For our Second Year Anniversary as a married couple, my husband and I flew to Sydney, Australia for and explored the city for about 8 days. As expected, 8 days is too short for a country as huge as Australia (which happens to be a continent of its own as well), so my husband and I have agreed to fly back when possible to explore more of it!
Australia is generally thought of as an expensive destination, and that’s how I remember it to be when I went for the first time, but sometimes, our country’s exchange rate spells the huge difference. I feel like it’s a good time to go to Australia now, because the exchange rate isn’t as high as it used to be, therefore making everything more affordable.
Of course, the first thing you need to look for after you’ve covered your airfare and visa is accommodation.
For this trip, we stayed at 3 different places: 2 hotels, and 1 night at a friend’s house.
For the first part of the trip, we stayed at THE GRACE HOTEL located at the Central Business District.
What we particularly loved about this hotel is that it’s a place full of history. Originally built in the 1920’s as headquarters of the retail empire of the Grace Bros., this hotel is one of the best examples of pre-war architecture in the heart of Sydney. A thorough walk through the hotel’s history may be found at the lobby, where dates and historical events are written. In the 1940’s, it became a sublet to the Australian Commonwealth Government, the Sydney Headquarters of the U.S. Armed Forces during the Pacific War, and acquired by the Commonwealth in 1945. It wasn’t until 1997 (after much renovation and restoration) that it opened its doors to the public as a luxury hotel (Don’t worry, it doesn’t look scary nor feel eerie!).
We stayed at this hotel for about 3 nights, and apart from the historical side, we absolutely loved its location. It was conveniently located near 2 train stations, though we only used one for all our trips: Wynyard Station. This station is about a 10 minute leisurely walk to the hotel. The area surrounding the hotel is beautiful – we loved the architecture of the buildings, and liked the vibe in general. However, it is important to take note that since this hotel is located at the Central Business District, you can’t expect much restaurants and/or cafes to be open until late at night. There’s a Subway (the sandwich chain) near it that’s open until around 9 or 10 PM, and a 7-11 Convenience Store (open 24 hours), but if you’re looking for heavier meals, you can try Vapiano, a pizza and pasta place (+ bar) on the ground floor of the hotel. They supposedly serve really good dishes according to my friend, but unfortunately, we never got to try it! It closes at 11PM on weekdays, and 12MN on weekends. You can expect it to be alive and bubbly during office hours though, most especially during lunch time! As travelers, the first requirement for me and my husband if we don’t have a car is that it should be near a train/ subway station, and this is a very good choice.
Now, as for the room, we were lucky to have been upgraded to the Premium Corner King room on the top floor. Wheee! Thank you The Grace Sydney, and thank you Agoda!
First, let me show you the lobby! Love the style of the tiles here!
As we reached the top floor, we were led to this room (1124 if I remember correctly)! Spacious, bright, clean, and most importantly, heavenly King bed!
To be honest, since we lacked sleep when we got to the hotel, I wasn’t able to help myself. I dove straight to the bed and eventually fell asleep. We left the hotel much later than planned but thankfully, it was summer so the sun did not set until about 08:00 PM. The second day, we alarmed at 08:00 AM, only to leave the hotel after lunch. I’m not sure whether it was the jetlag or their super comfortable bed that got us staying in, hahaha. Oh, how I love traveling to countries with sunsets at 08:00 PM or even later during spring or summer. It really works well for me because I can afford to leave the hotel late and still get to see and do a lot!
The only inconvenience for this room was that WiFi did not seem to work so well inside, especially for Apple gadgets and laptops. We had to go out of the room if we wanted to use our iPhones. The WiFi worked for my non-Apple laptop, though. And it worked for my husband’s Android phone as well. But anyway, the WiFi worked everywhere else (for all gadgets) – from the lobby to the corridors to the pool area, so it may have just been our room. Since my work requires me to check my email every so often, this was a little challenging, most especially because the pocket wifi we ordered did not arrive until the 3rd day. But overall, it was still a very pleasant experience to stay with The Grace Sydney.
Anyway, here are pictures of our room!
The bathroom was okay – I used the tub every night to relax my muscles after all the walking and thoroughly enjoyed my hot showers. It would have been awesome if there were bath bubbles, and possibly a bidet for the toilet. 🙂
A walk around the top floor leads you to their mini pool, and the roof deck where you can sunbathe and take photos of the view. This is where we’d refill our water bottle, too!
If you’d like to stay here, you can book via AGODA. If you want the direct link to the hotel, click THIS. You can get rooms for about USD 200 per night. It’s very easy to get here from the airport. We took the airport link (train) from the airport all the way to Wynyard Station and walked from there.
Thank you The Grace Sydney. It was definitely a pleasure staying with you!
THE GRACE HOTEL
77 York Street,
Sydney NSW 2000
If you want to see our photos in Australia, you can head to www.instagram.com/paulatheexplorer and search for #cpfaustralia2015