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FS Vs Shangri-La Vs Marriott Vs Intercontinental

Singapore, Singapore
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FS Vs Shangri-La Vs Marriott Vs Intercontinental

Considering they are all within my price range and on the location I find most suitable for me, which would you pick for a 4-night stay in December? I'd prefer to have the one with the most recently renovated (or still in good shape) rooms. In Four Seasons, Shangri-La and Marriott I could go for a room with an harbour view, whereas at Intercon I would have to settle for City view.

So whats your opinion? Thanks!

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: FS Vs Shangri-La Vs Marriott Vs Intercontinental

My choice would be the FS - harbour view room or the Shangri -La.

Melbourne, Australia
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2. Re: FS Vs Shangri-La Vs Marriott Vs Intercontinental

It depends on what you mean by 'recent', as none have gone through recent renovations.

If harbour views are your main priority, then you can immediately rule out Sydney Harbour Marriott. The design of the building is triangular, and rather than giving one side a 'full view', they opted to face the point of the building towards the harbour, to give two sides partial views. So it's not that great. Since the brand change from the Renaissance to Marriott, it has dropped slightly in standard.

The remaining three are all strong hotels, but the Four Seasons has fallen slightly behind. The Four Seasons in Sydney is the 'odd sister' of the entire Four Seasons group worldwide. It's almost double the size of your typical Four Seasons, which has resulted in smaller rooms than almost all the Four Seasons anywhere else. It has also changed operating styles numerous times due to change of ownership. It is the first and only five star hotel in Sydney, where the housekeeping and signature restaurant has been outsourced. The industry rumour is that Four Seasons may do something very recent, and drop the hotel from its portfolio.

That leaves two - Shangri-La and the InterContinental. And they are distinctly different. The best way to describe the difference is Shangri-La is modern Asian, lots of light coloured wood, glass, bright and pastel colours. The InterContinental is modern European, with dark wood, glass, warm with rich colours. They represent their company country of origin in style.

The Shangri-La is has the best located hotel bar in Sydney, and the InterContinental has the best Executive Club Lounge in the world. The Shangri-La as a hotel, has one of the strongest international team of chefs in Australia, InterContinental does not. Shangri-La is located in slightly awkward location to walk to the harbour, but the InterContinental is only minutes from the harbour. InterContinental is preferred by celebrities and heads of state, Shangri-La is more popular with groups and transient leisure. InterContinental has impressive architecture and is historical, the Shangri-La is not.

After all that -

If you're the type to enjoy being in the hotel for lengthy periods admiring the views and food, choose the Shangri-La.

If you're going to be out frequently and simply enjoy the views at a glance when you're in your room, choose the InterContinental.

I think without the Harbour views at the InterContinental, your choice is pretty simple.

Edited: 17 November 2013, 07:09
Sydney, Australia
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3. Re: FS Vs Shangri-La Vs Marriott Vs Intercontinental

Is your priority room or view? If it's view you can rule out the Inter straight away. Then you need to establish what kind of view the other 3 are offering for the rate. Some of the rooms at the Shang for example have city/Darling Harbour view rooms which you don't want, others have Opera House but not Bridge, the best ones have Bridge & Opera House.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: FS Vs Shangri-La Vs Marriott Vs Intercontinental

I think Mia summed it up best.

Singapore, Singapore
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5. Re: FS Vs Shangri-La Vs Marriott Vs Intercontinental

This would be us: "If you're going to be out frequently and simply enjoy the views at a glance when you're in your room..."

View is a plus, not a necessity. I wouldn't compromise on a lower quality room/hotel because only the view was better. But I do not know how bad the city views are from the Intercon, and this is probably the reason why I haven't book it yet. Can I consider the quality of the rooms in Shangri-la and Intercon to be compatible (apart from taste of decor/views...)?

Also I'd like to get out and be able to walk from the hotel to places, be close to cafes, transport etc. I wonder if Shangri-la is indeed too detached in this sense? I ruled out Langham, which I am a usual patron and is the one that I booked in MEL for the same trip, because it seems I would have to put up with lenghty and meaningless walks to get anywhere.

Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: FS Vs Shangri-La Vs Marriott Vs Intercontinental

The Langham in Melbourne and Sydney is like two seperate universes. They are literally pes apart. Well recently anyways. Once upon a time, the Sydney property was part of the famed Oriental Express Group and was arguable considered one of the most exclusive properties. And again, multiple ownership changes, drop in standards thanks to appointing a very inexperienced and dare I say a "cheap" GM, and soon after, they were dumped by Orient Express and the standards began to drop. It still is a very nice 5 Star, but nothing like it once was.

The city views at the InterContinental is still quite pleasant. It can be towards the city skyline or over the Botanical Gardens. If the rate is significantly different to that of the Harbour view at the Shangri-La, it's still would be a 'value for money' choice. Better yet, if a City View room wa available with Executive Club access, and within reasonable price comparison to the Shangri-La with Harbour views, I would definitely take the InterContinental. The Executuve Club isn't just the best in Sydney, it was voted the best in the world, three consecutive years by both American Express and Conde Naste.

If having Executive Club access isn't at all a factor and the prices similar, then Harbour view at the Shangri-La is probably the better value.

In regards to location, it's high up from Circular Quay, level with the expressway coming off the bridge. It's just under ten minute walk to the transport hub of Wynyard as its level walk, BUT, the walk down to the Harbour involves a steep three blocks - and I mean very steep. Ok walking down, but walking up for four days is horrible, especially in hot weather. The upside to the Shangri-La is that facing the Harbour, it has the forward most position beside the end of the Harbour Bridge, so their views are uninterrupted. And as mentioned earlier, their bar is amazing - if you're inclined for evening drinks. But that would be offset comfortably if you had Exec Club access at the InterContinental, as it is rooftop with 360 degree views - with a wrap around balcony. The InterContinental is also less than five minutes from Circular Quay and within much closer proximity to restaurants and cafe precinct along Opera House and ECQ.

Whichever way you decide, be sure to contact the hotels directly, to see if they have a 3 Night Minimum Stay rate - which should be about 5-10% off advertised rates. You can also check www.Booking.com and www.Wotif.com which also advertised minimum stay rates.

Hard decision, so if you have more specific questions, now is the time to ask.

Singapore, Singapore
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7. Re: FS Vs Shangri-La Vs Marriott Vs Intercontinental

Hi KVE, really thank you and the others for the advice. Based on your inputs I finally decided for the Intercon. Unfortunately they did not have a different rate than the one obtained online for the duration of my stay, but anyway I trust it will be money well spent. Keep you guys posted about my experience and hope to be able to help others in doubt in the future!

Thanks again guys!

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: FS Vs Shangri-La Vs Marriott Vs Intercontinental

In the event that you couldn't get a Club room, speak to a duty manager and tell them you're considering an upgrade, and that you wish to see the executive club lounge. The ideal time would be on a quiet evening. No guarantees, but if it's quiet, they will take you up to have a look.

9. Re: FS Vs Shangri-La Vs Marriott Vs Intercontinental

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