In a city never shy of flaunting her charms, new hotels flirt with the glittering waterscape through their views, art and locations. We step inside the hot new digs.
West Hotel Barangaroo
Skirting the fringe of Sydney’s waterfront Barangaroo precinct, the new West is your base for the city’s prestigious arts events: the hotel is within walking distance of the Sydney Opera House and Sydney Theatre Company. The concrete jungle outside gives way to a tropical jungle in the atrium, setting the scene for 182 botanically inspired rooms. The lead-in is the Acacia room, while the Banksia and Waratah rooms – higher up the eight-floor hotel – have great city views. The four Sussex and Barangaroo suites look over the city’s beating heart or the busy harbour below. The botanic theme extends to the restaurant, Solander, named for the First Fleet botanist Daniel Solander, with a heavy influence of edible Australian plants on the menu. From $358, room only.
Spicers Potts Point
Three Victorian terrace houses, circa 1880, have been combined to create Spicers’ first Sydney property after its style-setting rural idylls in such picturesque locations as the Sunshine Coast and the Hunter Valley. Set behind Kings Cross, there are just 20 rooms and suites, dominated by ethereal, watery artworks by Sydneysider Martine Emdur which tie in with the hotel’s fresh white and ocean tones throughout. The Victoria terrace suites let you wake with the city each morning, while the honesty bar and fresh, airy courtyard are open to all. Savvy concierges, intuitive service and top tables are the hallmarks of this boutique Australian hotel group. From $429, includes breakfast. spicersretreats.com
Sofitel Darling Harbour
A cheery ‘bonjour’ greets every guest to this bold new property next to the Harbourside shopping precinct. French hotel giant Accor imbues its Sofitels with plenty of joie de vivre, and the Gallic charm doesn’t stop at reception. The 35-level tower sports a chic, well-stocked champagne bar which, like the gym and infinity pool below, overlooks the CBD skyline and Darling Harbour through vast windows. Aim high for expansive views across the city and harbour: the corner guest rooms double the view through floor-to-ceiling windows (and thick block-out blinds for vampires). Make time for the extravagant hotel buffet before you cross the footbridges to the city or jump aboard the light rail. There’s a station virtually at the door. From $459. sofitelsydneydarlingharbour.com.au