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“Great location but tired”

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Holiday Inn Old Sydney
Ranked #43 of 178 Hotels in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersBronze level
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Great location but tired”
Reviewed 16 August 2014

The location is unbeatable with close access to the Rocks, Circular Quay, Harbour Bridge and city. Was allocated a high floor as requested but the "view" was of an ugly back street.
The room looked very tired and is in need of refurbishment. The window frames had peeling paint and parts of the carpet was grubby. The bed definitely needed to be replaced, saggy and uncomfortable.
Breakfast was ok, with a reasonable selection available.
It is marketed by some holiday companies/ suppliers as 4.5* but this is way off track and would be more like a 3* or at best 3.5*. Wouldn't stay again there again unless there had been a major fefurbishment.

  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Traceytravelagent
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this review, 30 August 2014
Dear TBT4128,

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We appreciate your constructive feedback. The hotel is in the process of undertaking several projects. One is the rectification of all heritage listed windows in the hotel including the room in which you stayed in. This will commence in the coming weeks. We have also begun to upgrade our airconditioning and heating systems as well as our lobby and restaurant areas which are ongoing. The first stages have been rolled out which have included new carpet and furniture.

We are also launching a new live cooking station for breakfast within the next 4 weeks which will also enhance our customer experience.

Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
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English first
Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
65 reviews
20 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 15 August 2014

Our family of four stayed at the Holiday Inn Old Sydney The Rocks in July and were very satisfied. The location is nothing short of perfect. The convenience was incredible. Just a five minute walk from the center of activity, Circular Quay, where you can catch ferries, trains, and buses, including a bus to the popular Bondi Beach. It is only a 20 minute walk from the Opera House, the Botanical Gardens, and the Harbour Bridge. During our stay, just a five minute walk away, was a large craft market, where you can buy every souvenir imaginable and a large outdoor food market serving all sorts of hot and cold foods, including our favorite: spinach and cheese gozlemes. I’m not sure if these markets operate all year round. Also within five minutes are a small wine shop, a decent casual dinner place, The Push, and a good breakfast and lunch spot, Pancakes on the Rocks? A word of advice: if you order the prawns at the Push, they will come with their heads still and are extremely small, much to my daughter’s dismay. My wife and I liked the lentils and chickpea dish.

To get to the hotel from the airport, we booked a shuttle at a counter in the airport. It cost $19 for each person, including tax. I’m not sure if this was the best option. My advice is to check the price of a cab versus a shuttle. It may be a better deal.

It is quite a challenge to find a room for four people with a private bathroom in the Rocks section for under $400 per night. I searched week after week until finally about four weeks before our trip, I was able to book this room with two double beds for four people through a third party site for only about $250 per night. And, a full, hot breakfast was included! The only catch was that it was not refundable, but at only one month away from our trip, I was ready to commit.

The hotel itself was very nice. Much better than what I usually think of when I think of this hotel chain. The soaring lobby with rooms overlooking it was beautiful. The rooms were clean, the staff was helpful and friendly, and the hot breakfast was fantastic. The hotel even had a scale to weigh our luggage before our next flight. In our travels we found that very few hotels actually have scales.

One tip is to visit Luna Amusement Park by ferry, after dark if you can. It is near the base of the far end of the Harbour Bridge. We took the ferry to it, but it was unfortunately closed. We were still able to walk through it, though. Had it been open, it looks like it would have been a fun, old fashioned Coney Island type of amusement park. Check the hours before you go. Just seeing the eerie entrance to the park after dark justifies the ferry ride, though, in my opinion.

Another tip: We loved the Opera House Tour and definitely recommend it. However, we booked the Tour and Tasting online, and I don’t know if the Tasting is worth it. It may be better to just book a tour and grab your meal afterwards on your own. I thought it was going to be special food in a private location. However, it was just food from the outdoor restaurant outside the Opera House and you eat with everyone else who is eating at that restaurant. You may want to check on the prices of the Tour and Tasting versus just the Tour and doing the meal on your own.

You will not be disappointed with your stay at the Holiday Inn Old Sydney The Rocks.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank TonesterPA
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this review, 30 August 2014
Dear TonesterPA,

Thank you so much for posting such a comprehensive review of your stay at our hotel and in Sydney. We appreciate the detail which you have shared and we are sure others will too!

Thank you for choosing to stay with us, it certainly sounds as though you had a great vacation in Sydney!

Wishing you safe travels.

Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
202 reviews
58 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 173 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 August 2014

Stayed here for 2 separate nights over a 2 week period. 1st room was on the 8th floor which gave easy access to the rooftop area with it's fabulous views and nice hot tub/spa. No traffic noise. Great location, so handy to get to the CBD, Circular Quay and the Rocks area right at your doorstep. Comfortable beds and on our 2nd stay (room 606) had a great view of the Opera House and a nice ottoman chair to relax in. Staff were very friendly and accommodating with our requests and a credit to this hotel, thank you for looking after us very well and including the lovely breakfast in the dining area the next morning. Even though the hotel is of an old design, it is clean, has everything you really need, and has a very comfortable feel to it and all of the staff we met (from reception & housekeeping and breakfast service) were very friendly and made you feel very welcome. We would be very happy to stay here again and happy to recommend to others.

  • Stayed July 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank jubaanne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this review, 21 August 2014
Dear jubanne,

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We were pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay so much with us. Thank you for your loyalty to the hotel and for your positive review. The photo which you also posted online was great!

We hope to be able to welcome you back to the hotel again soon.

Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney
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Canberra, Australia
Level Contributor
31 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 August 2014

Holiday Inn Old Sydney hotel gets top marks for its location with Circular Quay, Opera House and Harbour bridge just a few hundred metres away, nightlife, cafes, restaurants galore. Everything just a walk away, fantastic!
True to its name though, this hotel is rather old and tired. The reception area needs a facelift, not a good look at all with cupboard doors hanging loose and needing repair.
The staff on the other hand were friendly, cheerful and very professional. We were provided with information on IHG rewards and attended to very politely. Valet service was prompt and efficient. The room was small but clean and the bed was comfortable. I was disappointed though that the shower supplies had not been refreshed. I did not bother to call housekeeping for them as I expect the basic shower supplies to be provided when checking into a new room. I am willing to put side this small inattention in service, hoping they will improve in future. The shower area was small but sufficient and water pressure was good. The spa and swimming pool on the rooftop get top marks too, The real treat being the view of the Harbour bridge, the Opera Hose and the skyscrapers. My husband and I enjoyed the spa which was beautifully hot at a temp of 37deg...beautiful on a winter day. The swimming pool on the other hand did not seem to be heated, maybe they forgot to, I am not sure. The water was freezing cold even at 3pm. We were happy enough to soak in the spa and I returned for another soak the following day. Guests are able to order drinks and enjoy them at the rooftop area next to the pool and spa. The towels provided in the towel room were clean and plenty. The buffet breakfast (included with the room price) was a good spread. The staff at breakfast were polite and friendly. Overall, staff, hotel facililes and location are a true treat. Worth visiting again for a value for money nice Sydney experience.

Room Tip: Ask for rooms with a view of the Harbour bridge
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Mala D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this review, 21 August 2014
Dear Mala D,

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We were pleased to read that you enjoyed your stay at the hotel. Please accept our apologies about your in-room amenities, there is no excuse for this and your feedback has been shared with the Housekeeping Manager to address with the team. The hotels pool is solar heated however due to the very inclement winter weather the temperature has been a little cold. We are addressing this by installing a gas booster heat pump next week which will heat the pool nicely on cold days,

Thank you once again for all of your feedback and we hope to be able to welcome you again from Canberra in the near future.

Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney
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Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
79 reviews
25 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 60 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2014

We stayed here a few years back. We wanted to get somewhere close to main sites. And gee were we impressed! The Rocks, Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour Bridge all in a stones throw.
But the best part that we didn't know about when booking was the roof top area. There is a pool and numerous deck chairs. But the view is so so impressive! You can almost reach out and touch the Sydney Harbour Bridge! And the view of the Opera House, Circular Quay and the Harbour is great. A great place to have a wine and chill out...
The room was very good decor wise and a comfy mattress which is what you want after a full day of walking the sites.
For Sydney the price was quite reasonable too.
When we go back to Sydney, this is the only hotel we will try to get back into.
Great...

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Location
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Gary J
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this review, 20 August 2014
Dear Gary J,

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We greatly appreciate your positive review and were pleased to read that you found our best kept secret- the rooftop!

We look forward to welcoming you back to the hotel when you visit Sydney next.

Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Adelaide, Australia
Level Contributor
134 reviews
34 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2014

Stayed here with my husband and a friend. They were more than happy to get a fold out bed for our friend, which hands great mattress that was just as comfy as the big bed. Great location so close to the bridge,cruise terminal and just a short walk to circular quay. We had a lovely room, it was quiet and clean. The roof pool was freezing but I have read about them getting solar heating for it? Staying here again September 2014 for a night before our cruise.

  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Rhi C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this review, 20 August 2014
Dear Rhi C,

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We were delighted that you enjoyed your stay with us and that we could assist you with the extra bedding for your friend. Yes the pool heating booster system will be in place by next week and should assist the solar panels during our inclement winter days!.

We look forward to welcoming you back prior to your cruise in September. Thank you for your loyalty.

Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney
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Cork, Ireland
Level Contributor
106 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 50 helpful votes
Reviewed 7 August 2014

After staying a few nights at the quirky Russell up the road ( I was on my own ) I caught up with the family and we spend 2 nights at the Holiday Inn at the Rocks. This was a perfect choice for a family 2 + 2 ideally located almost under the Harbor bridge and a short walk to Circular Quay. The rooftop pool was used by my 2 fish kids despite it being a numbing 12 degrees! With great views out over the city it was all part of the fun.....Would go back there if I ever got a chance to return to Sydney.

Room Tip: We had a room over Georges Street with a view of the Harbor Bridge.
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  • Stayed August 2014, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank mark g
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
HMHIOldSydney, Hotel Manager at Holiday Inn Old Sydney, responded to this review, 8 August 2014
Dear mark g,

Thank you for taking the time to review our hotel. We were delighted that you and your family enjoyed your stay with us. I am pleased to let you know that next week we will be installing a heating booster to our solar panels which heat our pool. This should make winter swimming on our rooftop a little more pleasant.

Thank you choosing to stay with us,

Kind regards,

Rob & Team Holiday Inn Old Sydney
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Holiday Inn Old Sydney

Property: Holiday Inn Old Sydney
Address: 55 George St, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney > The Rocks
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Business Centre with Internet Access Fitness Centre with Gym / Workout Room Restaurant Room Service Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#5 Green Hotel in Sydney
#41 Luxury Hotel in Sydney
#43 Family Hotel in Sydney
#47 Romantic Hotel in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Holiday Inn Old Sydney 4*
Number of rooms: 176
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Heritage Listed Holiday Inn Old Sydney is one of Sydney's little secrets,uniquely positioned between the Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House within the iconic area of The Rocks. Holiday Inn Old Sydney is the closest hotel to the Overseas Passenger Terminal providing a hassle free accommodation option pre and post cruise. The hotel is closely situated to the Circular Quay Ferry and Railway stations also providing easy access to Sydney Airport via the Airtrain. Each of our 176 guestrooms come equipped with a choice of soft & firm pillows, flatscreen TV's, high speed internet access. Enjoy spectacular views to Sydney Harbour or an outlook onto the historic Rocks from the comfort of your room. Stroll down the harbour-side promenade past the museum of Contemporary Art, to lively Circular Quay and experience an excellent selection of restaurants and bars. Here you can catch a ferry to Manly Beach, Watsons Bay, Taronga Zoo or enjoy a fabulous harbour cruise. Holiday Inn Old Sydney is only moments from the majority of Sydney's best attractions and a variety of great shopping options, including the Rocks Markets, Queen Victoria Building, Pitt Street Mall and Oxford Street. Experience spectacular views of Sydney Harbour, the famous Harbour Bridge and the world-acclaimed Opera House from the famous Holiday Inn Old Sydney rooftop, equipped with heated outdoor pool and spa. Holiday Inn Old Sydney also offers a complimentary business centre with computer and internet access to keep you connected whilst away from home. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Holiday Inn Old Sydney Hotel Sydney
Old Sydney Holiday Inn
Holiday Inn Sydney
Sydney Holiday Inn

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