I don’t want to suggest that Sydney people are overly affected by the seasons, but it’s fair to say that the streets get quieter in winter. Compared to other parts of the world our winters are very mild, but we’re still harder to tempt out of the house when the temperatures drop.
Which is why the Vivid Festival is such a wonderful thing. It brings light and life into the city at what used to be a quiet time of the year. There are smiling faces everywhere, and restaurants and bars are hopping.
One of the other things I love about Vivid is hearing so many different accents when you walk around. This is one festival that is not just loved by locals, but has people hopping on planes to come and join in the fun as well.
So what are some of the best hotels for Vivid if you’re coming to stay?
There’s a wide range of great hotels, B&Bs and more to choose from around the city for all sorts of budgets, and you can of course stay further afield and hop on public transport and come in to Circular Quay.
But if you want to really treat yourself and stay somewhere you can see the pretty lights from your window and step out your front door and find yourself in the middle of the festival buzz, here are five top picks…
Get the right room at Sydney’s Four Seasons and you can watch the lights change on the Opera House sails from your bubble bath. This hotel offers some stunning views, with a number of suites and rooms having both the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge outside their windows.
Situated on George Street, just across the road from Circular Quay, you don’t have to waste any energy getting to Vivid from the Four Seasons. You’re already there.
Directly across the water from Sydney Opera House, the Park Hyatt is a prime location any time of year, and that incredible view is all the more beautiful during Vivid.
Get a room with a view and you’ll not only be able to see the lights, but also enjoy some people watching as the Vivid crowds make their way from the Opera House around Circular Quay and under the Harbour Bridge. Consider yourself in the thick of it.
On the other side of the water in the middle of the action you have the Pullman Quay Grand.
Just a couple of minute’s walk from the Opera House, the Harbour View Suites not only have views of the Harbour Bridge but also of the light projections on the MCA across the other side of Circular Quay.
Situated in Cumberland Street in The Rocks, Sydney’s Shangri La hotel is about five minute’s walk from Circular Quay, and has killer panoramic views of both the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.
If you miss out on one of those premier rooms and can’t see the iconic buildings around the harbour, you can always pop up to the Blu Bar and look down at the Opera House over a cocktail, or try the Vivid degustation menu in the hotel’s award winning restaurant, Altitude.
To help spread the crowds out, Vivid Festival organisers have cleverly decided that the Harbour Bridge lights will only be seen on the west side of the bridge, which encourages people to walk around more than they otherwise might.
This just happens to be the same side of the bridge that Pier One Sydney Harbour can be found, and if you manage to get one of the right rooms you couldn’t ask for a better view of the bridge from your balcony, your bed, or your bath.
There you have it. The dream list of places to stay during Vivid. Now get out there and enjoy that incredible festival!
For the full program of Vivid events visit the Vivid Festival website.
If you’re looking for something special to do during Vivid, check out this Night Light Painting tour where the AAA photo below came from. A very fun one to do.
Looking for more fun Sydney ideas? Check out my list of 20 great tours and things to do in Sydney for every budget.
And fancy a trip down Vivid memory lane? Here’s a piece I did about Vivid in 2012, the year with the big chandelier. And you may also want to check out some of the best hotels for New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney.
This post contains some affiliate links, so if you click on a link and book something I will get a little something to help pay those blogging bills. Thank you.