• This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Best Hotels for Vivid Sydney Winter Festival

This post contains some affiliate links. Click here to find out more.

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?

Customs House at Vivid Festival, picture courtesy Destination NSW

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…

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.

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.

Check Prices

View of Vivid Sydney lights from a top hotel to stay in, the Four Seasons Hotel, image Destination NSW
Four Seasons Full Harbour View Junior Suite, picture courtesy Four Seasons Hotel
Read more: Eco friendly gift blog ideas for sustainable travel 

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. Consider yourself in the thick of it.

Check Prices

Park Hyatt Sydney Opera Room, picture courtesy Park Hyatt

Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour

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 some of my favourite light projections on the MCA across the other side of Circular Quay.

Even if you’re not staying for the night, the hotel’s bar 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.

Check Prices

MCA at Vivid Festival, picture courtesy Destination NSW

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: Weekend getaways Sydney locals love

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.

  Check Prices

 Pier One Sydney Harbour

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.

Check Prices

Pier One Sydney Harbour balcony image Jarrad Seng Sydney New Year's eve

There you have it. The dream list of places to stay during Vivid. Now get out there and enjoy that incredible festival!

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. You can find out how and why I use travel affiliate programs here.

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. 

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

Adventures All Around's initials lighting up the Sydney night

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.