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Reviews (7,062)
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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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Reviewed 29 October 2012

This has been the third booking I have made with the Shangri-La and I was saddened how disappointing it was.
I had booked this hotel for a very special evening so did so through the American Express Platinum service for the "extras" afforded to what they report as their premium customers.
Extra's include early check in, upgrade "if available" on arrival, fruit platter and other amenities in the room as well as $100 discount on food and drink from the bill.
Of all my stays that the Shangri-La I have never been afforded the upgrade service.

I was checked in by the American Express concierge. She was polite and welcoming. She advised me that unfortunately there was no room upgrades available however she had been able to secure me a "nice" room. I did explain that this booking was for a particularly special evening however she said "there was nothing she could do". For the price that I was charged I was somewhat disappointed. I requested for ice to be delivered to my room as I needed to keep some items chilled for the evening.

Upon arrival to my room it was rather plain with no fruit platter or any of the amenities that were discussed at check in. The ice had not been delivered despite the person who checked me in requesting it happen straight away.

Having shopping to prepare for the evening I headed out and stopped by the Shangri-La lounge for some lunch as they were serving afternoon tea.

Afternoon tea was rather plain with a small selection of cakes, tea, coffee and softdrink. No savoury choices available I requested a club sandwich off the room service menu to be delivered to the lounge.
Forty minutes later the sandwich arrived. A nice but not spectacular club sandwich, fries and a small salad. I was honestly shocked when presented with a bill for $38!!! $32 for the sandwich and what I can only guess is $6 "embarrassment" tax for the poor waiter who has to present this bill.
I've travelled extensively and this would have to be the most expensive club sandwich I have ever purchased. For $38 I would go to Aria. For $38 I would go to Doyles. For $38 I would certainly not be ordering a rather disappointing hotel club sandwich.

At this point I was livid. I went back downstairs and requested to speak to the manager. The manager declined to see me and I was referred back to person that checked me in at the Amex table.

I explained my extreme disappointment with the lack of promised amenities, the lack of deliver of the items that I had requested, lack of the upgrade on every stay I had made and finally the outrageous price that was made for a simple club sandwich.

It would appear that despite requests made by the staff member they are either ignored or simply not passed on.

After some time and phone calls an upgraded room was able to be found. The staff member made numerous phone calls to get the amenities to be delivered. My bags were moved to the new room of which was nice and made me feel more optimistic about the evening.

Despite what had now been 3 requests for the amenities they still had not been delivered. I phoned the Amex desk and the staff member who I spoke with had left for the afternoon. I explained to the concierge that I was actually embarrassed to be phoning and having to "beg" for the items that the Amex desk had already promised 3 times. He was polite and about an hour later the items were finally delivered.

Overall I have the following impressions of the hotel.

The base rooms are stock standard. If the hotel is going to position itself as a 5 star property they need to increase the perceived "value" by exceptional service. Unfortunately they have failed poorly at this endeavour. Clearly there is either poor communication or staff requests to departments that are in control of amenities don't bother to follow requests made.

If you are booking through Amex platinum or centurion services don't expect an upgrade. While they report that they will always do their best out of three visits I was never offered an upgrade. The only reason I was upgraded was because I was prepared to complain.

Finally rooms that are on the western side of the building (facing away from the harbour) get significant sun in the afternoon. This makes the rooms very hot and the airconditioning struggles. Be sure to close the curtains if you don't want to return home to a hot, stuffy room.

If you are planning to use room service, be aware that it's some of the most expensive I've experienced in Australia and also on my international travels. By all means if you have "credit" use it but if the cash is coming out of your pocket it's not worth it. There are many restaurants, and a very good pub just around the corner at half the price and better quality.

The buffet for breakfast is very good with choices of both european and asian choices. Coffee was strong and made to order.

Upon leaving I spoke with the Amex staff member that checked me in. I explained how non plussed I was with the stay. She did not apologise, she did not offer any sort of incentive to return and once she had dumped me at the check out desk disappeared never to be seen again.

While some of the amenities may be considered 5 star I don't feel that they are living up to the expectation in their standard rooms or service.

Other options close by include The Four Seasons if you are keen on staying at the quay however I would suggest at looking at other properties closer to the center of town.

Video review here at YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVDwoNBE4VA

Room Tip: Choose a eastern side room for the views and to avoid the afternoon sun that makes the room hot and stuffy.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank gefsmith
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 October 2012

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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Review collected in partnership with Quickbeds
This review is the subjective opinion of an individual traveller and not of TripAdvisor LLC nor of its partners.
Reviewed 28 October 2012

I had been waiting to stay here for a couple of years after enjoying the Horizon Bar previously. finally had the chance last weekend, checked in and was told our room was "upgraded and was the furthest way from the elevators, so should be quiet". We went to the 28th floor, excited, walked along the hallway , unfortunately noticing a musty smell as we went and chipped paintwork and then just before our room a very large area of rot with the wallpaper visibly stained and peeling. Not a first good impression. Our room was a corner suite with separate lounge area and the bedroom had windows on both sides overlooking darling harbour. We turned the air down to 20 as it was very warm and stuffy. Housekeeping had allegedly cleaned the room, missing the previous occupants left over food items in the minibar and crumbs on the table. Bathroom was nice except for the rear tilting toilet, probably to help offset the vanity that sloped forward so much the sliding drawer did not stay shut. Bed was really comfortable, very nice indeed. We did again visit the Horizon bar again for 2 hours and decided we had best have some dinner, unfortunately when enquiring at the restaurant next door, the reply was "we are booked", not a " are you a guest in the hotel? We are booked out at the moment but I could give you a table at.....(later) or you could try ......" . We have stayed at quite a number of 5 star plus hotels and found this quite lacking in many areas. If it was not for the fabulous views, I don't think it would have a repeat clientele. Sorely disappointed overall. Still love the Vanilla Passionfruit Cosmo though.

  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank lean E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2012

This is the 3rd Shangri-La I've stayed at this week (the others in Shanghai & Singapore.) Although the location of this Sydney hotel is good, and I had a nice view of the Opera House from my room (#1915), I was really disappointed in the service level of the hotel. One phone didn't work, room service staff couldn't answer questions about the menu, towels were left on the floor despite turn down service, the maid also left the plastic water bottles I had placed next to the garbage in the hopes the hotel would recyclable them, and the bottle opener that was in the room for the mini-bar was coated in a nasty, sticky, gooey substance (I shudder to think what that was, or how long it's been there.) Ironically, no one answered the "service" extension when I called to inform the hotel.

Room Tip: At least room 1915 (and presumably its neighbors) had a view of the Opera House.
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled on business
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1  Thank H2where
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 October 2012

We spent several nights at the Shangri-La in Sydney and both times the service was wonderful. We had fabulous harbor view rooms and the location could not have been better. The breakfast was top notch as well and everyone on staff was warm, friendly, and helpful. We definitely would stay there again if in Sydney. Close to the Rocks, Bridge, Darling Harbor...just perfect location and wonderful stay.

Room Tip: Ask for room on a high floor with harbor view or Opera and Harbor view
  • Stayed: October 2012, travelled with friends
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Thank R S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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