Marvel at the Opera House views or dip in the rooftop pool under the Australian sunshine at these high-end hotels in Sydney. Scattered around the glittering harbour like confetti is a colourful mix of high-end hangouts and charming boutique hotels, so if you’re looking for a luxurious stay in Sydney, you’ll be spoilt for choice. There are gems to be found in almost every neighbourhood – and these are the best.
Foodies, hold on to your chopsticks: the Darling’s dining options will blow you away. Try Sokyo, serving a blend of Sydney and Tokyo cuisine (it’s in the name) with a sophisticated menu designed by ex-Nobu chef Chase Kojima. Slope upstairs afterwards to luxury rooms featuring 1,000-spring king-size beds, bespoke art works, marble bathrooms and rain showers. Wake up rested, ready to burn off the night before. Grab a running map from the front desk, or enjoy laps in the outdoor heated pool. Spend the rest of the day in the Darling Spa equipped with a Moroccan hammam, steam room and jacuzzi.
Arrive at the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park on a Sunday and you’ll see well-dressed diners gathered around the grazing table, couples taking advantage of the free-flowing champagne and multigenerational families wrestling with giant crustaceans. Like the Grand Sunday brunch, the hotel itself feels both formal and relaxed. Many of its rooms come with gorgeous views of Hyde Park. For those looking to experience the best of Sydney, this grand old dame is in prime position.
Watch the boats come and go from your room at Pier One Sydney Harbour. With a wealth of accommodation types, from deluxe rooms to dog-friendly digs and superior suites, it’s the perfect place to sleep in luxury in the city. See the sights by day and delve into fine fare – such as oysters and kangaroo at the Gantry – by night. The restaurant has one Chef Hat (awarded by the Good Food Guide), is right on the waterfront and serves fresh, often foraged, food.
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour won Best Luxury Hotel in Australia 2019 at the prestigious HM Awards for a multitude of reasons. The design was inspired by the port city Marseille and the indigenous clans of the Eora nation – the traditional owners of the land. Rooms here are flooded with natural light and benefit from views over Darling Harbour, an area of Sydney that has reinvented itself in recent years. There’s a French restaurant, Atelier, and an outdoor infinity pool overlooking the harbour.
The Park Hyatt is one of Sydney’s most luxurious hotels. It’s tucked underneath the Sydney Harbour Bridge, with most rooms, the restaurant and rooftop pool looking across the water to the beloved Sydney Opera House. To make your stay extra special, check into the hotel’s spacious Opera Suite, with six balconies, each offering outstanding views. Pamper yourself in the spa with an Australian clay and hot oil massage, guaranteed to release any muscular tension.
When boutique hopping along Pitt Street becomes too much, retreat to Kitchens on Kent for lunch. The restaurant (and its afternoon tea) is reason enough to book into the Langham Sydney, as is the Observatory Bar, which serves the best Australian wines and beers, plus an array of carefully concocted cocktails. Rooms are bright and spacious, with sleek marble bathrooms and soft bathrobes to snuggle up in. Tennis fans will be pleased to hear there is a championship court, just across the road, available to use for a small fee.
Spicers Potts Point tells the architectural story of the city. It’s housed within a trio of dinky 19th-century Victorian terraces, complete with cornicing and elaborate wrought-iron railings. Enjoy the well-stocked honesty bar in the 20-room hotel, which also has a hidden courtyard garden. If you’re visiting on a Saturday, wander around Kings Cross Farmers’ Market. Mardi Gras is the perfect time to book; the morning after, you’ll find men and women dancing down the street, heels in hand, after the biggest night on the LGBTQ calendar.
Located near Sydney’s Royal Botanical Gardens, Ovolo Wooloomooloo comes with waterfront views across the colourful flora and fauna. The building’s original industrial features include high ceilings and exposed metal beams offset by bright, bespoke design choices. Rooms are kitted out with all the latest tech – think iPads, Apple TVs, Alexas and Nespresso machines – plus there’s a 24-hour indoor pool and gym waiting downstairs whenever you start feeling restless. For a truly one-of-a-kind experience, book yourself into the rock’n’roll-themed Ultraroo Suite, a loft space that includes a private (and free) cocktail bar, a unique play area, plus free snacks and an upgraded minibar.
Ask the dapper concierge at the Hilton Sydney what to do and see, and they will likely point you to the striking sculptures within the nearby Royal Botanic Garden or recommend a bottomless brunch at the hotel’s Glass Brasserie. Run by Aussie restaurateur Luke Mangan, it serves up a world-class brunch, with the barramundi, saffron mussels and fig, peach and blackberry pavlova particular highlights. You can also take a dip in the indoor pool or, if sightseeing doesn’t tire you out enough, sign up to one of the many classes offered at the gym.
Judy Cogan contributed additional reporting to this article.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
If you’re heading down under with your partner, combine love and luxury with a stay in one of the best romantic hotels in Sydney, or opt for a room with a view at one of the best hotels with a balcony in Sydney. Heading to Surry Hills? Check out our guide and book with Culture Trip. For a super relaxing time, discover these top spas in Sydney.
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