About the hotel
In the heart of one of Sydney’s most exclusive suburbs, InterContinental Sydney Double Bay opened in November 2014. The site of the former Ritz Carlton which opened in 1991, the hotel retains some of the opulence of the former Sydney grand hotel, including Italian marble throughout – but with added touches of modern elegance with the help of interior architects Bates Smart following a twelve-month renovation.
The hotel is Sydney’s only five-star hotel outside of the CBD and is attracting both visitors and locals in need of a Stay-cation. Suite guests have access to the hotel’s exclusive Club InterContinental that includes all-day refreshments and evening drinks you can enjoy in a quiet, internal European-style courtyard which is only accessed by Club InterContinental guests. In the Bay View Executive Suite where I stayed, I had a Juliet balcony that overlooked Double Bay and the water in the distance.
The dining options in the hotel are impressive – with Stockroom restaurant run by French-born executive chef Julien Pouteau. The philosophy here is all about using the best possible produce, sourcing local where possible and creating an intimate and relaxed dining space. Signature dishes are highlighted throughout the menu. For breakfast, suite guests are welcome to dine in either the Stockroom or the Club Lounge on level 2. For a cocktail, head to Stillery bar. Named in honour of the fact that the first licensed distillery in Australia was located in nearby suburb of Paddington, Stillery is a concept gin bar serving more than 80 gins from around the world. You can choose from a thoughtfully curated cocktail list or explore your style of gin with the help of bar manager, Aaron Gaulke.
A new spa and gym are due to open by mid-April, 2015.
As I walked into my room, the automated curtains opened on cue to reveal the lush green treetops of the neighbourhood, bathing the rooms in fresh light. Clearly labelled bedside controls for lighting and curtains were handy. The mini bar, tucked away in an elegant mirrored-door cabinet, contained Perrier Jouet Champagne, Penfolds wine, a Nespresso coffee machine and TWG tea. The little Juliet balcony with a table and chair for two allows you to experience some fresh air and a quiet place to overlook the bay.
Could do better
The bathroom in my suite, while beautifully preserving the floor-to-ceiling marble from the original Ritz Carlton, meant the proportions of the shower and bathtub were rather modest – and may be smaller than what some suite guests might expect. However, the fragrant L’Occitane amenities; the plush and fluffy white robes and towels; and the neatly tucked away rubbish bin and hairdryer gave the bathroom a streamlined and luxurious feel.
If you’d like an upgrade
The Royal Suite is the top suite available at InterContinental Sydney Double Bay. At 1,798 square metres in size, features include several private balconies, a study, dining room, butler’s kitchen, walk-in wardrobe and spacious lounge. Prices start from $5,500 per night.
Head to the rooftop bar and pool with intimate cabanas. The pool and surrounding area is quite small so depending on occupancy at the time of your stay, you may wish to get there early. If you’re keen to learn more about gin, Stillery offers a High Martini (a twist on the classic High Tea) daily from 11am to 5:30pm.