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Archive for July 1st, 2011

Shangri-La Sydney: amazing view and amazing staff Jul 01

IMG_6086We decided to stay at Shangri-La in Sydney as it looked like it had a good location and as we are Golden Circle Jade members. We took a taxi into the hotel from the airport and in the lobby area there was a long line of people waiting to check in and out. But we asked one of the staff and we were sent to the horizon lounge on level 30 were we got a great welcome by the lovely Emily. There was a line of people waiting there as well but at least there we could sit down after a long flight and relax while waiting for the check in. And what a view there is from the Horizon lounge on the 30th floor! I think this must be one of the best locations and views in Sydney as we had a great view to Sydney Harbor Bridge and the opera house from the lounge. We enjoyed some coffee and juice in the lounge while Emily checked us in and I got room 3417. I booked this online and I had to pay 305 AUD for the room – as we were booking my colleague got the last room on the Horizon level (executive level) but when we checked in I got a complimentary upgrade to Horizon level. It was also possible for me to pay to get access to the horizon lounge but as I where there with a colleague it was sufficient that he had access.

IMG_6088My room was located on the 34th floor and it looked good at first glance. A hallway lead into the room and the bathroom and wardrobe was to the left. The room had a soft and light brownish carpet and the main item in the room was of course the bed with a golden bedspread. There were two chairs with a small table and on one of the walls there was a desk for working and a small desk that contained some fruits that I got and underneath was a small fridge. The wardrobe contained hangers, a safe and a robe.

The bathroom was old school with yellowish tiles and patterns on the floor. But there was both a shower corner and a bathtub and the amenities included shaving kit, toothbrush, emery boards, bath salt etc etc. The shampoo and shower gel was very nice and I enjoyed them during my stay. The best part of the room was maybe the incredible view. Located on the 34th floor I had a view towards the harbor including the opera house and I could see the sun rise every morning – just incredible.

IMG_6089The location of the hotel was pretty good at least for me as I was working in the city center. And from the hotel it is only a couple of minutes walk to “The rocks” area and down to the harbor.  We used the lounge quite a lot as we were working there after the regular work hours. The staff in the lounge on the 30th floor was just great – we experienced service that we normally just experience in Asian countries. A bit thank you to Emily, Jasmine, Jerry, Alexis and so on for being so generous to us. At night there is complimentary drinks and snacks from 6 to 8 and it is always a bit tempting to have some – the stuff they had to eat was quite delicious so be careful to not eat too much if you want to enjoy a dinner later on. They were also very, very generous with the drinks and they had various wines to offer – but a word of advice to the staff: you should be careful calling the Australian sparkling wine for Champagne ;-). We also had breakfast in the lounge and they had a small selection of stuff that you need for breakfast there.

We had to leave the hotel early one morning to fly back home and we left at 5.30 AM. When we came to the lobby they said that we could get the hotel car to take us for 50 AUD in a big BMW X6 – we used this offer as it was the same that we paid the taxi when going from the airport to the hotel.

IMG_6097But there are always some things that can be improved. The lounge is located on the 30th floor and stretches up to 34th floor. I’m not sure if this was the problem but it was more or less always freezing in the lounge and we were sitting around with jackets on. We told the staff several times but as it was central heating there was not much they could do about it. The lifts were also a bit moody – some would read the cards to get to my level and some would not, some would indicate when arriving at a floor and some not. And I did not get the small things that I’m entitled to as a Jade member but it didn’t really matter – I was just happy with the room upgrade. All in all this was a great hotel experience. The rooms might be a bit too old school for me but they seemed to be in good condition. I also enjoyed the view, the complimentary wi-fi in the room and lounge and the incredible staff in the lounge. Travels would be so much fun if all hotels were like this.

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