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HOTEL REVIEW: Pullman Sydney Airport – emergency one night stay

HOTEL REVIEW: Pullman Sydney Airport – emergency one night stayScore 75%Score 75%


Contrary to the song title, I do not ‘love a rainy night‘ especially when it is because the rain has flooded your bedroom, soaked your mattress buckled your floors, and rendered your pillows into a soggy mass of feathers.

On top of that, when you have just returned home from overseas after 12 hours of flights and transfers, to find your sleeping quarters unlivable, and then have to wrangle an exhausted inlaw, support a loyalty-torn husband and book a last-minute hotel room at a reasonable price. Insurance claims and dealing with soaked bedding, ceiling and floor would have to wait until tomorrow.

This was even testing for the hotel employee booking our stay – who remained calm and polite despite the strain of checking in 30 flight crew between my phone call and our arrival at the Pullman Sydney Airport. Sorry, I don’t remember your name, but thanks for your patience in dealing with 3 frazzled people.

Oh yes, this is not a full review. I didn’t take photos until we were leaving, so no pristine fresh housekeeping serviced images here and I completely forgot to image our next day’s breakfast. Please take this as the impression of a reviewer in distress, who stayed one night, not even 24 hours in the hotel at the last minute.

a building with a sign on it

Booking & Price

Stay: 26 March 2022
Stars: 5
Room: Superior Room
Size: 31 sqm (334 sqf)
Bed: King
Per Night Average: AU$209
Address: 191 O’Riordan Street, Mascot, NSW 2020 Sydney, Australia
Phone: +61 (0) 2 8398 4600

a row of white doors with numbers on them

Location & Arrival

The hotel is close to the airport by vehicle, but more than a stone’s throw if you are walking.

Car access is odd. The entrance is at right angles to the street accesssed by a parallell road. Its a big frontage with various entrances including the restaurant and bar. Given the current fashion of reception areas looking like a casual sitting rooms, it was not immediately clear where the actual entrance was. We tried a couple of doors until one opened and we were hailed by the reception staff.

a hallway with doors and signs


Having solved the entryway confusion, our near midnight check-in was dealt with very efficiently and swiftly by the apparent 2 staff on duty. We made our way to the second floor tired and a little cranky from our situation, not because of anything the hotel did or didn’t do.

a bed with a tv in a room


Visually, the bedroom is very pleasant and well laid out with all the necessities. However, on closer inspection, there are some problems.

First up – let’s start with the actual bed. On the upside, the mattress and topper are very comfortable. But there are two important downsides:

  1. The pillows – one is filled with crushed foam or something similar and is barely on the acceptible side of beddable
  2. No Sheet! This bed has no top sheet, only an admittedly light cotton quilt/comforter/duvet/doona. The cover is closed, so you can’t even unwrap the quilt to use the cover as a sheet.

I ended up sleeping in the cotton dressing gown which was lighter and more comfortable. Change the air conditioning you say? A possible solution, but we were too tired to find the control until morning, when we turned it off.

On the more positive side, the movable rounded triangualr bedside tables, and ‘desk’ worked well, and looked very cute. There were good options for overhead and reading lights, and a nightlight function.

Worthy of comment, are the switchless power points throughout the room – seethe picture below. This is common in Europe and America, but its the first time I have seen it in Australia. I love plug and play!

a glass cabinet with a shelf and a coffee pot
Yep that’s it – the fridge below the glassware in its own little display cabinet


Didn’t even look, although I like the display case container it came in. Next to it is the tea and coffee set up, with kettle and cups above a small cabinet with draws containing tea, coffee and of course Pringles!


The wardrobe is also in this kind of display case cabinet, with hanging rails that stick out towards you, rather than the usual left to right across the cabinet. The rail set-up seems a little old fashioned to me, but of little consequence. More importantly, there are some actual drawers to store things in under the hanging space.

a room with a glass shower door and a black and white rug
With our 2 cabin bags, you can tell we were about to check out of our open bathroom room

The Bathroom

OK, this is where I have a major problem with the room design. There’s no escaping it. You get this open bathroom configuration in every room category in the hotel unless you book a top-end suite or an accessible room.

How can I put this delicately? Actually, I’m not going to even try. Shit smells all over the room, despite closing the frosted glass sliding door, despite the aircon, despite the exhaust fan, and despite flushing properly. So this is obviously not couple friendly. It isn’t even single guest friendly! I can’t believe that a hotel designer could get such a basic thing wrong.

I just don’t get it. Two more glass panels installed to enclose the bathroom and there would just be a gap to the entrance corridor, which even without a door, would probably get around the odiferous toilet facilities problem.

Other than that major flaw the bathroom functions well and even has a heated mirror to counter glass fogging.

a bathroom with a mirror and sink
Single sink with individual amenities and heated mirror


Amenities were C.O. Bigelow in individual packages, bucking the eco-trend of bulk supply. I love individualised hotel amenities. Gosh, I have 3 bathroom cabinets full of them at home. On the other hand – I understand the unnecessary plastic waste they generate.

Public Areas – Bars, Restaurants & Gyms

The foyer is a combined reception bar and restaurant area on the ground floor, and the gym is on level 2 (we could see it from our window). I didn’t visit the gym and was too bleary-eyed and in a hurry to take much note of the breakfast dining area. There was a misunderstanding with our breakfast order – mainly because the delivered dish had more sides than the menu listed. We thought we hadn’t received our order, when in fact we got more. The staff were gracious in the face of adversity. Sorry to everyone involved.

a bathroom with a glass door and a mirror
Sorry – one more look at that open bathroom

2PAXfly Takeout

Look, any cheap hotel room with basic amenities, and a bit of style, however, ill-advised the design, is a safe port in a literal storm.

This is not my favourite hotel by any means. Open plan bathrooms are just a big ‘no’ for me, because – you know – how can I put this politely? Toilet smells permeate the whole room, however good the exhaust is.

Staff, although thin on the ground at midnight on a Saturday night, were extremely accommodating to these 3 stressed and exhausted last-minute guests.

If I was stuck last minute for an airport hotel, despite the open bathroom, I would book this hotel, although I’d definitely request an accessible room because their bathrooms have walls and a door.

I should note that the Pullman bills itself as the only 5 Star hotel at Sydney Airport. Sydney, we should be able to do better – especially in bathroom design.



Five Star Sydney Airport A great Sydney Airport hotel if you don't mind an open bathroom. The rating is limited as we didn't get to test room service, bars or gym.

Five Star Sydney Airport

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