REVIEW: Did we just find Sydney’s best beachside hotel?

Waking up to views over the ocean from your bed is incredible. And from our corner room at Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach we had not one, but two different views to enjoy without getting out from under the doona.

The view from the two balconies, one on the east side and one on the north, was even better. We took full advantage, watching the sun set over Coogee Beach and rise again the next morning.

That proximity to the ocean is what makes a stay at the Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach a special experience.

Balcony of a Pool View Room @cpcoogeebeach

The hotel: Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach

This beachside hotel has everything you would expect of a schmick city property – and then some. It actually dates back to the early 1900s, where it started life as The Oceanic.

You’d never know it has a century of Coogee life in its DNA, thanks to a stunning renovation and re-design. It is that rare beast that looks and feels new but has that welcoming, comforting feel of a place that has been around for a while.

The Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach is an iconic Sydney property. It’s perfectly positioned to take in sweeping views of the ocean. You will find it across the road from one of the city’s most beautiful, patrolled beaches. Having opened in the early 1900s as The Oceanic, the hotel is now returning to take its rightful position as the place to stay in Coogee.


For businesspeople it is also the bee’s knees as it has a new events centre that was purpose-built. It has eight flexible meeting spaces, all the technology required and group dining concepts to please. This gives the hotel a total of 13 event spaces all up. And let’s face it. Who wouldn’t want to have business meetings by the beachside, with the delights of Coogee a mere skip and jump away? You could whip off your shiny business shoes and have your toes in the sand in a minute or two. Really. A swim as well as morning coffee? Easy.

Sports teams love this place too. The NSW Blues were staying when we were there, as well as a platoon of AFL teams and a rugby union side. Judging by the talk in the lifts we overheard, these beautifully mannered young men loved the well-equipped gym, the meeting rooms, the pool, the food, and the beach over the road.

The rooms

There are 209 guest rooms at The Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach Hotel. We booked a Superior Ocean Front room and won the room lottery. These rooms happen to be on the corner of the building and have two balconies.

The view

Our bags have barely hit the floor and we are checking out the view to the beach. It is mesmerising with the blue of the Pacific rolling calmly to the sand, where locals are running, walking or sitting. A row of Norfolk Pines adds some texture to the panorama, especially when the sun sinks behind them, giving them a gorgeous orange glow.

On the other balcony, we can see straight over the hotel’s enticing heated swimming pool. Over near the Coogee Surf Life Saving Club, we glimpse a sculpture of two men and make a mental note to check it out in the morning.

Inside the rooms

Inside the room, we feel instantly at home. The fresh new blue and white carpet is bright, welcoming and contemporary. It’s complemented by two prints of the sea hanging near the king-sized bed. It is all part of the subtle ‘seaside chic’ palette implemented by designers Studioaria – the brains behind the hotel’s ‘New Modern’ renovation.

The bedside tables have plugs for charging phones (I can never fathom why some hotels don’t). And there is a comfy lounge chair by the window in which to sit.

The Superior Ocean Room we stayed in at Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach
The Superior Ocean Room © Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach

The best part about the room is that in the morning, we wake to the sneaky light of dawn, infiltrating the inky black of night. We had left the new curtains open on purpose. For a while we watch the sunrise from our cosy cocoon, but then the temptation becomes too great. Up we jump to capture the beginning of the new day from the balcony, enjoying the morning cavalcade of people out and about, and decide to join them.

Dining at Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach

The first restaurant you see at the hotel is Shutters Restaurant and Bar, which is just off the lobby at the beach end. The bar is oval shaped and is a great place to have a pre-dinner cocktail or lunchtime bevy … each to their own. There is also an all-day dining menu featuring Mediterranean delights. Sit and enjoy your dish of choice in a cosy booth or at a table.

Shutters Restaurant and Bar © Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach
Shutters Restaurant and Bar © Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach

Down the stairs is where you’ll find the three-in-one Estate. There is the outdoor Terrace, a casual dining and entertainment area. The classy Kitchen is the more formal option and for some cheeky fun involving tacos and tequila, choose Taqueria.

We try three of the four on our Sydney beach staycation, with a cocktail at Shutters, dinner at Kitchen and an after-dinner tequila at Taqueria. At Kitchen, the lovely Eddie recommends the shared platter, which is a set menu. We take his word for it and sit back with a glass of wine while admiring the menu, which is styled using the actual land grant document for the property. A lovely touch.

Dinner is delish, with my favourite things the hot chicken taco, the Hiromasa kingfish, slow cooked pork belly and the dessert of a peanut butter and raspberry jelly sandwich. At Taqueria, the mood is fun and there is a great vibe. Think dishes of tacos, nachos and guacamole accompanied by your choice of a sea of tequilas in bottles of all shapes and sizes.

The food on the menu at Taqueria at Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach
The food on the menu at Taqueria © Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach

What is even more fun is what is behind the door in the Confessional. It is a private karaoke room for those who like nothing more than belting out a few classics. This room is perfect for groups of friends, work mates bonding or small parties. You’ll have personal service delivering drinks. Best of all – it is soundproof, so no one outside the room can hear. That is a good thing.

Location, location, location

A staycation at this fantastic beachside hotel is all about the ocean and we want to make the most of it. We stroll across the road for a wake-up swim. Yes, it is winter but hey, when in Rome… We pause a minute at the sculpture on the South Coogee promenade that we could see from our balcony.

It is the Memorial to Fallen Lifesavers, with one figure in lifesaving gear and the other is a Digger in his iconic hat. The traditional reel, still used in surf lifesaving competitions, is also part of it. The memorial was sculpted by Alan Somerville – the same man that created the WWI Anzac soldier on the Anzac Bridge.

L: The unbeatable beachside view from Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach R: Memorial to Fallen Lifesavers

Fortunately, no rescuing is necessary when we get in the ocean pool outside the Coogee Surf Life Saving Club. The water is chilllllly, but invigorating, and we feel so good afterwards. We enjoy it so much we walk along the coast to check out the other, more famous ocean baths. Wylie’s Baths are iconic in the area and no wonder. The pool is stunning, and the view from the elevated deck over the pool and out to Wedding Cake Island is spectacular. A tip – you need a gold coin to enter – so make sure you take some with you.

Another favourite activity for guests is to tackle the coast walk up to Bondi. It is six kilometres and is just so picturesque. We do the return trip before having another swim, then head up to Shutters for a delightful brunch before saying goodbye to this Coogee gem.

Note for dog lovers

The Crowne Plaza Sydney Coogee Beach welcomes dogs. You have to book the Dogs Welcome Package which features a dog bed, food bowls and a welcome treat. There is a fee for this package.

Buy a voucher now and stay later

If you can’t stay at the Crowne Plaza Coogee right now, the good news is you can cheer yourself up, cheer your partner up, or cheer someone that is near and dear to you up! You can buy a range of vouchers to use later.

The vouchers  cover a range of options from one to two nights, for couples or families, as well as just for the wonderful Estate restaurant. Check them out online and look forward to your future stay.

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