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JOHN ROZENTALS takes an early-morning flight from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast and a late-evening flight back completely in his stride

March 10, 2018 Headline News, Hotel Feature No Comments Email Email

You only have to drive once in the early morning to Sydney Airport to realise why hotels in the immediate vicinity are doing so well, especially given the gradual lengthening of the gap between check-in and take-off.

The chances are reasonable that you’ll still be sitting traffic or checking in as your flight is departing.

And that’s not to consider the cost of parking, and the time that adds to the exercise, especially if you’re using the long-term carpark.

The rail journey seemed a very viable alternative, until peak-hour train travel became chancier and considerably more chaotic. Imagine negotiating Epping Station with a suitcase and a couple of pieces of hand luggage.

How refreshing it is to wake in the morning, have a leisurely breakfast, pack your suitcase, and catch a shuttle, run by someone such as Red2Go, to the airport just a couple of minutes away.

An entrée of salt-and-pepper squid at Mobius … made gorgeously tangy by the mix of szechuan pepper and spices.

I guess that the choice of where to stay near the airport largely is determined by the depth of your pockets or the generosity of your expense account.

Among the alternatives near the top of the tree is the Pullman Sydney Airport, which has shuttles running to domestic and international airports every half hour until about 10.30pm.

The property certainly lives up its five-star rating, with spacious, well designed rooms and all the extras that that rating demands — gowns, slippers, work station, top lighting, etc.

I know from my maths studies what a mobius strip is. It’s a strip of paper, or other material, which has been folded and joined so that it only has one side.

A bathroom in a Pullman Sydney Airport suite.

Well, the Pullman’s Mobius Bar & Grill is far from one-sided, though it certainly has the element of mystery suggested by the name.

In the morning it presents a marvellous buffet selection, plus the option of ordering items from the a la carte menu — with choices such as eggs benedict, eggs with caviar, hollandaise and native greens, eggs done however you like them, grilled chicken breast and a pancake stack served with berry compote and Canadian maple syrup.

After working all day as a bar and place for shared plates such as char-grilled octopus and twice-cooked pork belly, Mobius transforms in the evening to a fully fledged restaurant.

A Pullman Sydney Airport bed … lives up to the property’s five-star rating.

The menu is exciting, without being adventurous, and it will suit most tastes.

I started with an entrée of salt-and-pepper squid, made gorgeously tangy by the mix of szechuan pepper and spices, and followed with one of my favourite meat dishes — lamb backstrap, sourced in this case from Milly Hill, near Armidale.

Memories of the best came flooding back as I devoured what I reckon is the best lamb cut of all, accompanied by chickpeas, eggplant purée and a lemon-garlic dressing.

Located just about next door to the Pullman is another Accor property, the Ibis Sydney Airport, which is serviced by the same shuttle.

Look, it’s a comfortable enough place to sleep the night away, grab some breakfast and catch a flight, either domestic or international — or to do as I did, come in after a delayed evening flight, have a beer and a good night’s rest, before a train trip back to the Central West.

Just don’t expect the same level of amenity as at the Pullman. Its three-star rating obviously rules that out.

Internet is reasonably fast and free-of-charge in both the Pullman Sydney Airport and Ibis Sydney Airport.

It’s certainly a matter of horses for courses. If you’re just after a bed for the night, and a hearty breakfast to start the day, the Ibis will do the job very nicely. If you really want to treat yourself — and your expense account will stand the damage — book into the Pullman and have dinner at Mobius.

Accessories at Pullman Sydney Airport … plush robes included.

I suppose it depends on what difference $110 a night makes (based on booking through for night of February 28).

Or, stay at Ibis and wander next door for dinner at Mobius. Now, there’s a thought. That way you get dinner at Mobius for nothing, or so the accountants will assess.

Disclosure: John Rozentals was a guest of Accor.

Pullman Sydney Airport — 191 O’Riordan St, Mascot — 02 8398 4600 —

Ibis Sydney Airport — 205 O’Riordan St, Mascot — 02 8339 8500 —

Written by John Rozentals

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