Many would say that a casino buffet hardly counts as part of the fabric of the Sydney culinary scene. But we were greatly interested in this offering in the Darling Harbour precinct…everyone loves sampling from a range of 130 hot and cold dishes from time-to-time?
The buffet is available from 7am for breakfast and continues with lunch and dinner throughout the day. Pricing per adult is in the $30-$40 range, but the pricing is inclusive of a good selection of non-alcoholic self-serve beverages. The key to most casino buffets is to avoid peak times, so that’s why we decided to go on a week night.
There was no line- an express line is available for higher-up Absolute Rewards members which would help in peak times. Once inside, it runs like most buffets. The décor of the food area is reasonable, but the seating area looks a little cheap for a buffet of this calibre with the choice of seating and strong patterned carpet.
When looking for accommodation in Sydney in the Darling Harbour precinct, the Novotel caught the eye for a reasonable price- a room including breakfast was available for $198, good value in the heart of Sydney where decent accommodation comes at a premium from $300 and above per night. The booking process was typical Novotel- online, reliable and easy which is what you’d expect from a major chain. On arrival at the Novotel, it was reasonably easy to find the car park and proceed to the hotel. There was a lack of signage to the actual location of check-in- finally a staff member indicated that it was one level up from the entry. At reception, there simply weren’t enough desks open to cater for the check-in rush with a fair wait. The entire hotel looked reasonably dated and in need of a refresh of décor.
Finally, check-in was complete and I found that I had been upgraded to room with harbour views- a nice gesture from the Novotel. The room had a similar feeling to the rest of the hotel- a little dated but the offering with adequate for one person. Cleanliness is a basic and the room was lacking a little- a black oddly-shaped hair (further elaboration not required) was found on the bed, and the surfaces of the bathroom looked like a good wipe down was in order. Simple but not done- more time was needed for rooms to be cleaned. Generally the bathroom could use a refresh.
We get a lot of search traffic that’s looking for information on the Riverside Room at Crown, which is why we’ve decided to write this quick blog post giving those without access a quick insight. First of all, how do you gain access? The Riverside Room is separated from the main gaming floor with a see-through wall- compared to the Teak Room and Mahogany Room it’s quite open and lacks the same feeling of privacy and exclusivity. To gain access, one simply requires a Signature Club membership of silver and above. To get a silver membership, you just need to get 5 credits- requiring a planned spend of at least $490 over 6 months throughout the complex. Read more about getting credits in our review of Signature Club here. The easiest way is to spend 1-2 nights at a Crown Hotel- getting Silver from this should be easy.
Once inside, the first impressions are that the Riverside Room is largely an extension of the main gaming floor- it’s lacking in the identity and separation that makes up the Teak and Mahogany Rooms. It could be looked at as similar to the all-access Maple Room which is styled like the gaming floor but slightly separated. There is a small amount of seating with a reasonably-sized TV, and on Friday and Saturday nights, the room plays host to live music.