The Shangri-La Sydney revealed 90 refurbished Horizon Club rooms and suites earlier this year. The renovation includes the additional Grand Harbour View Room and Darling Harbour View Room types. The hotel also revamped its Horizon Club – now more than 20 per cent bigger at 335 sqm – where guests can take in harbour views via the 13 metre-high windows.


Stepping into the lobby, I immediately sensed how busy the property was, but was swiftly greeted by a friendly guest relations manager who directed me to check-in at the Horizon Club on level 30.


The 36-storey hotel is positioned in the historic Rocks district, and is close to the Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay. Take a taxi (A$70/US$50) from the airport and you’ll arrive in about 30 minutes. As taxis aren’t cheap in Sydney, you may want to consider Uber, which costs about A$40 (US$28).


The hotel comprises 565 guestrooms and suites, all with views of either Darling or Sydney Harbour through triple-glazed windows, which ensure a quiet environment. I stayed at the Horizon Deluxe Darling Harbour View Room in a spacious corner room. The new design features a pale gold and blue décor theme that reflects the colours of Sydney Harbour. There is a sofa on the left, a tea table in the middle andSamsung TV/DVD player on the right.

There is a king-size bed with space to spare. To the right of the bed, there is a marble-topped cabinet located next to a dressing table. It is equipped with an espresso coffee machine, minibar, refrigerator, safe and kettle.

The highlight of the room is the work desk. Situated in the corner of the room, you can work and enjoy the stunning view of Pyrmont Bay and northern Darling Harbour at the same time. Take a break to enjoy the view by sitting on the newly added cushioned window seats. There are three sockets on the wall near the TV, and also a USB port on the TV cabinet surface. Since there is still a distance between the sockets and the desk, it’s best to bring a longer wire or work close to the sockets at the end of the table. You are also advised to bring an international adaptor.

The marble bathroom contains a separate bath and shower, and features L’Occitane amenities.


The lounge is located on level 30 and can accommodate more than 120 guests. It features a communal table, a four-metre-long marble-topped solid timber centrepiece with a cold well from which guests can help themselves to premium Australian wines. There is also a hand-painted Australian native floral mural decorating the walls. The lounge serves canapés and drinks in the evening: get there early to securea seat as it can get busy. The lounge staff are friendly and helpful: my pre-ordered hot pancake was ready on time, meaning I could finish breakfast before I headed to the airport.


Blu Bar on level 36 offers panoramic views of Darling and Sydney Harbour. In addition to all-day dining at Café Mix, the hotel houses fine dining restaurant Altitude. The Epi-Curious menu is highly recommended, as you can try multiple signature dishes in small bites with wine pairing (A$215/US$153).


There is a Grand Ballroom that can accommodate up to 850 guests, and 18 function rooms and boardrooms – including a covered outdoor venue – that can host between 10 and 400 people.


The health club is located on level 2 and is equipped with gym and indoor swimming pool. The Shangri-La’s signature Chi Spa is on the same floor, offering treatments such as massage and hydrotherapy.


Triple-glazed soundproof windows help deliver a quiet sleeping environment, and the views are stunning from the room, restaurants and club lounge.


  • HOW MANY ROOMS? There are 565 rooms in 19 categories, including 527 rooms, 36 suites and two apartments.
  • HIGHLIGHTS The soundproofed room and stunning views of Darling and Sydney Harbour.
  • PRICE Internet rates for a Deluxe Grand HarbourView Room in mid-January start from A$520 (US$370).
  • CONTACT 176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia tel: +61 2 9250 6000;

Valerian Ho