As far as locations go, you can’t beat West Hotel. It’s smack bang in the middle of one of Sydney’s hottest lifestyle precincts, Barangaroo (the buzzing waterfront promenade is worth checking out on Friday evenings), and also offers easy access to Sydney’s CBD and Darling Harbour with their many attractions.
But even if you come for the location, you’ll stay for the actual hotel. The jewelbox-esque building is home to Australia’s first Curio Collection by Hilton property, which aims to meld luxury with a bit of personality. Combining all the benefits of a large global chain like Hilton with a distinctive boutique vibe, the 182-room hotel ticks all the right boxes.
The stellar design combines a botanical theme – you’ll find it everywhere, from the plush floral patterned room carpets to the leafy atrium area – with sleek contemporary styling. Scandi-inspired lines, plush materials used throughout in the furnishings, and jewel-toned accents make the rooms as chic as they are cosy. Thoughtful touches such as USB ports near the bedside tables (because, that’s exactly what an on-the-go-traveller needs) and a free snacks and soft drinks mini bar – plus luxurious Australian-made Appelles bathroom amenities – all enhance the experience.
With so many amazing restaurants in town (see our brief guide on this page), hotel restaurants don’t usually rank high in Sydney’s dining scene, but Solander Dining & Bar is an exception to the rule. The stylish street-level venue is not only named after Daniel Solander, the First Fleet’s botanist, but takes its botanical roots seriously – whether it’s in the plant-forward menu, featuring native ingredients, or the horticulture-inspired signature cocktails. It’s one of the nicest ways to get a ‘taste of Australia’.
THREE DINING PICKS
One of Australia’s best known restaurants by one of its best known chefs, this recently
revamped venue is a must visit. Expect a gourmet menu showcasing rare and local ingredients in complex creations, served up against a backdrop of Sydney’s best views – the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
This trendy dining precinct, housed in – as the name suggests – a converted tram depot, offers a range of excellent options from Japanese to Spanish tapas and Italian. It also hosts regular markets and pop-ups.
Koi Dessert Bar & Dining
It may be best known for its intricate desserts dished up by former Masterchef finalist Reynold Poernomo, but this inner city gem is equally good for delicious degustation dinners featuring modern Asian flavours, at an affordable price.