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Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, Sydney review: A perfect place to chillax

TIME : 2016/2/26 17:45:43

Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, Sydney review: A perfect place to chillax

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Our rating

4 out of 5

Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach is a relaxed place to stay, in a superb location.

Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach, Sydney

242 Arden Street, Coogee


If Coogee isn't on your bucket list, it should be and the Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach hotel the makes the point with a list of local attractions presented in an actual tin bucket. The 11-point list includes stand-up paddle boarding, the coastal walk from Coogee to Bondi, swimming with the friendly gropers at Clovelly Beach and yoga by the sea, a Coogee institution. We visit on a weekend in winter and the chill ocean breeze and pounding surf are stimulating, if not conducive to some of the bucket list items. The tree-lined foreshore promenade is an adorable parade of prams, kids on swings, shivering surfers and courting couples.


A local beach holiday was typical for Sydneysiders in the 1960s and while the 209-room Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach is not quite from that era, it does dial up the retro with its aquamarine and beige colour scheme. The late '80s-built hotel was fully refurbished in 2007 and had a minor touch-up in 2013. The expansive, timber-decked pool area has plenty of sun lounges, and a gym and tennis court are also on site.


Our adjoining rooms – a spacious Ocean View room with balcony and a twin room – are  comfortable and offer full views of the sea. With none of the late-night traffic and rowdiness of Bondi, we open the balcony door, let in the sound of the waves and sleep like babies. The lack of an in-room coffee machine is no problem as there are many excellent cafés nearby, including Coogee Pavilion (see below) and Barzura Café​. While aspects of our room could do with a touch-up, the important things in life – a comfortable  bed, large flat-screen and that oceanic vista – are perfect.


The breakfast buffet at Bluesalt Restaurant offers standard fare but the egg station prepares made-to-order omelettes and benedicts and the pancake machine both intrigues and fills our fussy 10-year-old. In the evenings Bluesalt converts to a seafood and grill restaurant with a comprehensive and interesting menu, including kangaroo and wild boar.

Downstairs in the neutral, beach shack-style decor of Oceans Dining and Drinks, we enjoy an evening meal with the accompanying musical stylings by a talented guitarist. Generously sized share plates (three for $30) dominate the menu and the crispy pork belly bites with spicy paprika salt are particularly tasty. The wood-fired pizzas also get the thumbs-up. Not fine dining but certainly fulsome and delicious.


The cool new Coogee Pavilion is a very clever blend of family-friendly dining and games on the ground floor and elegant bar on the top floor and roof, while picturesque and peaceful Wylie's Baths is possibly Sydney's most beautiful ocean tidal pool. Seaside walks can go in either direction – the well-trodden seven-kilometre trek to Bondi, or the less crowded meander south to Maroubra starting with the elevated timber boardwalk through the Lurline Bay wetlands.

Horsy types can head to the races at Randwick or ride in Centennial Park, while movie lovers can go to the flicks old-style at the heritage-listed art deco Ritz Cinema Randwick. Have a drink and a bite to eat before or after the show at the Ritz Lounge Bar or hop across the road to Four Frogs Creperie.


Never mind the older style accommodation – just chillax, breathe in the salt air and soak up the view. And even if you don't like it, you'll still have your tin bucket. Visitors may want to consider joining the IHG Rewards Club, which provides discounts on food and drinks and free Wi-Fi.


Crowne Plaza Coogee Beach stays are seasonally priced. Winter rates are from $194 per night for basic Village View room; $232 for a King Ocean View Room with Balcony.  Phone 138 388, see


Captivating ocean vista, superb location and a relaxed, comfortable attitude.


 An older hotel showing its age. Could use a lick of paint in places.