As I sat stretched out in the luxurious bathtub in a bathroom the size of a bedroom I kept thinking to myself...Is this how the rich and famous live?
We may not be rich and famous, but for our 2 days at the Blu Hotel in Sydney it sure felt like we were. Without a doubt it was the nicest hotel we have ever stayed in. Above the beauty and luxury of the room was the fact that the staff was so incredibly friendly and helpful! Truly above and beyond in every sense.
As we arrived totally exhausted from our overnight flight, the staff was so full of energy and willingness to help us get settled that we quickly felt revived. The kids were immediately smitten when they were presented with goody bags. You know like the ones the stars get at award ceremonies. They each had their own and they were filled with cookies and juice boxes, a large stuffed koala, crayons, notebooks, etc. It was a great start for them but just the beginning of how the Blu Hotel caters to and welcomes children at their hotel.
One of the most important things in finding a great hotel is the location. You don't want to be far from all the action especially if you have limited time in an area. Taj Blu Hotel is perfectly placed in the Woolloomooloo (say that 5 times fast) part of Sydney, slightly away from the CBD (central business district) yet still right there. Pubs, restaurants, the harbor, royal botanical gardens, and the world famous Harvey's are all within a 2-minute walk away.
From the hotel we were able to walk through the beautiful botanical gardens on our way to Darling Harbor for a tour of the opera house and a wet and wild spin on a jetboat. Being able to walk saved us on taxis which are not cheap in Sydney for 5 people. In the hotel itself are several lovely restaurants that sit directly on the pier making it a memorable dining experience. The front desk can make your reservations for you and nearly all the restaurants run specials if you are staying at the hotel.
If you are going to spend any extended time in a hotel you will quickly discover that staying in the room is just not an option. Sometimes you need a change of scenery yet have no interest in traveling away. The facilities in the Blu Hotel were almost as wonderful as the room itself.
The hotel is built in an old wharf (originally built in 1911) and they have maintained the feel through interesting lift systems and a generally cool loft feel throughout. In the lobby you will find a beautiful bar appropriately named the Water Bar. A beautiful water wall welcomes you in and the comfortable chairs and relaxed vibe will keep you there. During the morning the bar doubles as a large breakfast buffet although it is NOT included in the room price.
There is also an indoor heated pool and state of the art fitness center, complete with a stockpile of clean towels and bathrobes for convenience. The kids really enjoyed the robes and slippers which were also available in our room for use at the pool or after a bath. They came in every size so that even my 5 year old could enjoy them. It was a real treat!
For the sun worshipers that wish to stick around the hotel there is an outdoor sun deck or you can relax by the harbor right outside the door.
The real gem of the hotel are the 100+ rooms themselves. We found them to be impeccably tidy, large, and full of wonderful additions to help you feel more at home. Anything you could think of was there ready and waiting, but perhaps the nicest part was that anything that was not immediately available was made so by a quick phone call downstairs. At times we didn't even need to ask as 30 minutes after arriving they came up with an extra bed so that we could all sleep more comfortably.
The beds were amazingly comfortable with top of the line linens and pillows. There was also an iPod docking station, food in the room free of charge on arrival, the standard iron, safe, TV/DVD player, and refrigerator. The stand outs though were the things that few other hotels even consider, things like; umbrellas, slippers, robes, lint brush, ample space for storage of bags, and 2 phones.
The views of the harbor and the skyline of Sydney are breathtaking and can be seen outside nearly all of the Blu Hotel rooms. It was such a treat in the evening to sit in the lofty chair and stare out the window at such a peaceful view.
The bathroom was equally impressive with a large bathtub that even my 6'5" husband could relax in. Believe me that is a rarity. The room itself was, as my kids put it, ginormous! There was a separate shower stall and large sink. Some additions we do not typically see were a large mirror, more towels than we could ever use and we use a lot, and loads of top of the line toiletries. More than we could really use in 2 days but nice to have extras instead of scrimping to be sure we do not run out!
Overall I can see why this Finger Wharf hotel is an award winner; from the staff to the rooms to the location this hotel has it all and then some. We were so impressed and thrilled to be hosted by them. I am not going to lie though, the price is well outside our normal budget but for a splurge or for those of you with a larger budget, the Blu Hotel cannot be beaten for quality!
If you are heading to Australia, I can highly recommend that you stay at the Blu Hotel when in Sydney. You can find them at their site, on Facebook or by searching one of the holiday comparison sites on the web. It is a beautiful and inviting country and really I can not think of a single bad thing to say about it! Head to Australia as soon as you can, and visit the amazing world down under!