One night in Sydney Harbour - Chilling at the Pullman Quay Grand

Well this location in Sydney, is rather unrivalled.


Looking out over Sydney’s harbour bridge and the hub that is Circular Quay, the Pullman Quay Grand is something of an anomaly amongst Sydney hotels, having secured one of the most prestigious addresses in the capital. Just a 2-minute amble from the Opera House, right on the waterfront, and with the ease and convenience of the city behind – this hotel is something of a showstopper.


An apart-hotel, with 68 large appointed (1 and 2 bedroom) suites, the Pullman has been in operation since 1999. She is understated and elegant, with a discreet lobby located off Macquarie Street and a subtle escape route onto the waterfront’s pedestrian thoroughfare. Opposite the ferry wharves, in the shadow of the Rocks, and a 10-minute stroll through the CBD to Hyde Park, this is prime Sydney real estate.


Whilst the rack rates may demand a short-term stay, the apartments have a long-term permanence about them.  In my behemoth one-bedroom suite (unabashedly larger than my Hong Kong apartment), I was astonished to find a fully functioning washing machine, a stocked kitchen and saucepans for any occasion.  Each apartment is made up of large inter-connecting rooms, framed by a large balcony overlooking that harbour (and the bridge) or the Botanical Gardens.


The interiors are classic, and somewhat betray their 20thcentury pedigree. There is no Bang & Oulfsen to your buck here. That said, the hotel is smugly secure in its knowledge that it has the best location in town. With an identity more boutique than its more mainstream neighbours (the towers of other chain hotels jostle for inferior views in the skyscrapers behind), the Pullman is not a quirky hotel. It is not a flagship for the urban arts scene, nor does it challenge itself (or its guests) with more modern aesthetics. But, it does not need to. They had me at the view.  


This is a 5 star operation, with a good-sized swimming pool, Jacuzzi and fitness centre, sharing the same Circular Quay vista. Breakfast is served in the Q dining room, a mezzanine, with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the water. A newly renovated space (having re-opened in November last year), Q dining has now replaced the well-known Quadrant restaurant, breathing new life into harbourside dining. Run by executive chef Daniel Simpson, who was a member of the original restaurant’s team in 1999), Simpson has designed a fusion menu, with fresh Australian fare. 


Nearby attractions include the sculpted white peaks of the Opera House  and the vast jungles of the Botanical Gardens. Jump on a ferry to Taronga Zoo or further afield to Watson’s Bay or Manly for the full panorama of Sydney’s skyline, and its great expanse of ocean and blue sky. I love this city. 


Well, the view comes at a price. Rack rates for a 1 bedroom garden suite start at USD 350 a night, with a further premium for the harbour view (USD 410 a night). 


It may only be January, but for those with a penchant for planning: this is one hell of a spot to see in 2016…

Harriet Dedman

Based in Hong Kong, Harriet is a freelance journalist and photographer. Over the last decade, Harriet has built up an editorial portfolio, specialising in vintage and boutique travel throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas. Harriet's work has been published by leading international travel publications including Vacations & Travel Magazine, A Luxury Travel Blog (voted best for luxury by the Tel...(Read More)

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