We Tried Sydney’s Newest Inner-City Glamping — With a Toddler in Tow


While glamping — camping with added frills — has been trending for the last few years, doing so in the middle of the city — basically, a hotel stay with added camping features — is relatively newer. And after two years of uncertainty around travel restrictions, not to mention, a burning need to experience things that are new and different, it’s no wonder glamping staycations have really taken off.

The newest to the mix is Novotel Sydney Central’s offering. Conveniently located steps from Sydney’s Central, the hotel has long been a prime spot for staycations, giving guests easy access to the CBD so they can enjoy all it has to offer and then serving up a comfy bed in plush rooms they can retire to.

Alessia teepee

And now, the hotel’s taken that up a notch, temporarily transforming the rooms on its eighth floor into glamping retreat, complete with kids’ sized tepee, unlimited hot chocolate and snacks, and an activity pack. The idea is for the whole family to get the feel of camping, while still being treated to the luxuries of a city hotel stay.

Naturally, we decided to try it out. We gave Group Sales Manager Julia Carlino — along with her partner and 18-month-old Alessia — the terrible task of embarking on this glamping experience and here’s what she said.

“The hotel is actually amazing for kids — the toy room at reception is incredible, full of so many fun toys and games for kids to play with while the parents check-in,” says Julia. “The room is a great mix of parents’ luxury holiday and kids’ glamping experience. The tent is a great idea and made the whole stay feel very warm and welcoming.

“Alessia ran straight to the teepee as soon as we entered the room, and it was nice not to have to pack a suitcase full of toys from home to keep my kid occupied. Even the TV in the room had a good selection of kids’ channels with her favourite shows.

“We enjoyed a few drinks before we went out to dinner, and took our drinks to the playroom so that we could have a conversation while Alessia played and ran around. It was actually a much better plan than trying to organize drinks at a bar and worrying about her running all over the place.

“After that, we headed off to a fun family dinner at Korean BBQ on Dixon Street, followed by a great night out in a Chinatown.”

Julia continues, “The little details the hotel has made to accommodate children and parents make a world of difference. From entering the hotel and having the kids play area in reception meant that I could check-in without hassle and my daughter was immediately entertained.

“The best part was waking up to Sunday buffet breakfast where Alessia was able to eat everything on offer and it was nice to be able to give her a bit of everything without slaving away in the kitchen for hours. An easy and fun staycation close to home.”

From $239, Novotel Sydney Central’s Glamping deal includes overnight accommodation with a tepee, unlimited hot chocolate and snacks, an activity pack, secured parking and a buffet breakfast for two adults (kids eat free). You can book here for stays until December 31, 2022.

Carlino and her family stayed as a guest of Novotel Sydney Central.

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