Hotel Review: Rydges World Square, Sydney

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Another year, another birthday. This year I decided to celebrate turning 31 by having a girls night out in the city and spend the night in a hotel to treat myself.
I started off the day getting my hair done which is something I rarely do. With all of my grey hairs covered up and my hair sleek and straight I jumped on the train into the city and made my way to my hotel for the night, Rydges World Square.

Hotel Entrance

The Rydges World Square is well located in the centre of the city close to Chinatown, Town Hall and the entertainment area on George Street. It is also just around the corner from where I was having drinks and dinner later on. So for me it was the ideal choice.
Entering the lobby I first notice the abundance of deep red coloured lounge seating in the large open space and the pillars covered in lovely cherry blossom wallpaper. It’s a nice touch and makes the area feel warm and inviting.
Hotel Lobby

Hotel Lobby

Approaching the check in desk I am greeted by a smiling receptionist who greets me politly and informs me that despite me being over an hour early for check in my room is ready.
The check in process is quick and before I know it I am heading to the lifts. You are required to use your key card to access the lifts and I found the little pouch they put my key cards in extremely difficult to get them out. I fiddled with them before getting in the lift and realising the cards don’t work. So back to the reception desk, where the receptionist apologised and promptly fixed the cards and escorted me to the lift to ensure I make it to my room this time. This to me is excellent customer service.
The room entrance way

The room entrance way

Once I’m in my room I dump my bag and explore the room. On the right of the entrance way is a double sliding door wardrobe with clothes hangers and a safe for valuables. No slippers or robe (slightly disappointed).
On the left of the entrance is the bathroom. What I liked most about it is the separate bathtub and shower. I have found this to be a very rare thing amongst newer hotels. Marble bench with sink and free toiletries (they went straight into my bag) below a large mirror. It’s clean and reasonably spacious.
Hotel Bathroom

Hotel Bathroom

Bathroom products at the hotel

Bathroom products at the hotel

The room itself consists of twin beds (my sister is staying with me for the night) with bedside tables and lamps, working desk and chair, a small lounge chair and small round table, a cabinet containing a bar fridge, crockery and kettle and on top, a large flat screen TV. There is also a bag rack big enough for a medium sized suitcase.
Sleeping area

Sleeping area

One of the single beds with a welcome information pack of the hotel

One of the single beds with a welcome information pack of the hotel

The walls are decorated with muted colour prints in wooden frames that match the furniture. There is a big wall to wall window and heavy dark block out blinds that came in very handy for my sleep in the next morning. The view is of the adjoining building but I wasn’t there for the view.
The seating area of the room

The seating area of the room

On the desk are items that you can purchase from the mini bar. There are your usual chocolates and chips but Rydges World Square have included a small box of popcorn, red and white stripped bags of sweets and some retro games, dominos and pick up sticks. These I think are nice touches and are as you would expect, slightly more expensive than if you purchased similar items elsewhere.
Mini Bar selection

Mini Bar selection

It’s a nice room that is clean, uncluttered and spacious enough for two people. My only gripe is the lack of lighting. Three lamps light the main part of the room which just isn’t enough light.
Some other features I noticed throughout the room were a selection of cable TV channels, mainly sports but also some music channels and the National Geographic channel, pay per view movies with a good selection of recent and classics, the room service menu consisting of traditional dishes such as steaks, burgers plus wood fired pizzas, pastas and a selection of desserts and drinks, a pillow menu and full length mirror. Apart from listening to a music channel while I worked in the afternoon I didn’t use any of these services.
Within the hotel there is a restaurant called Sphere serving three meals a day including an a la carte menu and buffet. I didn’t eat in the restaurant as I had other plans with friends.
I did however enjoy the bar. Square Bar is open to not just guests and is situated off the main lobby area. The large interior with dark lounge and booth seating and a small bar area in the corner is very cozy. There is also a terrace overlooking the central courtyard of World Square which is where I spent the later part of my night enjoying their nice selection of wines. They also have a diverse selection of local and international beers and spirits.
Square Bar interior

Square Bar interior

When I had an afternoon drink, the bar was buzzing with workers who were winding down with a Friday afternoon drink with friends and colleagues. Later in the evening there was a DJ playing soft house music and a dozen or so tables of people chatting and laughing. Its a great atmosphere and for the city, the prices were very reasonable.
The staff were very friendly and there were plenty of them so we never waited more than a few minutes to get a drink. Later in the night they started offering table service which was a nice touch.
There is also a fitness centre located in the hotel for anyone wanting to continue with their exercise routine while on holiday (I didn’t).
My sleep during the night was good with no noise coming from the corridor or rooms adjoining. I found the bed quite soft which is ok for me sleeping but when I tried to sit up in bed to read it was too soft and uncomfortable to sustain for more than a few minutes.
Check out was just a simple, if not more so, as check in. The staff were very busy but still had smiles on their faces and greeted us politely and thanked us for staying with them.
Here are some shots of what I got up to while out and about in the city.
Unfortunately I got so carried away with catching up with my friends that I forgot to take photos of my night out.
Sydney Tower rising above Westfield

Sydney Tower rising above Westfield

Westfield Shopping Centre - Pitt St Mall

Westfield Shopping Centre – Pitt St Mall

Westfield, Castlereagh St Entrance

Westfield, Castlereagh St Entrance

Pitt St Mall

Pitt St Mall

Talented young buckets that I stumbled upon in Pitt St Mall

Talented young buskers that I stumbled upon in Pitt St Mall

Queen Victoria Building

Queen Victoria Building

Town Hall

Town Hall

Central Courtyard of World Square

Central Courtyard of World Square

Chinese Lanterns strung across the central courtyard of World Square

Chinese Lanterns strung across the central courtyard of World Square

How I Booked

I did a bit of research and struggled to find a decently priced rate due to Chinese New Year celebrations going on in town. I picked Rydges World Square because of the location and price and booked direct with them through their website.
By joining their Priority Guest Rewards program at the time of booking, I was able to benefit from 10% off the best available rate. The rewards program is free to join and you also benefit from 20% off meals and drinks, earn points for free nights, welcome drink, priority check in desk, 1pm check out and up to 50% off in room internet.

The Room & Rate

We stayed in a Deluxe King Room which I requested be in a twin configuration which was no hassle to the staff. After my 10% rewards discount the rate came to $217.00 for one nights accommodation. This was the cheapest 3-4 star hotel I could find in the city for this night.

Hotel Details

Rydges World Square – 389 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW, 2000 – Only a few minutes walk from Town Hall Station.

The Verdict

I would definitely recommend Rydges World Square to anyone after a place to sleep and spend a small to medium amount of time in. The location couldn’t be more perfect for exploring the city, there are enough facilities within to hotel to keep you happy and the customer service was among the best I have experienced in a hotel. I also loved the bar and will probably go there even if I am not staying in the hotel in future.
Next time I am looking for a reasonable priced place to stay in the city I won’t look past the Rydges World Square.

Over to you!

Have you stayed in the Rydges World Square or any other Rydges Hotel around the world? I would love to hear about your experiences.

5 reasons why I love Sydney

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Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney has been my home forever. It’s where I grew up, where most of my memories were made and where my family and oldest friends live. It sits closer to my heart than any other city in the world. I love it!

But I haven’t always thought it was so great. It took travelling the world for me to truly appreciate my home city for what it is. Even while living in the incredible city of London (my second home), I still called Sydney home.

Of course it has its bad points but you’d be hard pressed to find a big city in the world that doesn’t.

Let me share with you five of the reasons why I love Sydney so much.

1. The Harbour

Sydney Harbour

Sydney Harbour

Now I know I haven’t seen every harbour in the world so I shouldn’t say it is the most beautiful in the world but I have seen Sydney Harbour at its absolute best.

Picture this…….A perfect blue sky day, midday sun shining on the water, boats cruising around, the one of a kind architecture of the Opera House on the right and the Sydney icon, the Harbour Bridge on the left. The water looks like a million diamonds shining in the light.

The positioning of Sydney’s city, northern and eastern suburbs make Sydney Harbour or Port Jackson, to call it by it’s proper name, very accessible to locals and visitors.

There are so many great vantage points to view the harbour from. Every visitor to Sydney must take a ferry trip. Whether it be over to Manly, Taronga Zoo or just to cruise around. If you like a bit of adventure, you can try climbing the Sydney Harbour Bridge for incredible vistas. Or something a little more tame, have a meal or drink at one of the many restaurants located high up some of Sydney’s tallest buildings.

But my personal favourite is simple, a walk around the harbours edge. From the Rocks, through Circular Quay, over to the Opera House and through the Botanic Gardens around to Mrs Macquarie’s chair. I have done this walk many times and on a sunny day it feels like life couldn’t get much better.

Think you know of a more beautiful harbour in the world? I would love to hear about it.

2. Multiculturalism

Dim Sum

Dim Sum

Sydney is a very diverse place in terms of culture and its people. A lot of you may not realise this but out in the suburbs there are little boroughs of ethnic communities all over the place. And with these communities you get wonderful food from all over the world.

Apart from Bondi and Many which are full of English, Irish and Scandinavian backpackers, you will find areas of Sydney where various cultures from around the world have built there own communities. Places like Cabramatta, in Sydney’s west, where you can find some of the best Vietnamese cuisine as well as grocery items from Vietnam that you can’t get in the next suburb over.

Head to Ashfield for Chinese cuisine as good as in Shanghai. Or Leichardt to mingle with the large Italian community. And Auburn for a taste of Turkish food and Ottoman style in the Gallipoli Mosque.

I love that I can have a meal and shop for groceries from just about any country in the world without leaving my own city.

3. World class events and entertainment

My Sydney Swans winning the Premiership in 2012

My Sydney Swans winning the Premiership in 2012

Sydney attracts most of the biggest acts in music and entertainment. The celebrities love coming here and performing, giving Sydneysiders a fantastic opportunity to see all of their favourite acts without having to travel half way around the world.

Visiting the theatre for a musical or play is one of my favourite things to do. And in Sydney we are lucky enough to have every big name in the theatre industry putting on their show. Shows that play on Broadway in New York and the West End in London all make their way to Sydney at some point.

And then there is sport. The association between Aussies and sport is well known around the world. We love our sport and Sydney is the home of so many great sport watching opportunities. The official home of the Rugby league, home of two AFL teams (go the Swans!), international cricket matches, soccer (or football, depending where your from) and back in 2000 the summer Olympics. All of these and many more great sporting events can be watched most weekends throughout the year. It’s a sport lovers paradise!

To go with these world class events and entertainment, Sydney has world class venues to hold all of these events. From the great sound at Allphones Area to watching cricket or AFL at the historic SCG and over to the Lyric Theatre in The Star which I believe to be one of the best places to catch a show in the world. Sydney has it all.

Any night of the week I can see international and local acts or sport right here in my own city.

4. Green spaces

The Blue Mountains

The Blue Mountains

I’m not a huge outdoorsy person especially in Australia due to our many deadly creatures but I do love to be in green spaces from time to time. I need to escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and be amongst the trees and take in some fresh air.

A stones throw to the east from the city centre you will find Centennial Parklands. Over 300 hectares of green space to relax, walk, ride a bike or even go horse riding.

On the outskirts of the suburbs in all directions you will find National Parks. To the north you have Ku-Ring-Gai Chase National Park and in the west is the famous Blue Mountains National Park

But my personal favourite is in the south. Just a two minute drive from my home, The Royal National Park, Australia’s oldest National Park. Located on the coast with some nice beaches, walking tracks, picnic areas and small townships. I spent a lot of time here as a kid with my family and loved it.

No matter where you are in Sydney, you are no more than a few minutes from a green space, whether it be a small community park or massive National Park. It is so easy to find a quiet place to relax.

5. The beaches

My favourite Sydney beach, Cronulla

My favourite Sydney beach, Cronulla

Sydney is famous for its beaches. Mostly Bondi Beach but there are so many other great (better in my opinion) beaches scattered all along this coastal city. And with Sydney’s perfect climate it is warm enough to be visiting the beaches about eight months of the year.

A large amount of my life has been spent on the beaches of Sydney. My Dad and his family grew up in Maroubra, just a few hundred metres from the beach. When we were kids Mum and Dad would take us to Maroubra on a warm summers afternoon for a swim and some fish ‘n’ chips or BBQ chook ‘n’ chips. I have so many fond memories of this time.

These days I live in the southern Sydney area of The Shire. Yes, the place where that horrible TV show of the same name was filmed and no I, nor most people from The Shire are like those people from the show.

What I love about The Shire is Cronulla beach. Just a short car ride away I can be at the beach, smelling the fresh sea air and walking with the sand between my toes. I love it and wish I had more time these days to get down there and enjoy it.

In my opinion Sydney is the most beautiful city in the world. I love it and can’t imagine spending my life living anywhere else.

Check out my Sydney Pinterest board here for more pics and inspiration.

Have you visited Sydney or live here? What do you love about it? Or maybe you don’t share my love of this city. I would love to hear your opinions.