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 The Observatory Hotel 
With first-class facilities throughout and a prime central location near Darling Harbour and The Rocks, this member of the prestigious Orient-Express Hotels group is a terrific choice for travelers on a generous budget. The handsome colonial-style building was completed in 1993, offering guests a pleasing mix of modern infrastructure and traditional decor, with 100 rooms and suites, a grand lobby, a well-regarded Franco-Japanese restaurant, a spa, fitness center and 20-meter indoor pool. The hotel also manages a city-owned all-weather synthetic grass tennis court just across the road. Standard rates typically range from around AU$800 to AU$1,000 per night, with discounted rates sometimes dropping as low as about AU$400.
Information: The Observatory Hotel, +61-2-9256-2222
One full-size outdoor court is available to guests of the Novotel at Darling Harbour, a large, modern hotel linked to the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre. The property is located in the heart of an appealing waterfront commercial area with plenty of nearby choices for shopping, dining and entertainment, and direct monorail access to the city center. Many of the 525 rooms and suites offer expansive harbor or skyline views, as does the in-house restaurant, Dish. Recent renovations have added eight spacious "Loft Suites" on the top floor, with one or two bedrooms and views overlooking Darling Harbour. Rack rates typically fall in the AU$400 to AU$700 range, but off-peak discounts can fall below AU$250 a night.
Information: Novotel Sydney on Darling Harbour, +61-2-9934-0000
Short-term rentals at this highrise apartment building a few miles east of the central business district offer independent-minded travelers a good alternative to standard hotel accommodations. One-, two- and three-bedroom units are available, some with views of the city skyline, Bondi Beach or Sydney Harbour. On-site amenities include one outdoor tennis court plus a day spa, pool and fitness center. Convenient rail and bus service link the area to downtown Sydney, Bondi Beach, Paddington, Kings Cross and Edgecliff/Double Bay. Rates begin at around AU$200 per night, with weekly housekeeping included.
Information: Meriton Bondi Junction Apartments, +61-2-9287-2890
Another good location for short-term apartment rentals, this 85-unit building is located in the recently gentrified Surry Hills district just south of the city center. Each one- or two-bedroom unit features stylish contemporary furnishings and hotel-like amenities with a full kitchen and private laundry, and the surrounding neighborhood offers a good selection of chic shops, restaurants, cafes and pubs. Rates range from about AU$250 to AU$500 per night, including access to the on-site swimming pool, fitness center and rooftop tennis court.
Information: Medina on Crown Executive Apartments, +61-2-8302-1000