For the final leg of our trip to Australia, we spent two nights in Sydney in advance of our flight back to Canada. Having been to Sydney on a handful of occasions before, I knew that we wanted to be somewhere central and ideally close to transit.
As it turns out, a friend had kindly offered a condo in Manly to my sister and nieces, which meant that we needed a place close to Circular Quay for easy access to ferries. After scouring through the available options, we settled on Pier One Sydney Harbour, Marriott Autograph Collection due to positive reports from members in the Prince of Travel Discord community.
We enjoyed our two-night stay, although there were some aspects that I think could be improved upon.
In This Post
- King Water View Guest Room
- Heritage Room
- Deluxe Family Room
- Balcony Suite
- Other Facilities
Pier One Sydney Harbour – Booking
At the beginning of our trip, we’d planned to spend one night at the Sydney Harbour Marriott Hotel at Circular Quay and one night at Pier One Sydney Harbour; however, we opted to scrap the former and settle in for two nights in the same hotel instead.
We booked our stay using Marriott Bonvoy points for 39,000 points each night. This is essentially the going rate for many Marriott properties in Australia, including nearby hotels in Sydney.
Throughout the year, you can book a stay at Pier One Sydney Harbour for between 32,000–42,000 points, with most nights falling somewhere in the middle.
If you’re paying with cash, expect to part ways with around $290 AUD ($271 CAD) at the low end and upwards of $650 ($610 CAD) at the high end. Most nights price out from $400–500 AUD ($375–535 CAD).
In most cases, you’ll get good value from a redemption. When compared to our valuation of Bonvoy points of 0.9 cents per point (CAD), you’ll almost always be getting higher than the target value.
If you happen to have some Free Night Awards available, you can get excellent value out of them at Pier One Sydney Harbour.
When making a cash booking at Pier One Sydney Harbour, be sure to get in touch with a travel advisor who has access to Marriott Luminous. You’ll pay the same as the best available refundable rate, but you’ll also enjoy extra perks like free breakfast, a $100 (USD) hotel credit, and more, at no extra cost to you.
Pier One Sydney Harbour – Location
Pier One Sydney Harbour is ideally located right on the water at Walsh Bay and nearly directly under the iconic Harbour Bridge.
The hotel is located in Barangaroo, a beautiful neighbourhood in Sydney. On the other side of the bridge is The Rocks, which is full of trendy eateries and pubs, and has plenty of character.
Pier One Sydney Harbour is ideally located for sightseeing in Sydney. You can visit some of the city’s most iconic attractions, such as the Opera House and Royal Botanical Gardens, in less than 15 minutes by foot.
Circular Quay, which provides access by ferry to other parts of the city, is around 10 minutes away by foot from the hotel. If you’re arriving in on a cruise ship, this is where you’re likely to dock, too.
From Circular Quay, you can hop on a ferry and be in Manly, another popular neighbourhood with a vibrant beach, in less than 45 minutes.
To get to the hotel from the airport, it’ll take around half and hour by train or around 20 minutes by car, depending on traffic.
Pier One Sydney Harbour – Check-in
We arrived at the hotel quite early in the morning, as we had taken a flight from Albury to Sydney as the sun was rising. We were greeted in the lobby by the hotel’s concierge, who poured us a glass of sparkling water as we waited for an associate to become available.
Typically, guests have a choice of beverage available for check-in, including sparkling wine. Since it was so early when we arrived, we saved our buzz for later on in the day.
The lobby lounge spills over naturally into the bar area. At the top of the staircase from the check-in desks, you’ll find some couches and chairs facing each other, and some other seats scattered throughout the space.
When it was our turn to check-in, we were delighted to find out that our room was indeed ready. After such an early morning, it was a relief to be able to get settled as most guests were beginning to check out.
The associate went over the hotel’s facilities, and welcomed me as a Platinum member. In lieu of a lounge, the hotel offers Platinum and higher guests with a choice of beer, wine, and snacks, or breakfast plus 1,000 points.
Naturally, we opted for breakfast, and soon made our way up to the room. I’d made some valiant efforts at “suite-talking” my way into a higher-level room, including one of the suites, but neither my efforts nor my Suite Night Award requests were fruitful this time.
As with most Autograph Collection hotels, Pier One Sydney Harbour had a lot of character and unique traits. As we were walking through the hotel, the floors creaked and sounded as if we were walking down an old pier, which was neat.
Much of the building’s original features were preserved when it was converted into a hotel. I enjoyed seeing the wooden beams and steel fixtures throughout the hotel, including on the way to our room.
We also found a robot vacuum working in the halls on our way, which was fun, but it was also slightly noisy.
Our room was on the third floor of the hotel, located around halfway down the rightward flank.
Pier One Sydney Harbour – King Water View Guest Room
Upon first entering the room, we were greeted with deep blue hues and smooth corners, which are meant to replicate the feeling of being on a ship. My initial impression was the room was tastefully designed, if not a bit compact.
There is a small hallway in the entrance of the room that leads past the bathroom into the bedroom.
At the end of the small hallway, the room opens up into the bedroom. At the centre of the room is the king bed, which is tastefully decorated with leather straps, a glow from under the bed, and gold accents.
To the bed’s right is an open closet, which features a luggage rack and a small dresser. On either side of the bed are tiered bedside tables, with charging points above the top shelf and reading lights built into the wall.
The vaulted ceilings in the room opened up the space and gave it some additional character.
A flat-screen TV is mounted on the wall opposite from the bed, which is positioned for optimal viewing.
The minibar and buffet are set to the left of the bed. The minibar is stocked with a range of local goods, and the mini-fridge is stocked with beverages.
This is where the room’s Nespresso coffee maker is also located.
In front of the room’s window is a small table with a very comfortable bucket chair. On the other side of the table is a cushioned stool.
Due to our very early check-in, there wasn’t a welcome note or amenity when we entered our room. It was delivered later on in the day when we were out and about, and consisted of a boilerplate welcome note, two bottles of water, and two pairs of socks.
While the room is classified as having a water view, the view from our particular room was slightly obstructed by the hotel’s façade. If you’re lying in bed or seated at the table, you can enjoy lovely views of Walsh Bay, watching ferries and boats pass by.
The bathroom is located next the room’s entrance. The walls are adorned with subway tile, which contrasts nicely with the dark sink and trim.
The bathroom features a single vanity with a wall-mounted faucet, a toilet, and a walk-in rain shower.
Overall, I really liked the design of the room, which was tasteful, unique, and in keeping with the rest of the hotel. While it felt a bit compact, I found that there was enough space for me to comfortably get some work done while enjoying the views.
The room’s vaulted ceilings really opened up the space, and it was quite aesthetically pleasing on the whole.
Pier One Sydney Harbour – Heritage Room
I had the opportunity to take a peek at some of the hotel’s other rooms during my stay.
The base-level Heritage Rooms are identical to the other base-level Bridge Rooms. The only difference is that the Bridge Rooms have a view of the Harbour Bridge, while the Heritage Rooms don’t.
The Heritage Room has a similar setup to the rest of the rooms in the hotel, just in a smaller space.
The king bed occupies most of the bedroom, and in lieu of a closet, there’s a small single-drawer dresser that doubles as a luggage rack.
The bathroom is pretty much the same as the one in our room, with a single vanity, a toilet, and a walk-in shower.
Pier One Sydney Harbour – Deluxe Family Room
The Deluxe Family Room is essentially a larger version of the room that we had. While most of the room was almost identical to ours, there was the addition of a sofa bed.
In the bathroom, you’ll find a walk-in shower and single vanity, and also a standalone bathtub tucked away in the corner.
The Deluxe Family Room can be interconnected with an adjacent Deluxe Room if you’re travelling as a larger group.
Pier One Sydney Harbour – Balcony Suite
The Balcony Suite is a luxurious suite on the north end of the hotel. It features many of the same design elements as we found in our room, but in a much larger space.
The bedroom is quite spacious, and has a lounging area and a separate coffee table.
The bathroom is connected to the bedroom, with a sliding door just in front of the standalone bathtub. Inside, you’ll also find a double vanity and a spacious walk-in shower.
As the room’s name would suggest, there is a massive balcony that’s accessed from the bedroom. The balcony is a lovely space for entertaining, with a large table, swinging basket chairs, and a daybed.
Unfortunately, you aren’t likely to be upgraded to the Balcony Suite, as it’s one of hotel’s top-tier luxury suites.
Overall, I really liked the design of the rooms at Pier One Sydney Harbour. I appreciated how they were unique compared to many other hotels that I’ve stayed at, and kept with the property’s overall aesthetic and vibe.
It’s worth noting that the highest level of room you can upgrade to either through status or Suite Night Awards are Hickson Suites and Walsh Bay Suites. Since there are only three of the former and five of the latter, you may run into difficulties securing an upgrade, so if the hotel is busy or if there’s an event during your stay, you likely won’t wind up in a suite.
Pier One Sydney Harbour – Breakfast
Breakfast is served in The Gantry, the hotel’s main restaurant, on the main floor.
The Gantry is a lovely space, with wooden floors and plenty of natural light pouring in through the windows. You also have the option to sit outside in a gazebo on the pier, as long as the weather cooperates.
We wound up sitting outside both days, but had to move inside when it became quite windy.
The breakfast buffet offers hot and cold items, and staff take your orders for barista-made coffee and cooked-to-order eggs.
We found a modest amount of hot items during our stay, which included fried mushrooms, hashbrowns, fried tomatoes, bacon, broccolini, baked beans, potato wedges, and churros. There’s also a cooked-to-order eggs station, and your waiter will take your order.
For cold items, there is a range of fresh fruit, a salad bar, yogurt, parfaits, smoothies, charcuterie, and pastries. There’s also a water tower in the buffet area, which you can use to pour still or sparkling water.
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We enjoyed the breakfast on both days of our stay; however, I didn’t remark that there were any particularly outstanding items or something unique. The range of options was good, and they were nicely done, but I felt that more could be done to elevate the breakfast buffet.
The buffet options changed slightly on our second day, and there appeared to be less food available.
It’s also worth noting that the coffee was excellent, and we enjoyed eating breakfast down by the pier.
The Gantry is also open for lunch on weekends, and dinner from Thursday through Sunday. The menu is inspired by paintings, and the chef emphasizes using what’s available and fresh rather than ingredients that need to be imported.
Pier One Sydney Harbour – Other Facilities
There is a lovely pier that stretches around the hotel. We enjoyed walking along here during the day and at night, and it makes for a particularly nice way to start the day.
Seating is arranged outside throughout the day, so if you’d like to enjoy a coffee or a drink outside, you shouldn’t have a difficult time finding a place to sit.
Bar One is the hotel’s bar, located in the same area as the lobby lounge. The space is beautifully decorated with lights inspired by boat hulls, steel beams, and plenty of glass.
Bar One is open daily from 11am–11pm.
We popped by for a drink one evening. I opted to try a local beer, while my wife Ashley sipped on a lovely Pet Nat.
We both enjoyed the ambience at Bar One, and thought that the drink selection was great.
The hotel has a fitness centre, located on the main floor. Regretfully, I didn’t manage to pop by to snag some pictures during my stay.
It’s also worth noting that the pier connects to unobstructed paths along the water in both directions, should you wish to go for a run or a long walk.
Pier One Sydney Harbour is a well-situated boutique hotel with classy rooms, great views, and plenty of nautical character. Most rooms in the hotel have views of either the water or the Harbour Bridge, so be sure to request one when you make a booking.
The service in the hotel was genuine and consistent, and we didn’t encounter any issues whatsoever during our stay. I found that the breakfast offering could be elevated, though, and perhaps elite benefits could be enhanced.
If you’re looking for a centrally located hotel or a place to relax and unwind during a trip to Sydney, be sure to consider Pier One Sydney Harbour as one of your options.