Four Points by Sheraton is a brand of hotels synonymous with quality and comfort and is under the Starwood group of hotels. I had rather high expectations of this hotel since it is located in the bustling city of Sydney right at the doorstep of the CBD area. I must say that I was not disappointed at all, and it was indeed a pleasurable experience at the hotel that I wish to share with readers.
Date of stay: July 2013
161 Sussex St
Sydney NSW 2000
Four Points by Sheraton Sydney is located at the exclusive address of Sussex Street, facing Darling Harbour. Just this alone can guarantee awesome views and a variety of dining options long the Harbour. This is indeed true and just by looking at the map, you will discover a plethora of bars, cafes and restaurants all proximate to the hotel and several which are located along the harbour. Another big selling point of this hotel is its proximity to abounding corporate offices – perfect for business travellers. With 7 corporate offices such as those of IBM, Ernst & Young and Nestle all with 100 meters of the hotel, it is no wonder why Four Points by Sheraton Sydney is such a popular choice for business travellers. Furthermore, the hotel is actually at the doorstep of Sydney’s CBD area, with it being located just 500 meters away! What this means is that most guests with appointments in these offices or in the CBD can look forward to strolling to work daily, thus saving money on transportation. The award winning concierge is also remarkably polite and helpful and the staff take pride in providing accurate travel information. Tourists and businessmen who wish to take a few days off work can also look forward to immersing yourselves in several local attractions which are all easy to access and close by to the hotel. Examples include Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay Wharf, Queen Victoria Building, Sydney Tower, the Maritime Museum and the Museum of Sydney, all of which are within walking distance of the hotel.Â For the more adventurous, hop on the railway train at Town Hall Station, which is just 4 blocks from the hotel and a 10 minute walk away.
However, the location of the hotel does not open up as many shopping opportunities for guests as I would expect. The nearest shopping areas are Pitt Street Mall and Myer, both of which are less than a kilometre away from the hotel. However, shopping fanatics will surely not be satisfied by just these two malls but unfortunately, other malls are just not so close by and more inaccessible. Furthermore although the hotel is just 7.8 km away from the hotel, there a convenient mode of public transport that can bring you there conveniently. Instead, you will have to take a cab or an airport shuttle. My advice would be that if you are on a budget and are travelling alone or as a pair, it would be more worth it to pay AUD16 per person for the airport shuttle rather than send more than AUD50 on a short taxi ride. In the event that you have excess cash or prier the comfort of sitting in a cab, the hotel staff would be happy to assist you in booking a taxi.
Before my stay at the hotel, I read that it had undergone a $15 million refurbishment from April 2012, thus I was expecting high room standards. However, I was disappointed in what I was offered, albeit only to a small extent.
For once, it was obvious that the walls in the room was freshly coated with a neutral colour – a reassuring point that also conceals the hotel’s age. However, upon closer inspection, I noticed some minor stains on the carpeted floor which probably signifies either irresponsible guests or lackadaisical cleaning services. Besides this, I also noticed to my elation that the rom was actually quite spacious for a basic room! As compared to many other hotels I have stayed in, this “Premium city side room” that I was allocated to had a much larger floor space. There was sufficient room to place my large luggage and it definitely did not cause me to feel claustrophobic. From the hotel’s website, I gathered that this basic room could actually be as large a 50 square metres in size! Surely this is one of, if not the most spacious basic rooms that I have seen a hotel offer. Another good point to note is that the hotel is fully smoke free, so you can rest assured that the air in the rooms are clean and fresh.
The neutral colour tones and the wooden and somewhat antique furniture gave the room a rustic feel, albeit still keeping it rather cosy – a must for a hotel of this standard.
One tip however, would be to go for a premium harbour view room, even if it means sacrificing al chances of getting a 50 metre square room because the view from the city side room was anything but spectacular and it was paired with a lonely lounge chair without any coffee table for you to place your drinks and snacks. Darling Harbour is the highlight of the area and the view of the harbour is remarkable regardless of the time and the place you view it from. Thus, getting a room with the harbour view would be well worth it unless the only thing you are planning to do in the room is sleep.
My room came with two single beds and needless to say, guests can expect soft comfortable beds with clean and well-pressed sheets. There were two pillows on each bed of different sizes and softness so guests can choose to use the one they prefer. One thing I liked about the rooms at Four Points Sydney was the fact that they provided a bedside table for each bed – meaning there were 2 bedside tables in my room. With this, there would not be incidences where guests have to cramp all personal belongings such as phones and wallets into just one table.
There were also two bedside lamps (because there were two tables) and I really enjoyed this as the lamps provide ample light should you want to do some night time reading in the comfort of the bed.
For a hotel like this located so close to an abundance of corporate offices and the CBD, you can expect many businessmen as guests and as such, a well-equipped and comfortable work desk is an important necessity. The work desk in the room was nicely crafted out of wood with many drawers of various sizes for storage – a somewhat rare feature nowadays. The swivel chair was also comfortable for short term usage, but it gets more warm and uncomfortable over a long time. Even so, I must say that I felt comfortable working in the room. The size of the table was also rather large and it would definitely be more than sufficient for guests to work with a laptop and papers. Power sockets and ports were also conveniently located at the top portion of the table, making it locatable. However, I was disappointed in the lack of stationery provided as there was only a lone ballpoint pen and a minuscule notepad available on the work desk. As a hotel which attracts countless businessmen annually, I feel that they should provide more working material such as pens, HDMI and VGA cables and ports in order to enhance the experience that these guests have at the hotel.
There were however, several points which pleased me and one of which was this informative guide prodded with complements. The guide offers suggestions on dining, shopping and touring options and I felt that this was something that almost every guest would find useful. Also, as I have aforementioned, many guests would have to do some work in the room and thankfully, there was free wifi in the rooms and also throughout the whole hotel. This definitely makes it easy and convenient Â for one to get some simple work done during the stay there.
The pantry was rather well appointed to my delight. With an acceptable selection of 6 mini bottles of whisky, vodka and a number of packets of nuts, I would say that the room is definitely equipped should a guest decide to throw a small, impromptu party or celebration. Should this be the case, several glasses are also provided for the convenience of guests.
Furthermore, the mini bar opened up to a generous selection of soft drinks, beers, juices and water, and those are surely adequate for anyone. What I liked was that while there was an ample choice of drinks in the refrigerator, it was not overly cramped so guests can still find space should they wish to store any of their own items such as chocolate bars or milk. Many hotels make the mistake of either under-stocking the mini bar or overcrowding it. This is definitely not the case for this hotel and surely those on a long trip and want to store their own food and drinks in the refrigerator will appreciate this arrangement.
However, I have to say that the whole pantry and mini bar was not complete, as it lacked some items, such as instant coffee and tea and a coffee machine – all these which are becoming increasingly common in modern hotels. These additions, might seem minor but they sure can make the lives of busy businessmen more comfortable and convenient as they will have the option of making their own coffee before rushing off for work.
The bathroom was less roomy than I had expected it to be and the general design was slightly old fashioned. Design wise, the combination of boring white tiles and dull marbled sink top set up a rather monotonous ambience in the bathroom which is unlike the modern and luxurious bathrooms of many other hotels. However, the bathroom was clean and well maintained so it was still a joy to use. Nonetheless, I still feel that with a refurbishment, Four Points by Sheraton Sydney could have paid more attention to improving the looks of the bathroom to further enhance the experience for each guest.
All basic amenities were provided as expected, including a hair-dryer. The shampoo, conditioner, bath gel and body lotion are all nicely scented and feature the same packaging as those from other Four Point by Sheraton hotels. A little boring for those who have stayed at one of their hotels before but nevertheless, it is sufficient.
Ladies would also be pleased with the adjustable vanity mirror in the bathroom which I believe provides much aid for putting on make up.
However, due to space constraints, there is no luxury of choice between a shower and bathtub. Instead, these two are combined into one, with the bathroom featuring a bathtub with a shower head attached. This is not uncommon and is indeed versatile as guests can still exercise their preference even without a separate shower area.
However, with a shower curtain that hangs along the outside edge of the bathtub, there is a high tendency for water to splash out of the tub and onto the floor. This is an obvious design flaw that I feel should be corrected as it kind of renders the shower curtain useless and leaves guests with a slippery and unpleasantly wet floor after a shower.
Like it’s other sibling hotels, Four Points by Sheraton Sydney makes a comfortable abode for a short trip. Location wise, it is clearly a more convenient location than for tourists, offering proximity to so many corporate offices and also offering dining and scenic options for a quick getaway. The comfort level and aesthetic appeal of the the hotel are adequate, although those used to luxurious lifestyles and spacious homes will possibly think of this hotel as a different world. Nonetheless, there is definitely value for money, as a most basic room that sleeps two can be priced from as low as AUD195 per night. SPG members can also redeem a room stay for one night with 10,000 Starpoints, though I feel that paying with cash is a better deal. All in all, Four Points by Sheraton Sydney is a reliable hotel and guests can expect guaranteed service an a certain level of quality. It is also rather affordable should you have a mid-leveled budget for a short stay and it comes even more recommended should you have appointments or places around the area you wish to visit.