Where to stay in Sydney with easy access to the vibrant CBD, Chinatown and Darling Harbour solved with this Novotel Sydney Darling Square review.

This is a very walkable city when you pick one of the best places to stay in Sydney and there is plenty to see within a short distance of Novotel Sydney Darling Square.

Where to stay in Sydney

It is an easy seven-minute stroll from Novotel Sydney Darling Harbour Square to the Capitol Theatre. The hotel also is close to the Powerhouse Museum and almost adjacent to Chinatown where the streets are lined with eateries.  It is almost possible to think you are in Hong Kong or Singapore with the aromas of char-grilled food that float by as you walk through the narrow streets.

Just over the road are the serene  Chinese Gardens of Friendship which are a delightful place to escape the maddening crowd. Do take a wander through there if time allows.

Darling Harbour and the ICC (International Convention Centre Sydney) is only a short walk away too, or you can head into the CBD area and explore shopping haunts like the Queen Victoria Building.

It is also just a four-minute walk from Paddy’s Markets light rail station and nine kilometres from the iconic Sydney Opera House.

I was visiting Sydney for TravMedia’s Seventh Annual International Media Marketplace (IMM) Australia 2019 Event in Sydney.  Attended by more than 450 media and public relations representatives, it broke the record for Sydney. The event was hosted by Travel Portland, United Airlines and Air New Zealand.

Staying at this hotel, I was able to walk to some events and catch an Uber to others.

Keep reading for a full review on the hotel answering all your questions.

Best places to stay in Sydney

Here are some other great places to stay in Sydney –  Tank Stream Hotel,   Hyatt Regency Sydney and Sofitel Darling Harbour


Novotel Sydney Darling Square review

Easily distinguished by its exterior mural, the newly refurbished (February 2019) Novotel Sydney Darling Square has 230 rooms. Some renovations were still taking place during my visit with a new entrance portico under construction.

I checked in early in the day with a pleasant welcome at the ground floor reception. It was too early to access the room (10 am), so I left my bag and returned in the early evening after a very long day to pick up the key and retire for the night.


Inside the room

I stayed in 724 which was a Standard King Accessible Room designed to accommodate people with different abilities.

It had a view over the street into buildings and offered a quiet night’s sleep.  If you like a quiet room, choose this side of the building rather than the rooms overlooking the Chinese Gardens as my friends said these had more traffic noise.

The room was spacious with free Wi-Fi (included in my room tariff) and a flat-screen television on the wall opposite the bed.

The Samsung smart television means you can stream to the screen using your own account.  Just remember to log out afterwards. It also had an In Balance TV channel designed to help guests enjoy a good night’s sleep and/or wake up revitalised for the day’s activities.

Plenty of power points and several USB slots have been included on both sides of the bed and at the desk, so you won’t be stuck for a place to charge your devices.  While there wasn’t a master switch, I found it easy to turn off all the room lights when I wanted to sleep.

The bed was comfortable but was only fitted with a bottom sheet with a sheet-covered doona rather than a single sheet on top.  This made for a hot night’s sleep at times, especially in the early hours of the morning when the air conditioning seems to cycle slowly. You might like to set the air conditioning low at night to overcome this.

If you are fussy about your pillow, there is sure to be something to please amongst the five choices on the pillow menu which includes u-shaped and memory foam options.

Bathroom style

My room was fitted as an Accessible Room so I can’t comment on the layout in a standard room.

Fitting the hotel’s sustainability theme, the bathroom products are Fair Trade. There’s also a powerful hairdryer which I often find lacking in hotel rooms and it wasn’t concealed inside a bag which can provide an extra challenge when you are struggling to get ready in the morning.


What’s inside the mini bar?

No problems if you get the midnight munchies in this hotel.  The mini bar had plenty of options from chocolate bars, Tim Tams to chips.

There was no in-room Nespresso machine but Dilmah teas and real milk were nice touches.  Peppermint tea was a nice inclusion and greatly appreciated by me.

Dining options

There are two eateries inside the hotel. On the ground floor, the Pier Street Kitchen offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.  It is complemented by a PS Wine, in the lobby which is great for a quick coffee or snack.

Pumphouse Sydney is in an adjoining redbrick building dating from 1891. This heritage-listed microbrewery has an extensive selection of craft and premium brews including their signature Thunderbolt Strong Ale.

The 24- hour room service menu included a wide variety of dietician approved healthy options.  Expect considered portion sizes, plenty of veggies, and nutritionally balanced food.

Staying Fit

This Novotel has a heated indoor swimming pool and gym, but due to my short and busy stay, I did not view either.  I was tempted to request a yoga mat from reception and do my own thing in my room, but I fell asleep.

There’s also a business centre in the hotel.

Sigh with happiness factor


Novotel Sydney Darling Square is a mid-priced stay, but this is a newly refurbished hotel has much to delight the modern traveller.

My only gripe with the hotel involved my bag. When I checked in early at 10 am I left my bag and returned in the early evening after a very long day to pick up the key and retire for the night.  Unfortunately, my bag had not been placed in my room as I was told, which meant another trip to reception which is not what you want to do when you are tired. This also happened to my travelling companion.

Use this Novotel Sydney Darling Square review to pick your room carefully to suit your needs and you will have a delightful stay.

Find it at 17 Little Pier Street, Darling Harbour, Sydney.

Best rate: From $200 per night (Feb 2019)


Ed+bK stayed at Novotel Sydney Darling Square while visiting Sydney as a guest of TravMedia for the International Media Marketplace in February 2019.