Find the Best Harbour View Hotels in Sydney 2023
If you are trying to compare the best harbour view hotels in Sydney, you will find our deep dive into the pros and cons of the top hotels in the city a good place to start. Sydney’s reputation as one of the world’s most iconic waterfronts is well deserved, and nothing makes your visit to Sydney more special than staying in a hotel room with a view of Sydney Harbour.
A bit like booking a room with a view in Santorini or Paris; staying at one of these Sydney hotels is a worthwhile treat and one you are unlikely to regret. With their spectacular views of the icons and the Sydney skyline your stay is bound to become a cherished memory.
If you are in a hurry, then we have listed our favourites first, if not scroll down for all our tips and detailed reviews.
Our Top 5 Sydney Harbour View Hotels in Sydney
In a hurry and just want us to cut to the chase? Well here you go
- Hotel with the ultimate Sydney Harbour view – Four Seasons Hotel offers a dress circle view of Sydney Harbour that takes in both icons.
- Best Sydney Opera House view – Park Hyatt Sydney sits directly opposite the Sydney Opera House allowing you sunrise and sunset views from your bed.
- Best Hotel view of the Harbour Bridge – Pier One Hotel looks directly onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Best Honeymoon Harbour view hotel- Crown Towers Sydney‘s luxurious Harbour Bridge or Opera House king rooms.
- Best Harbour View Apartments – Sebel’s Quay West Suites one and two bedroom apartments are an excellent choice for families.
Scroll down for our detailed advice.
This post contains affiliate links. Our full disclosure policy is here.
Commonly Asked Questions About hotels with harbour views
The most important thing to do when booking one of these hotels is to confirm exactly what you are getting when you book. Some of these hotels have views of the Opera House, and others offer the perfect Sydney Harbour Bridge view; some have both!
Hotels in Sydney use different words to describe the views they offer so I thought it best to clear this up first, as it can get a bit confusing.
What does the definition “harbour view” mean?
- Opera House view – obviously you see the Opera House and at least some of the harbour.
- Sydney Harbour Bridge view – may only offer a view of the Harbour Bridge as is the case with Pier One or may, in fact, offer views of both the icons.
- Harbour view rooms – may include a view of both the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Perhaps there is just a view of one or the other; perhaps you will see water but neither landmark.
A harbour view may not include a view of either and could be a view out over Darling Harbour or the Botanic Gardens, depending on the hotel.
Which hotel has the best view of the Sydney Opera House?
I think it’s hard to beat the Park Hyatt and its face-on view of the Opera House. Their rooftop pool also has a spectacular view. This is the prime location in Sydney. Some rooms have floor to ceiling windows and private balconies too!
Which hotel has the best view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge?
The standout hotels that overlook the Sydney Harbour Bridge are:
- Pier One Sydney – sits almost directly under the bridge offering a very unique view.
- The Pullman Grand – one of the only properties that looks onto the front of the bridge.
- Shangri La Sydney – A look of the bridge from above
- Crown Towers – Sydney Harbour King Rooms – Brand new rooms with a western view of the bridge
Which hotel has the best view of Sydney Harbour overall?
These are the best hotels both offer amazing views of the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
- Four Seasons Hotel – the closest view of both the bridge and opera house.
- Shangri La Hotel Sydney – slightly further back but a similar view to the Four Seasons
- Intercontinental Hotel Sydney – The King Opera House Harbour Bridge View rooms are the go here
- Meriton Suites North Sydney – a different perspective with a view from the west of the harbour
Which hotels with harbour views are pet-friendly?
The Four Seasons Sydney is the latest Sydney Harbour hotel to offer pet friendly rooms. Pier One Hotel also offers pet packages, as does the nearby Langham Hotel, which does not have quite the same views but is an excellent alternative.
Are there any Harbour View Apartments in Sydney?
The Meriton North Sydney offers 2 bed 2 bath apartments with a very easy walk to North Sydney train station and shops. Families will appreciate the space in these apartments. Other apartment options include Sebel Quay West Suites Sydney.
If it is not clearly stated, always confirm the exact view before paying for your room.
How did we choose the hotels on this list?
Well, we have stayed in most of the hotels on this list over the last couple of years, and the ones we have not stayed in we have toured on more than one occasion. We have not been hosted by any of these but have self funded our staycations.
We have decided not to present a top 10 list, but instead, have only listed properties we would be preapared to hand over our hard earned cash for.
We are giving you the pros and cons of each to help you choose.
If you are looking for the best hotel views in Sydney, then I am sure you will be happy with one of these.
A word of warning, Sydney has a consistently high hotel occupancy rate (over 80%) so grabbing a bargain hotel room in Sydney with a harbour view is difficult. If you come across one or have points from a rewards program, I suggest you grab it quickly.
Hotels in Circular Quay and The Rocks
The Park Hyatt Hotel in Sydney
Guest Rating: 9.1/10 | Location: The Rocks | View on Booking.com
The five-star Park Hyatt Sydney is the city’s most expensive hotel. It boasts twelve different room types and some of the best harbour views in the city, with many rooms overlooking the Opera House.
We booked a colleague in here for their wedding night, and I managed a room inspection. It was stunning.
The two dining areas are bright and airy, offering buffets, afternoon tea or à la carte dining. If you are not staying here, consider stopping by for a coffee and cake.
This is an excellent hotel if you are planning a visit to Sydney for New Year’s Eve or for the Vivid Festival as you will have front row seats for all the action allowing you to avoid the crowds, save money on event tickets and sit back and watch the show from your room!
The exclusive roof top pool has to have one of the best pool views in the world. When you feel like a change of view Barangaroo Reserve is within walking distance of the hotel.
Pros: Bose digital music system, Nespresso coffee maker, and a level walk from public transport.
Cons: I would not consider the rooms that do not offer a view. This view makes the hotel so unique.
The Shangri La Hotel Sydney
Guest Rating: 8.1/10 | Location: The Rocks | View on Booking.com
The Shangri-La Sydney Sydney is pure 5-star luxury hotel. Located at the beginning of the Rocks, all the prime tourist attractions are right outside your room and the train station is only a few minutes’ walk away.
We had a stay-cation anniversary here and it was a wonderful experience. The spacious rooms are very well-appointed, the large windows offer lots of natural light, and our bed was super comfortable. The staff go out of their way to make sure your time with them is special.
Book early – if you can’t get a room with an Opera House or Harbour Bridge view, then while the view over Darling Harbour is also lovely I would probably consider a different property.
Beyond the rooms, Bar Blu and Altitude restaurant are fantastic, perfect for a special occasion meal or drink. The hotel also has good business facilities for working trips. If you can manage a splurge in the hotel’s spa, you will not be disappointed. I felt like I had gone to heaven!
Pros: Amazing views from the harbour facing rooms. Excellent service and staff. Great restaurants.
Cons: The uphill walk from Circular Quay could be troublesome for some, only an indoor pool, pricy car parking
The Intercontinental Hotel Sydney
Guest Rating: 8.2/10 | Location: Circular Quay | View on Booking.com
The Intercontinental Sydney had a 120 million refurbishment in 2022 and the rooms which are decorated in gorgeous soft blues and greens offer a relaxing escape from the busy city streets.
Along with amazing views of Sydney Harbour, the hotel is only a 2-minute walk to the Royal Botanic Gardens making this a brilliant choice for anyone who loves a morning walk or run.
A popular new addition is Aster Bar on level 32 which offers Harbour and Botanic Garden views.
The hotel has an indoor pool, it’s a reasonable size and has a magnificent view of the harbour.You are about 5 minutes from the Pitt Street Mall shopping precinct, and with Sydney Buses stopping right outside, this is a very convenient location.
Pros: Room quality is as good as many pricier hotels, particularly those on the top floors. Make sure you visit the new rooftop bar.
Cons: Not all rooms have an unobstructed view, so be sure you request one.
The Four Seasons Hotel in Sydney
Guest Rating: 9.1/10 | Location: Circular Quay | View on Booking.com
The Four Seasons Sydney recently refurbished their 530 rooms. The rooms themselves are gorgeous, with quality fittings and amazing views of Sydney Harbour.
For a honeymoon or special occasion (or lottery win) the presidential suite offers this amazing bathtub.
Mode Kitchen & Bar run by executive chef Francesco Mannelli offers a Mediterranean influenced menu that includes a good number of gluten free options.
On the ground floor Grain bar offers creative cocktails incluuing the famous Koala and one of the country’s largest whisky selections with 200-plus list features a mix of rare and well-known single-malt and blended whiskys.
Pros: This property has the best location and comfortable beds, a heated outdoor pool and wonderful food.
Cons: Some of the standard guest rooms are a little small.
Pullman Quay Grand Suites Sydney Harbour
Guest Rating: 8.5/10 | Location: Circular Quay | View on Booking.com
The Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour is a great option; this hotel has a fantastic harbour bridge view. It’s an apartment hotel, and offers 1 and two-bedroom suites.
Rooms here are pricey – even on sale, the one-bedroom suites are $499, but they do give you space, a view and a location right in the middle of the action. They also often host celebs, so who knows who you may bump into in the lobby!
Check out our guide to where to eat and drink in Sydney when you visit.
When this development was first proposed, Sydneysiders were up in arms about the ugly “toaster” style building destroying the view of the Botanic Gardens. Some locals still refer to the buildings along East Circular Quay that house many cafes, shops and restaurants as the “toaster”, but not as many of us are cynical about it now.
The rooms are also double glazed, so noise is not a problem. The pool on level 7 has excellent views over the harbour. If you are trying to save some money, consider a garden view, these are also very beautiful, and there are plenty of public areas to take in the waterside view.
Pros: Spacious rooms, laundry, location
Cons: Views of the harbour from some rooms can be obstructed, so keep this in mind when booking.
Sydney Harbour Marriott
Guest Rating: 8.1/10 | Location: Circular Quay | View on Booking.com
A short walk from the Quay and about 10 minutes to the shopping strip the Marriott Sydney Harbour is well located for exploring the city beyond the Quay. There are rooms with panoramic views of either the Harbour Bridge or the Opera House, or if you have enough cash, some exceptional rooms with both the icons’ views.
The food here is also excellent, and they are well known for their quality seafood. There is an Avis car rental service operating from the hotel, making it easy to collect and return a car,
I recommend this hotel for anyone with limited mobility, as the short flat walk to the harbour and up to Pitt Street shopping district is very easy.
Pros: Flat walk to the harbour in just 2 minutes. Have facilities for you to use if your room is not ready.
Cons: The lifts can be slow, and service can get patchy in peak periods.
Pier One Sydney Harbour
Guest Rating: 8.5/10 | Location: The Rocks | View on Booking.com
Pier One Sydney is perfect if you are more Harbour Bridge than Opera House. The Harbour view balcony suites where you can sit back and watch all the action on and under the iconic Harbour Bridge are on the money!
The hotel is built on one of the beautiful wooden wharves on the harbour’s western side in between the Rocks and Walsh Bay, making it perfect for exploring the Barangaroo Reserve and its buzzing dining scene.
I would probably not book the rooms without balconies as they have small windows and feel a little claustrophobic to me, but the decor is nice, and you might be perfectly happy here.
Pros: Dog-friendly suites, short walk to Barangaroo, beautiful furnishings.
Cons: Can be noisy on weekends because of events in the function spaces. Rooms without balconies can be small.
Sebel Quay West Suites
Guest Rating: 8.7/10 | Location: The Rocks | View on Booking.com
Sebel Quay West Suites have long been a popular choice for a serviced apartment with Sydney Harbour views. The apartments feature full kitchens and laundrys, making them excellent for longer stays.
The property’s heated sunken Roman style swimming pool allows for year round swimming. There is also an onsite French style restaurant Quartier Bistro & Bar, if you don’t feel like cooking.
Pros: Five star apartments that can sleep 5 are rare in Sydney. The heated indoor pool has fantastic harbour views.
Cons: The furniture is starting to show its age in some apartments. Some rooms also get some traffic noise. Request a high floor to minimise this.
Hotels in North Sydney and the Lower North Shore
Some people prefer the relative quiet of the north side of the harbour; from here, you are still less than 20 mins away by ferry from dining options at Barangaroo or Darling Harbour and all the action of Circular Quay.
View Hotel – Formerly North Sydney Harbourview Hotel
Guest Rating: 8.4/10 | Location: North Sydney | View on Booking.com
The View Hotel offers panoramic views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Its location above the railway station can be a concern, but as long as you get a room above the lowest few floors, you will love the convenience and not hear the trains at all.
The Harbourview usually have a great NYE rooftop party, so this is something to consider if you are looking for an easy NYE option.
Pros: Short walk to the harbour and station with a shopping plaza nearby: refurbished rooms and good quality beds.
Cons: Limited dining, train noise can interrupt sleep on the lower floors. Only book a high harbour view floor.
Meriton Suites North Sydney
Guest Rating: 8.8/10 | Location: North Sydney | View on Booking.com
The five star Meriton Suites North Sydney is very well located, only a 4-minute walk from North Sydney train station. This 29 story hotel has the most amazing harbour views from their premium Harbour Suites.
Accommodation is in one- and two-bedroom apartments with full kitchens and living rooms. Some rooms have balconies overlooking the harbour. There are also accessible rooms.
Pros: full kitchens and laundries, heated indoor pool, free wifi, and a fitness centre.
Cons: no evening on-site dining
Travelling on a budget? Check out our favourite budget hotels in Sydney
About the author: Paula Morgan, a born-and-bred Sydney resident, has been sharing this city and its secret spots for over 15 years. She’s not just about the iconic landmarks; she’s all about the hidden alleys adorned with street art, and the joy of discovering a new café or a fabulous restaurant tucked away in a corner you never knew existed and weekends away exploring regional NSW.
Main image: The Sydney Suite at the Park Hyatt Hotel