Four Seasons Sydney Review: Serene Stay in Sydney

R. C. Staab Avatar
The lobby of the Four Seasons Sydney Hotel.

When my wife and I were considering hotels for our first day in Sydney after a 15-hour flight from LA, we wanted a soothing, serene hotel experience to help reset our biorhythms. However, we still wanted a hotel in the bustling heart of the Central Business District (CBD) within steps of major attractions including the Sydney Opera House, the Sydney Bridge and the Circular Quay. We were delighted to discover that the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney met all our criteria for comfort, convenience and upscale stay for our first days in Australia.

We expected a high-quality, customer-focused experience for which the Four Seasons is known throughout the world. Yet, we did not expect to pay the bargain rate of about $250 USD when we visited in April. I kept checking different websites to make sure this Four Seasons was part of the Four Seasons chain with which I was familiar in the United States. With nearby lower-rated hotels charging higher nightly rates, how could this rate be correct? Turns out, the rate was real and not unusual outside of the hotel’s busy summer season from November to March. What a deal!

Travel the world with us! Sign up for our newsletter now!

The Four Seasons Hotel is the orangish building in the center.
Four Seasons Hotel is the orangish building in the center. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

More than 40 Years of Accommodating Travelers

In 1982, the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney opened as The Regent. Some 20 years later, it was rebranded as a Four Seasons property. In 2019, the hotel underwent an extensive renovation of all 531 rooms and suites. Because this happened just before the pandemic, for many return visitors to the Four Seasons, it’s like a brand new hotel.

According to a hotel spokesperson, the hotel guests are split almost evenly between business and leisure travelers.

SheBuysTravel Tip: Check out the First-Timers Guide to Sydney, including many attractions within an easy walk of the hotel or a short ferry ride from the Circular Quay.

Enjoy the view of the harbor from one of the rooms of the Four Seasons Sydney.
Harbor view room. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Rooms with a View

The Four Seasons Sydney features 517 guest rooms and suites, ranging from the Deluxe City Rooms to the opulent Two-Bedroom Presidential Suite. There is a significant price differential based on city view versus the Harbour View. Because the hotel is only two blocks from the Circular Quay at the Sydney Harbour, the harbor view is exceptional. We agreed that waking up each morning with a view of the Sydney Opera House was well worth the extra money.

Each room is equipped with modern amenities such as high-speed Wi-Fi, a minibar, hair dryers and a marble bathroom with Codage luxury bath products.

Consider the Executive Lounge

Like many upscale hotels, the Four Seasons offers an impressive Executive Lounge called Lounge 32, located on the uppermost 32nd floor of the hotel and open from 7am to 10pm daily. On several sides, there are stunning views of the city, although the iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge are not visible.

The lounge has a cozy and elegant atmosphere with various seating options, including plush sofas, armchairs and leather benches. There is also a separate dining room that can accommodate up to eight guests and a boardroom with 10 seats for business meetings.

The food was excellent and bountiful, especially for someone who enjoys a decent breakfast (but not his wife), a midday snack and a gourmet dessert after an early dinner off-property. The breakfast buffet had hot and cold items ranging from classic Western dishes to international options like stir fries and bubble and squeak. Fresh fruit, yogurt, muesli, bread, pastries and sweets are available. In the evening, the lounge offers an impressive spread with hot finger foods, dim sum, a charcuterie selection with cured meats and cheeses and an assortment of desserts. Freshly squeezed juice, coffee and tea are available throughout the day. For those looking for a lighter meal rather than a sit down restaurant experience, this is a great option.

It’s definitely worth having a conversation with hotel staff in advance to find out the cost differential for a standard guest room that includes access to the Executive Lounge or booking a Club Level room which includes the lounge.

SheBuysTravel Tip: For the solo traveler, Lounge 32 is a place where people seem eager to meet and chat and share their touring experiences in Australia.

An outdoor pool at the Four Seasons Sydney.
Outdoor pool. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Dive into One of Sydney’s Largest Outdoor Hotel Pools

After a 15-hour plane ride, there is nothing more hydrating than a swim in a heated hotel pool. The Four Seasons has one of the largest hotel pools in the city with towering skyscrapers on all sides. Guests can swim in the heated pool, relax in the jacuzzi or sunbathe on the pool deck from 6am to 8pm daily.

Fortunately, the swimming pool and the gym both connect to a large central locker room with a steam room, sauna, lockers and showers. This can be a welcome stop for those waiting to check into their rooms or after a long day of touring the city.

The Endota Spa at the Four Seasons Sydney.
Endota Spa. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Full Service Spa at Your Fingertips

The hotel also has a full-service spa, Endota Spa, which offers a range of soothing treatments and therapies including massages, facials and body treatments that combine a body scrub, warm oil cocoon, massage and facial. Endota is an indigenous word meaning beautiful.

The gym at the Four Seasons Sydney.
Gym. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

Work Out Anytime You Like

The hotel’s fitness center is well-equipped, with weight training machines, cardio equipment with personal TVs, free weights and spacious locker rooms. While the fitness center is open 24 hours, the saunas and steam rooms connected to it are only open from about 10am to 5pm daily.

Eat, Drink or Dine

For a more elevated dining experience, the hotel’s signature restaurant is Mode Kitchen & Bar, which blends casual bistro and fine dining elements to showcase contemporary Australian cuisine in a beautiful setting. The hotel’s neighborhood cocktail bar, Grain, is a popular spot for drinks, featuring a passion for craft spirits, local beers, Australian and international wines, and creative twists on classic cocktails. Finally, the hotel’s in-room dining menu offers a selection of local and international favorites, available 24 hours a day.

Views form the Four Seasons Sydney
View from Four Seasons. Umbrellas at bottom are part of the hotel pool area. Circular Quay ferries are on the right. The Rocks neighbor is just on the other side of the elevated highway. Photo credit: R.C. Staab

The Basics

Check-in time is 3 pm. Check-out time is noon. Cancellation policy varies depending on the time of year. Pets up to 25 lbs are allowed.  A pet service fee is $150 AUD and includes the set up of pet bedding, bowls and puppy pads.

Across the street is a major transportation hub with express train service to the airport (less than 20 minutes), ferries to the Taronga Zoo Sydney and Manly Beach and subway and tram lines to take people to points all over the Sydney metropolitan area.

The Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is located at
199 George Street,
Sydney NSW 2000.  
The phone is +61 (2) 9250-3100.

R.C. Staab is a New York-based author, playwright, musical theater writer and lyricist. His latest book, New York City Scavenger: The Ultimate Search for New York City’s Hidden Treasures, was published in Spring 2023. His first book 100 Things to Do at the Jersey Shore Before You Die was published in 2020 and is now in its second printing. In 2021, he walked the entire 139-mile coastline of the Jersey Shore from Sandy Hook to Cape May the book, generating more than 200,000 views on social media. He frequently contributes to New Jersey Monthly magazine and online travel publications. He is long-time member of the Society of American Travel Writers having traveled to 49 of the 50 US States and more than 60 countries. He specializes in cultural tourism, adventure travel and historical sites. His off-Broadway musicals and plays have been produced in New York, San Francisco, England and the Midwest. He is a two-time nominee for England’s Best New Song competition. He lives in New York City with his wife, Valari, and his dog, Skye.
Read full bio

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *