There are great value hotels in Sydney if you know where to look.
There ought to be a special word for the heady mixture of exhaustion, relief, excitement, and rejuvenation that comes when you finally - finally! - drop your bags in a beautiful hotel room after a long journey. I know I was feeling all four when I crossed the threshold of my room in Sydney's Best Western Hotel Stellar. After a long, hot day in Singapore, a sleepless overnight flight, and a lost taxi driver in Sydney, I would have been happy with a campground or on a friend's couch. Having a clean, soft, comfortable room to call my own was the perfect end to one travel day - or was it the start of another?
My tired body may have been somewhat biased, but I found the king sized bed incredibly comfortable. The mattress and the linens were so soft and cozy and it's no exaggeration to say that I sunk right in! My afternoon nap was a perfectly executed exercise in what you're NOT supposed to do with jet lag but there was no resisting that bed.
Happily refreshed, I was able to take in the other features of the room, like a table with two chairs for dining, a chaise chair, a flat screen TV on a bureau, a work desk, and a large wardrobe. For a city center hotel, it was surprisingly spacious and had tons of storage. You could easily unpack and live out of the room for a week and never feel cramped.
Another reason to stay for a while? The well appointed kitchenette which connected the bedroom and the bathroom. It had a deep sink, a fridge, a microwave, a kettle, a hot sandwich press, a French press (plunger style) coffee maker, and a wide selection of dishes. My only complaint? There was only powdered instant coffee! This soon became an Australian pet peeve of mine, as I encountered high end espresso in the cafes but dull instant coffee in all of my accommodations.
Overall, the room was spotlessly clean, spacious, with terrific amenities. The Wi-Fi was fast and free and, while the hotel lacked a business center, there was a computer in the lobby for guest use.
Our room on the third floor had a wonderful view of the city and adjacent Hyde Park. Despite being next to a major intersection, we didn't hear any significant traffic noise. Thanks to the generous help of Ivan at the front desk, we had directions for a delectable nearby coffee shop we would never have discovered on our own.
Later at night however, we were at a loss to find an open restaurant and the front desk staff were unsure where to direct us. They could only think of one late night chain pizza place (which was closed) and we ended up with a disappointing meal at a fast food joint. I would have hoped a hotel in the centre of a major city like Sydney would have been able to offer more suggestions.
Hotel Stellar offers fantastic value for visitors to Sydney. If you can book a bit in advance, you will find rooms for under $140, which is a great deal for any 4 star hotel but is especially nice in Sydney, where hotel prices can easily be 5 times that high. Considering that hostel dorms in Sydney range from $30-$50 and private hostel rooms range from $80-150, a night at Hotel Stellar is an affordable option for budget travelers looking for a treat and an excellent deal for value minded travelers who want to don't want to give up luxury in search of a deal.
As always, I welcome and encourage your comments. Have you been to Sydney before?
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Our accommodation was sponsored by Best Western, however this did not affect our review.