Sydney's Shangri-La Hotel will start a $20 million room refurbishment programme between May and September of this year. 442 rooms throughout the hotel -- from the 4th to the 29th floor of the tower -- will be revamped.
The upmarket hotel is trumpeting its harbor-view window seats, with a new leather couch being fitted to each of the panoramic windows overlooking Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.
Business travellers will also be able to take advantage of custom-designed furniture, media hubs and iHome docks for their mobile devices.
Last year the Shangri-La updated its in-room technology with free broadband and Wi-Fi, LCD televisions and Foxtel satellite channels. We know that business travellers count inclusive Wi-Fi as the most important benefit to their stay, despite many upmarket hotel brands still charging for Internet access, so it's refreshing to see a luxury brand including it for free.
Designer Grace Guo will lead this year's remodelling, which will be carried out by interior design company Hassell.
The swanky Horizon Club suites on levels 30-35 of the hotel aren't up for renovation, though, having last been revamped in 2006.
The 36th-floor Altitude Restaurant and Blu Bar on 36 are firm favourites for entertaining business guests from out of town, with panoramic views across Sydney's harbour and skyline.
Frequent guests at Shangri-La and Traders hotels can earn Golden Circle frequent guest club points on their stays. Alternatively, an option to earn miles or points on many airlines' frequent flyer programmes is available.
Australian business travellers will be particularly interested in 1,000 Qantas Frequent Flyer points, 500 Emirates Skywards miles or 500 Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer miles -- but that's per stay, not per night.
As with many programmes, guests staying for multiple nights or dropping some serious cash in the hotel are better off accumulating hotel points and then either redeeming those for airline miles/points or hotel nights.
About John Walton
Aviation journalist and travel columnist John took his first long-haul flight when he was eight weeks old and hasn't looked back since. Well, except when facing rearwards in business class.