Some have said that Sydney lacks the hip, boutique-style accommodations that can be found in other major international cities, but these cool designer hotels are proving them wrong. From the Kirketon to the Establishment to the Darling, the range of glam accommodation options in Sydney is practically expanding by the second. While the sophisticated standard-bearers continue to pamper guests, a new and diverse crop of boutique trailblazers are opening new urban escapes for discerning travellers to call home.
Next time your travels take you to NSW, check out (and check into) one of these coolest Sydney hotels.
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The Old Clare Hotel
Once a sticky-floored solace to drown your after work sorrows or share a schooner or two, the heritage-listed Old Clare Hotel is one of the coolest Sydney hotels, as it has recently been reimagined into a creative, playful and luxurious urban hideaway tapping into the emerging Chippendale arts and culture scene.
Sydney’s 1888 Hotel is set in a converted wool store built in – yep, you guessed it – 1888, but there’s nothing else old-fashioned about it. It’s so contemporary, in fact, that the 90 bedroom boutique hotel, eatery, bar & event space has the distinction of being the world’s first “Instagram hotel.” Guests can pick up an “Insta-Walk” map from reception that offers a walking tour of all the photo-worthy sights in the area. There is also a dedicated space that provides guests with the opportunity to take a creative #selfie.
Located between the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the Park Hyatt offers 155 spacious accommodations with private balconies, 24-hour butler service, and a day spa with a rooftop pool and sundeck. Dine at local-favourite restaurants The Dining Room and The Living Room, imbibe at the waterfront bar, and peruse the commissioned works of art from renowned artists at The Gallery. For a more exclusive experience, hire The Study and its impressive internal wine cellar for a private event or meeting.
Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel
If you aren’t familiar with Watson’s Bay yet, it’s high time you do as Watson’s Bay Boutique Hotel comes in at #4 on our list of coolest Sydney hotels. Best known for it’s food and drink offering, many don’t that upstairs Watson’s Bay is home to beachside-chic accommodation directly grounded in the sandy shoreline of the bay atop unobstructed panoramic views of sparkling Sydney Harbour from a quiet, exclusive enclave.
Although it only has 31 rooms and was once a warehouse, the Establishment Hotel is now an exceedingly stylish destination with an earthy-chic vibe (and luxe Bulgari bathroom amenities). The uber-cool hotel is located in the heart of Sydney’s buzzing business district, delivering easy access to Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and botanical gardens. In addition to world-class accommodations, the Establishment Hotel offers access to a private gym and Establishment’s many bars and restaurants.
Once again, there’s nothing quite like an iconic Sydney view, and Pier One hotel nestled alongside the Harbour Bridge definitely delivers the goods. Unique Federation-style accommodation blends heritage with contemporary chic at Pier One, perfect for swanky businessmen or romantic weekends away.
The 200 guest suites that make up the QT Sydney hotel have been carefully crafted within the historic Gowings and State theatre buildings. Guests are treated to a distinctive blend of gothic, art deco and Italian architecture, mixed with quirky and contemporary interior design. The well-appointed guestrooms feature luxurious bedding, high-speed Internet, walk-in showers and, in most cases, an indulgent oversized soaking tub. Head to the lower levels for the Gilt Lounge and Robert Marchetti’s Gowings Bar & Grill.
If you’re in Sydney and looking for a breathtaking view or two then look no further than the InterContinental in Double Bay. This 5-star hotel features 140 light-filled guest rooms and suites with contemporary furnishings and timeless marble bathrooms and private balconies. The best part of the InterContinental, however, has to be its rooftop pool and bar which offers an unforgettable place to soak up the Sydney sun and enjoy a cocktail in style. This definitely makes it one of the coolest Sydney hotels.
Located in Sydney’s CBD, Primus is a 5-star hotel that this year was resurrected in one of the city’s most incredible Art Deco buildings. In fact, Primus Hotel was once the Sydney Water Board’s offices from 1939 to 2009. Now, it’s home to 172 luxurious rooms across 6 storeys of suites, a rooftop pool and bar and ballroom.
What was once the Swiss Grand Hotel recently underwent a full makeover and name change. Now within the Pacific Complex and opposite North Bondo Beach, QT Bondi is one of the best Eastern Suburb stays. The rooms are spacious (for Sydney) and are designed with bright pastel colours to ensure you feel like you’re having a beach holiday at all time. Sadly the hotel doesn’t have a restaurant but there’s no shortage of awesome eats nearby.