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“a shining example in Sydney”
Review of The Darling

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The Darling
Ranked #8 of 181 Hotels in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 9 April 2013

Overnight in a jewel spa suite for a honeymoon. Live locally. Beautifully appointed rooms, modern, clean and spacious. Lobby atmospheric, dark, seductive, but seemingly always empty. Doormen friendly but on occasion aloof.

Curtains automatically open on entry to the room and lights automatically adjust to time of day - a surprising welcome. Views of the city skyline and bridge absolutely stunning during day and night. Complimentary Nespresso pods, and premium teabag tea a nice start or end to a day, and living area with large sofa perfect for entertaining a couple of visitors.

King bed supportive but soft, with large LCD TV. Light controls somewhat difficult to reach without getting up. In-room jacuzzi clean and in full working order - withviews out of the bedroom window towards the bridge. Large separate shower fitted with both rainfall and wand heads, and although adjustment of heat was available, no adjustment of flow. Separate toilet with closing door for some much-needed privacy. Separate "couples" sinks a cute touch. Walk-in wardrobe perfectly sized for a few night's stay.

Certainly an impressive hotel close to the Harbour, and a short bus trip into the CBD. New dining options within the complex itself all quality, with the upmarket "food court" in the Star just a stone's throw away.

Downsides were dubious stain on one of the cushions used on the bed, and the pressure-sensor minibar (although we were told as long as we informed staff about any items taken out at the time but not used they would not charge, so we could store our own items, it seemed like too much of a hassle).

Comfortable, stylish, clean and modern. Single night extremely affordable for luxury at a discounted price, particularly in Sydney. We never wanted to leave!

Room Tip: spa suites on deals no more expensive than standard suites
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  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank DrBK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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715 - 721 of 930 reviews

Reviewed 9 April 2013

I was fortunate enough to share my Bucks show with a few of my close friends in a Darling Adored Suite. From the moment you arrive you know you are staying somewhere special. The infused air conditioner makes the entire hotel smell amazing and the bar (Later found out to be Sokyo) on the lobby floor entices you with an amazing collection of spirits and cocktails. On entry to the room, the TV was a pure highlight as we settled in with a few beers and watched footy on the big screen.

The suites have wet bars that come in handy for mixing your beverages and the room was spacious enough for a couple of big lads to sit around comfortably and enjoy the footy. The view was excellent from the 10th floor, streaming across the harbour and the city lights at night.

The master bedroom was super comfy with a walk in shower and to our amazement a huge walk in wardrobe that could sleep two... Not that the bath seen much use on our visit, it looks extremely comfortable and certainly large enough for a romantic night with your partner.

In the morning as the sun comes up over Sydney, use the electronic blinds to close the blinds if you need the extra sleep and definitely have a look at the room service menu... It was amazing to order such quality food pretty late after arriving home.

Additional stay features:
1: Sokyo is a must for a beverage and you don't like crowds and enjoy a sophisticated beverage served by barmen that know their stuff.
2: The pool is very private within the hotel and has an extensive bar.
3: The spa is amazing (We did not use it on this trip but my fiance has used it more than once and raves about it)
4: Coles is 20 meters away so it is easy to get supplies and it also houses a bottle shop
5: It is so close to the city and Darling Harbour

The only thing to watch out for.... Be careful of the synced minibar!! Pull it out for more than 20 seconds and you will pay for it so don't replace the fridge with your own drinks. Use the sink in the wet bar to fill it with ice.. Worked for our Epic Buckshow.

Overall a great place to spend a one off or a special night with your partner or the boys!

Room Tip: Get a suite, worth the price hike for the extra room and ask for a room with North or East Views.
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  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank Ryan M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 April 2013

Stylish and elegant, clean and quiet,spacious and comfortable, and very expensive if you go there on the wrong day. The wifi should be included Asti is in some other hotels nearby. The cost is a shock. The designers have shown us how clever they are, but at times glitz and design wins out over functionality. If you are there for only one night you wil spend all your time learning th work the lights.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Adam157
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2013

This review is for three nights in a Jewel Spa Suite September 2012. Other reviews which seem to be a little more negative seem to be for the standard rooms which is good to keep in mind so you know what you are getting. I find it quite difficult to find western hotels that I am happy with, I can be quite fussy and need to feel like I am getting what I pay for. In sydney there were a lot of unrenovated older hotels still charging a fortune, and anything that seemed nice enough cost ludicrous amounts of money so although the Darling is expensive it seemed to tick my boxes for luxury, modern, clean and convenient. I couldn't have been more happier with my choice. The hotel lobby is very 'hip' and has a wonderful fragrance to it as soon as you enter. Service was excellent, although we did not need to deal with them that much over our stay. Our room was lovely - lounge area, super comfortable bed, his and hers bathroom with spa, walk in wardrobe etc. Lighting in the bathroom was a little too low to apply makeup well, the fridge/bar area operates on a sensor system so if you move anything you pay for it (I think you can request them to empty the fridge if you want to store your own things in there). They have a Nespresso machine in room. The rooms operate via the television remote (lighting etc) which we had no problem with. There was a television in the lounge and the bedroom which made it easier to operate things. Rooms were stocked with very good quality sheets, pillows, towels - the bed was very comfortable! Bathroom amenities were also very good quality - Molton Brown toiletries which they were very generous with. Turndown service was also great - each night a spray of fragrance, complimentary water, bed mats, slippers and a tray on the bed with the next days weather forecast and a little treat (one night loccitane lip balm, one night koko black chocolates!). We were staying in Sydney for my partners birthday and I found it easy to use the Darling as a base - Sokyo downstairs is a great japanese restaurant, and the bar downstairs is also lovely and very convenient. There is a Zumbo nearby which made getting a birthday cake extremely easy, and if it is your thing - the hotel is situated in/next to the Star Casino complex. Getting around the rest of the city from this location is also easy - the city is a short walk across the Pyrmont Bridge and there are ferry stops on Pyrmont Bay or King St Wharf for other destinations such as the Rocks. We also frequented the Darling Spa during our stay and it is a beautiful, dark, intimate Spa. I had a massage and afterwards they gave us complimentary time in the Hamam room - overall a great experience. One thing I should point out is that for my spa visit I booked through a promotion - and when I went to pay I had to remind them of this as they were about to charge me the full amount. Also for my room I booked at an advanced booking rate and was charged the full room amount. Once I realised I raised this with the hotel via email and they immediately put the difference back onto my card. Perhaps be a little vigilant with getting the correct rates & checking bills etc. Other than that our entire stay was absolutely wonderful!

Room Tip: The Jewel Spa Suite is fantastic.
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  • Stayed: September 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank Wanno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 April 2013

Stayed in a suite at the Darling for a very affordable price. The room was perfect and clean. Very big in size with excellent service. The joining bathroom was very big in space. Overall it was a very good experience staying at the Darling. Everything that you need is at your feet.

  • Stayed: April 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank jabbaheat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2013

The hotel claims to have rooms at Sydney's most lovingly detailed hotel and on its website advises that it has been named one of the top 60 best new hotels in the world by Condé Nast Traveller. I question this, given that I have stayed in 3.5, and 4 star properties that were more customer focused, making you feel pampered, and had more comfortable rooms.

The rooms are large, but lack any real customer amenity such as comfortable seating or an intuitive lighting system. The decor is confused. We had what appeared to be a giant 1980s bridal photo on one wall and indigenous inspired imagery on another wall. Nothing blended in the room.

The LED tiny blue lights on the in-room central control panels throughout the room do not fade out. They remain on and glow at you whilst you are trying to sleep. In addition to this, the red LED sensors in the ceilings switch on if you move. Not the best contribution to a restful nights sleep.

They have installed a central control system where you can't simply turn on/off one light, but have to define a period as being day, evening or night. You cannot turn a single light on. There is no door to separate the bathroom from the sleeping area so if your partner wants to use the bathroom during the night they have to stumble around in the dark or turn on a series of lights, thus waking their partner up.

There is no physical (hard copy) in-room guide. You have to use the tv and search through a multi-menued system, which hasn't been configured correctly so when you select for example 'fitness facility/gym' the system goes to housekeeping or freezes and you have to turn the tv off and start again.

Given that the avg. nightly rate is comparable to luxury hotels such as The Langham, you would expect similar guest offerings such as complimentary bottled water, complimentary newspaper, additional toiletries etc. This was not the case.

During our stay I asked the reception staff for directions to a hotel facility, was given the wrong advice and when I went back to reception to let them know that the directions I had been given were wrong I was informed that the gentlemen at reception who gave me the wrong advice should have known the correct information. I did not receive an apology.

Overall, a very disappointing experience. I would suggest that if you are wanting a memorable experience in a hotel where you feel that you are getting value for money for the considerable nightly rate that is charged you select one of the many 5 star alternatives in Sydney and you will be thankful for it. The Darling is no darling of mine!

  • Stayed: March 2013, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank Sayonarababy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 March 2013

One of the best hotels we've stayed in. The service was great and the in room dining was fantastic. The room was clean for our two night stay. We had a bit of trouble with the wi fi but we could live with that. The staff were friendly and polite. A very enjoyable stay.

  • Stayed: March 2013
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Thank G M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Darling

Address: Star City Casino Entertainment The Star Sydney 80 Pyrmont St | Pyrmont, Sydney, New South Wales 2009, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney
Amenities:
Casino and Gambling Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Shuttle Bus service Spa Suites Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #8 of 181 Hotels in Sydney
Price Range: £153 - £400 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — The Darling 5*
Number of rooms: 171
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Darling is located at The Star Sydney and is a key feature of Sydney’s leading entertainment destination. The hotel was designed as a stand-alone structure, with its own arrival experience, amenities and alluring personality. Housed in a distinctive inverted glass tower resting on a sandstone podium, the hotel features 171 stylish and spacious rooms, suites and penthouses, a 25-metre outdoor heated swimming pool, world-class cuisine and an indulgent day spa. The Darling is honoured to be the first Sydney hotel to be awarded a prestigious Forbes Five-Star rating. A Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating is the most coveted award in the global luxury travel sector. Properties awarded Five-Stars are considered outstanding and are often iconic with virtually flawless service and facilities. ... more   less 
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