The PARKROYAL Darling Harbour – Family-Friendly Accommodation in Sydney

Sunset over Darling Harbour

An old pal of mine here in Sydney has a daughter who was very unwell throughout her primary school years.  A bright and lively little girl, it was hard to imagine that she was in danger of suffering a life-threatening bleed at any time.

The family had to be close to a major hospital at all times. So they simply didn’t go away on holiday for many years.

But my friend is not as daft as she looks, and she knew that she and the kids needed breaks. So every so often they’d decamp from the suburbs and spend a weekend at Darling Harbour, eating out, seeing the sights and just having a change of scene.

A fabulous idea, and I was often envious of these Sydney city mini-breaks.  Especially at Darling Harbour as there’s so much to see and do there.

And I always find driving in and parking there very blooming tricky.

Parkroyal Darling Harbour
Darling Harbour at night

I blame the fighting kids in the back of the car for my mid-city driving and parking phears and fobias.

So when a chance to stay right at Darling Harbour came up, I said ‘Yes, please!”  And in further luxuriousness, I only took one wee son with me.

It was heaven, a treat for us both.

PARKROYAL Jamie sign
The young executive arrives at his hotel
PARKROYAL Jamie desk2
Plenty of desk space for the young business traveller

Why Stay at PARKROYAL Darling Harbour

  • Location, location, location. The PARKROYAL is so close to so many places that you want to be near.
  • It’s just across the road from Darling Harbour, the kids can be playing at the huge playground at Darling Park within minutes.
  • Shopping! The Queen Victoria Building is just up the road, as is the Westfield Centre and Pitt Street Mall.
  • Chinatown is a hop skip and a jump away.
  • A $20 million refurbishment finished in 2013 so the hotel is sparkling new, with fresh, friendly staff to help you.
  • Great facilities, the gym is particularly well equipped and a nice, big size.
  • Great special packages on offer, for example the Easter specials. Check for specials here.
  • It must be marvellous to look out when there are fireworks at Darling Harbour, which is pretty frequently.
  • Excellent eating-in options, see below.
The view from our Darling Harbour View room- looking right
Oh dear, we’re not the tidiest of travellers

What Types of Rooms Are Available?

  • There are two types of basic rooms, but by basic I don’t mean basic.  Superior and Harbour View rooms are exactly the same except that some have a Darling Harbour view and some have cityscape views.
  • Rooms have one king bed or two double beds.
  • These rooms have baths and showers in the spacious bathrooms.
  • Then there are the Club rooms, which are slightly larger with some extra features like gorgeous showers with giant shower heads, bathroom scales, free wifi and access to a Club lounge.
  • We stayed in a Club room and both of us loved the groovy sliding door into the bathroom.

PARKROYAL window silhouette
Looking straight out from our room. The city flyovers look absolutely beautiful at night. And though near to the road there was NO TRAFFIC NOISE in our room.

What Are the Dining Options?

Barkers Restaurant within the hotel serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.  We had an excellent dinner there of…

As usual when we stay in hotels it was the breakfasts we loved the most.  The buffet is very extensive and there are many cuisines on offer.

Parkroyal food collage

We absolutely loved the fresh juice bar, what a great variety of fruit and vegetables to make a juice from.

PARKROYAL fresh juices

What a great way to get honey for our toast!

Look at those lovely table manners.

Who is the mother of this child??!!

Rusty Rocket dialled room service for our other meal. Is there anything easier than a room service dinner?

We had spaghetti bolognese, which was absolutely delicious and came in vast quantities.

Jamie on phone
After a hard day’s work in the office, our young exec calls for a hearty room service dinner.
PARKROYAL gym 3-shot
Hotel facilities are very good. The gym is very large, quiet in the afternoons as you see here but it was busy in the mornings. We were there!

Any Downsides?

Just my usual hotel whinges; renting on-demand movies are so expensive. I know the answer to that is to be organised and BYO movies, I know, I know.

In Club rooms, wifi is provided free which is terrific.  But you do have to pay in the other room types, always annoying!

Hotel collage
The street shot at top left shows how to get to Darling Harbour, so close to hotel.

If you’re looking for magnificent Sydney views from each room, this isn’t the hotel for you.

But we enjoyed being in the heart of the mid-city urban landscapes which looked really magnificent at night.

We LOVED being able to hop across the road and be straight in our favourite part of Darling Harbour: the playground of course!

If you live in Sydney and find the city centre driving and parking daunting, then a mini-break with the family at Darling Harbour would be a huge treat.  Choose the right time of year and it doesn’t have to utterly break the bank either.

If you’re coming to Sydney from overseas or interstate then this is a terrific mid-city location, particularly good for families because it’s so close to Darling Harbour and the best shopping districts of Sydney.

Come to Sydney with the family, you’ll love it!

Happy travelling,


PARKROYAL Darling Harbour website is here.

Find the PARKROYAL Darling Harbour Facebook page here.

Myself and Rusty Rocket stayed as guests of PARKROYAL Hotels and were given a generous per diem to cover our expenses.  Thank you PARKROYAL, we very much enjoyed our stay.

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  1. says: Rhianna

    Wow, looks like a fantastic time away. What a lovely time for you and your boy. Thanks for sharing

    Swinging by as part of #teamIBOT and leaving some fairy wishes and butterfly kisses

  2. says: Aleney

    It’s a great hotel and the perfect spot for some Darling Harbour R&R. I love the “honey pot” and have to say the funky new refurb is awesome too! 🙂

  3. Hi Seana
    Thanks for introducing us to this hotel. I do love a little mini break in Sydney. I reckon the best holidays are those where it’s only an hours drive away. Seems like they have alot to offer guests.

    1. says: Seana

      Yes, sometimes when you fly a long way too and from a holiday that’s totally exhausting in itself. That’s one of the reasons I am really taken by the idea of a cruise from Sydney, too easy, as you found and blogged- was inspired!

  4. says: Becc

    I love me an overnight hotel stay (in decent hotels that is).
    I think I may just have to put my hat in the ring for the competition tomorrow.
    Becc @ Take Charge Now

    1. says: Seana

      The post will be up tomorrow when the Facebook competition goes live. It’s been a pleasure working with these guys, very efficient and well organised. I don’t think I can enter though – shame.

  5. says: Trish

    A great mini adventure by all accounts. We have recently had two city hotel stays and seen more of Sydney than when we lived in suburbs (compared to the bush).

    1. says: Seana

      This has really made me want to do that more, with the other children to see what they’d like to see and do. Also the same sort of trip to one of the beach suburbs that we rarely go to would be fab.

    1. says: Seana

      Glad I did that as I am away now and won’t see him for over two weeks. I’ve been quite concerned about that, he’s not quite 7 and loves his mummy. But he and his dad will bond well. Still, glad to have had that 1:1 time with him,

    1. says: Seana

      Yes very handy, we used to live much closer to the centre of Sydney but have moved out to the ‘burbs, much better for the kids, but I do miss the bozz. So enjoyed this so much.

  6. Next time can I come with you?
    I love hotel rooms, because they are such a novelty, and we never get to use them. And for what it’s worth, I’m not a tidy traveler either, but why be tidy when you’re away?

    1. says: Seana

      Well said! I tend to be tidier at home cos my husband can’t bear too much clutter, when he’s away I throw my clothes here and there. Don’t mind my own mess!

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