They’re the fireworks that are seen around the world and mark the start of so many New Year’s Eve celebrations.
Australia’s biggest public event, Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks bring more than one and a half million people to the harbour foreshore and are watched by more than a billion people around the world.
When it comes to staying in Sydney on that special night some hotels have rooms with incredible views, others have special viewing areas to die for, and then there are those that have that location location location.
Even if your window doesn’t look out onto the action, in the right hotel you can step out and be in a prime position with the freedom to nip back to your room when nature calls, avoiding the whole public portaloo situation.
And when the night is over your bed is oh so close by. No battling for taxis or public transport queues for you.
Of course with this being the biggest night of the year a lot of the top hotels have a minimum night stay over New Year’s Eve and the sooner you can book the better. But it’s still worth checking closer to the time in case someone else has had to give up their prime position and there’s an opening for you.
So which hotels should be on your Sydney New Year’s Eve wish list?
Nestled between the two biggest stars of the night, the Sydney Opera House and the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Park Hyatt is a prime location any time of year. Add in the New Year’s Eve fireworks and it’s no wonder this is one of the hottest hotels to be in.
The boardwalk in front of the hotel is closed exclusively for hotel guests, both those staying in residence and those dining at one of the special New Year’s Eve events, which means you can be in the middle of the action without dealing with the crowds.
Most rooms have a private balcony and all New Year’s Eve packages include a bottle of chilled Champagne delivered to your room.
There’s also a party on the rooftop with unlimited Veuve Clicquot flowing, although that is a special event and hotel guests have to buy tickets before being able to take advantage of that one.
But that also means you don’t have to be staying at the hotel to see in the New Year on the rooftop before making your way home.
Shangri La Hotel, Sydney
With killer panoramic views of both the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House the Shangri La Hotel Sydney’s rooms with fireworks views get snapped up very quickly.
If you miss out on one of those premier rooms and want to be in the thick of it, it’s only about five minute’s walk to Circular Quay.
Keep in mind the 36th floor and the stellar vantage points offered by Altitude and Blu Bar are only for those who have booked and paid for a dinner reservation.
But again, you don’t need to be staying at the hotel to sip champagne and dine in this prime location with floor to ceiling windows overlooking the spectacle outside.
Talk about front page views, The Macleay’s rooftop is where Sydney’s Daily Telegraph photographers have been taking their New Year’s Eve photos for the past ten years or so.
A mix of Hotel and Serviced Apartments, The Macleay in Potts Point looks out over Sydney Harbour with the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and city skyline all laid out before you.
Guests who book Harbour View rooms also get access to that coveted rooftop position, and it’s so good the phone starts ringing on New Year’s Day with people trying to book for the next New Year’s Eve.
For the record, New Year’s Eve reservations open on the 5th of January and while they’re usually booked out by May I’m told it’s worth checking in as cancellations can happen. Who knows, you might just get lucky.
Get the right room at Sydney’s Four Seasons and you can watch the fireworks over the Opera House from your bubble bath.
But don’t get any ideas about throwing a bubble bath party with all of your friends; this hotel is so hot on New Year’s Eve that public access is limited. Guests are given two visitor passes per room in case they’d like to invite someone up, and no, they won’t be replaced if you lose them so don’t try that old line.
Keep in mind that the fireworks can only be viewed from the Full Harbour View Rooms. But with the hotel’s location on George Street just across the road from Circular Quay you don’t have to walk far to be in the thick of the New Year’s Eve action. You’re already there.
The New Year’s Eve dinner at Pei Modern even finishes with a little box of petit fours to take out and nibble as you ooh and aah at the colours exploding above.
Right on the water and just on the west side of the Harbour Bridge, Pier One Sydney Harbour is another top hotel with an enviable position.
Some rooms have private balconies where you can stand and look up at the bridge beside you, but if you miss out on a room with a view you can step out onto the pier and join the fireworks front row.
Pier One Sydney Harbour is also hosting a Water Wonderland dinner and a Pose party in a waterside marquee. Tickets are on sale to hotel guests and non-guests alike.
With an enviable wraparound outdoor terrace, the Sydney InterContinental’s rooftop lounge is prime fireworks real estate.
As space is strictly limited up there on level 31, Club InterContinental access is exclusively for hotel guests who are either in Club Rooms or have purchased access to the Club Lounge.
Those lucky folks will have drinks, canapés and incredible harbour views. Guests without access to level 31 and without a view from their room will be able to get out amongst the revelry at Circular Quay safe in the knowledge that their bed is a short distance away when the midnight fun is over.
Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour
On the Opera House side of Circular Quay in the middle of the action you’ll find the Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour.
As barricades are put up around prime viewing areas some people camp out all day to be in front of the Pullman Quay Grand at midnight. An area that the hotel’s guests can pop in and out of as they please.
Mind you, those with views of the Harbour Bridge from their room are unlikely to be going anywhere.
Meanwhile the hotel’s ECQ bar will be hosting a NYE party with canapés and bottomless Veuve Clicquot, while Q Dining will have a seven-course black tie degustation dinner with a view.
The Sir Stamford at Circular Quay’s rooftop is usually closed to hotel guests, but this is one of those times when exceptions are made.
The hotel offers special New Year’s Eve celebration packages that include three nights accommodation, breakfast in the dining room each morning and a New Year’s Eve dinner with access to the rooftop to watch the fireworks.
Some rooms look out onto the harbour bridge but guests who don’t have that winning view and prefer not to go for the dinner and rooftop option can pop outside and join the crowds at Circular Quay when it’s fireworks time.
So there we have it, some of the best hotels for fireworks magic on New Year’s Eve.
But how about you? Have you had a wonderful New Year’s in Sydney and loved your hotel? If so do let me know in the comments and I’ll make sure to check them out for next year.
Looking for more fun Sydney ideas? Check out my list of 20 great tours and things to do in Sydney for every budget.
The information in this piece is correct as at November 2015. Please be aware that minimum stays and special access to areas may change in the years to come.
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