Story and photos by Sharon King Hoge

Shangri-la Sydney Room with grand harbour view

Shangri-La Hotel Sydney
176 Cumberland Street,
The Rocks Sydney NSW 2000
(612)9250 6032
www.shangri-la.com/sydney

For passionate sightseers, Sydney's Shangri-La hotel offers a perplexing  dilemma. On the positive side are spectacular views -- from the very  window of your room you gaze down on the city's two iconic sights, the  Harbor Bridge and Opera House; just outside the lobby is the historic  renovated neighborhood of The Rocks; and steps beyond is the city's  colorful Circular Quay. But to go exploring you have to venture out --  and that means forcing yourself to leave your immensely comfortable  room.

Shangri-la Sydney the spectacular four-story high Horizon Club

It's hard to find a flaw in the hotel's renovation completed just at the end of last year. Walls and carpets splashed with cherry blossom motifs  are done up in tasteful shades of brown and blue on lower floors and  satisfying shades of beige and gray for the Horizon Club levels.  The  chairs are plush and the consoles and cabinets are done up in honey  grained wood.  Besides spacious drawers and a roomy desk, rooms are  outfitted with an additional separate ledge for storage.  Light switches are well placed and clearly labeled, wi-fi is free in the rooms which  have iHome docks, Bluetooth media hubs, and satellite TV. Bed linens  are silky and a towel with a set of slippers is placed on the carpet  beside the bed at turn down.

Not a detail is overlooked. A sprig of fresh orchids festoons the tub in a  bathroom stocked with a scale and lighted magnifying mirror, a clothes  line that stretches across the tub for drying, and amenity packets  including a toothbrush and razor.  The compartmented mini-bar drawers  sort out the glasses, openers, cups and coffee machine beverage packets.  In the desk, a tray holds scissors, tape, paper clips, a highlighter, a stapler.  Supplied in the bed stand are a flashlight and a copy of  "Lost Horizons," which recounts the Shangri-La story of serenity and  paradise which inspired the hotel's name, a quote from the book is  placed on the pillow you've selected from the pillow menu.  Over 90  percent of the hotel's 565 rooms offer water vistas. 

Shangri-la Sydney the Altitude Restaurant.

Room service is available 24-7. On the second floor, Cafe Mix serves three  diverse meals a day with an extensive breakfast buffet offering a  horseshoe of choices-- bespoke omelettes, layered yogurt parfaits, eight choices of juice.  Six days a week dinner is offered in the top floor  Altitude with more tableside views and a private dining room that  extends out toward the Opera House. Locally and seasonally sourced  menus are matched with wines. Even commercial guide books recommend that visitors should ascend to the 36th floor to take in the views from  cocktail Bar Blu which opens daily at 5 pm.

Shangri-la Sydney Anna  Polyviou pastry

Snacks are served all day in the lobby lounge and adjacent outdoor terrace,  popular especially for the noted Afternoon Tea when patrons come to  sample the latest marvelous creations of celebrated pastry chef Anna  Polyviou whose concoctions are earning her icon status. Sunday  afternoon's Chocolate High Tea is a special favorite.

Shangri-la Sydney Hostesses in the Horizon Club

Guests staying in the 90 rooms of the Horizon Club have access to the  spectacular lounge with its four-story high window overlooking the  harbor. The Club offers complimentary breakfast, tea, and cocktails  with other benefits including complimentary newspapers, juices,  shoeshine, concierge services, easy check in and out, and one pressing  of a suit or dress.

Shangri-la Sydney Spa suites

After (or instead of) venturing out Shangri-La's signature Chi spa on the  second floor offers 17 treatments, some designed with chemical-free  Australian Sodashhi skin care products which are exclusive to the spa.  Chakra Healing Massages, Body Balance Salt Glow and other procedures are carried out in "spa within a spa" candle-lit suites, some fitted out  with side-by-side beds for couples treatments.  Three of the suites  with infinity pools overlook the harbor. The Fitness Center is open 24 hours a day for those using its fully equipped gym, a Jacuzzi beside  the indoor pool, and saunas in the dressing rooms.

It's no wonder that guests are almost grateful when it rains.  Outside the  window, mist rises over the harbor in a picturesque view providing the  perfect excuse to just stay in and enjoy Shangri-La.

 

 

 

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