Photo courtesy of InterContinental Sydney Double Bay
InterContinental Sydney Double Bay
The Eastern Suburbs’ most luxurious property is tucked away in the European-style village of Double Bay. It’s an exclusive retreat for those wishing to fly under the radar or travelers wanting a bayside vacation away from the city center. Draped in soft blues, whites, and grays, the hotel reflects its watery surrounds, and furniture pieces from Australia and abroad exude an air of elegance. Much of it, such as the large gray upholstered headboards and the bevel-cut mirrors and veneer side tables on either end, is custom-made. Many rooms feature harbor-view balconies equipped with Italian furniture that transports guests to a secluded European isle. That is, until the lorikeets and cockatoos sound their morning alarms, reminding visitors they’re most certainly in Australia. The artwork found throughout the property is Australian, too, picked out by Frances Keevil, who runs a local gallery.
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Double Bay is a classy neighborhood popular for alfresco dining, designer shopping, high-end art browsing, and a casual European vibe. Water lovers shouldn’t miss Seven Shillings Beach, with its protected Murray Rose Pool, or a 12-minute ferry ride to the city at dusk. Guests on a romantic holiday should book a picnic at Steyne Park, Blackburn Gardens, or nearby Clark Island, an uninhabited lump that features a stunning vista of the Sydney skyline. Neighborhood highlights include Indigo for coffee or lunch; boutiques such as Jan Logan jewelry; Frances Keevil art gallery for fans of the hotel’s paintings and pieces; and memorable dinner spots from Sake on the ground level of the hotel to Chiswick, one of Sydney’s top farm-to-table restaurants a short walk away in Woollahra. All the fun of Bondi Beach is just a bit farther east.
Need to Know
Rooms: 125 rooms, 15 suites. From $390. Check-in: 3 p.m., check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: Stockroom is the hotel’s signature restaurant, specializing in local seafood, seasonal vegetables, and high-quality meats—char-grilled, slow-smoked, sticky-glazed, or flame-roasted using robatayaki (Japanese fireside cooking) techniques. Be sure to drizzle your dish with such housemade sauces as the carrot and peanut oil or blood orange–basil glaze. The Stillery cocktail bar feels like the refined drawing room of a European mansion, complete with a 23-foot marble bar embellished in leather. The prized spirit here is gin (there are more than 70 varieties), but the bartenders are equally happy to serve guests a boutique beer, wine, or cider. On a stormy day, hunker down next to the marble fireplace and look out the arched windows over high tea or an afternoon martini. Spa and gym details: The full-service Trumps Spaoffers all the scrubs, wraps, and rubs one could ask for, plus a sauna, a steam room, and hydrotherapy pools.In addition to Technogym equipment, the ground-floor Snap Fitness center provides personal training and group classes from yoga to boxing.
Who's it best for: Elite jet-setters in need of seclusion, and aficionados of fine art, fashion, and European-style promenades. Our favorite rooms: Those with deep pockets will find it tough to pass up the Royal Suite, the presidential abode of the former Ritz-Carlton that once hosted Princess Diana. A sunlit lounge with parquet flooring and a marble-slab coffee table as well as Walter Knoll stools and Cassina tub chairs leads to a book-lined study, a dining room equipped with a butler’s pantry, and four balconies overlooking the bay. Travelers on business might prefer the Club InterContinental Room, which offers unlimited wireless Internet, breakfast, drinks, and canapés in the club lounge. Deck with a view: The property’s best views are taken in from the Italianate rooftop pool deck. Arrive early to nab one of the blue-and-white-striped cabanas on a warm day, and enjoy cocktails overlooking the sailboat-studded bay from afternoon until dark.