Sometimes all you’re looking for in a hotel is a good-value base to explore from. But add a touch of comfort, some fun retro details and a rooftop pool with Sydney Harbour views, and you have the Park Regis City Centre.
Playing tourist in your hometown is a lot of fun. You get to see such a different side to it you tend to miss when you’re going about your daily.
But perhaps the most important element to a staycation – or to any kind of holiday – is where you’re staying.
And it’s a fine balancing act, isn’t it?
It’s a seesaw of being close to the action but not paying central city prices. It’s also wanting a place with some personality without having to book a boutique hotel. And it’s that knife edge of comfort vs cost.
And this is where the Park Regis City Centre has cut a neat groove for itself.
Where to stay in the heart of Sydney – Park Regis City Centre
Tucked away on Park Street, which bisects Sydney’s famed Hyde Park, the Park Regis City Centre really is in a great spot for a staycation or a short break in Sydney.
From the front door, you’re walking distance to pretty much everything – and if you want to go further afield, you’re next to pretty much all major bus routes, the light rail, trains and even the Barangaroo ferries.
Check-in and the rooms
Through the almost hidden entrance and its narrow lobby, it’s hard to know what the vibe here will be. But the warm welcome from the staff at the 24-hour reception makes you feel much more at home.
Check in is quick and painless, and you’re soon in the lifts heading up to your room.
Our room – a Park Suite – is quite close to the elevators. Perhaps a bit too close as we can hear them rumbling up and down the lift shafts at times.
The lounge area of the suite is big enough for two people to comfortably relax in at the end of a busy day exploring Sydney.
Down the short corridor, you find the bedroom and its king bed. The room is just big enough to accommodate the big bed and side tables, but it’s still comfortable.
Here you also find the buffet with a microwave, kettle, some instant and a fridge. There’s no minibar, so remember to pick up snacks or drinks outside. The lack of temptation of incidentals does make checking out mercifully quick though!
Double glazing on all windows really blocks out so much of the noise you’d expect from being right in the heart of the city. But even better than that is the surprising feature of being able to open windows fully here. You don’t see that in many hotels these days.
All in all, the room is comfortable if a little small. It reminds you of the hotel rooms in Europe or New York, where you’re definitely paying a premium for location not luxury.
The only thing that really lets the room down – but is well in line with Parisian or NYC hotels – is the bathroom. It’s quite cramped, the shower’s not great and it all looks in need of a renovation. But it’s serviceable and absolutely fit for the purpose of a short stay.
The rooftop pool and the hotel’s quirkiest feature
Up on the roof, the wooden deck offers a place to relax in the open air well above street level. It’s very tempting to bring some drinks up here and enjoy a sundowner or two.
If you’re in the mood for a dip, the pool up here serves well – a pretty cool feature for this basic little hotel in the big smoke. Looking up from the pool, modern skyscrapers and the iconic Sydney Tower loom overhead.
And looking down over the ledge, you’re rewarded with incredible 360º views across the city and her parks all the way to the harbour in the east, the mountains in the west and everything between.
Before you head back down to your room or to street level, make sure you check out the top floor of the hotel.
Here you’ll find the laundry – the last vestige evidence that this hotel was once the tallest residential building in Sydney.
The lines of rumbling old washing machines and dryers, clad in their still bright turquoise steel, bring a fun retro aspect to this hotel.
It’s an interesting whimsical museum twist to a crashpad hotel in the depths of the city.
– If you’re looking for higher-end Sydney hotels, check out our round-up of romantic stays in the city here.
– And if you’re looking for hotels with great restaurant options, our list of the best is right here.
– And for our full rundown of where to stay in Sydney, we’ve put together a list of hotels for all budgets and styles.