Hotel Review: Holiday Inn Old Sydney, The Rocks Sydney, New South Wales

Hotel Review / New South Wales

Choosing accommodation in in Sydney can be a daunting task as you want to stay close to the harbour where all the action is happening. It can cost an arm and leg to stay in some of the world’s best known hotel chains that occupy the best waterfront real estate. However there is a an alternative, the reasonably priced Holiday Inn Old Sydney hotel located in The Rocks of Sydney close to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and a stones throw away from Circular Quay and the Sydney Opera House.


Holiday Inn Old Sydney at a glance

Price: $310.50 per night (average)
Car Parking: $30.00 per day Self Parking, $45.00 per day Valet Parking
Check In: 3:00pm
Check Out: 11:00am
Floor/Room: 2 – 206 (Superior Room)
Rewards Programme: IHG Rewards Club

The Holiday Inn Old Sydney hotel is located in the heart of The Rocks which is the historic old town of Sydney where Australia was first settled upon by European settlement. First timers to Sydney will no doubly want to experience all the main attractions the city has to offer from the Sydney Harbour Bridge to the Sydney Opera House, giving guests impressive views of the harbour from the rooftop pool and deck, the Holiday Inn Old Sydney is in a prime location for any visit to Sydney.

Arriving at Sydney Airport and getting yourself to the Holliday Inn Old Sydney couldn’t be easier with the Airport Train. Visitors can pick up an Opal Card, the public transport ticket used in Sydney for Trains, Ferries, Buses and Light Rail (Trams) at both International and Domestic train stations and catch the train to Circular Quay. From Circular Quay it is a short 5 minute walk from the station to the hotel.

During my stay at the Holiday Inn Old Sydney I came to visit the Vivid Sydney Festival that was taking place from 17 May to 18 June. My visit coincided with the final weekend of the festival and therefore the city was quite busy. Upon check in I was told that hotel bookings were tight so if I wanted to stay on a higher level (level 6) it would cost an extra $46.00 per night, not that I requested this. I asked what the alternative was, it was a room on the same side of the building but on level 2. I wasn’t very impressed with this, I hadn’t even checked into the hotel yet they were trying to get more money out of me.

The room itself was quite good, a simple room with king size bed, television and an empty mini bar for storing any drinks you may go out and purchase whilst staying here. There are also tea and coffee making facilities and a desk for those working whilst on the move. The bathroom is adequate for the room with a shower/bathtub combination and a single basin and toilet. The hotel facilities included a bar in the lobby area by a fireplace and a small restaurant for breakfast and lunch, it however isn’t open for dinner with room service options available.

None of the rooms in the hotel have balconies, however the drawcard of the hotel is the impressive rooftop pool and viewing deck. Guests of the hotel have access to the heated swimming pool and spa from 6:00am to 11:00pm and if swimming isn’t your thing you can come up to the rooftop for a few drinks and just take in the view.

Being here during the Vivid Sydney Festival gave us the unique opportunity to not only be close to all the attractions of the festival, but view the lit up city and Opera House from a vantage point that most other people visiting the festival won’t get. The impressive projections adorning the Opera House are the main feature of the festival every year and mostly focus on indigenous designs. A lot of the festival focuses on the Circular Quay area of Sydney so it is literally as easy as stepping out the front door of the hotel and you’re in the middle of it all.

Vivid also incorporates parts of Darling Harbour which is easily accessible via ferry from Circular Quay and also Taronga Zoo which can also be access via ferry.

Just a short walk from the hotel is one of the must do attractions when visiting Sydney, the Bridge Climb. It was an extra special experience this time round, not only is the Bridge Climb located close to the hotel but climbing the bridge during Vivid Sydney is an unmissable experience. The three and a half hour climb allowed us to take in the sights of the glowing city, I could also see the rooftop deck of the Holiday Inn Old Sydney as well as fireworks going off marking the close of Vivid Sydney.

The hotel’s proximity to the ferry terminal at Circular Quay just makes it a hop, skip and a jump away from Darling Harbour. Walking back from Darling Harbour gives you the opportunity to check out the new Barangaroo Reserve which has transformed this area of Sydney right on the harbour shoreline. This modern reserve was once home to a port and for the time being the harbour control tower which is about to be dismantled. What was once a strenuous walk from Circular Quay to Darling Harbour along the coast is now made a lot easier with the opening up of this space.

If you’re in Sydney over the weekend The Rocks plays host to a market which is located right outside the hotel. The outdoor market has a portion located undercover so you can even wonder around some of the stalls while the weather has turned. There are many different stalls located around the narrow roadways so there is something here for everyone.

The Holiday Inn Old Sydney is located in an impressive location for a weekend away in Sydney or for an extended stay. Conveniently located near all the main Sydney attractions the hotel is defiantly worth staying at if you’re looking to stay in an iconic part of the city. Although you have the convenience of the Airport Train, getting to the hotel can be done in many ways from car hire, taxi or private shuttle planting you right in the centre of one of Australia’s most iconic views.

For a mid range hotel the Holiday Inn Old Sydney is one of the best options for staying in The Rocks that won’t break the bank. I enjoyed my time here and would defintely stay here again on my return to Sydney.

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Hotel Rating: Holiday Inn Old Sydney
  • Location
  • Price
  • Cleanliness
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Just your average guy doing his 9 - 5 job as a Senior Payroll Officer by day, writing about his travel adventures and hopefully giving you inspiration and ideas for your next travel adventure here at loneXplorer...


  1. Sydney undoubtedly a great place to visit as it has a huge range of beautiful and amazing places such as Sydney opera house, Sydney bridgeclimb and so on.

    Don’t worry about your stay, this city has quite luxurious but affordable hotels which would definitely make you feel like your are at you own home. Its true not only in words but in reality too.

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