Novotel Sydney Darling Square

This sleek, refurbished establishment relaxes you instantly with its incredible spacious feeling. Enhanced by the fabulous floor to ceiling windows and giant sized bar shelves, the lobby and restaurant/bar areas are quite welcoming.

Our room was nicely appointed, with all the comforts of home. No balconies, but this is Sydney. We were here to explore and enjoy so in all honestly, we never would have had time to sit on a balcony and watch the world go by.

We had stopped in for a couple of nights to indulge in the delights of Vivid Sydney. As a loyal Accor Plus member, it was an absolute delight to have not only complimentary water delivered to the room, but a personalised tin of sweets as well. A nice, simple, yet welcoming touch.

That extra little step you take to make your loyalty guest feel welcome makes the recipient feel quite special. Well done šŸ‘.

Buffet for breakfast was more than adequate. A selection of hot and cold foods, including pastries and delightful little bottles of yoghurts and muesli. Don’t forget the surprising bread and butter pudding included in the usual hot range! Enjoyable, as well as adding an interesting flavour to breakfast.

The other dining choice for lunch and dinner is The Pump House. On this damp weekend, we did not even have to get wet, just head down the hallway that connects the two venues, and you have an awesome pub atmosphere complete with massive chairs and beautiful fire. Guess where we ended each evening!

The locality of this hotel was simply perfect. With Darling Harbour restaurant and retail complex, Paddy’s Markets and the Chinese Gardens a mere few minutes traffic free stroll from your door, you really don’t want for much.

Facilities have all been revamped, with a very nice, comfortable indoor pool area and sparkling gym. Towels are provided at the pool, you don’t need to pack your own towel, even better when you’re travelling.

Any future visit to Sydney, we would not hesitate to stop in here. Staff, and I mean all staff, went above and beyond to make us welcome. Thank you Novotel Sydney Darling Square (ex Rockford), we hope to return someday!

Check Dine Live Travel on facebook for more photos on this trip!

FV By Peppers – Fortitude Valley Brisbane

Thank you to Travel Massive and FV By Peppers for an interesting, informative evening last week. To attend a meeting at this newly opened complex was a privilege to say the least.The view from the restaurant and bar located on level 6, was certainly stunning as the sun set. Huge, inviting lounges, invite you to rest your feet and enjoy the location. The bar and restaurant area has massive doors opening to this secluded location.

To give some background FV by Peppers is still under construction. In saying that, its only the third accomodation tower which is yet to be finished. Tower One & Two are open for business. Offering both hotel and apartment accommodation, FV by Peppers gives you plenty of choice. Oh yes and you can live here too! Short stay, long stay, corporate, everything is on offer.

Based on skyscraper architecture, New York style, the building is impressive, including the u shaped swimming pool which offers a breathtaking area to both swim and chill- and includes a swim up bar, looking towards Brisbane city.

We were incredibly lucky to be treated to a private tour. So many hidden surprises here, and I would have to say, we were impressed. In fact so much so, that already we have a few groups of people we know making plans to stay. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing tool.

Hotel rooms, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments, there’s plenty of choice. And when I say apartments, I’m talking full kitchens. These apartments are built to live in, not just stay.

The two bedroomed apartment we viewed, had a gorgeous view of the story bridge at night, as you entered the second bedroom. Muted colours throughout enhanced the beautiful lights outside.

Comfortable lounge setting, leads onto the enclosed glass balcony. Everything you need for a chilled out stay has been included.

There are some impressive extras here you can enjoy with a group of friends or family. For a mere $30, hire one of the four large, beautifully appointed spa rooms and enjoy 4 hours of fun and relaxation.

Relax in the bubbling spa, letting your stress disappear and muscles relax, whilst you either enjoy the city view or watch the TV. There’s plenty of comfortable seating and even your own private bar where staff will provide you with food and drinks (not included in the hire fee), during the course of your four hours.

Should you maybe wish to continue your fun, there is also the moonlight theatre for hire. Again you and your friends relax, enjoy, whilst staff tend to your tends using the private bar (not included in hire fee), contained within the theatre. Bean bags or comfortable lounges make for a sprawling good time!

Even the gym is impressive, roomy plenty of new equipment to keep everyone happy, a wonderful city view, and the cherry on top, will be a new yoga area due to open soon.

Mantra Group have done well to ensure not only do you have the comforts of home, but that extra added luxury at a very reasonable price. For those of us who are Accor Plus members, be sure to keep on checking on how the Mantra Group bid is progressing. To have the Peppers and Mantra complex’s added to Accor portfolio options will be quite the feather in their cap!

And, should you be looking for something special, keep these hire rooms in mind. They aren’t available unless you are staying on site, but what a wonderful treat this could be!

Finally, as with most venues, weekends are busier and it might be that bit harder to secure a private spa or the theatre, so if you are able to stay during the week, chances are you will have most opportunities open to you. Enjoy, we are looking forward to visiting again, perhaps we will even see you there!