on January 19, 2006
The five-star Softiel is located on Phillip Street in Sydney, just off of Pitt Street, one of the major veins of the city. It’s a five-minute walk to Circular Quay (“key”) where the Opera House sits. I wouldn’t say it’s one of the closest hotels to the harbor, but it’s certainly one of the nicest. The rooms, as in any major city with land availability issues, were small, but not uncomfortably so. My single room had a king bed, and everything was organized so as to be available, but not in the way (such as a TV on a fold-away-into-the-cabinets stand). The bathroom was circular, with an enclosed shower.The bed was soft, and for those allergic to down, there was a non-allergenic pillow in the cupboard. There was also a well-endowed mini bar, but the prices kept me out.I did order room service for dessert/dinner one night, and the service was not only fast, but very luxurious. I was “yes-ma’am-ed” a little too much, I’d say.The rest of the hotel staff was also very accommodating. The concierge will help make a dinner reservation or just be there with an encouraging weather report. (It’ll clear up this afternoon, I’m sure of it!”) They’ll also wave down a cab for you, and open the door to put you inside. They’ll also open the door for you when you return, and make sure you have all your belongings before getting out. As this hotel was booked as a part of my tour package through AATKings, I’m not sure of the specific hotel rate. The room servies was $16 for a slice of chocolate cake and some milk, and internet service was $5 for 15 minutes. The Web site lists their best unrestricted rate as $239 a night for the same stay – a Tuesday check in and a Friday check out. Breakfast is not included (it was for our tour) and comes at an additional $35.The Sofitel Wentworth Sydney was a delightful hotel, though a bit further from the main attractions than I’d like. That said, it would be a great choice for anyone with some good walking shoes or cab money.
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