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No matter what part of the world I’m in the area around a city’s main train station always seems a little seedy. I’m not usually a fan of staying at hotels in this part of town but the Mercure Sydney changed my mind. With the Central Station/Broadway area undergoing an urban renewal programme, and new residential, commercial and educational buildings transforming the precinct, the Mercure Sydney enjoys a prime location in the heart of it all.

Mercure Sydney

If you can’t decide which part of Sydney to stay in, this is the hotel for you.  It’s within easy walking distance of the city centre, Chinatown, Central Station, Capitol Theatre, and Darling Harbour. A free CBD shuttle bus runs to and from Circular Quay if you want to see Sydney’s famous sights. Service at the front desk is warm and friendly and holiday makers, conference delegates and business travellers give the hotel an energetic buzz. Despite being run off their feet, staff still make an effort to go the extra mile.

I hear a porter offering to take a wheeled suitcase up to a guest’s room and another traveller looking at a map is approached by someone from the concierge desk who offers to help. Mercure Sydney has recently been treated to a multi-million dollar revamp and rooms are looking swish. Purple and grey interiors create a relaxed, yet contemporary feel and the new Privilege Rooms come with extra perks like a fluffy robe, Nespresso machine, welcome chocolates and a bottle of Evian.

Fluffy robe and a cute box of sweet treats
Fluffy robe and a cute box of sweet treats

All of the rooms have the same classy décor and new-look bathroom suites which include glass shower screens, new basin fixtures and brightly lit mirrors that are great for applying make up. I loved my room’s new look but with no ceiling light it seemed rather dark at night. Floor lamps added some atmosphere and the strong, directional bedside lights were great for reading but overall it would have been good to have a bit more light. There’s a gym, sauna and an undercover rooftop swimming pool offering views of the city skyline. With so much terrific Cantonese food to be had just down the road in Chinatown, hitting the gym at the Mercure Sydney is probably a good idea.

Mercure Sydney indoor pool
Mercure Sydney indoor pool

Disclaimer: The writer was a guest of Mercure Sydney. 

If you are in Sydney for a few days and would like to do some activities, here are our suggestions for great things to do in Sydney and beyond. We also enjoyed our stays at the self-contained SKYE Suites Sydney and the luxurious Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour.

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Dr Tiana Templeman is an award-winning food and travel journalist, travel author and media industry academic. She is the creator of The Travel Temple, writes for Australian and international media outlets and appears on radio talking about where to go, what to see and travel industry trends.