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Hotel Review: Staying in style at Sydney’s Sir Stamford at Circular Quay

By Glenn Harris on 17th April 2018

Sydney is one of the world’s most stunning cities filled with shiny skyscrapers, 200 year old landmarks, the iconic opera house and a bustling waterfront scene of quays, marinas and waterfront bistros and boutiques.

This is the queen city of the land down under with a rich history, vibrant cultural scene, and endless pursuits for the urban explorer. The Sir Stamford at Circular Quay is the quintessential heritage boutique hotel located in the epicentre of Sydney’s top landmarks and attractions making it an ideal base from which to explore the city.

The hotel is a luxurious respite of 120 rooms and suites with a full range of facilities including a traditional English style bar, restaurant as well as a heated outdoor pool, sundeck, sauna with work out facilities.

The location couldn’t be better to explore the city with iconic landmarks such as the Circular Quay, Royal Botanic Gardens, and the Sydney Opera House a short walk away as well as the trains, trams, and ferries to venture beyond.

The Sir Stamford at Circular Quay is one of Sydney’s renowned classic five star hotels. The turn of the century British colonial era grandeur and old world elegance exudes through the rich architecture and refined décor of the interiors.

The hotel was built in 1890 as the Sydney Health Department and many of the Victorian era architecture  and design elements have been meticulously preserved. Indoors the sophistication of classic British décor begins in the lobby and reception hall with exquisite original oil paintings, hand cut crystal chandeliers, and 18th century Georgian antique furniture.

In fact the hotel has over 550 of these special chandeliers as well as one of Australia’s most valuable and captivating collections of art with original period oil paintings, statues and invaluable antiques.

Expect to spend a bit of extra time to wander through the hotel, admiring the art and collections of Staffordshire ceramics, French marble urns, and intricate Persian rugs.  The hotel is decadent yet comfortable with a staff as welcoming as the open fireplaces which crackle in the cooler months.

The 105 rooms and 15 suites at the Sir Stamford on Circular Quay offer a stay as similar to what one would find in a proper English manor house filled with exquisite oil paintings, sculptures and curious object’s d’ art.

Each room offers a spacious and elegant stay with mahogany furnishings, elegant decor and facilities as well as the mod cons expected of today’s traveller. The bathrooms are spacious and luxurious with marble surfaces, double basins and amenities by L’Occitane.

The Executive Suite is quite roomy with separate sitting room with mahogany desk, plush lounge chairs and couches and floral curtains.  There are French doors which fill the room with natural light and also open onto a Juliet balcony overlooking the city, the Royal Botanic Gardens or Sydney harbour.

For extra extra VIP accommodations the Presidential Suite is one of Sydney’s largest suites and more like a Royal apartment with high ceilings, fireplaces, a Steinway baby grand piano., and Italian silk wall coverings that adorn the walls of the entire suite.

There is a fine collection of paintings statuettes and artwork as well as hand woven tapestries depicting Royal moments in history. The palatial Presidential Suite is the favourite of visiting celebs and dignitaries including Margaret Thatcher, Tom Cruise, Mick Jagger and Mel Gibson, among others.

The dining experience is memorable as well with a well-rounded menu of modern Australian cuisine. Many patrons will have dinner before taking in a night on the town or performances at the nearby Sydney Opera House located just a short stroll away.

The hotel also features one of Sydney’s favourite watering holes in their classy and stylish traditional bar with rich oak furnishings and a long traditional bar with a bevy of elixirs that reach for the ceiling. There are tables and couches to choose from as well as a roaring fire from the enormous marble fireplace during the chilly months.

Sydney’s movers and shakers frequent the tavern for a tet-a-tet over lunch or as a place to unwind after a long day at work. They join in with visitors and hotel guests for an extensive selection of fine wines, liqueurs and inventive cocktails from the talented mixologists.

One of the more popular dining experiences at the Sir Stamford at Circular Quay is the indulgent High Tea. Served each day, Sydney’s beau monde join hotel guests for a proper English tea service with all the pomp and tradition served in the grand décor of the Bar.

The Stamford High Tea never disappoints with a tasty range of creative canapés, including curry puffs, Chicken & Shallot in Tomato Bread Pinwheel and Crab Meat & Avocado Sandwich. There are fluffy scones, and traditional finger sandwiches with the bevy of desserts offering a sweet ending; all of which are served on an elegant three tiered tray.  Needless to say, there is a wide selection of coffee or tea while others opt for a glass or two of sparkling French Champagne.

Sydney is a vibrant and culturally rich city with endless pursuits from museums to art galleries. Outdoors is equally as rich with the Royal Botanical Gardens literally across the street or a stroll around the picturesque Circular Quay with views of the iconic Opera House. Nightlife is exciting as well from the Rocks for a cocktail or two or the Bangaroo area which is Sydney’s newest waterfront developments of bistros, pubs, and boutiques.

The Sir Stamford at Circular Quay is a fantastic place to explore it all as it is within walking distance or a short Uber ride away. Many guests will make it a long weekend with the hotel as their base to have dinner, take in a play or show then return for a romantic evening.

The hotel also puts on several performances of their own with their popular dinner cabarets featuring talented performers who sing, dance and amuse dinner guests. Other performers provide an evening of live music.

For the urban explorer looking to take in all that Sydney has to offer, the Sir Stamford at Circular Quay is an excellent option. The grandeur and opulence, fine accommodations, and amenities ensure a wonderful stay in this beguiling city.

Address: 93 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia

Phone: +61 2 9252 4600

Photo credit at the very top of the article: Destination NSW – Hamilton Lund