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8 Best Hotels for Vivid Sydney 2023 Including Top Rooms With a View

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The countdown is on to one of Australia’s greatest festivals as Vivid Sydney 2023 prepares to bring us all of the lights, ideas 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 2023 will include an 8.5km light walk with more than 50 installations around Circular Quay, The Rocks, Barangaroo, Darling Harbour, Darling Square, The Goods Line and Central Station.

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The sails of the Sydney Opera House will be transformed into artworks by Dr John Olsen, who sadly passed away at 95 years of age in April just six weeks before Life Enlivened (2023) is seen by the world. The Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) will become a canvas for Maree Clarke, a leader in the reclamation of Kulin Nations Australian Aboriginal art and cultural practices, who has worked with The Electric Canvas to create Barerarerungar, which means ‘Country’.

Life Enlivened (2023) by John Olsen and Curiious, Credit Destination NSW

In 2023 Vivid Sydney gets a new pillar for visitors to enjoy with Vivid Food joining Light, Music and Ideas sharing everything from delicious street food to fine dining experiences.

And in exciting news for White Lotus fans (and you bet I’m one of them) the creator, writer and director Mike White will be joined by Jennifer Coolidge on stage as part of Vivid Ideas on June 10th.

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Vivid Sydney 2023 will run from the 26th of May until the 17th 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 great 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 Circular Quay.

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 like the way go to you, 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.

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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 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 new 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.

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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.

Pier One Sydney Harbour

To help spread the crowds out a few years ago 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.

After deciding to light up both sides of the bridge last year in 2023 they’ve decided to do the same again. 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.

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.

Aiden Darling Harbour

The Aiden Darling Harbour is an 88 room boutique stay with lots of lovely touches including hand painted murals by award-winning artist in residence Jessica Le Clerc, and custom bottled cocktails mixed with local spirits that you can enjoy in your room or in the Wayfarer’s Bar & Cafe.

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While you may only have glimpses of the lights from your room, once you’ve stepped out your front door and across the road you’ll have Darling Harbour stretched out in front of you and can join the Vivid walk to be amongst it all.

So there you have it, the best places to call home for Vivid Sydney 2023. To check out the full program of Vivid events and plan your stay check out the Vivid Festival website. And enjoy every moment of the magic.

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. 

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

The Vivid Cruise passing the Sydney Opera House, image Destination NSW

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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