Travellers often want to stay somewhere hip and exciting, but sometimes it can pay dividends to stick with tried and true accommodation.
I would have stayed at the Sofitel Wentworth in Sydney multiple times over the past 30 years, including in its previous incarnation as a Sheraton, but the service has seldom been as good as it is right now.
So many five-star hotels look great but get the basics wrong; long lines at check-in and check-out, staff who avoid eye contact and only want to help when there might be a tip involved.
There are no such issue at the Sofitel Wentworth, where there were no queues - and the staff appeared uniformly switched on and ready to help.
The Sofitel Wentworth is an iconic luxury hotel in the heart of the Sydney CBD (you can walk just about anywhere from here) with 436 rooms and suites.
It could easily feel intense and rushed, but instead there is an air of dignity and calm, such as you find at classic London hostelries,
The site has been host to a hotel since 1854 and the current edifice was built in 1966 and was the first five-star hotel in Sydney. In 2002, Accor became the new operators of the hotel, which has hosted royalty and big-name rock stars.
The hotel offers all that you expect from a premium hotel. Most of the rooms overlook a central Garden Courtyard and there are extensive meeting and conference facilities, a health club, day spa, restaurant and a chic lounge that serves afternoon teas.
All the rooms are non-smoking, a blessing, and my junior suite was extremely comfortable with a hugely comfortable bed, a thoughtful gift plate including chocolates and macarons, as well as reverse-cycle air conditioning, pillow menu, bathrobe and slippers, Lanvin bathroom amenities, mini bar, and TV with cable/pay channels. There is complimentary wireless internet access throughout the property.
I also had access to the rather excellent Club Sofitel, a quiet oasis which offers free drinks and canapes in the evening and an excellent buffet breakfast in the morning.
The hotel location is close to ferry, train and bus stops and only minutes from the Opera House, Circular Quay, The Rocks and the Royal Botanic Gardens.
But that is enough of my enthusiastic
Otherwise, I was extremely impressed. And double rooms start from $196 online depending on the season, formidable value when other five-star properties are charging two or three times as much.
The Sofitel Wentworth Hotel, 61-101 Phillip Street, Sydney 2000. (02) 9228 9188