We recently stayed in the Sebel Pier One Hotel Sydney for three nights on the 12th, 13th and 14th March 2009 in a Waterside King Room.
The location is great, pretty much under the west side of the Harbour Bridge. It’s a quiet location, with a short walk to the Park Hyatt Sydney under the Harbour bridge then to the Rocks, Circular Quay and Sydney’s Northern CBD. Cab to Circular Quay from the Sebel Pier One is only $5, the walk takes about 10 minutes.
The reception area has a see through glass floor in front of the bar which is interesting but the glass is a little cloudy so you cannot actually see much in the water.
The hotel has three floors, for the best views you want to be facing west and as close to the north as possible. Most of the function and meeting rooms are on the north of the building and the second level function room has a great terrace which extends out. Many weddings are held at the Sebel Pier One.
First impression of the King View room was that it was spacious enough however the furniture was a little tired, the desk power point was hanging out of the wall a bit and the bathroom was big. Tea and Coffee facilities were there but no biscuits! Mini bar had wine, beer and pre-mix spirits, so none of those tiny little spirits bottles. Wired internet access for 3 days was $40 via an Ezestream service.
The Pier One Hotel has a gym, but no pool, no sauna and no day spa, which is why I think it gets its 4.5 star rating rather then 5. The Gym has a fantastic view under the Harbour bridge and the Opera House can be seen through the pylons on the south side of the bridge.
Some quirks about the Pier One Hotel, these are not necessarily bad, in fact it is what gives the place character. Fishermen seem to fish on the next pier 24 hours a day, and occasionally they do pull fish out of Sydney Harbour, whether you would actually want to eat that fish I’m not so sure. Tourist and party boats occasionally pull up on the pier next to Pier One (would that be Pier 2?), they seem to vacate by 10pm at the latest. Being a wooden Pier building, if someone walks down the hallway or in the room next to you it can sometimes feel it shake the floor and your bed.
Breakfast is in the restaurant on the ground floor which has great views across the harbour, there is always something to watch on the harbour so you can sit there watching the boats and before you know it half an hour will have gone by. If you want a ‘real’ expresso coffee with breakfast or if you want anything different to what it offered at the buffet you have to ask the staff for it, they don’t seem to want to ask you if there is anything else you might want (and might want to pay for also). For the three days we stayed the same staff did not ask if I wanted a coffee, I had to go to the bar and request one each morning. The closest alternative to the hotel’s breakfast would probably be to walk around to the Rocks.
The Sebel Pier One certainly is a relaxing place to stay given its aspect is literally ‘over the water’, however I can’t help but think it is riding on its location a little and leaving out a few upkeep and service details which would push it up to being a great hotel. I would stay again but not at the $423 per night premium prices we paid for that particular weekend because a wedding and a function was being held at the hotel.