Constance Vidal knew just what stressed-out Sydneysiders needed. In 1929, she created a “roadhouse” on the edge of the city, offering sea air and stupendous views. Ninety years later, Jonah’s is still soothing frazzled souls but the digs are a little different. The boutique hotel offers a level of luxury that complements its million-dollar location. That extends to its 11 rooms, all with ocean views and spacious balconies, and the hatted restaurant, which features a who’s-who of the northern beaches at weekend lunches. The entire experience is stellar but never stuffy. Constance would approve.
Whale Beach, in the northern beaches of Sydney, is 40 kilometres from the CBD (and just a 20-minute seaplane flight from Rose Bay if you’re feeling flush). Bordered by the serene waters of Pittwater on one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, the peninsula offers easy access to some of Sydney’s best beaches (Palm, Whale, Avalon, Bilgola and, a short ferry ride away, Pearl).
The 10 Ocean Retreat Rooms, which were refurbished in 2017, scream coastal chic. Think neutral tones and nothing that will compete with the view. All the extras are included, from complimentary video on demand (with more than 350 movies to choose from) to Molton Brown amenities. But the best feature is the A.H.Beard bed, which – combined with the salt air – guarantees a good night’s sleep. Upgrade to the Peninsula Room if you want an additional living area. And book the Stay & Play package if you’d like to add on a two-hour Pittwater cruise, a picnic lunch and a bottle of Bollinger.
Food and drink
It’s no hardship to eat at the in-house restaurant, which is perched above glorious Whale Beach and offers pinch-me views. Italian chef Matteo Zamboni has worked at Pilu at Freshwater, Ormeggio at the Spit and Quay, as well as Michelin-starred fine diners in Milan, Rome and Tokyo. He keeps things simple but sophisticated, working with the best produce and giving his dishes a hit of la dolce vita. In winter, you’ll want to hunker behind the floor-to-ceiling windows. But in summer, there’s no place that shows off Sydney like the terrace.
For the business traveller
The hotel can host conferences for up to 20 people and will organise additional activities, such as sailing, for executive retreats.
For the wellness traveller
In-room treatments by Purity Pacific range from facials and massages to hot-stone therapy. And your yoga mat is that big slab of sand down below.
The fab factor
It’s all about your private balcony and the show Mother Nature puts on.
Best for: Those seeking a chic respite from the rat race
Number of rooms: 11 suites
Rates from: $796 per night (bed and breakfast)
Wi-fi: Free and fast
Parking: Complimentary on-site parking
Address: 69 Bynya Road, Whale Beach
Telephone: (02) 9974 5599