Pier One Sydney Harbour
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This has to be the city’s most underrated hotel when it comes to Harbour Bridge views. We tried it firsthand and can guarantee it’ll take your breath away, along with $1499 per night if you book room number 214. It’s a stunning suite with a massive stand-alone bath overlooking the harbour and Luna Park.
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A 15th-floor suite with almost 180-degree views of Darling Harbour in a five-star Sydney hotel for $499 is, in our book, a bargain. Particularly, when it means dress-circle views of the 50-metre-high Cockle Bay fountains complete with fireworks, LEDs and projections during the Vivid season. Ask for room number 1591 – it offers the best Darling Harbour views in town.
Fraser Suites Sydney
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Any room ending with “06” on level 36 or above in this glassy high-rise is guaranteed to provide uninterrupted views of the Vivid displays at Darling Harbour and Barangaroo. It’s not as expensive as you might think – rates start at $361 a night.
Park Hyatt Sydney
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When it comes to Sydney Harbour and Opera House views, Park Hyatt gets the lion’s share. But it is room number 342 on level three where you want to be. With floor-to-ceiling windows and two private balconies, it frames the famous sails like no other hotel in the city. Of course, this privilege comes at a price – $1450 per night to be precise.
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Flanked by skyscrapers on all sides, the Hilton Sydney unfortunately doesn’t have Vivid views. That’s not enough to suppress the spirit of this high-rise, which has turned one of its suites (number 2925) into a little piece of Vivid itself with quirky, eclectic and, well, vivid lighting. The per night tariff for a Relaxation Suite is $759 and includes breakfast, in-room cocktails and high tea for two.
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With two bedrooms (each with its own ensuite) and a vast living area with wraparound floor-to-ceiling windows, The Darling’s penthouse (room number 1688) is the ultimate splash-out option on this list; a night here will set you back $5000. But thanks to the glittering city views, any night of the year promises to be a spectacular experience – Vivid or no Vivid.
The Westin Sydney
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Throw yourself among the crowds that gather at Martin Place at twilight to soak up the festive vibe. Then, when it all gets too much, retreat to your corner executive suite – room number 3009 – for front-row Vivid views in blissful isolation. Rates start from $680 a night and include executive lounge privileges.
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Located on the 29th floor with unbeatable views of the bridge and the Opera House as well as the Royal Botanic Gardens, The Australia Suite (room number 2900) is one of the most celebrated hotel rooms in the country. But if your budget doesn’t quite allow spending $5000 a night, check into a Premium Opera House View Room. More precisely, book room number 2925 for a fraction of the cost (about $400) with priceless views.
Four Seasons Sydney
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Another hotel room to break the bank – the Presidential Suite (room number 3406) perched on the top (34th!) floor of the Four Seasons for $4900 a night. Also consider one of the Full Harbour Junior Suites, for which rates start at $590 a night. Ask for room number 3015 – located on the 30th floor.
Harbour Rocks Hotel MGallery by Sofitel
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There’s no dearth of hotel rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows in Sydney. But what about a suite with a rooftop terrace overlooking the harbour and Opera House? Just ask for the Harbour View Suite (room number 401) and be ready to pay about $600 a night.
Pullman Quay Grand Sydney
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The Pullman Quay Grand is another dark horse when it comes to Sydney hotels with harbour views – have you even heard of this one? Ask for the room 901, the Two-Bedroom Harbour View Suite, which is more affordable than you may think (from $899 a night) and comes with its own lounge and dining area and a fully equipped kitchen.
Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour
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There are two Novotels in Sydney’s Darling Harbour, so make sure you book the right one: the Murray Street location. While you’re at it, ask for the Loft Suite (room number 1017). Rates start at $339 a night – a small price to pay for sweeping Sydney skyline views and the Cockle Bay fountain light show during Vivid season.
Sydney Harbour Marriott
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With nightly rates starting at $309, the Opera View room (room number 2505) at the Sydney Harbour Marriott with inspiring views of the Opera House is a bargain.
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Enjoy 83 square metres of real estate complete with a separate living room and sweeping harbour and Opera House views by checking into the Executive Grand Harbour View Suite (room number 1507). From $665 a night.