Bringing the kids to Sydney? You’re a brave soul—the flight’s a long one. But it’ll be more than worth it when you watch your youngsters spy the Opera House and Harbour Bridge for the first time, see koalas and kangaroos up close at the world-class Taronga Zoo, or splash in the waves at glorious Bondi Beach. But before you head out on a big family adventure, you’ll need to choose the right hotel—preferably one that caters to groups and has plenty of options (namely, a great pool) to keep the kiddies entertained when all you want to do is lie down for a rest. I’ve chosen five world-class hotels that do a great job of catering to families. One lets anybody under the age of 18 lodge at no cost; another boasts a fantastic heated pool; and all of them feature rooms large to fit your whole crew, suitcases and all.
Vacations are expensive, so the Hilton is here to ease the pain on mom and dad’s wallet. Any child aged 18 and under who stays in his or her parents’ room does so at no cost. Plus, the location’s close proximity to Hyde Park and the harbor make this hotel ideal for a sightseeing brood.
Need to let the kids blow off some steam? Send them to the heated indoor pool at the InterContinental Sydney for an hour or two while you catch up on that beach read you’ve been neglecting. The hotel’s beautifully designed standard guest rooms provide plenty of space for your family—but if you’re feeling like a real splurge, try to book the Australia Suite on the 29th floor. It’s the largest hotel room in the city.
Pier One Hotel Sydney
Overnight accommodation doesn’t get much more special than these waterfront rooms located in Sydney’s historic Rocks precinct. Each features nautical-themed décor, exposed beams, and a vibe that screams “I’m on a boat!” You’ll marvel at the painstaking attention to detail, and kids will enjoy playing pirate in the gorgeous surroundings.
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
This grand lady in the heart of Sydney’s business district houses more than 400 rooms and suites, and is the perfect home base for families that want to experience everything Sydney has to offer without travel too far. They do a number of great seasonal packages, which often complement current art exhibitions or city-wide festivals.
Pullman Sydney Harbour
Don’t feel like dragging the kids to the beach? They’ve got you covered at the Pullman. Encourage the youngsters to spend the day on the hotel’s Recreation Deck, which boasts a heated indoor swimming pool, spa and sauna, and a deck where they can soak up the sun while enjoying harbor views.