On the Sydney Harbor: Pier One Hotel Review

sydney harbor bridge

I recently took a trip to Australia, and while I love to get off the beaten path sometimes, I am drawn into popular tourist destinations. My first stop was Sydney and the historical areas the city has to offer. Nestled along the iconic Sydney Harbor, Pier One offers guests a unique blend of modern sophistication and historical allure. Join me on this Pier One Hotel Review

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Location and Arrival

Pier One Hotel Review - Directions

The proximity to the Sydney Harbor Bridge and the Sydney Opera House makes it ideal for anyone wanting to see these iconic landmarks. Going on a morning run and seeing the sun rise over the Sydney Opera House is just magical. Not to mention there are plenty of restaurants in the harbor within walking distance.

I had planned on visiting a few major cities in Australia, and for these destinations I was relying solely on public transportation. From the Sydney Airport I took the train to Circular Quay and had to walk about 1km to the hotel. Overall, the trip from the airport to the hotel took about 45 minutes. 

Renting a car would cut the travel time down by about half, making it a 20-minute journey. The hotel does offer on-site valet parking for about $45 USD a night. While on the expensive side, it is still cheaper than parking in many major US cities. 

Check In

While planning my trip to Australia I wasn’t really checking on events going on in the area. To my surprise while I was visiting it would also be the female FIFA world cup, meaning that I was expecting to pay an increased room rate anywhere in Sydney. That being said, I secured a booking for two nights at the attractive rate of $215 USD per night. Point redemption rates were around 50,000 points a night. I did not find this as a good value for myself and decided cash was the best option. 

Flying from Los Angeles to Sydney is a long 15-hour flight, and as you can imagine I just wanted to check into my hotel room. I had landed in Sydney in the morning, so by the time I got through customs and to the hotel it was about 10:35am. I knew I probably wouldn’t be able to check in, but it was worth a short. 

Sadly, my room was not ready yet, they offered to store my bags and provided me with a fresh squeezed glass of orange juice. I spent the rest of the morning wandering around and going to the Sydney Opera House and other attractions in the area. After returning to the hotel around 2:00pm I greeted by the friendly staff notifying me that my room was ready. I had originally applied for a Suite Night Award (SNA) certificate for the room but had never received an email.

The Room

The moment I entered the Hickson Suite, I was greeted by a meticulously designed space that seamlessly marries contemporary elegance with the heritage features of the Walsh Bay wharves. The suite features dark blue carpeting, creating a striking contrast accentuated by the vibrant white walls.

The room, spanning about 484 square feet, divides into three distinct areas for an organized and spacious layout. A living room, the bedroom, and the bathroom. Smart controls have been implemented in the room, allowing guests to actively close the blinds and turn off the lights throughout the suite for a seamless and modern experience.

The living room was kind of an odd long rectangle shape, but the staff at Pier One had done a great job making the space work. A small coffee table for two takes center stage near the window, complemented by a couch positioned against the back wall, facing the TV. The couch pulls out to a bed, making this a perfect room for families that offers some privacy as well. 

Entering the bedroom, I encountered a king-sized bed adorned with cyan and purple accent pillows. There was a nice semi-circle couch near the window that faced the wall mounted TV.

A mini bar was fully stocked near the entryway, including some hotel apparel. Across from the mini bar a great open area for luggage storage was provided. This was a nice change compared to many hotels in the past I have stayed at. I was able to fit my two suitcases in this space, both fully opened. A sliding door leads into the bedroom.

The king-sized bed, dressed in premium linens made for a great night sleep. The décor of the bed at first made me think it might be a bit uncomfortable. However, I faced no issues. On the wall hangs a large TV, with a small selection of channels. I was able to successfully stream to this TV from my phone.

Double doors lead into the elegant bathroom of the Hickson Suite. A large shower stands in one corner, and just opposite a soaking tub with the view of the harbor. Among the normal amenities provided by hotels such as toothbrush, comb, etc., they also provided locally produced bath salts.

One of the standout features of the Hickson Suite is its breathtaking panoramic views of the Sydney Harbor. Floor-to-ceiling windows offer an uninterrupted visual feast of the iconic harbor, and part of the famous Sydney Harbor Bridge.

Pier One Hotel - View

Restaurants, Gym and Other Amenities

The Pier One Hotel has 189 guest rooms, but only offers one restaurant and one bar. However, I never felt that these were at capacity. Being in such a central location there are many restaurants and bars within walking distance from the hotel. 

The Gantry is the only full restaurant located at the hotel and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. At the time of my visit breakfast was only available for guests staying at the hotel. Being a titanium Marriott Bonvoy member, I was able to select free breakfast as one of my welcome options. 

Breakfast was buffet style with an omelet station, fresh squeezed juice and coffee. While the buffet had everything that I needed for my day it did seem a bit on the smaller side. It was nice to see they had special toasters for gluten-free bread and a section all for vegan foods. I did not have the chance to visit the restaurant for lunch or dinner on my trip to Sydney.

The Pier Bar is located just behind the check-in desk and is the shining start of the property if you ask me. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame the panoramic views of the Sydney Harbor, creating a stunning backdrop that evolves with the changing hues of the day. It is a perfect way to end the day watching as golden hour hits the harbor waters. 

Pier One Sydney does offer a small gym on site. I tried to visit it one morning of the stay and at first, I could not find it. I had to ask the front desk and it was tucked away behind the restaurant. As I walked in three other people were already in the gym and it felt very crowded. I opted for just going for a run outside instead. 

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This was my favorite hotel I stayed at during my trip to Australia. While I do wish the gym would’ve been bigger, I think everything else made up for it. The friendly staff actively assists with requests, ensuring a warm and welcoming experience. My room boasted gorgeous views, and the overall unbeatable location adds to the charm. The Pier One Hotel in Sydney will be one that I revisit when I return to Sydney.

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