Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour

4 out of 5 stars4 Stars

17 Little Pier St, (formerly Novotel Century Sydney), Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia

3 Reviews

Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour
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Satisfaction Very Good
Very Good

Value Score Average Value

Similarly priced and rated as other 4 star hotels

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Good For Couples
  • Families68
  • Couples70
  • Solo66
  • Business57
  • Minimalist Expressionism


    Staying at the Rockford in Darling Harbour was a dual edged sword. On the one hand, the accomodation was excellent, with clean decent sized rooms and reception staff that tried their best to cater for special requests. On the other hand, the restaurant and dining was a little hit and miss. The Pumphouse restaurant service is exceptional and the food delicious, however at the first sign of a business night the bar service deteriorates considerably.

    The facilities are pretty much what you'd expect from a Novotel. The gym is competent but dated. There is a basic business centre available. Tea/coffee facilities in room. As above the restaurant is very good, but the attached bar not so much (although if you get one the senior food/beverage staff you'll be in excellent hands).

    The location is pretty good, although it is a little walk from Darling Harbour, but with Chinatown right around the corner cheap eats abound.

    This hotel is more setup for business travellers and couples rather than families. The very minimalist interiors remind me of a W hotel, but with slightly more colour. Recommended for business travellers.

    Unique Quality: Nice views of the Chinese Tea Garden near Darling Harbour and very close to Chinatown.

  • Novotel Rockford (aka Novotel Century)


    The Novotel Rockford is a dismal place, and at A$210 per night is poor value, even for Sydney's overpriced middle-market sector.
    Rooms on the north side of the building suffer from very close proximity to a major highway, and although the rooms are new and fresh, they don't yet have any form of internet connection in all the rooms. Some have dial-up but for most visitors, wireless internet access on the ground and mezzanine floor is all you will get - and they have the nerve to charge A$20 for the inconvenience of this access.

    Unique Quality: For A$50 per night less across the road at the Holiday Inn Darling Harbour, I got a bigger room, the same services but I had inroom broadband and a newspaper at my door every morning. Quite how the Novotel justifies their prices, I will never know. The entire building is served by just two extremely slow lifts. The staffing for breakfast is woefully inadequate, resulting in tables piled high with detritus and no-one to clear it.

    But the most heinous crime was their failure to pick up laundry - a critical requirement as I was to be on the road for another week and this was my only chance to get laundry done. It was so important that I actually spoke to five people to ensure that it would be picked up from the room. Two phone calls to housekeeping went unanswered so I spoke to two housekeeping staff on the floor, and three people at reception before leaving in the morning. On my return in the evening, the bag - left cunningly hidden in a Novotel laundry bag in the middle of the floor so that you had to step over it to get in and out of the room - was still there. This quite staggeringly poor service was the final straw, and I came close to simply walking out of the hotel. I expressed my discontent - extremely politely, but assertively - to the duty manager. I noted, when I checked out that they didn't offer any reduction in the rate, not even, say, waiving the breakfast charge. I walked away more dissatisfied than with any other hotel in twenty years of being a regular hotel user. Novotel-Accor, you are a disgrace.

    Make no mistake about it, the Novotel Rockford in Sydney is a crap hotel and badly managed. Try the Holiday Inn across the road for A$50 less per night for better rooms, better lifts and better service.

    Directions: Off Harbour Street, opposite the Chinese Gardens

  • iandsmith's Profile Photo

    In the thick of it all


    This is a comfortable motel conveniently placed between Darling Harbour and the CBD. The rooms are spacious and well appointed though if you want a view you'll be looking for floor four or above.
    Staff were reasonably efficient and they have a concierge as well as reception.
    Breakfast is comprehensive and buffet style.
    My only complaint in the rooms was the lack of biscuits to have with a cuppa and the parsimonious number of teabags (2) that were at my disposal.

More about Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour

Good Stay

by TripAdvisor Member Redforde17

We chose to stay at the Novotel Rockford due to its location in Darling Harbour and the reasonable price. Coming from Perth we found many of the Sydney hotels very expensive and the Novotel offered a reasonable rate at a reasonable hotel.

Location was great - short walk to Darling Harbour and just across the road from Chinatown. The rooms were comfortable and clean and serviced daily. All our requests were put through as we had booked four rooms.

The only thing that bothered us about the Novotel was some of the front office staff, they weren't particularly friendly, one front office manager in particular. On the other hand the front office girl in training was lovely along with the housekeeping ladies.

I had read some of the reviews before going and was a little concerned that I would have a bad experience too however my experience was pretty good. If you want a good room, great location and at a reasonable price for Sydney I would stay here.

Good location and value

by TripAdvisor Member Ryleeh

We had a very pleasant overnight stay at this hotel on 23/11/2006.
Now reading all these horrible reviews, I wonder whether they have improved since then as we had no (major) complaints.

We booked on Wotif for $258 a week beforehand.

Check-in was fast and easy. We had booked a package over looking the Chinese Gardens (so tranquil looking, we decided to pay to go in and have a look next day). Champagne on arrival was part of the package as was a buffet breakfast. No mention of the champagne at check in, and not in the room. So I had to ring to organise it - you actually have to order it when you want. Had to also enquire about the times and location of breakfast.

Room was colourful and modern with a great sized LCD or plasma TV. Bathroom was white and bright and a medium size.

King size bed - very comfortable as were the pillows.

Buffet breakfast was good - lots of selections of pastries, eggs, hashbrowns, sausages, cereals, fruit and juices etc etc.

The only gripe I had with this hotel is the cheap Tiffany brand iron that leaked water and wrecked my pair of $149 pants! Not happy!

I booked this hotel for it's handy location to the party we went to at Darling Harbour. Parking at the Enteratinment Centre was $20 for 24 hours for guests, instead of $25. I thought it was good value, and we definitely would stay there again if we have another big night out at Darling Harbour.


by TripAdvisor Member Andy_Easom

Seven night stay. Liked the room if a little plain. Location superb for all of Sydney in particular Darling Harbour and surrounding area.
Pool area very poor. Nowhere really to relax.
Pumphouse Bar which is part of the hotel is fine for early drinks but don't go late on ie 10.30 onwards as we did expecting to be served as they were closing up. Now in my experience i would have thought a hotel bar should be available to residents and guests for nigh on 24 hrs and as people are arriving and leaving all the time this is what you should expect i think.
Another point about our room was the traffic noise. Very busy road below and the glazing appeared inadequate to cope with the volume of traffic.
Next to the hotel is the Entertainment Centre and we felt honoured to get tickets for Kylie's comback tour. So check as you book to see if there are any top acts on whilst you are there.
Didn't take breakfast or any meals so cannot pass comment.
Also could do with another lift. Whilst we were there one of the two lifts was out of action for three days at least.
Tried to take the stairs but couldn't gain access to floor where pool is situated.

Quite fine for a City Hotel

by TripAdvisor Member Allymal

We found the Hotel just fine. The rooms werent large but they were comfy and very clean. The hotel is beside a busy multi lane road but this was not a problem - we live where there is no traffic and it didnt bother us at all. The concierge and check in staff were really helpful and nice but the girls serving at breakfast were very rude and unhelpful. This is more of an over nighter for business people or for just a quick stop over. Very nice and handy to everything.

Rock On Rockford!

by TripAdvisor Member Truth000

The Novotel Rockford at Darling Harbour is a great little boutique hotel which is surprisingly quiet, considering its near the entertainment centre!!
Modern and clean this hotel is a great alternative to staying on the shores of Darling Harbour. Close to the chinese gardens, china town, the entertainment centre and convention centres. At around $200 an night, the hotel is comfortable and stylish. The only flaw is parking - there isn't any! You have to park at the convention/entertainment centre parking and walk..which is not nice if you are carrying heavy luggage or equipment. There is no offer of a concierge to do it for you either!!
However, a nice place and worth a stay if you want to be out of the way in Sydney....

Great hotel, excellent rates, loved it!!!!!!

by TripAdvisor Member weneedaholiday

After looking at these reviews, i was a little worried that this hotel would be dated and not very nice...but as we were on a budget and sydney hotels around darling harbour are generally expensive...we got a really good deal through the accor hotel site at 135.00 (new zealand dollars) per night per room...this was a non changeble rate...

Well what a wonderful suprise when we got there, had a lovely room on the 8th floor, which was roomy ,clean and modern with a king size bed, a plasma tv and a nice big bathroom...we couldnt have asked for better

The staff were really friendly helpful, with a smile and a greeting whenever we entered or left

the hotel had a gym and indoor swimming pool which we didnt use but had a look at) a restaurant and a bar...we even got free drinks on the last night

location was excellent within 2 mins walk of both the paddys market light rail and china town monorail( taking you around the city and all major attractions and to the star city casino and sydney fish market and also cental train station on the other side)

We got a family pass on the mono rail and light rail for $50.00 (2 ppl)for 3 days 24 hours unlimited rides (at 4.50 per ride per person this was great value)

the hotel was also in walking distance of the central city, sydney tower and oztrek, sydney aquarium, darling harbour, maritime musieum, powerhouse musieum, chinatown, convention center and exhibition center

overall in an expensive city like sydney this hotel was really good value for money and we had no complaints...we are pretty easy going...but reading some of these reviews i cant belive they are talking about the same hotel


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 Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour

We've found that other people looking for this hotel also know it by these names:

Novotel Sydney
Sydney Novotel
Novotel Hotel Sydney
Novotel Rockford Darling Harbour Hotel Sydney

Address: 17 Little Pier St, (formerly Novotel Century Sydney), Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia