Suite: Presidential Opera Suite | Size: 245 sqm | Price: from A$4,500 | icsydney.com.au
Situated between Circular Quay, the Opera House and the Botanical Gardens, the Intercontinental Sydney couldn’t be in a better location. This historic 1800’s landmark, originally the city’s treasury building, exudes sophisticated luxury while still retaining its rich history. Adding to its 1999 listing as a world heritage site, are the oldest heritage lift in the Southern Hemisphere and the first vault in Australia. Intercontinental Sydney’s intricate architectural facade continues inside at The Cortile, the glass domed atrium lobby that is the heart of the hotel. This five-star marquee hotel beautifully combines old world charm with hip modern decor.
The Presidential Opera Suite, with its spacious interior, panoramic views spanning across the Harbour, private outdoor terrace and grand piano, is one of the most iconic suites in Australia and the most decadent suite I have ever stayed in. Perched 29 stories above Sydney’s Harbour, I lost track of time watching the ferries come and go, as twilight descended on the city and Sydney came alive with the sparkle of lights.
The spa bath is positioned two steps up and against an oversized window that looks out over the Royal Botanical Gardens, Wooloomooloo and beyond to Bondi. Bathing here, guests can enjoy complete privacy from the perch above the skyline while watching the life of Sydney play out below. The spacious ensuite is decorated with wall to wall marble, blonde timber and panoramic windows. The large lounge and dining room are also surrounded by windows and if guests feel like entertaining, there is an appointed kitchen and a large timber dining table that can seat at least ten.
Club Intercontinental on level 32 has one of the best views in the city and serves breakfast, afternoon tea and twilight drinks with canapés. The outdoor balcony with big cushioned lounge chairs is the ideal spot to enjoy a cocktail – try the limited edition “Treasury Martinez”, which comes with an ice cube dressed in 24k gold flakes and was created to celebrate the 170th anniversary of the hotel’s building.
High tea in The Cortile is not to be missed, especially with the addition of the new Vegan High Tea menu. For guests seeking to experience an indulgent plant based treat, French-trained pastry chef Eric Menard has crafted an assortment of sweet and savoury delights without using traditional ingredients such as eggs, milk and butter.
The hotel location couldn’t be any more convenient to everything Sydney offers. The Royal Botanic Gardens are across the street with Circular Quay, the main waterfront transportation hub for trains, ferries, buses and the new light rail, just a very short stroll away. Both leisure and business travellers can get anywhere in Sydney, without a hitch. Restaurants and shopping options are minutes away by foot as well as the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, two of the city’s main tourist destinations. The Rocks, Sydney’s historic early settlers waterfront enclave is right next to Circular Quay along with the main overseas terminal for the larger cruise ships that dock in Sydney.
The hotel may not be known for having gourmet food options, however the Intercontinental Sydney’s Cafe Opera is known for its seafood buffet. Local seafood is the main draw with plenty of other dishes to choose from including a dessert bar to top it off.
Guests staying in a club suite or room have access to Club Intercontinental on the 32nd floor for breakfast with views of the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and the busy harbour as well as the Botanical Gardens and views all the way to Manly. Drinks and canapés are also served in the late afternoon. Looking for the perfect way to end the day while unwinding before dinner? Enjoy the outdoor terrace with a drink and the warm canapés brought out by the staff.
If so inclined, there is an extensive room service menu with comfort foods for everyone. Start with Australian cheeses and charcuterie and move on to some Sydney Rock oysters. Grilled meats and fish sourced from Australia, as well as plenty of other choices including burgers, sandwiches and pizzas. Room service at Intercontinental Sydney offers something for everyone.