Since 1974, the Hilton Sydney has been a staple of Sydney’s high-end hotel’s scene. It was first opened in 1974. Since then, the hotel has been through many renovations and changes. In 2020, it received its most recent refurbishment, marking its first major upgrade since 2005.


The Hilton is located in the heart city at 488 George Street, opposite the Queen Victoria Building. It is also just a short walk away from Hyde Park and the Town Hall. The novelty of seeing light rail trams or light rail vehicles speeding past the hotel is a familiar feeling for Melburnians.


This year, the 587-room hotel completed a two-year renovation project that included two types of rooms: Corner Rooms with extra space and views and Family Rooms, which are adjoining rooms that can be rented together. Three female artists, Camie Lyons, Angela Hayson, and Bec Tarrant, have been added to the hotel. The former two are from Sydney, while the latter is an Indigenous artist from Queensland.

Other selling points include the large Fitness First basement gym, which has a pool and offers guests complimentary access; Luke Mangan’s flagship restaurant (see “The Food”) and the underground Marble Bar, both heritage-listed.


New soft furnishings, curtains, and carpets have been installed in the rooms designed by Sydney’s A+ design. Also, new bathroom fittings, recliners, and smart TVs measuring 140 cm have been added. The desks were removed and replaced by a table that can either be dining or working.

One of the Corner Rooms has three narrow windows that overlook the street. Each window has a cushion on the sill for those who want to take a seat and enjoy the view. It works well, with a small entrance housing the wardrobe and set of drawers. Then you go through the corridor to the actual room. You’re therefore not at risk of any noise coming from the corridor.

A king-sized bed has been added and a 140cm TV screen. They are so large that they almost seem too big for the space. The minibar was not available due to the COVID-19 safety protocol. The blackout blinds provide a peaceful sleep when the sun rises. You will find controls for all lights in the room by the bed. They are clearly labelled, so you don’t have to search for the switch for the nightlight in the bathroom.

Crabtree & Evelyn provide toiletries in the bathroom. It features a large, separate, deep bathtub and a large shower.

The Hilton was Sydney’s last quarantine hotel. It was removed from the program in January. When I was there, workers from the nearby office building left messages of support (“You’ve got it!”). They were still visible, taped on their windows. It was nice to see them even though I wasn’t locked in my room for 14 nights.


The Hilton’s signature restaurant, Glass Brasserie, is a popular attraction for locals and guests. It’s closed from Thursday through Saturday during my stay due to COVID-19. I’m content to gaze at the room service menu, which features some of the most popular dishes. Although the regular room service menu is acceptable, having visited the Good Food restaurant in Sydney on a previous visit, I know what I’m missing. Although breakfast is still buffet-style, the chef is either pre-plated or prepared.


Nearby is the iconic State Theatre, which is located on Market Street. With the state’s vaccination rates exceeding 90 per cent, enjoying a night out at the theatre is possible. A wide variety of comedy, theatre, and music acts will be performing in the next months at this venue. There is still limited capacity, and all punters must show proof of vaccination. You can visit the famous Hilton underground Marble Bar before the show for a drink.


The Hilton is Sydney’s most famous hotel, despite being around for nearly 50 years. Although the recent changes are not revolutionary, more room types are welcome.


The Hilton Sydney rooms start at $269 per night and $294 for a King Corner Room.

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