I arrived via taxi quite smartly at the Sheraton on the Park and was greeted and had bags taken which I was grateful for. However, there was a problem. The Sheraton on the Park had gone non-smoking two days before. The desk clerk was a bit inept about this, wanting me still to complete check-in and didn't seem to understand that it was a problem.
However, I escalated it and then escalated it again. It turned out there had been an email about two weeks before, it wasn't in my inbox, my spam folder or my trash. Once this was demonstrated, the attitude changed slightly from sort of helpful to very helpful.
I was offered a room at the Four Points, I don't do Four Points for week long stays. I may have been a little brusque in emphasising that. I was making the point that, any rate I could get would probably be higher than the rate I had booked at the Sheraton. They promised to arrange something suitable.
It didn't take long, I was angling for the Hilton, which claimed on line to have smoking availability. However, this is a bit of a feature on the Hilton website in that Smoking availability doesn't work well. They had one smoking room, on the "crew floor" and didn't want to let it to a Gold. Funny, that's what they gave me last time :-)
The helpful manager came back with a list of options at a similar rate. The two that stood out were the Swissotel and the Four Seasons. I've heard the Four Seasons Sydney's standard rooms are a bit pokey and it's a bit too posh for me and the location whilst nice, isn't quite where I wanted for entertainment purposes, so I plumped for the Swissotel. The manager walked me over personally and made sure I was checked in OK.
I actually ended up paying 10 AUD a night less for a large airy corner smoking room with two double beds. The location was pretty similar, although the hordes outside Myers were a bit scary. More details in a later post.