Review: Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel

Particularly before an early morning flight, the best 'airport transfer' is a quick walk from your hotel straight to check-in.

Overall Rating

By Chris Chamberlin, August 27 2019
Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel





Rydges Sydney Airport




Deluxe King Suite



Nothing beats convenience, and that's exactly what the Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel offers to travellers departing from the airport's T1 international terminal, which is quite literally across the street, or a precise 181 steps from the hotel's front door to the nearest check-in counter.

Location & Impressions

Situated directly across from the T1 international terminal at Sydney Airport, this is the most conveniently-located hotel in the airport precinct: just walk over the road from Terminal 1, and you're here.

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel exterior

For those arriving into or departing from the domestic terminal, complimentary shuttles run every 15-30 minutes between 5am and 10:45pm, with stops in front of both T2 (for Virgin Australia, Jetstar, Tiger and others) and T3 (for Qantas and QantasLink):

Sydney Airport domestic terminal shuttle pick-ups for Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel

As to the hotel, check-in is swift and I'm quickly in my room enjoying the view, spanning the T1 departure gates in the foreground and the Sydney CBD skyline further back:

View from Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel

The International Airport train station is also easily accessed via the terminal, taking you to Sydney's Central Station in just 12 minutes.

If you'll be making that trip more than once during your stay, be sure to use the same Opal card, which effectively caps the airport's 'station access fee' after your first trip, and makes all subsequent journeys the price of a regular local train fare.

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel accepts all major credit cards with a flat 1.08% surcharge on payments made at the hotel: a welcome improvement over years past, as AMEX and Diners cards were previously hit with a much higher 3.5% surcharge.


The hotel's Deluxe King Suite best-resembles what would be a junior suite at most other hotels, with part of the room devoted to the bed...

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel: Deluxe King Suite

... and the lounge space an extension of that, with a small dividing wall in between as opposed to being a separate room:

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel: Deluxe King Suite

On the bedroom side, there's a TV as well as access to AC power – once you move the phone forward and out of the way...

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel: bedside power

... while on that 'other' side, there's a sofa with a second television...

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel: Deluxe King Suite lounge

... as well as seating where you can enjoy the view close-up...

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel: Deluxe King Suite seating

... which, of course, gets better when you open the privacy curtains:

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel: Deluxe King Suite view

The bathroom is simple but stylish, with a walk-in shower and full-length mirror...

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel: Deluxe King Suite bathroom

... complemented by a selection of amenities:

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel: Deluxe King Suite bathroom amenities

If you're in need of a little extra space, the room's lounge chair can also be transformed into a queen-sized sofa bed: and as Sydney Airport has an overnight curfew, you'll sleep soundly.


With work to complete, the room's desk proved more than adequate, conveniently facing the windows and with desk-level power points, too:

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel: Deluxe King Suite desk

Outside the room, there's also a business centre nearby the hotel's meeting facilities. You'll know you're in the right place when you spot this library-inspired feature wall:

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel library feature wall

Internet access is also complimentary for all guests.


The hotel's public areas are currently undergoing refurbishments, including the on-site cafes, restaurants and bars, and pleasingly, no construction noise was audible from the room or from any of the venues visited during the stay.

Guests are kept up-to-date on the latest openings and closures via the hotel's website, and on information sheets in each room: but as a larger hotel, there's always somewhere to enjoy breakfast, a restaurant for other meals, and a bar for cocktails and the like, even if that location moves from one visit to the next.

During my stay, the buffet breakfast offered the usual items like pastries, toast and cereals, running from 4am until 10:30am daily – perfect if you have an early flight...

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel breakfast

... along with hot items like bacon and eggs, plus fresh fruits, juices, yoghurts, salads, meats and cheese:

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel breakfast

You'll find automated coffee machines for your morning pick-me-up, and on noticing how tired I must have looked after working until midnight the night before, the staff offered to make me a stronger barista-made latte from the machine behind, which was most appreciated.

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel coffee

Fast-forward to the evening, and cocktails at Touch Down Bar were a great end to another busy day. I sampled and enjoyed both a standard Aperol Spritz (blending Aperol, soda water and sparkling wine), and the bar's own 'Fly Me to the Moon' mix of gin, Midori, pineapple and rose syrup:

Cocktails at Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel

For dinner, I'd recommend the healthy grilled barramundi fillet, served with zucchini ribbons, pine nuts, currants and lemon, with a black olive tapenade...

Dinner at Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel

... and for dessert, the slightly more sinful churros dusted with cinnamon, atop strawberries, a scoop of ice cream and chocolate sauce:

Dessert at Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel

Touch Down Bar is currently closed for its own facelift, set to reopen by the end of September 2019 with a new look:

Touch Down Bar: old (left) vs. new (right)

During those renovations and beyond, Blackwattle Grill is the hotel's go-to restaurant, while drinks can also be enjoyed at Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar, again offering views over the airport and towards the city.

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel: Cloud 9 Rooftop Bar

Down in the lobby, Touch&Go Cafe opens daily from 4:30am...

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel: Touch&Go Cafe

... and failing that, the in-room minibar also comes well-stocked.

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel: in-room minibar

The only thing lacking is an in-room espresso machine, as instant coffee is all you'll find here. Certainly, lattes and the like are available at breakfast or on your way through the lobby, but for those booked onto the day's earliest flights, being able to make a quick in-room brew before zipping over to check-in would be a welcome addition.


Sticking to your regular fitness routine is easy at the 24-hour gym...

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel gym

... offering a variety of cardio machines, free weights, exercise balls and more, with gym towels and chilled water within easy reach.

Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel gym

There's no pool though, so keep your swim gear packed for your next destination.

All things considered, Rydges Sydney Airport avoids the typically-boring 'airport hotel' vibe while still making the view towards that airport an enjoyable part of the experience: and when it's time to depart, nothing beats waking up and walking straight to international check-in, with no cars, trains or shuttles to worry about.

Chris Chamberlin was a guest of the Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel.


Chris Chamberlin

Chris Chamberlin is the Associate Editor of Executive Traveller and lives by the motto that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, a great latte, a theatre ticket and a glass of wine!



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Nov 2016

Total posts 83

Thanks Chris for the review. Have found this to be a very convenient place to stay if on an very early morning flight. I have been using the Rydges brand across Aus and NZ for over 10 years and found them to be a great well priced business hotel brand. With their QT hotels they have some funky places to stay around the country. Their priority guest rewards program is also good.



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

01 Nov 2016

Total posts 83

Forgot to mention that if you reach a good status level like their Black Tier level, when you eat at the restaurants in the hotel the F&B is discounted at 50% and the rooms are also discounted. Have just booked a night in their Melbourne CBD premises next week and with room, breakfast and parking it was less than $175. Great value for money.



25 Jun 2013

Total posts 40

Thanks for the review. This is my choice when leaving from Sydney. Also the tip on opal card . Was planning on ditching and using my debit card , but will now keep it. I never look at balance so have no idea what the fare us.



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Jul 2014

Total posts 99

I prefer the rooms that overlook the Carpark as they are the quietest

Very good Staff and well run Hotel,It pays to join their Priority guest rewards program for free and you ger a 20% discount off the Tucker as well as a free Drink even if you havent booked direct with them



Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles

16 Oct 2017

Total posts 82

I've stayed at this Rydges several times, in the suites and in other rooms. For convenience the hotel cannot be beaten. The room when I last stayed had an "open" bathroom plan, which puts one person rather too "close" to another when nature calls. The suites, happily, lack that feature. On another note, on my last stay in a suite I had to send back the room service dinner order. The food was not what was ordered and was stone cold. Annoyingly, there was no apology.



26 May 2011

Total posts 12

Nice review and think it really summed up the hotel. I have stayed a number of times in different rooms and have always enjoyed it. Once all of the renovations are done for all of the food options that will be ideal. I agree about having a coffee maker in the hotel room - a simple 'pod' type setup would be very appreciated, particularly for the early starters for the EK flight.



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

31 Jan 2016

Total posts 50

Great to see that the public areas are (have been) upgraded as they were not that great when flying with young children...10yo sitting up at a table in the bar after arriving on late night flights back to SYD from AKL etc...!!!

However, Rydges at the airport is my preferred digs especially with international flights.



Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Feb 2014

Total posts 5

Thanks for review and comments

Have booked this for forthcoming trip February next PER-CHC-PER as flying Emirates on the SYD-CHC leg and will look ar Rydges CHC too

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