Sheraton On The Park, Sydney
General Info and Location
The Sheraton On The Park is one of three Starwood Hotels in Sydney. Its location on Elizabeth Street puts you across the street from the city’s Hyde Park and an easy twenty-minute stroll to Circular Quay and its famous harbour. Taking Pitt Street on the way there, you will pass The Westin Sydney, while the Four Points is a bit further west towards Darling Harbour.
The Sheraton is a large hotel with 557 rooms (of which 48 are suites), some of which have fantastic views over the city that stretch all the way east over the water, especially those on the top floors with private terraces.
I recently had my second stay at the hotel, coming back after almost four years. I chose the Sheraton for its location and solid room product (overall, I would rate it above the average Sheraton out there), but particularly for the rate that they were offering during peak (southern hemisphere) summer season.
I paid AUD390 (£200 / €270) a night for an Executive Cityside Room, which gives access to the hotel’s 21st floor Club Lounge with breakfast, free WiFi, drinks, and canapés in the evening. For a similar-sized room (40 sq m / 430 sq ft) with Club Lounge access at other hotels in the central Sydney, I was seeing rates several hundred dollars higher. I knew I was going to arrive at the hotel early in the morning, so even if my room wasn’t going to be available I’d have access to the lounge, and spending extra money on lounge access compared to a park view from my room (which you get from the lounge, with the bonus of outdoor terraces) also made sense.
I walked to the hotel from St James’s station, having taken the train from Sydney Airport. As I predicted, my room wasn’t ready at 7am when I checked in. I was offered an upgrade to a room with a view of the park that was ready for AUD50 (£26 / €35) a day, but I declined. I was given a key to access both the Club Lounge and the spa, where I could freshen up. Having done that, I headed straight to the lounge for breakfast and to do some work, trying to motor through the inevitable fatigue that will hit you after a long-haul flight to Sydney.
Later that morning, my room was ready. Having stayed here before, it was a familiar design, but a few things that I still liked were the overall amount of space (in particular the large bathroom, with a substantial walk-in shower and separate bathtub), and the walk-in wardrobe, which makes it easy to store your suitcase and clothes out of sight.
The décor is vaguely nautical, with a striped headboard with small wood-framed mirror and white shutters instead of curtains. There was a corner sofa, a desk, and an armoir with the minibar and a flatscreen TV. I would say overall it has aged well, and the room was in good condition, but I can see that it won’t be long before it will feel dated.
Eating and Drinking
I spent a significant amount of the four days I was at the Sheraton working, which is where I really appreciated the access to the Club Lounge. It is a large lounge, with plenty of different seating areas either to the left or right as you walk in; the entrance and main buffet / service area are behind the domed window in the middle of the building on the 21st floor. There are a number of small balconies with seating as well, which were a great spot to have lunch or a coffee outside during the warm summer days. I found the overall quality of the food presentations during the day to be good. In the morning, there was both a hot and cold breakfast, with different dishes every day, including poached eggs with salmon on toasted muffins. In the evening, canapés are served between 5pm and 730pm. This consisted of a mix of hot and cold dishes, with good sushi every day I was there, making it a great place to come at the end of the day.
I had dinner in the main restaurant, Feast, one night. While I just sat down for a quick pizza, it was absolutely packed with people there for its seafood buffet, which apparently it is famous for. The buffet looked impressive, but I was too jetlagged to contemplate going for it – the pizza I had was nice if nothing revolutionary.
The Sheraton has the facilities to match its size: in addition to restaurant Feast, there is a bar and an afternoon tea lounge, and the Link@Sheraton lobby concept that comes with this being a Sheraton. On the 22nd floor there is a day spa, fitness centre, and indoor pool. I used the fitness centre, which had a good selection of machines and weights. There are extensive meeting rooms and event facilities as well.
In-room internet is free for SPG members if you’ve booked through a Starwood channel. It also came as a benefit of the Executive Room I had booked. There was a maximum of three devices I could use in the room; getting connected was straightforward using last name and room number. In the Club Lounge, a stack of access codes for its specific network was always available at the reception desk. This worked without problem throughout my stay.
Service and Status Benefits
I thought the staff that worked in the Club Lounge was very good; they addressed guests by name, remembered what kind of drink you like with breakfast, and would work the room to see whether you needed a refill or anything else. I saw a number of them chatting with what clearly were regular guests. Coming back to the familiar faces every morning and afternoon makes for a much more personable environment.
When I checked in, my SPG membership was acknowledged, and I was given a room on an SPG floor, though I don’t have any particular status to speak of.
I was very happy with my stay at the Sheraton On The Park. It’s in a fantastic location for exploring Sydney; you can walk to anywhere in downtown, to Circular Quay, Darling Harbour, or up to Oxford Street in the opposite direction. The underground is across the street if you need it.
For this particular stay, I thought the Club Lounge access was very much worth it, and it definitely added to the overall experience and level of service. Looking at the rate I paid, I thought it was good value for money compared to similar hotels in the city.