Quay Grand Suites, Sydney
February 12, 2008
Linda and I stayed in room 803 at the Quay Grand Suites at the Circular Quay in Sydney from February 4 to 8, 2008. This friendly and superbly located modern hotel has only two and three room suites including kitchens with laundry facilities. Each suite has a balcony with a table and chairs. We had asked for a harbor view, but the views on the other side over the Botanical Garden must be nice, too.
Our view was animated by the arrival and departure of the many commuter ferries between Circular Quay at the foot of downtown Sydney and the many suburbs around Sydney Harbor. There were also boats for tourist day cruises and, for two days a huge ocean-going cruise ship at the overseas passenger terminal opposite.
We could also see downtown, the financial hub of Australia, and the metro train coming and going through its stop above the ferry terminal. The trains then go into the hillside to serve as an urban subway and then go on out to suburbs. We could see them passing over the Sydney Harbor Bridge, which framed the right side of our view. When the doors to our balcony were closed, we could not hear the noise of the harbor.
Our only disappointment at the hotel was the breakfast in the dining room, although the view was great. After that we made breakfast in our suite. (There are two well-stocked convenience stores nearby.) Linda went daily to the Café Mirabelle, just inland from Circular Quay, for a good espresso.
On a rainy evening we walked to the Opera House without getting wet. A shopping arcade extends from the Quay entrance of the hotel halfway to the Opera; then a lower level arcade with shops, restaurants and bars goes right into the lower level of the opera house. The production of La Bohème was funky, but the almost-all-Australian cast had good strong voices.
From the third floor lobby entrance of the hotel one can access the Botanical Garden or walk up MacQuarie Street to the State Parliament or the disappointing David Jones department store. The walk through the Botanical Garden is very enjoyable. In twenty minutes one arrives at The Art Gallery of New South Wales. Its Australian and Asian collections are worth a visit. http://www.mirvachotels.com.au/hotel_detail.asp?hotel=5