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Reviews (7,057)
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All reviewshorizon clubopera houseblu bargrand harbourcircular quaytop floorwindow seatrocks arearoom serviceharbour viewturn down serviceclub roombottle of champagnefour seasonscorner roombuffet breakfastfive star hotel
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5,332 - 5,337 of 7,057 reviews
Reviewed 8 May 2012

There’s no doubt that the Shangri-la is one of the best hotels in Sydney, if not the world, with near perfect location and views, spacious and luxurious rooms, and fantastic food. It’s such a shame that some of the staff think they’re so much better than you, and treat you like you’re going to run out on the bill.

We booked a two night stay for the end of our honeymoon, lashing out on a Harbour View Horizon Club room for around $420 a night. We’d had a long, uncomfortable week in Fiji beforehand, and on the day we arrived, we’d spent two hours in the back of a minibus, another two in an airport whose air conditioner had long given up the fight, and four more in a clapped out Pacific Blue 737, so perhaps looked a little worse for wear. The girl behind reception made no secret of her disapproval as she glared down her snout at us with disdain. Handing over a black American Express for the imprint and the Golden Circle membership card did nothing to convince her we belonged, and she even sought fit to remind us that we had a “very good room”, delivered more as a warning not to break anything than sharing in our excitement. Insincerity abounded when she found out it was our honeymoon, forcing a smile and begrudging congratulations.

Leaving Lady Fussington to tend to our bags, we went straight to the Horizon Club. We were once again reminded, or warned, that we had a very good room at the door, but once inside, the torment was over. When I sat down in the comfortable sofa with a plate full of canapés and a stiff drink, I actually said out loud to my wife, “this is what a hotel should be!” We ate a meal’s worth of snacks and drank our own body weight in champagne and rum, as we soaked up the elegant, contemporary elegance of the lounge, overlooking Sydney Harbour. It was just brilliant.

After closing the Horizon Club, we went to our room, and were simply blown away. The room was huge, with a spectacular view over Circular Quay, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House. The furnishings were beautifully luxurious, and the texture of the bedspread alone was phenomenal. The Horizon Club extras included a better spread of cable TV channels, complementary water and higher end toiletries in the enormous bathroom.

We opted for the main restaurant for breakfast, preferring the full range of cooked dishes, rather than the continental upstairs in the Club, and glad we did. One of the best hotel breakfasts we’ve ever had, including truffle or salmon eggs, numerous varieties of sausages and meats, and delicious pastries. And even cereals and fruits for the hippies. The rest of our dining at the hotel was in the Horizon Club, cleaning them out of cakes and savouries at afternoon tea, and another round of delectable canapés at the happy hour. Complements to the chefs!

Following the expense of a wedding and honeymoon, and not yet paying off the credit card, I was concerned that I was approaching my limit. Upon checking the balance on my card, I discovered that the hotel had not only charged the two nights accommodation at check-in, but had also helped themselves to another $400. Never in my life has a hotel actually taken payment at the start of a stay, particularly a 5 star hotel. The consequence of this offensive action was to take me past the limit and max out my card. The perfect timing of a weekend and lack of ATM access to my bank account stranded us, preventing us from taking full advantage of being in Sydney and getting out on the town. When I called the hotel to find out what the hell they thought they were doing, I was summarily dismissed by disinterested staff at reception. I got my card paid in full the next day (because I’m not a deadbeat), and it wasn’t until several days later that someone from accounts called me with a perplexed apology for the inconvenience, but still took another few days to refund the additional $400.

The remaining budget days of our honeymoon were spent wandering around Circular Quay and the Rocks, only 5 minutes walk away, watching the Lifestyle Channel in our room, and taking full advantage of everything complementary in the Horizon Club. It is worth noting, however, that the staff in the Club were absolutely lovely.

You don’t remember what they did, you don’t remember what they said, you only remember how they made you feel. We won’t be back.

Room Tip: Request a Harbour view, and upgrade to the Horizon Club.
  • Stayed: November 2011, travelled as a couple
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3  Thank captain_beetroot
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
AmyBunting, Manager at Shangri-La Hotel Sydney, responded to this reviewResponded 10 May 2012

Dear Captain_beetroot,

Thank you for your review regarding our property Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney and for taking the time to inform us in such detail of your experience. We are pleased to read that you enjoyed our views and rooms and are pleased to pass on your comments regarding breakfast to our Culinary team.

We do however wish to apologise for the attitude you described of our employees and assure you that this is not part of our culture. We would appreciate it if you could return a private message with your reservation name so that we can follow up with the employees concerned.

Finally, the billing concern you mention is called a pre-authorisation and we can assure you that this is common practice amongst hotels. The release of the pre-authorisation is dependant on your financial institution and usually takes between 3-7 working days.

Captain_beetroot, we can well understand you may feel reluctant to stay with us again in the future, however we do hope that you will reconsider and we have the opportunity to welcome you back and provide you with the full Shangri-La experience.

Kind regards,
Amy Bunting
Quality Improvement Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012

After 30 hours en route from the UK we arrived at the Shangri La. Woke up the next morning to the sun rising over the Opera House. Wow!!!! After a road trip we returned to the Shangri La some weeks later and can confirm that the beds are the comfiest in the whole of Oz. The location is great, close to Circular Quay and the Rocks, although the short walk back up the hill to the hotel is a bit of a chore. We ate one night at the restaurant on the 36th Floor - it was the best meal we had in Australia. If we can ever afford to go back to Australia we will definitely revisit the Shangri La.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank StaffordOwl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012

We are a family of six and stayed at the Shangrila   hotel Sydney for 10 days between the 27th of April and 6th of May. During our stay we occupied two rooms.
The accommodation was good and the food at the altitude restuarant the hotels flagship restuarant  was absolutely  amazing. The rooms have great views of Sydney harbour and all in all the facilities are  good. 
We  paid for our accomodation in advance and made  use of the hotels parking facilities to park our vehicle.
However during our stay we were humiliated by the hotel. 
 On returning to the hotel one afternoon my daughters were denied access to their room. There key cards had been deactivated.
The reason being that we had exceeded the amount held by the hotel on my credit card ie restuarant and room service charges.  My daughters could only get access once I had produced my credit card. I produced my credit card and the matter was resolved.

Did the hotel think we were going to abscond without paying,  even though we had a vehicle in the basement had paid in advance and the hotel did have my credit card details! Surely it is illegal to do something like this, how could they lock my daughters out of their room considering that my daughters jewelry, clothing, laptops, video cameras and other valuables in the room they were being locked out of? This is so disgusting.

The staff treated my daughters like criminals. Was this because they were young women. Surely they could have handled the situation better. If my wife and I were not returning until the next day our daughters would have been locked out of their room stuck in a strange city with nowhere to go.

 When I complained to the staff I was told that messages were sent to me explaining the position. I challenged the staff as I check hotel messages every morning and evening and there were none and I was unable to access my bill through any of the hotels communication ports ie TV and phone.

I find this treatment unacceptable. 
This was a deprivation of liberty.
We have stayed in hotels throughout the world and have never been treated in such a disgraceful and  humiliating  manner.

This kind of treatment may in fact,  be acceptable to the hotel. I expressed my dissapointment to the hotel management and they  responded with an apology left on the room telephone.

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled with family
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8  Thank garygarson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012

I stayed at Shangri La in sydney for 2 nights on our wedding night and the night after. Nothing was too hard for the staff and it was a lovely way to end our wedding day! The buffet breakfast is amazing also! We will be back!

  • Stayed: May 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank beccadicko
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 May 2012

What a great hotel! We stayed 2 nights in April and asked for a room with "Grand Harbour View" We certainly got it.The Opera House to the right, the bridge to the left. The room was spacious with two massive double beds. Everything was clean. The breakfast was great-everything you could want. Fair enough, the room with breakfast was not the cheapest-$405 per night, but for a special treat it was excellent. The service was good, from the receptionist to the waiters.Also in excellent posiition for the Rocks and Circular Quay.We could not fault it!

Room Tip: Ask for rooms on higher floors to get the best views.
  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled as a couple
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Thank RafflesManchester
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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