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Ultimate Travel Secrets

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Where Should I Stay in Sydney? When it came to answering this question, it didn’t take me long to decide: The InterContinental Sydney Harbor!  The reason for that decision was simple for me.

I recently took my Bucket List Trip to Australia.  I had been dreaming of this trip for 15 years so I really wanted it to be as special as possible! One of the biggest decisions when travelling to a place you’ve never been is where to stay to make your trip the best it can be.  Luxury, Convenience and Service are just a few of the things to consider.

The InterContinental Sydney has the best views of Sydney Harbor hands down in my opinion.  From the Bridge to the Opera House and beyond, “wow” just doesn’t do it justice! There are some amazing views from their rooms with views.  But honestly, the Club Lounge is where it’s at.  The views from there are positively spectacular!

Check it out:

Just one of the spectacular views from the Club Lounge!

So maybe you’re thinking: Club Lounge? I don’t know if I want to spring for that. Read on to find out how I stayed 3 nights in room with Club Lounge access for less than $500!

First things first, if you are thinking of visiting Australia anytime soon, the exchange rate for the US dollar to Australian dollar is pretty amazing right now!!   At the time of this writing, 1 US dollar is equal to 1.46 Australian dollars. That creates a ton of value up front.

InterContinental is part of the IHG hotel group.  IHG has a rewards program as every major hotel group does.  If you aren’t currently in their rewards program, here is the the link to their site.  It definitely has its perks and they make it pretty simple to gain status and earn extra points for future reward night stays.  I personally have Spire Elite status compliments of a status match they did for me (I have high status with another hotel chain) which always helps when it comes to upgrades and extra perks.

How to Book the Best Hotel in Sydney

So here is exactly what I did when I booked.

1- I went to Ebates (now also called Rakuten) first because I know they offer at least 3% back on my IHG bookings.  If you are unfamiliar with them, they are a service that gives you cash back on your purchases at 500+ stores.  If you don’t already have an Ebates account, you can get $10 off your first $25 purchase by signing up using this link!  Every now and then, they run promotions with double or triple money back.  The normal payout is 3% for IHG but I waited for the triple cash back (9%) and booked then.  So I clicked on IHG from Ebates and it took me to the IHG site after telling me my booking would earn 9% back.

Ebates is so simple to use! This is the normal cash back they offer for IHG Hotels

2- I wanted guaranteed access to the Club Lounge. That was my priority.  Why? Since I wasn’t booking a suite, I wanted more space…a place to go to spread out, catch up on emails and to hang out in an amazing space.  I was all about the views.  You can watch the ferries go in and out, the city life happening all while enjoying delicious drinks and food.  I literally could just sit there for hours!! So I made sure the room I booked said “Club” to have the amenities I valued the most.

My Specially Made Morning Coffee:)

The Club Lounge also provides an excellent full breakfast.  They have a buffet but also have the option to order off of the menu.  They have pretty much any breakfast menu item you would want.  I ordered my favorite, eggs benedict, and the eggs were cooked to perfection!

Amazing Breakfast View!


Full Breakfast Buffet

The Club Lounge also has times throughout the day with snacks and drinks are provided complimentary.  These are the sandwiches that are available in the lunch time hours.  They also have afternoon tea but I’m sad to say we didn’t ever make it to that because we were out enjoying Sydney!

Complimentary Snacks throughout the day in the Club Lounge

There’s also a complimentary evening reception with specialty drinks, wine and full on heavy hors d’oeuvres including a Sydney specialty: fresh Sydney Rock Harbor Oysters on the half shell! Even if you aren’t a huge fan of oysters, there’s also a nice selection of other yummys!

Local Sydney Rock Harbor Oysters!

Let’s not forget about the spectacular service provided and, oh yeah, did I mention the beautiful night views?!!

How to Save Money and Maximize Point Earnings

  • I originally thought I wanted a room with a view.  Not that it wouldn’t have been nice but when I looked at the price difference, the Club Lounge access was way more valuable to me (food, drinks, space, view:)) since I knew we wouldn’t be in the room much.  I decided I would rather spend the money I saved from that on a different adventure! So I chose to book a city view room hoping for an upgrade.  But, if not, I was fine with the room I booked.
  • On top of that I had a free Chase IHG night that I tagged onto the end of our stay.  Yes, that was pure strategy.  The only room the free reward night was good for at this hotel was a standard room.  But I knew since we were already staying for 2 nights, they don’t normally make you change rooms.  And my gamble paid off!  They gave me a complimentary upgrade so we were able to stay in the same room all three nights.
  • 4 days before our stay, I had some extra time so I went to the IHG site, saw my room category was available and less than I originally booked so I bought an Advanced Purchase Room…and saved another $50/night! YES!!
  • I paid for my entire stay with my brand new IHG Premier card which gave me an incredible 25 points per dollar spent!! Plus I received additional points because I have Spire Elite status with IHG. Award points for free nights can add up when you use just a little bit of strategy!

And that’s how I did it!!


Want to know more about Sydney? Check this video out!



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