An iconic cityscape, Sydney has a spectacular harbour and stunning beaches plus a contemporary architectural skyline. Beyond this stunning first impression and scratch, the surface and Sydney offers delightful surprises. The whole place is literally an urban jungle with national parks ensconcing the inner city, foliage-fringed slices of harbour slicing their way through the modern architecture, and a plethora of unique wildlife living alongside the human inhabitants. After dark, Sydney boasts a host of cool restaurants, undercover bars, and live music venues. Whilst Sydney-ers are known for being chilled out and can often be found enjoying the sun, sand and surf, the city has a vibrant social scene too. Compared to some of the other Australian cities, Sydney makes no apologies for being loud and go-getting. So what are you waiting for?
The W empire expanded to Darling Harbour at the back end of 2023, with its biggest property yet. Guests arrive via The Living Room, where there’s an Asian-style bar. On level three you’ll find the Bean to Bar and BTWN, the all-day dining concept. Making the most of its towering stature, the hotel has chosen its highest floors for the 30-metre infinity pool and WET deck. Plus there is a bar (evocative of something on a cruise liner) with awe-inspiring views on 30. Of its 588 bedrooms, you can book one, two and three-bedroom suites, including the Extreme Wow penthouse, all with bath products by Skin Regimen and Momo.
Launched in March 2023, Capella Sydney inhabits an Edwardian Baroque-designed building formerly used by the Australian government. It dates back to the early 20th century and takes up a whole block in the financial district, just a stroll from the city’s iconic harbourfront. It recently received a roof extension and features an inner courtyard, as well as seven-metre green walls. Set across eight floors are 192 guestrooms and suites, complemented by several eateries and punctuated by art pieces. Auriga is the hotel’s spa (which only staying guests can frequent), whose treatments use products by local brand Synthesis Organics.
Porter House Hotel Sydney by MGallery
Porter House Hotel Sydney by MGallery, is a 5-star hotel located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD and Hyde Park, Australian Museum, Darling Harbour, and Capitol Theatre are all within close proximity. The design of the hotel is very much one where history meets modern elegance and this style flows throughout. Rooms and suites include all the amenities guests would expect of a hotel of this standard. The hotel restaurant has a warm and sophisticated atmosphere, where groups, couples or solo diners are all as welcome as each other – the bistro-style menu has classic dishes with an Asian influence. Enjoy the all-day buzz of the European deli-inspired café, where bread and wine are the order of the day – sit down and relax or grab and go! Guests have full use of the heated outdoor swimming pool and an onsite fitness centre is also available.
Kimpton Margot Sydney
Located in the heart of the city, Kimpton Margot Sydney, is a treasured icon reimagined. The hotel combines art deco heritage with eclectic style and the result is guaranteed to delight guests. Guest rooms are modern with plush beds, stylish bathrooms, art-lined walls and even include a yoga mat! The hotel presents four restaurants each offering a myriad of dining experiences; from refined drinks and light bites in the elegant 1930s-style cocktail bar through to the flagship restaurant, helmed by renowned Australian chef, Luke Mangan. The hotel very much embraces a social spirit hosting nightly drinks receptions, pop-up events and much more. For energetic guests, there is a fully equipped on-site fitness centre with the latest Technogym machines and custom-designed Kimpton Lekker bikes for riding around town are available upon request. The rooftop swimming pool is the perfect place for a sun-soaked swim or simply a place to enjoy city views in style and comfort.
Hyatt Regency Sydney
A stroll away from Darling Harbour in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, the Hyatt Regency is the ideal choice for leisure and business travellers. This is Australia’s largest hotel (892 air-conditioned rooms) and is pitched at the top end of the conference and business market and facilities are mainly aimed at business customers or customers who want a luxurious base for sightseeing without too many on-site facilities. There are excellent conference facilities and the hotel is only 15 minutes walk from the International Convention Centre. The Sailmaker restaurant serves delicious food and guests can enjoy fabulous views while sipping a cocktail in the Zephyr sky bar or a workout in two fitness rooms.
Pier One Sydney Harbour
Best described as quirky, this luxury hotel with 189 rooms sits on the waterfront with incredible views of the Harbour Bridge and Walsh Bay. Pier One is a great base for tourists being only a 5-minute walk from The Rocks and King George V Memorial Park. Rooms are modern, spacious, and stylish with large picture windows, while suites boast waterfront terraces. The excellent restaurant and bar also have fabulous views and there’s also a barbecue restaurant right on the harbour. Guests can enjoy leisure time in a well-equipped fitness centre. This pet-friendly hotel also has plenty of meeting facilities for business travellers.
ADGE Apartment Hotel
Located in Surry Hills, ADGE offers self-contained serviced apartments in the trendiest area of the city for shopping, dining and nightlife. At the same time as being contemporary cool, the ADGE is a modern luxury. You’re greeted by an oversized psychedelic mural and polished concrete fronts which lead to immaculate open-plan suites dressed in monochrome apart from the eye-poppingly bright neon-striped carpet, all with a balcony. If you choose to self-cater, a personal shopping service is available and if not, there are two restaurants and a bar. Other facilities include a laundry, fitness room and in-house hair styling service. An excellent base for sightseeing, ADGE Aparthotel is just under two miles from Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour
A boutique hotel in a converted wool store with a sense of fun, the Ovolo 1888 is ideally located in Darling Harbour next to Barangaroo Park, a superb base for exploring the delights of Sydney. Inside the original fixtures of the wool store are on display in the public areas and rooms with rough-hewn beams, exposed brick, and pipes all incorporated into the décor, along with quirky artefacts and the silver eggs (ovo) of the brand’s signature emblem. Rooms include furniture made from original ironbark beans and screen prints of works by Aussie wunderkind Jasper Knight and range from shoebox to suite with sun terrace. The hotel bistro and bar is an eclectic rendition of industrial chic meets vintage and serves Mediterranean cuisine. Enjoy a free happy hour every day.
If your taste in hotels runs to the quirky and hip, QT will not disappoint. Two historic buildings from 1920 have been merged and converted to form quite an amazing space. Recreating a 20s Broadway musical vibe, QT also enjoys a favourable location in the heart of Sydney’s shopping district. A dazzling mix of 20s, Gothic and Italianate on the outside, inside the 200 rooms are once both luxurious and high-tech. High design, antiques and original artworks and installations are everywhere including in the European-style brasserie, street-side café, and intimate lounge which boasts an enticing cocktail menu, Guests can chill out in the boudoir-inspired QSpa under ceilings of stained glass which offers a range of treatments including specials for couples, Hamman and relaxation lounge.
Park Hyatt Sydney
Enjoying one of the best locations in the city, the 5*Park Hyatt is luxury in every sense. Boasting views of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House, the S-shaped hotel hugs the cove of Dawes Point. Sophisticated and elegant, the large rooms are finished in neutral earthy tones and have big picture windows, marble bathrooms, and the latest in-room technology. The jewel of this hotel is undoubtedly its rooftop pool and terrace with incredible views. Other leisure facilities include a spa with a full menu of treatments and a fitness centre. Dining comes with a view in two restaurants, while the bar welcomes you in for a casual drink and some light bites.
Despite only having 31 rooms, there’s a lot going on in the Establishment so if you’re looking for a quiet stay, this hotel is not your best choice. Previously a department store dating to 1890, the building is in a discreet street 5 minutes from Circular Quay. More like an entertainment venue than a hotel, the rooms interconnect with three restaurants, three bars and a nightclub. Rooms are either dark or light with exposed brick walls, parquetry floors, contemporary furnishings and great technology including unlimited Netflix. Dining options range from fine dining to sushi to bar snacks. If you don’t want to head out in the evening, there’s food and drink aplenty as well as the call of the bright lights of the nightclub.
If you want to feel indulged in your stay in Sydney, choose the Langham. First off, it’s in The Rocks so ideally located, and second, the rooms are among the largest in the city. You’ll instantly relax in the muted pastel décor which includes a king-sized bed even in the cheapest rooms; the best have terraces with views of West Harbour. The hotel is a complete charm with an art collection curated by Sotheby’s, bespoke furniture, and elaborate floral arrangements. There is an over-pervading (but beautiful) sense of pink – there’s even a pink vintage car to take you on tours. There’s a lavish underground spa, health club, stunning indoor heated pool, and tennis courts for some energetic release. Dining options are terrific and it’s simply de rigour to have an afternoon cocktail in the Palm Court.
The Old Clare
Chippendale is a nice choice for a stay in Sydney, being only 5 minutes away from the city centre. It’s also home to the Old Clare Hotel, a luxury conversion from two historic buildings. Previously a brewer’s headquarters, today its heritage features come together in a 62-room boutique hotel with style and character. Look out for the soaring ceilings, exposed brick and amazing lighting installations – all different in every room. You’re spoiled for choice for dining options including Kensington St. Social from star British chef, Jason Atherton. There is a rooftop pool but is under renovation so check the website for updates. There’s a gym if you want to work out or head out into the city on the bikes available to rent.