Westin Sydney (The)

1 Martin Place, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia
#17 of 452 hotels in Sydney
Excellent (4.5 out of 5.0) 11 reviews
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Don't bother, go elsewhere

Terrible (1.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on August 30, 2012

Let me start by saying that we made the mistake of booking this hotel as part of a six night get away. Apparently, according to the management of the hotel this was our mistake as they do not cater for leisure guests but instead cater for corporate customers who only stay 1-2 nights. That’s right! Our mistake! It’s a pitty they don’t tell you however when you make your reservation or at least mention it on their website.
We arrived at the hotel, dropped off by a driver as we were assured we wouldn’t need any transport given the hotel’s location. Upon arriving there were no porters or anyone to help with our bags. This wasn’t a problem, until (which was a common theme throughout the stay) we walk through the front doors and see them all crowded behind a computer at their desk. Obviously all pre-occupied. They were quick to offer assistance once they spotted us.
Check-in by Bella was great, seamless and genuine. She explained where our room was, how to get there and explained about the executive lounge that we had access to. Perhaps the only delightful staff member we encountered.
The room wasn’t bad. Dated with inappropriate art work and an outlook directly into the office building next door but certainly not bad. It was clean, reasonable size and a comfortable bed. The room itself however doesn’t have any power outlets by the beds and only one power point by the desk. This is perhaps because of their corporate clientele not requiring more but with two people it was difficult to make sure the phones and tablets were charged for the following day and usually requiring a midnight swap! We did request a power board from “Service Express” but we were delivered an extension lead, upon calling back we were told we could purchase a power board from the Coles around the corner (we did, it cost us $6).
The hotel is in a great location and we didn’t need a car. Only a couple of minutes down the road are train stations, mall, monorail station, Hyde Park, Circular Quay, etc. The hotel also has access to a pool and gym, held in an adjacent building. These however aren’t operated by the hotel and are part of a busy chain of gyms within the city. It was well appointed however busy and tedious to find. (Down one elevator, across the walkway, through a hall, up another elevator then down some steps). Their business centre is the same and held in the same building. Due to the lack of facilities in their business centre, we were unable to utilise it.
We obviously had some expectations going into the Westin. They boast themselves as one of the best hotels in Sydney given their location, brand and reputation. Unfortunately our expectations were let down especially around customer service and the general rudeness of staff at the hotel.
When we ordered drinks at their bar & lounge on a Saturday night we felt we were burdening the girl behind the bar. After waiting for some time, we felt we had to go to her at the other end of the bar where she was talking to the other staff. It wasn’t busy. The drinks were made and thankfully her sourness wasn’t infused in the drinks we ordered. We were able to take a hint however and quickly left the bar as they started packing up around us. We weren’t the only ones in the bar nor was it late. We didn’t know what time the bar closes (they tell you late) however felt we were being pushed out without so much as any words from the staff.
The Executive Lounge is another feature of the hotel, servicing guests who have either paid for an executive room (we chose to) or higher levels of the Starwood loyalty club. It offered daily breakfast, refreshments through the day and canapés of an evening. This was normally an interesting experience however. We were met our first morning by a very officious young man who without any greeting what-so-ever promptly asked “Remind me of your room number again?” We quickly told him our room number and then all of a sudden we appeared to be dismissed. Well good morning to you too! My partner was lucky (or unlucky?) enough to be offered coffee as we sat down. I wasn’t offered seemed to be continued to be ignored. The breakfast selection was good small variety of hot foods, muesli, cereals and pastries. They appeared however to be adverse to clearing plates once finished so you could read without them getting in the way of the newspapers. This was how it was run daily!
I don’t expect to have a conversation with every staff member I come across, I in fact dislike the feel of over servicing you can get from some hotels but I do expect to be acknowledged. A generic greeting when we’d arrive for breakfast, a warm smile from behind the bar. This is where the Westin failed. Even walking through the foyer one evening again being ignored by staff, we decided to wish to the staff behind the front desk a good evening, again all crowded around the one computer, appearing to share a joke (or perhaps a funny youtube video?) Only one of them felt the need to look up, mumble something before quickly looking back to the computer. Not even any eye contact. While these seem like something small to pick at but when you encounter the behaviour from the concierge, front desk (apart from Bella), the Lounge/Bar and the Executive Lounge you start to feel VERY unwelcome.
Not really feeling that any of the staff were approachable (they weren’t?) I made a post online to Starwood generalising how displeased we were. Their response? Go talk to the property manager on duty. So, I did!
It was around 8.30 and people were checking out, so there was an obvious line waiting for the front desk so I went to the concierge desk. There was no one else there. I spoke to Ron (a member of Les Clef’s d’Or) who again without making eye contact (or even looking up from the paper he was reading), quickly dismissed me with a wave of his hand telling me to “Speak to someone on front desk”. I’m not sure why they gave him a radio and a phone when he can’t use either. But regardless, I went and lined up and quickly got a chance to speak to Rachel who was the manager on duty.
She was quick to apologise that I didn’t feel like I was welcomed here and we talked about how they mainly cater for corporate guests. I explained how unwelcome we felt and that we were looking at leaving the hotel. She was quick to ask us not to do that and to stay on and that hopefully they could sort something out for us. I explained that our issue was that their staff were making us feel unwelcome and that I’m not sure what could be done other than us leave. We gave her the benefit of the doubt however and agreed to wait to see what solution could be offered.
Now, my partner and I are two guys, in our late twenties. Our main issue was that we felt unwelcome due to the rude, abrupt, dismissive staff as experienced in Front Office, Concierge, Executive Lounge and the Lounge/Bar. Rachel came back with two proposed offerings to “Try and make things right.” First was free high tea in their lounge/bar one afternoon and the second was free breakfast of the morning at their restaurant.
Perhaps this shows how disengaged staff here are from the top down with their customer’s needs.
While I’m sure high tea at the Westin is nice, perhaps it’s not something you do in your late twenties…without your grandmother out for mothers days. Especially not when you had specifically mentioned your recent bad experiences in the lounge bar.
Breakfast was also a seemingly nice gesture, aside from the fact that we were paying an extra $120 night for to have free breakfast every morning (as it was the only real benefit of the executive lounge).
Upon further negotiation, we agreed that my partner and I would leave & that the Westin would provide us with a full refund for the accommodation and we would pay our incidentals, more than fair!! I had Rachel confirm this in writing (I still have the email). So my partner and I scrambled to find another hotel, back our belongings and first thing next morning we left with assurances that we would be refunded again the full amount minus the incidentals as soon as we left.
Eight days later I received a partial refund. About a third of the money we paid to the Westin. They charged us the full amount for the room & also decided to take out a donation for Unicef, without authorisation. I again contacted the hotel and was met with a response basically telling me I’m lucky to get anything as they offered the high tea and free breakfast which apparently was quite generous.
In general the Westin has left a very bitter taste in our mouths. One we’re now willing to share with absolutely anyone who’s willing to listen. This is perhaps a bit of a rant and perhaps the issues may seem petty but hopefully goes to show how very wrong the Westin gets it.
This hotel is not suited to leisure guests, something they were quite quick to shove in your face the moment we explained we were unhappy. Something however they keep very well hidden on their website and something they don’t tell you when you’re making your reservation over the phone.

Unique Quality: Great location

Directions: Inner city

arianne_1504's Profile Photo

Bestin Town

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on April 12, 2011

This hotel was fantastic, there was no doubt. From the moment you arrived, the service was spectacular. Hotel check in was swift - the only downside, was the pre-authorisation amount the hotel holds on your credit card - I didn't read the fine print and was astonished to find an additional $700 unavailable on my credit card due to this. The room is like a mini apartment - it was so spacious. There was a separate toilet and the bathrooom was huge, with a massive bath tub and separate large shower stall. There were also double basins. The best bit is you can watch tv from the bathtub thanks to remote controlled blinds dividing the bathroom from the bedroom. There was loads of cupboard space for your belongings, a writing desk and chairs and fully stocked bar (though warning that these are really expensive items!) There was even 4 different sorts of glasses for your drinking requirements! I didn't check out the gym or the pool, but there was a business centre for use (very slow internet connection). The restaurants in the hotel complex were great. Check out was also smooth.

Unique Quality: The beds! Oh my goodness - you would not believe how comfortable the bedding and pillows were. The best bit is - you can actually buy the setting! Truly - check the Westin's website for further details.

Directions: Just down the road a little from the Pitt Street Mall (Strand Arcade end).

Excellent Venue

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on April 7, 2010

We stayed at The Westin Sydney, on a thursday and a sunday in the same week. All the staff that we had dealings with were friendly and very helpful. The rooms were beautiful and the beds oh so comfortable. Couldn't fault the service or the meals really, except for being a tad slow with topping up our cup of tea at breakfast, but that is nothing really. The facilities are excellent. The hotel is spotless. The Westin is in the CBD, and is a 5 min walk to the train station and only a few minutes to the monorail station. So, everything is at your fingertips. If I was asked to find a fault with this hotel, I would say that it is not well sign posted once you get off the train and walk to Martin Pl. But, you just have to walk a little and keep an eye out.
I would highly recommend this Hotel to everyone.

Class hotel in the heart of Sydney

Great (4.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on June 13, 2009

We had a wonderful time in this hotel and recommend it to anyone wanting style and sophistication. The facilities and service are first class while the location could not be more central. Rooms were thoroughly cleaned daily and amenities were great. Sydney has a lot to offer visitors travelling with young kids.

Directions: Financial hub of CBD

Kimtastic's Profile Photo

Watch TV from your bath!

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on July 31, 2006

Location in a beautiful heritage Post Office building in Sydneys CBD area of Martin Place this area is thriving with suits!

This is not just a hotel but a whole experience. From the cheese room and osyter bar in the basement to the beautiful rooms. You can wander around the old part of this hotel to look at some amazing architecture.

This is predominately a business hotel, however they cater to leisure guest and have one of the most prestigious gyms in the city.

Hotel rooms are modern, streamlined and one of the best things is that you move the bathroom mirrors to view the bedroom and the TV!

Unique Quality: Architecture
Food & Beverage facilities

joseanes's Profile Photo

Superb Service, Great Decoration, Right on CBD

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on November 16, 2005

Superb service. Room decorations are beautifull. Right next to the city center for shopping and business, as well as within walking distance to the toruistic areas. Great restaurant on the premises, or you can walk to Circular Quay (ferry terminal, The Rocks area, and The Opera House).

Unique Quality: Internet service. Fitness club (for a steep fee). The Old Post office shopping and dining complex is right within the premises, offering extra (sometimes more reasonable) dining options.

Directions: Either Wynward or Martin Place subway stations are good choices.

Hard to find a flaw in this hotel

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on April 14, 2005

I can only add to the praise other reviewers have posted on this website. My wife and I started and ended our two week stay in Australia at the Westin Sydney. We spent a total of four nights at this hotel, and were impressed with everything from the decor of the Tower rooms (very stylish), demeanour of the staff (extremely friendly), to the accessibility to harbour and other Sydney sights (all walking distance).

We were able to get upgrades to their club-level suites (my wife and I both have status with Starwood), but even if you are not a member of the program, I highly recommend you consider paying the difference to purchase a stay at the club-level. This will afford you access to the wonderful club lounge, where refreshments are served all day long. My wife and I enjoyed the food here so much that we found ourselves skipping meals out on the town. If you think about it, you'll make back the extra money you shell out for an upgrade by saving on food expenditures around Sydney.

Overall we had an amazing experience at the Westin -- our room was possibly one of the best that we have ever stayed in. I highly recommend this hotel to anyone considering accommodation in Sydney.

SierraSydney's Profile Photo

Very Fresh.....

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on November 20, 2004

Beautiful historic exterior and unique all new interior design. Choose from a modern Heritage suite with higher ceilings and checked bathroom tiles or a contemporary suite. Situated in the centre of Sydney - easy walking distance to each major area of the city including major shops and sights. Excellent location.

Unique Quality: I loved the nice bathroom / bath tub set up!

Directions: Just after Pitt Street Mall. Access from Pitt Street. Short walk from Circular Quay/Opera House/and Darling Harbour too

Spoil your self

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on October 7, 2004

This hotel is a 5 star that has amazing rooms, location, service !l

Unique Quality: In a certian room type (sorry can't remeber what the name of the room is )that you can take a bath and look out of the window and see the view of Sydney's amazing city.

A perfect hotel at a perfect price

Best (5.0 of 5.0 stars)
by written on November 5, 2003

We chose the Westin for the Sydney leg of our honeymoon after reading some good reviews online. We were not disappointed. We opted for a room in the modern Tower rather than the period-style Heritage rooms in the older part of the building. The hotel was absolutely perfect. Flawless (and I mean flawless) service, a luxurious, contemporary-style room and all at a great price. I cannot find a single fault with the Westin. You may not have a view of the Opera House, but let's face it, how long are you going to spend sitting in your room looking out the window? The lower rates more than make up for this, in my opinion. As it was our honeymoon, a relative had kindly paid for an upgrade to the 'Executive package' which includes complimentary Continental breakfast, use of the Executive lounge (newspapers, TV, pre-dinner drinks etc) and other benefits. The rack rate for this upgrade is 66 AUSD per night but I think discounts are available, so you might want to consider it. We also tried the hotel's non-complimentary breakfast buffet which was very impressive too. Try the eggs royale!The Westin also has the advantage of having some great restaurants in its basement floor, so you don't have to travel very far to find a good place to eat (we actually found the CBD area of Sydney a little short of places to have dinner at night so this was a bonus). The basement bar/dining area is buzzing on a Friday night, quieter at the weekends. All in all, I would give the Westin a perfect 10 out of 10.

Unique Quality: Outstanding selection of restaurants on premises. Central location provides easy access to whole city. Wonderful service.

Directions: Central business district

SydneyGal's Profile Photo

5* hotel in the heart of the city

by written on November 27, 2002

The Westin Sydney, located in the heritage listed redevelopment of the General Post Office, originally constructed in 1887, and converted to a hotel around 1999. Flanked on either side by Sydney's famous Pitt and George Street, overlooking Martin Place, the hotel is close to Pitt Street Mall and Queen Victoria Building shopping, the Opera House, Harbour Bridge and Darling Harbour.

Unique Quality: The rooms have a clear glass dividing wall between the bedroom and bathroom, making the rooms appear larger and of course there is the novelty factor! Very new and modern rooms.

Directions: Martin Place, Sydney

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Nearby Westin Sydney (The)

Westin Sydney (The)

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

  • Sydney Westin
  • Westin Sydney Hotel Sydney

Address: 1 Martin Place, Sydney, New South Wales, 2000, Australia

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Amenities at Westin Sydney (The)

  • Restaurant
  • Wheelchair Accessible
  • Room Service
  • Fitness Center
  • Business Services
  • Suites
  • Bar / Lounge

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