If your idea of indulgence is soaking in a luxuriously deep bathtub overlooking Sydney Harbour, 34 levels above ground, check in to the Four Seasons. A private elevator will whisk you up to the Royal Suites, which offer exquisite apartment-style living – including a lounge and dining room, guest powder room and king size bed – and yes, one of the most lavish bathrooms in Sydney. Tear yourself away for the “the be-all end-all” treatment at the hotel’s Endota day spa – four sublime hours including a body exfoliation, yoghurt cocoon or hot oil wrap, full body massage and organic one-hour facial and pedicure. Afterwards, take a dip in Sydney’s largest heated outdoor pool or, if you’re not that energetic, sip cocktails at The Cabana restaurant on the deck.
For business travellers, the Executive Club offers computer rental, meeting rooms, complimentary hot breakfast and all-day snacks, and is available for guests who reserve a Club Room or Suite. There is also a well-equipped 24-hour gym. While for family travellers, the hotel offers 62 interconnecting rooms and suites as well as babysitting services and complimentary cribs and/or rollaway beds for children under two years of age.
The hotel’s location, right next to Circular Quay, means there’s plenty to explore on your doorstep. But for fine dining, you just have to venture downstairs; the opening of Mark Best’s Pei Modern in October 2014 has lifted the game for hotel restaurants in Sydney. The menu showcases seasonal Australian produce, such as snapper, smoked nettle butter and cavolo nero, or Murray cod cooked on the bone, cauliflower puree and saltbush. Dessert? It’s a toss-up between duck egg sauternes custard and crostoli or quince terrine with fennel pollen ice cream.
After dark, the hotel’s artisan bar, Grain, pours a selection of whiskies, organic and biodynamic wines, and a cocktail list featuring contemporary twists on classics.
The historic district of The Rocks mixes old with new; the cobblestoned laneways feature galleries, bars, boutiques and a wealth of dining options. Culture lovers should make a beeline for the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and gourmands will enjoy local, award-winning restaurants, such as Saké and Quay. For adventurous palates, pubs like The Australian Heritage Hotel serve a unique selection of Aussie cuisine – how does emu, kangaroo and crocodile pizza sound?