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How to Have an Epic Sydney Staycation

Forget long-haul flights – when you’re ready for a holiday, why not opt for a Sydney staycation? We live in such a beautiful city, with so many stunning spots right on our doorstep. Let’s appreciate them!

Sitchu rounds up where to rest your head after a day spent eating, drinking and soaking up the sun and Sydney sights.

Pier One Sydney Harbour, Walsh Bay

Perched on the pier at Walsh Bay, Pier One will remind you of just why people the world over flock to Sydney. The heritage-listed building is as charming as it is luxe, with original timberwork on the outside, slick furnishings inside, and of course, unbeatable waterfront views. There are 11 types of rooms available, but we recommend booking one with a giant soaking tub – you won’t regret it. When you arrive, head down to the lobby bar for a cocktail before dinner at The Gantry Restaurant and Bar, which is helmed by Joel Bickford (previously Biota). In the morning, stretch it out at the hotel’s free yoga class.

11 Hickson Road, Walsh Bay

QT Sydney, Sydney CBD

Part of the Design Hotels group, QT Sydney is as cool as they come. It’s bold, funky and cutting-edge, which juxtaposes well with its location inside two of the city’s most historical buildings, Gowings and The State. There are 200 unique rooms to choose from, and while the colour palettes and furniture vary, all guests can expect to lounge around in seriously chic spaces with flat-screen TVs, gel mattresses and the lingering scent of Chanel No 5. QT Sydney also has a day spa, The Gowings Bar and Grill (imagine dark wood and leather with a long fine wine list), and staff members in quirky uniforms. Design lovers, this one’s for you.

49 Market Street, Sydney

InterContinental Double Bay, Double Bay

If the Eastern Suburbs are calling your name, treat yourself to a staycation at the shiny new InterContinental Double Bay. After a $20 million refurbishment, the hotel – which sits on the former site of the Ritz-Carlton – is quickly establishing itself as Double Bay’s hot spot. It’s classy yet glam – think light-filled rooms decorated in muted tones, and chandeliers in the lobby. In the warmer months, the rooftop pool is the place to set yourself up for the day before catching the sunset. When it’s time for cocktails, head to the Stillery Bar, which specialises in gin.

33 Cross Street, Double Bay

The Residences, Centennial Park

Want to see what Sydney’s most iconic park is like after dark? Book a stay at The Residences, Centennial Park – two gorgeous 1880s homes that have been restored, blending antique furniture and Victorian grandeur with modern comforts and conveniences. The Superintendents Residence and The Rangers Residence are self-contained, pet-friendly and sleep eight and six people respectively. Along with offering the chance to see Centennial Park from a new perspective, both abodes have gardens that were made for dinner and drinks under the stars. Breakfast is complimentary, and honey tastes sweeter when it’s sourced from a beehive outside your home for the weekend.

1 Martin Road, Centennial Park

Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel
Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel, Watsons Bay

With blue and white-striped umbrellas, sparkling sea views, and a restaurant called the Beach Club, Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel is as ‘Sydney’ as it gets. While the sunsets, seafood platters and refreshing wine list draws the locals in summer, hotel guests have the added benefits of popping upstairs to their room for a little peace and quiet, or a nap between lunch and dinner. Our advice? Splash a little extra cash on a Harbour Loft rooms and suites for their chic furnishings and panoramic views.

1 Military Road, Watsons Bay

Roar and Snore, Taronga Zoo

Feel like escaping to the jungle? Head to Taronga Zoo. It’s the next best thing, and it’s in your very own backyard. The overnight experience, Roar and Snore, is something every Sydneysider should do in their lifetime – because how often can you say you’ve slept at the zoo? The stay starts when the gates have closed to the public, and continues until they swing back open at 9.30am. After meeting and chatting to the guides, you’ll get to see them feed and play with animals like lions, tigers and leopards. You’ll then enjoy dinner at the restaurant before retiring to your ready-made tent, which offers city views and everything you need (including electric blankets) for a good night’s sleep.

Bradleys Head Road, Mosman

Jonah’s, Palm Beach

If you’re keen to get out of the city without going too far, Jonah’s is the answer. Located less than two hours from the CBD at Palm Beach, Jonah’s is a beautiful beachside resort and the kind of place that relaxes you as soon as you step foot into the lobby. There are 11 Ocean Retreat rooms, each featuring free L’OCCITANE toiletries and a private balcony with sweeping views. Don’t snack too much on the drive, as you’ll want to enjoy the restaurant’s fresh, mostly seafood dishes, or maybe even the summer degustation menu (offered during the summer months).

69 Bynya Road, Palm Beach

Heritage Houses, Cockatoo Island

Living in Sydney, you probably know your way in and around the harbour – so why not see it from the other side? Jump on a 15-minute ferry to Cockatoo Island, a UNESCO world heritage-listed island and the only island in Sydney Harbour where you can stay overnight. Spend the day exploring its convict history or strolling along the Clifftop Walk, and then bunk down in the Heritage Houses – two Federation-style homes that have been restored to accommodate 12 people each. Aim for an early ‘lights out’, so you don’t miss the bright, jaw-dropping sunrise behind the Harbour Bridge.

Cockatoo Island, Sydney Harbour