I’m not what you would call a well-seasoned guest when it comes to five star hotels – I’m not sure not many 25 year olds could claim to be. But I was very glad to pay a visit to one recently – the Sofitel Darling Harbour in Sydney.
On arrival traces of a refreshingly familiar fragrance that I could only distinguish as vanilla, drifted throughout the hotel and followed me up to my room. I was told later it was the Sofitel’s signature scent. Sadly, they wouldn’t let me take a bottle home.
During my stay, I found it a rather arduous task to leave my room. A fact I am in no way embarrassed of sharing; the huge bath and stunning views of Sydney were holding me hostage, and a most willing one at that.
Eventually, I found the strength to drag myself away from the luxuries of my room and ventured outside. The weather was hot but thankfully breezy, as I emerged onto the hotel’s fourth floor deck and dived into the infinity pool. With yet more incredible views across the harbour and pina colada’s on-tap, I would gladly choose this pool over any day at the beach, which is unheard of for me.
In the evening I left the hotel for a short stroll through harbour and on to my favourite dumpling spot in China Town (I highly recommend both the walk and Chinese Noodle House). One of my shoes broke during this excursion, but luckily the sizeable Harbourside shopping mall is right next to the hotel, so I easily picked up a new pair.
The next morning, back at the Sofitel, I tucked into a hearty, delicious breakfast at the hotel’s Atelier restaurant. As an enthusiastic foodie, I felt it was my duty to really go for it, so I filled my plates with scrambled eggs, beans, camembert, watermelon, pineapple and pastries – and I’m very glad I did.
I’d very happily return to the Sofitel for a longer stay, and as the prices are surprisingly reasonable for a five star hotel in the middle of Sydney, perhaps one day I will.
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour is a 20 minute drive (13km) from Sydney Domestic and International Airport, which costs about $40AU. Rooms at start from $499 per night (AUD). You can book here.