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8 Best Hotels for Vivid Sydney 2024 Including Top Rooms With a View

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The countdown is on to one of Australia’s greatest festivals as Vivid Sydney 2024 prepares to bring us all of the lights, ideas, food and music that tempts us out into those winter streets.

This spectacular festival attracts visitors from around the world and apart from a couple of dark years during Covid times, Vivid Sydney has been coming up with new ideas to share every year since it started back in 2009.

Vivid Sydney 2024 will be based around the theme of ‘humanity’ with installations and events at Circular Quay, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Darling Square, The Goods Line and Central Station.

The sails of the Sydney Opera House will be transformed into Lighting of the Sails: Echo by last year’s Archibald Prize winner, Julia Gutman, with a dive into the world of Narcissus with a modern twist. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) will become a canvas for Chinese Australian artist Guan Wei with the 2024 Vivid Commission Sea, Sand and Stars seeing animated sea monsters, beach lovers, astronauts and more moving across the building.

Lighting of the Sails Echo 2024 by Julia Gutman, credit Destination NSW

The LA and Berlin based artist Yvette Mattern will bring Global Rainbow to Australia for the first time where it will beam rainbow lasers from the top of the Sydney Tower Eye for up to 40km over Sydney. And over in Darling Harbour the Japanese artist collective Eternal Artspace will celebrate the Japanese concept Hika Rakuyo and remind us about the transient beauty of life through flowers and falling leaves. The image at the top of this story is a sneak peek of that one, and thank you to Destination NSW for the preview images of this year’s Vivid.

Read: New Sydney hotels – the new ways to stay in 2024

Last year Vivid Sydney got a new pillar for visitors to enjoy with Vivid Food joining Light, Music and Ideas. Highlights at this year’s Vivid Food will include Manoella ‘Manu’ Buffara, who was named out Latin America’s best female chef in 2022, taking over the Greek restaurant Ploós for Vivid Residence, and the Vivid Fire Kitchen at The Goods Line where chefs including Californian pitmaster Shalamar Lane and Australia’s own Christine Manfield will be cooking with fire.

Other highlights will include actress and comedian Amy Poehler at a special Vivid Ideas event, Dark Spectrum in Wynyard Station’s abandoned railway tunnels, and bands including Air and Underworld taking to the stage.

Radiate – Dark Spectrum, A New Journey, image Sony Music Entertainment

Vivid Sydney 2024 will run from the 24th of May until the 15th of June, and while it’s unlikely anything will stop this year’s festivities going ahead, as always it’s a great idea to make sure your accommodation is 100% refundable just in case there are any unexpected changes to your travel plans.

There’s a wide range of hotels, B&Bs and more to choose from around the city for all sorts of budgets, including some great apartments to rent with Sydney harbour views. And you can of course stay further afield and hop on public transport to come into the Vivid hot spots.

But if you want to really treat yourself it’s best to stay somewhere you can step out your front door and find yourself in the middle of the festival buzz, or even see the festival lights from your window. If that sounds more like your travel style, here are our top Vivid Sydney hotel picks…

The Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney

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.

Read: Weekend getaways Sydney locals love

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.

Park Hyatt, Sydney

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. Enjoy drinks and room service on your private balcony or book a table in The Dining Room or The Living Room. Consider yourself in the thick of it.

Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour

On the other side of the water and 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 those incredible light projections on the MCA across the other side of Circular Quay.

Vivid Sydney MCA projection

Even if you’re not staying for the night, the hotel’s bar, the Hyde Hacienda Sydney has sweeping views of the harbour and a vintage Miami 1950s vibe going on with rum inspired cocktails. So if the crowds on the street get too much, you know where to find a good watering hole.

Capella Sydney

A newer addition to the Sydney luxury hotel scene, Capella Sydney only opened its doors in March 2023 making this its first Vivid Sydney.

In a beautiful sandstone building that once belonged to the Department of Education, Capella Sydney takes up an entire, albeit smaller, city block and is just a short downhill stroll away from Circular Quay.

After taking in the Vivid Sydney sights you can enjoy drinks and a bite to eat in your hotel beneath the bespoke kinetic sculpture Meadow by Studio Drift, which is happily a permanent addition for guests to dine under for years to come.

The Shangri La Hotel, Sydney

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.

Read: How to tell if your hotel room is clean

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 have dinner with a view in the hotel’s award winning restaurant, Altitude.

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

Over at Darling Harbour you can often find lots of pretty lights reflecting on the water, but when Vivid’s on they ramp that up to a kaleidoscope of colour and movement.

At the 5-star Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour you can look out at the view from the champagne bar, the infinity pool, or if you have the right room, your bath or your bed. And when you pop your walking shoes on you can stroll from your front door past the Darling Harbour lights into the city and along the walk of light.

Read: Twenty Sydney tours for every budget and adrenaline level

They’re also putting on a special ‘Atelier by Sofitel – a Culinary Connection’ for the 2024 Vivid Food program with a four course menu sharing stories about the NSW producers and chefs who created the dish. The French-inspired menu also comes with window-side tables for great views, and is limited to just 20 places a night so book fast for that one.

W Sydney, Darling Harbour

Another top pick when it comes to Darling Harbour hotels is also the world’s biggest W Hotel. The billion dollar hotel W Sydney has 588 rooms, including 162 suites, a 30-metre, open air infinity pool on the 29th floor, a rooftop bar and W’s signature Living Room Bar, an AWAY Spa that also has another bar, and a state-of-the-art FIT gym.

Read: 11 weekend getaways Sydney locals love 

Guests can also sip cocktails and take in the Vivid views from the rooftop bar where the lights that come on around the infinity pool after dark have a little Vivid touch to them any time of year.

Pier One Sydney Harbour

To help spread the crowds out back in 2013 Vivid organisers decided that the Harbour Bridge lights would only be seen on the west side of the bridge, which encouraged people to walk around more than they otherwise might.

Now that Vivid’s a lot more spread out and we’re all doing a lot of exploring, they’ve happily been lighting up both sides of the bridge since 2022. Book the right room at Pier One Sydney Harbour and you’ll be able to look up at the colours pulsing in ribbons of light from your balcony, your bed, or your bath.

So there you have it, the best places to call home for Vivid Sydney 2024. To check out the full program of Vivid events and plan your stay check out the Vivid Sydney Festival website. And enjoy every moment of the magic.

Looking for more fun Sydney ideas? Check out my list of 20 great tours and things to do in Sydney for every budget. 

You may also want to check out some of the best hotels for New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney.

Leave a Comment

  1. I can’t wait for Vivid! I’ve got a new camera and can’t wait to try it out.

  2. I’ve been to Sydney a few times in June (but sadly not going to be there this upcoming one) and didn’t know about the Vivid Festival. Crazy. Love the colors and the lights. I always stay near Circular Quay too when I’m there, love the location but I tend to find myself at the Marriott due to points.

    • What a shame you’ve missed Vivid in the past… you definitely need to fix that one as soon as you can! Such a great festival (and the Marriott isn’t a bad spot either!)

  3. I have been to four seasons and trust me it is the best in the category. The food, the ambiance, the view of opera house, the rooms everything about four seasosn is amazing. Howwver, my next in lsit for the festival is hayatt. So, if any one have had a cnace to spend time in Hayatt. Please share your experince, so I can make a right decision. good share though.

  4. I would definitely recommend the Shangri La if you have a room with a view. If you can’t get a room with a view, have dinner in the restaurant, it’s beautiful and the view over The Rocks and the harbour is stunning.

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