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Best Hotels for Sydney New Year’s Eve Fireworks to say goodbye 2020 and hello 2021

When I first wrote a guide to the best hotels for Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks I had our international visitor friends in mind.

After all, most Sydney people have their own ways to see them whether it be a favourite harbourside spot, a special party or friend’s house with a view, so it isn’t usually high on the staycation wish list.

But of course this is 2020 so everything is different this year. Anyone who had planned to fly down to Australia to see them in real life for the first time has had to cancel their trip down under and will have to watch them on TV with the rest of the world.

And even if you live in Australia you won’t be able to just pop on down to the best viewing spots. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the new fireworks viewing restrictions, that include needing a prior booking at a restaurant, bar or event to be allowed to get through the barriers.

The 2021 Sydney New Years Eve fireworks are also going to be a lot shorter than usual and have been cut back to only a couple of minutes, which makes a lot of sense in my book.

The hugest of cracker nights costs a lot to put on, so it’s much better to save that for when more people can enjoy them. But I’m also glad they haven’t cancelled them altogether because we need to see this year out with a bit of a bang and welcome in 2021 with some sparkle.

If you’re in Australia and do want to see the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks one way to get past those barriers is with a booking at a hotel. And if you pick the right one you might be able to see all the action from your room with a glass of bubbles

So which hotels should be on that wish list? Let’s take a look…

Park Hyatt, Sydney

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.

This year the rooftop parties may not be going ahead, but you can still book in for one of their special New Year’s Eve dinners.

You can check out New Year’s Eve availability and prices for Park Hyatt Sydney through Booking.com here, and compare them to the other hotels in their links throughout the story.

Read: The best time to see Field of Light at Uluru

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.

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.

Of course, 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.

The Macleay

Talk about front page views, The Macleay’s rooftop is where the Daily Telegraph photographers have been taking their Sydney New Year’s Eve photos for the past ten years or so.

Read: The most romantic hotels in London

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.

The Four Seasons Hotel, Sydney

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.

Read: The best Airbnbs with Sydney Harbour Views

Keep in mind that the fireworks can only be viewed from the Full Harbour View Rooms. At the moment it’s too soon to tell what’s going to happen with access to Circular Quay, so if you’re not booking a harbour view room check with the hotel first to find out the latest updates on whether you’ll be allowed to pop outside and look up at the fireworks.

Pier One Sydney Harbour

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.

InterContinental Sydney

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 for a minimum three night stay.

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.

Sydney Intercontinental Hotel, Club Intercontinental

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.

In years gone by when people could move freely at New Years some people camp out all day to be in front of the Pullman Quay Grand at midnight. An area that the hotel’s guests could pop in and out of as they pleased.

Read: Green and gorgeous – Australia’s best sustainable Airbnbs

This year it’s still too soon to tell what areas will be open to the hotel guests outside the premises, but those people on the garden side will be able to find some viewing spots in the foyer and on the pool deck.

And even if you’re not staying at the hotel you can enjoy the views with food platters and free flowing drinks with a ticket to Hyde Hacienda Sydney’s New Year’s Eve Party.

Mind you, those with views of the Harbour Bridge from their room are unlikely to be going anywhere.

Pullman Quay Grand Quay Sydney New Year's Eve Fireworks

Sir Stamford at Circular Quay

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 opens the rooftop for a special New Year’s Eve event. While they used to have food stalls, in these Covid times The Sir Stamford is putting on a five course degustation menu with matching wines and fireworks views. The dinner is open to guests and non guests who get in before it’s sold out.

As for staying at the hotel, 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 to be close to the action when it’s fireworks time.

Keep in mind if you’re going to be in Sydney for New Year’s Eve it’s one of the busiest times of the year, so it’s best to also plan ahead if you want to do any tours or maybe a champagne cruise on the harbour.

So there we have it, some of the best hotels for fireworks magic on New Year’s Eve.

You can find all sorts of great things to do in Sydney here.

But how about you? Have you had a wonderful New Year’s in Sydney and loved your hotel? If so do let me know and I’ll make sure to check them out for next year.

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. 

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 October 2018. Please be aware that minimum stays and special access to areas may change in the years to come.

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