Hotel Review: Sydney Hilton. 24 luxe hours. Afternoon Tea at Glass, Exec lounge decadence and drinks at Marble Bar

Glass Restaurant

The Sydney Hilton – still a classy classic. 24 hours in an elevated stay is best summed up as a swagger from restaurant to suite, to lounge, to bar to breakfast.

Hiltons’ reputation precedes a stay, it’s one of the reasons it remains ranked as one of the world’s most valuable hotel brands, every one is reliably ‘Hilton’, wherever in the world you are. Consistently topping guest satisfaction possibly because they authentically deliver on service and have mastered the art of evolution. Their Travel With Purpose program, supports responsible travel and they are the first global hospitality company to have its emissions targets validated by the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi), we like that.

The Arrival & Reception

The Sydney Hilton, nearly fifty years young, is a Sydney icon. In the heart of the CBD, views in every direction it is walking distance to the top 10 city sights. Even though we are checking in at peak hour, we are efficiently received, informed and welcomed with some Belle Fleur chocolates and house spiced nuts.


The afternoon

Our first indulgence is taking afternoon tea at Glass Restaurant. Food and Beverage Manager, Lomesh Mudaliar enthusiastically greets us, showing the way to our table with sky high views. It’s a magnificent room with ballroom stature ceilings, an impressive transparent wine cellar through the core, one mirrored wall, with the remaining glass to give diners an uninterrupted view of the spectacular architecture of the QVB.

This recent new arvo offering is popular and at capacity. It’s a long weekend so we don’t observe traditional tea convention and opt for the ‘elevated’ experience which means it is boozy.

While sipping champers golden plates of petite bites arrive. Executive chef Hamish Neale has curated a mod-med mix, euro inspired. The savoury bites feature Spanish Jamons and Italian Prosciutto. The 5 Jamon donut oozes warm Saint Andre cheese will have you wanting another.

Delectable seafood including the crab salad brioche roll with apple, lemon and spring onion mayo and the smoked salmon with sour cream on a flaky house made cronut are both superb.

The crème brulee scones are the gateway to the sweet course. The crème pat centre has been crystalised, they don’t really need cream, but we feel obliged and they don’t disappoint. Some very pretty pastries bursting with berries are both fresh and decadent. The lemon baskets win the category, acidic pale lemon curd topped with sweet meringue which has been bronzed is sublime. And just when you couldn’t fit another thing (except for more bubbles), a soft serve sundae with vast variety of sweet, crunchy or chocolatey toppings is the final course. A family at the next table are losing it over them, and so do we. Yep, soft serve IS having a comeback, and likely to stay if it remains this good.

Room 4225 – City View Suite 

Set for sleep

We roll to the lobby and take the elevator to the 42nd floor to go slip into loose fitting clothes. Tonight we are in a City View Suite. It’s a spacious well appointed corner room with 180 degree views of the city. Two separate toilets, a double sink bathroom and a spa with Aquavision. What is that you ask? It’s a spa bath with a TV (there are 3 in total) and city views. With a vista out to the Blue Mountains, there’s actually no need for Netflix.

Sleep Quality: The king-size bed with a pillow menu is a luxurious soft landing, with blackout blinds it’s the set up for a solid rest. With in-room climate control and interior sound proofing, no neighbour noise can be heard and its a sound sleep.

The Executive Lounge

Our suite comes with access to the Executive Lounge, which has all the ‘comps’ and following our nana nap, is our next stop for aperitifs and canapés.

We arrive in time to get the last table in the lounge, it is clearly happy hour, trays of hot snacks and cold cuts are coming out fast. It’s buzzing with guests enjoying sundowners taking in the stunning fiery red to pastel rose sunset. Vivid is in full swing and town is literally lit with thousands on the streets to see the spectrum of light festival shine.

Marble Bar – Late night drinks
The heritage listed Marble Bar

After the light shows we head to the heritage-listed Marble Bar in the basement where once again Lomesh is there to show us some V-VIP treatment as its standing room only. This is the OG speakeasy. Marble arches frame the mahogany bar which sits under an antique stained-glass roof. Its a Euro fashion set crowd and you get the vibe together with elaborate architectural finishes and Italian art, it’s like having an aperitif in the Uffizi. The bar celebrated its 130th anniversary in 2023 and has been a consistent legend in the CBD with live music most nights. Classic cocktails and local Archie Rose gins feature along with some premium bar bites.

We love a lobster roll but all too often they are more bun than you bargained for, these babies however are overflowing with fresh tender lobster and exemplify how outstanding they can be when lobster, brioche and mayo are in balance.

The Morning After

Finishing where we began, back in Glass restaurant for brekky.
The full Aussie buffet is abundant with hot and healthy options. Colourful fruits, yoghurts, granola, fresh juices open the spread. Silver bays are brimming with bacon, beans, sausages, potatoes and eggs so many ways including the omelette station. The house baked mini pastries with custard, fruit and choc fillings are a lovely flaky finish with a coffee to close our stay.

Sadly, we weren’t able to stay longer to check out Luke Mangan’s new winter menu, worth another reservation soon.

At the Sydney Hilton they put the ‘hospo’ in hospitality. The entire team from reception to chef were gracious hosts and made the experience delightful.

The Verdict

What we are addicted to: The joy of spending a 24 hour VIP experience in one place with world class service. And that spa with a view – it’s worth the upgrade.

What we need to be more addicted: It’s great to see travel in full swing again, however with a bustling hotel reaching capacity at times in the lounge and breakfast probably means time to offer more space.

The Sydney Hilton 488 George St, Sydney, NSW 2000
Marble bar open every day 4pm – late, live music, Monday to Saturday
Glass Brasserie open every day for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea & dinner, except dinner Sundays.

About the author

BIO: Meg lives, breathes and invests in leading edge tech and food innovation. Curious about what makes things work and is in pursuit of experiencing the unending trends and invention in cuisines. There’s virtually nothing she won’t eat, drink or some combination that she isn’t open to. With the benefit of having lived abroad Meg has a high bar for authenticity and delights in running a lot of taste tests.


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