I had an early flight from Sydney to Singapore and onto Kathmandu. As I live around 75 minutes from the airport (and not wanting to rely on Sydney’s public transport…) I decided to have a pre-departure night near the airport. I checked out many hotels, and while this is a little on the higher cost side, I settled on the Plane Spotters Package at the Rydges Sydney Airport Hotel.
At AU$353 it is certainly a splurge before heading away for three and a half months but the package comes with a few bonuses when I booked through Qantas Hotels on the Qantas website.
- Guaranteed airport view room
- $50 food and beverage voucher
- A plane spotters guide
- Bonus QANTAS Frequent Flyer points at 6 points per dollar – 2,118 points!
Located right outside the Terminal 1, the international terminal at Sydney Airport, it’s around a two minute walk to departures – quite convenient. The foyer and check-in area is light and open – great for large groups and their baggage I suspect. Check-in fwas a breeze. andI had my room key in minutes.
The room was neat, tidy with modern simple furnishings, the bathroom spacious. But I was slightly disappointed as my view was only of gate 8. I had meet some other house guests in the elevator who had told me they asked for a change of room as the one their original didn’t show much of the terminal… I wondered if I now had their room. The rooms at the other end of the building may have a better view of the gates, but I decided to just stick with what I have been given.
The plane spotters guide was not what I thought it was going to be – I guess its hard to write a document of what aircraft you are seeing when they are coming and going! The guide listed places around the airport where you can spot planes. What would have been fun is to have a bunch of aircraft tails and liveries for people to spot… perhaps even the outline of the type of aircraft… But thats just me, a plane nerd.
A Qantas A380 was parked at gate 8 which, due to the time of day, I suspected to be flight QF1 to Singapore and London Heathrow. Gate 8 is able to handle the A380 with duel aerobridges and also has secondary screening used for flights to the UK and USA.
I headed down to Smithy’s Bar, named after the famed Australian pioneer aviator Sir Charles Kingsford-Smith. Smithy, as was his nickname, made the first Trans-Pacific crossing from the USA to Australia. The bar and restaurant had a casual and happy vibe – I reckon a lot of people here are about to embark on their overseas holiday or have just returned from one. I order a glass of
The salt and pepper calamari caught my eye on the menu – I was petty sure I wouldn’t encounter much seafood during my upcoming 14 week stay in a landlocked Nepal! It was quite a good version and I like the variation of squid pieces – tentacles and rings. It’s crunchy and tasty however, I am not a fan of the chunks of chilli especially after I unknowingly bite into one!
After QF1 to Singapore and London has left, it’s another Qantas flights at gate 8. This Boeing 787-9 has Indigenous artwork livery based on the painting Yam Dreaming. There are over 5000 dots painted on this aircraft which entered service in 2018 and on this evening it was operating QF7 to Dallas Fort Worth, one of Qantas’ longest non-stop flights.
Well that was pretty much it for my plane spotting. I guess its like spotting wildlife in a national park – you can’t guarantee what you’re going to see – but it was a novel stay at the hotel. The room was comfortable, the food decent, but the best thing was the very short (bleary eyed) walk to the terminal at 4am!
Matty Somewhere paid for the hotel independently.
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yes so much easier to just walk across rather than have to get up at the crack of dawn and taxi it into the airport.