With Boss Hunting’s readers constantly jetting off, whether it be for business travel or leisure, I thought it was about time we published a quick guide to the best Sydney airport hotels. Now, just to be clear, I’m not going to rank these hotels. This is simply a guide to all the best hotels near Sydney Airport and what you can expect at each.
It’s an inevitability that at some point in your life, you’re going to have to stay at an airport hotel. Whether your employer books it for you or you end up needing one last-minute. I know, it’s not as illustrious as your typical upscale bolthole in Sydney’s CBD and you’d be hard-pressed to find a luxury hotel near any airport in the world. Yet these hotels thrive on functionality and exist only to provide a convenient location for travellers either flying out incredibly early, touching down very late or on a long-but-not-too-long layover.
Airport accommodation is a different kind of beast. There are some that do it better than others, but more or less all airport hotels are much of the same. There’s rarely a theme and hardly a story to pull from (there are some exceptions in cities like Vancouver and New York City). Airport hotels are a game of utility and not much more.
Yet they’re lucrative endeavours for hotel operators. And most of them usually operate at a high capacity with both Sydney travellers and international visitors. That explains why there are so many hotels near Kingsford Smith, with a few more in the pipeline over the coming years. The latest near the airport precinct will be Marriott’s Moxy Sydney Airport, which opened in August 2023.
Best Sydney Airport Hotels – Table Of Contents
- What Is The Best Hotel Near Sydney Airport?
- Getting From Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport To The City Centre
- How Boss Hunting Chose The Best Airport Hotels
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Best Hotel Near Sydney Airport?
Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel
Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, 24-hour gym access, 24-hour reception, self-check-in kiosks, airport shuttle
Day Use: Yes
Day Use Hours: 8 AM – 5 PM
Day Use Rate: $139 flat rate
Average Nightly Rate: $139
I remember actually being quite impressed by the food and the wine list at Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel. You aren’t getting a lavish, memorable meal at The Ascot, of course — which is why I can’t be too specific — but the quality is far beyond what you’d get elsewhere within the Sydney Airport precinct. Plus, you can head on up to a rooftop bar called Cloud 9 and spend a few hours overlooking the airport runway.
Add to the fact that you’re only 181 steps from the International Terminal check-in desks and just a 15-minute train ride for Sydney’s CBD. Complimentary shuttle transfers to and from the T2 and T3 Domestic terminals are also right on the hotel’s doorstep. If you want to be well-connected to all terminals, this is the hotel that makes the most sense. Especially if you’ve got a super early international flight.
Citadines Connect Sydney Airport
Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, pet-friendly, grab-and-go station, self-check-in kiosks, 24-hour gym access, 24-hour reception, airport shuttle
Day Use: Yes
Day Use Hours: 9 AM – 4 PM
Day Use Rate: $105 flat rate
Average Nightly Rate: $197
I’m not too hot on the name, but Citadines Connect Sydney Airport is easily my favourite out of all the Sydney Airport hotels. I stayed when it first opened. Back then it was branded as Felix Hotel before 8Hotels sold for $60.6 million to Singapore’s Ascott Residence Trust.
I’m not surprised it was purchased for so much money either; Sydney Airport is, after all, expected to receive 60.7 million arrivals a year by 2033. That’s a big market.
Not only is the price point very compelling at Citadines Connect, with the average room rate being around $197, but it’s a very comfortable, well-designed hotel with a boutique aesthetic and large, comfortable beds. The beds also face a rotating 55-inch TV with Netflix installed so you can rest up for a few hours with your stories (for that, check out our round-up of the best movies and the best shows on Netflix Australia).
What’s more is that the sky lobby looks more like a polished airport lounge with numerous working stations, a 24-7 grab-and-go snack station as well as a menu for the more substantial fare. I didn’t quite like the food. Although, I didn’t expect to either.
The hotel also gets extra points for being pet friendly. Not something that makes a difference to me personally but if you’re travelling with your pup on a long layover then this is the hotel for you.
Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, self-check-in kiosks, 24-hour reception, Plaza Premium lounge
Day Use: Yes
Day Use Rate: From $71 for three hours
Average Nightly Rate: $178
Aerotel Sydney is a unique proposition for travellers given it’s the only hotel that’s actually located inside T1 International Terminal. You’ll find the entrance next to the arrivals hall, which means it’s only a matter of zipping up an escalator to get to the check-in kiosks, departure dates and airport security.
And because it’s located inside the airport, Aerotel operates a bit differently from all the airport hotels. First, the main common area is actually a Plaza Premium Lounge and functions very much as you’d expect from a generalised airport lounge. Second, Aerotel offers more flexibility than nearby hotels in that you can choose to stay overnight or book only for a certain amount of time.
Aerotel, which is part of a chain of similar in-airport accommodations in other cities like Singapore (which even has a pool), is also quite value-driven. The lowest nightly price is usually around $178. However, prices can hike pretty fast due to demand given most travellers would be booking online at the very last minute.
Still, being that close to the International Terminal check-in can be priceless for anyone with an early flight.
Holiday Inn Express Sydney Airport, An IHG Hotel
Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, 24-hour reception, airport shuttle
Day Use: Yes
Day Use Hours: 7 AM – 2 PM
Day Use Rate: $89 flat rate
Average Nightly Rate: $203
A reasonably comfortable bed and a decent bathroom are really all you need at an airport hotel and Holiday Inn Express ticks both boxes very well. You’re by no means getting a luxury hotel room here but for a budget hotel, it does just fine.
The issue here is that there are often better rooms at other nearby Sydney airport hotels that typically cost less. Yet Holiday Inn Express is always a wise choice given it’s much more likely a room is actually going to be available. The stock isn’t quite as large as Rydges, but a decent 247 rooms mean there’s plenty of capacity for those busier seasons.
Conference rooms are also a big bonus. Holiday Inn Express is one of the better choices for entire teams travelling together so it’s often packed with business travellers on any given day of the week. There’s an irrelevant currency exchange desk in the lobby as well, but since that should always be seen as a last-ditch effort to convert currency, I’m sure it’s still useful for some travellers.
Although the biggest thing Holiday Inn Express has going for it is day use. With a flat rate of $89, it’s one of the cheaper options if you’re looking to use a room for up to seven hours. If you only need one for say two or three, however, then you’re better off over at Aerotel — assuming it’s not booked out already (which it probably is).
Novotel Sydney International Airport
Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, 24-hour reception, pool, business and conference facilities
Day Use: Yes
Day Use Hours: 9 AM – 5 PM
Day Use Rate: $165 flat rate
Average Nightly Rate: $249
I do think that in general, at least from a cost-effective standpoint, Novotel is one of Accor’s most valuable brands for business travellers. And it always seems like at least one of them ends up near an airport in just about every major city around the world. Most Novotel properties are in boring, pragmatic locations like Sydney Olympic Park and Darling Harbour.
Yet, I remember staying at the Novotel near Auckland airport while I was on a press junket with Disney and being impressed with the level of comfort, service and food. That said, I’m always surprised when I have decent food at a hotel, given I grew up in Sydney.
It seems Novotel’s on-site restaurant, The Marke Kitchen, is consistently well-reviewed by hotel guests. There’s also a “pantry” for snacks and gifts, a generous stock of 271 comfortable mid-range rooms and fast free Wi-Fi.
What you’ll get at the Novotel Sydney International Airport is very much expected. The main difference here is that this Novotel actually has a swimming pool. If you want a quick dip on a long layover to wake yourself up then the Novotel is the better choice.
The downside is that this is typically one of the more expensive hotels near Sydney Airport. The rates are probably a bit higher because so many teams would come through here each year, making use of the business and conference facilities that the hotel offers.
ibis Budget Sydney Airport
Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, 24-hour reception, self-check-in kiosks
Day Use: No
Average Nightly Rate: $119
I do feel like Accor’s Ibis budget brand is unfairly looked upon by many travellers. I understand, of course. It’s in the name. Budget. This is no-frills and not a lot of comfort. Yet, I’ve stayed at plenty of Ibis Budget hotels before that get the job done just fine while loosening up my finances so I can actually enjoy my time in another city. Pretentiousness is for children; utility is for adults.
Basic in terms of amenities but high when it comes to convenience. If those metrics sound good to you, then Ibis Budget Sydney Airport is a nice little hack for when you just need somewhere decent to sleep before or after a flight with T2 and T3 domestic terminals just a few minutes walk from the lobby. T1 International is about a five minutes drive, although the hotel is one of the stops for the airport shuttle service which runs between 5 AM and 11 PM each day so it’s still quite well-connected.
Pullman Sydney Airport
Amenities: Complimentary Wi-Fi, 24-hour reception, self-check-in kiosks, 24-hour gym access
Day Use: Yes
Day Use Hours: 10 AM – 5 PM
Average Nightly Rate: $167
Pullman Sydney Airport is generally seen as one of the more comfortable hotels near Sydney Airport. And while it may not be luxury, you’re at least bumping up the quality here with generously sized rooms, a reasonably well-equipped gym and a nice restaurant with Mobius Bar & Grill.
I’ve only eaten here once and it was quite some time ago so I can’t attest to the current menu but everything at Pullman Sydney Airport is held to a fairly high standard. It’s clear Accor wants to push this as a more premium option near the airport, although the compromise here is that Pullman Sydney Airport is closer to Mascot Train Station than the Sydney Airport terminals.
That’s by no means far, of course. You’ve got the airport shuttle which can get you to any of the terminals in minutes so convenience is still not a concern. It could just mean you’ve got a 20-minute sleep-in as opposed to a 30-minute one.
Getting From Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport To The City Centre
Sydney Kingsford Smith Intl (now just referred to as Sydney Airport) is not one of those far-out airports you’d find in other cities. It’s actually quite close to Sydney’s Central Business District, which is best reached via train. It’ll take you around 15 minutes to catch the train to Central Station and from there you can switch to Town Hall, Wynyard and just about anywhere else you want to travel to in Sydney.
If you want to catch an Uber to the city from Sydney Airport then you’re looking at around $50-$70 which compared to the ease of the train just isn’t worth it if you’re being money-conscious.
How Boss Hunting Chose The Best Airport Hotels
You aren’t staying at a Sydney airport hotel to explore the local surroundings. Because let’s face it: Mascot, the closest defined suburb around Sydney Airport, isn’t worth exploring. Nor should you expect any
Convenience; distance to and from the airport; the availability of free high-speed Wi-Fi. Comfort, of course. There are plenty of metrics we can use to rate airport hotels and the considerations are slightly different than if we were rating a CBD hotel like QT Sydney or The Old Clare.
There are more hotels near Sydney Airport than the properties listed here. These are the ones that I’ve experienced before, either by popping in for a meal or staying the night before an early international flight. I’ve never had the need for day-use rooms, however (because I live in Sydney) so keep that in mind.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the best hotel near Sydney Airport?
The best hotel near Sydney Airport is Rydges Sydney Airport, but you also have strong options with Pullman Sydney Airport and Citadines Connect Sydney Airport.
How much is a room at Aerotel Sydney?
Rooms at Aerotel Sydney start from around $178 overnight or $71 for three hours.
How far is Sydney Airport from Sydney CBD?
If you want to get to T1 International Terminal at Sydney Airport from the Central Business District then you are looking at a distance of 18 km, which means a 35-minute drive.