Passenger Terminal. Its quite hard to make out as the photo is supposed to be of the interior, but you can see it.

I agree with the others, this is probably as good a view as you will get of the ship arriving.

I'll actually be on the ship as it arrives, keep an eye out for me waving ;-)
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Jim & Louise
#9
New York City
9,512 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
BZV143,

I've stayed at the 4 Seasons 4 times, 3 times when it was the Regent and as recently this past January as the 4 Seasons. It's my favorite hotel in Sydney. I like the rooms, the location, the service AND the view of the Opera House is awesome! Some rooms are views of the Harbour Bridge only. It's lovely, but don't miss out on a view of the Opera House.

The Shangri-La supposedly has even better views, I don't know. What I do know is that when it was the ANA, they had a reputation for just awful service. I'd go to a site like www.tripadvisor.com and see what others have to say about it before booking.

Friends mine stayed at the Marriott a few weeks ago and loved it. They said that they had wonderful views of the Opera House from their room.

I don't understand how a "harbour view" could not include the Opera House though - unless like someone else said, it's a view of Darling Harbour and not of Circular Quay.

Re: Day Tours. Unless you're handicapped and have a hard time getting around, there's really no need to take a tour of Sydney. Buy a book with all the sights to see ( or download from the internet) and then take some taxi's and/or buses. Walk down to the Quay and take one of boat tours - plenty of signs, you can't miss them. Sydney's not a city you need a guide for. If you have time to spend a day visiting the Blue Mountains, you can arrange for a day tour through your hotel concierge.

Hope this helps.
#10
2 Posts
Joined Mar 2004
We are on the Dec.23, Sapphire Princess as well. Do you know others as well? Can we get a cruise critic group together for a meet and greet? We are staying at the 4 season, but did not know which view is better. What have you decided to do for shore excursion in the ports? We prefer to book on not on ther ship.
Joyce
#11
New York City
9,512 Posts
Joined Sep 2001
Joyce,

I'm not on your cruise, but thought I might suggest a place for a "meet and greet" for your group.

If you want a good meal, try RockPools. If you want a more casual Pub (beer and burger) type place, try Phillip's Foote. Both these places are just a couple of blocks from your hotel as you walk towards the water.

Jane
#12
Melbourne, Australia
1,198 Posts
Joined Jul 2004
Jane knows her food! Rockpool is one of the best, and most expensive, restaurants in Australia. The website at www.rockpool.com.au It will make any seafood lover's mouth water. Its only open for dinner, not lunch, 6 nights a week and reservations well in advance are needed. If you check out the menu note that an "entree" in Australia means a starter not a main course.
#13
Australia
520 Posts
Joined May 2003
braunsearch

We have a roll call going for the Sapphire 23 December cruise if you would like to read/participate you would be more than welcome. Here is the link. There is lots of info about tours, both ship sponsored and private. We are tossing around time/place for a meet and mingle get together so come and add your two cents worth!

Cheers,
Kim