To sit in my hotel room window, and gaze over the Sydney Harbour – the waters enfolded by the Sydney Harbour Bridge on one side, and the iconic Sydney Opera House on the other – is a memory I won’t forget for a long time.
I mean, this was the view from my bed.
When planning my epic holiday, it just so happened that one of my favourite London buddies, Madam Globetrotter Postcards (a regular guest on this little corner of the internet), was going to be visiting family in in Sydney – we’re so close now, we have a joint railway card, talk about commitment – so we teed-up 48 hours of fun meandering, culminating in sunset cocktails from our hotel bar in the Shangri-la. (The evening before I stayed in the neighbouring Four Seasons, but more on that another time.)
My trip overall (Qatar > Australia > New Zealand > Singapore) was solo in essence, but in reality I had the pleasure of sharing it with some of my favourite people in the world.
Almost perched on the lapping shore of the harbour (ok, two streets away) in Circular Quay, the Shangri-La hotel is perfectly placed for a quick city break, footsteps from the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
The name of the 5-star hotel chain was inspired by the legendary land featured in James Hilton’s 1933 novel, Lost Horizon, and is meant to encapsulate the serenity and service you can find within the walls. Having been in the London and Doha branches just that same week, I was curious to see what the Australian outpost would feature.
Welcomed into the plush foyer with a bottle of water we checked in early, and luckily were able to settle straight into our twin room. It was a comfortable size, laden with everything you need (including a plethora of plug sockets in every nationality you could think of) and had lovely beds that we later sank gratefully into at the end of the long day.
My only tiny complaint (and by this I know I need to check my privilege) is that the room could have been in any city in the world, and missed the personality that we saw throughout the vibrant city.
But, what the hotel lacked in individuality, it made up for in breathtaking harbour views.
We could have spent all day wistfully camped in the leather window seat, ensconced in our soft robes but the lure of exploring called too strongly.
After a photoshoot obviously.
The room style reflected that of the international Shangri-la brand; fairly classic luxury finished with hints of Asian heritage.
The bathroom kit was one of the most thorough we have enjoyed for a long time, and included a selection of L’Occitane bathroom treats that we thoroughly indulged in.
Fast forward a few hours, and we returned to enjoy sunset cocktails from the 36th Floor Blu Bar. This is one of the few hotels that I’ve ever actually made plans to return to within the schedule of our day – it was the perfect memory to end with.
The sky was magical – these photos really don’t do full justice to our harbour vista, but we were both determined to soak in the magic of the witching hour rather than spend it behind a lens.
Returning to our room which had been turned down, we snuggled into our soft doonas (that’s Australian for duvet) and eventually, regretfully, closing the curtains we slipped away to sleep.
That view was ridiculously hard to leave – and harder still when in my morning cab to the airport, my good friend tauntingly messaged me, as she was still snuggled up in our room and taking full advantage of the noon check out.
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