Sure, your Instagram feed may be luring you with pictures of sparkling Amalfi coastlines and the azure waters of the South Pacific, but when both your budget and your leave allowance demand you choose a slightly less extravagant locale for your next adventure, rest assured: I’ve found the perfect place, and it’s only an Uber away from home.
I’d never really seen the point of a staycation (what’s a holiday without a flight to catch first?) until I recently spent a luxurious weekend at the InterContinental Double Bay. I arrived on the Friday night and stayed through to the Saturday afternoon (late checkout is the ultimate), but by the time I arrived home it felt like I’d been gone for days – with none of the usual packing/airport/jetlag-induced stress.
Of course, it’s easy to feel miles from home when you’re ensconced in the five-star surroundings of the InterCon, which feels more like you’re staying in someone’s heritage estate than your standard hotel. With a picture-perfect French courtyard at its heart and a harbour beach within walking distance, it offers the convenience of city accommodation (you’re what, five minutes away?), but you feel worlds away. Here’s why it's one of Sydney's best staycation destinations.
There’s something about opening the curtains and stepping out onto a hotel room balcony to see a water view – and ours definitely delivers. Inside, the room is smart, sophisticated and surprisingly big.
Why doesn’t Sydney have more of these? The jewel in the hotel’s crown, the rooftop pool (complete with bar, harbour views and nautical-style booths) could have been plucked straight out of the French Riviera – especially if you have a glass of French bubbly in one hand. FYI: the rooftop does poolside Moet & Chandon brunches in summer. Just saying.
On the subject of drinking, the InterCon Double Bay has a dedicated gin bar (who knew?), The Stillery, which specialises in upscale G&T’s (think French gin with elderflower tonic, berries and fresh flowers). The food menu, curated by executive chef Alex Vilches, is equally exquisite, with a focus on biodynamic, Australian ingredients: the oak-smoked kangaroo with pomegranate and Yarra Valley feta, pictured above, comes highly recommended (actually, so does everything).
If you can excuse its name, The Trump Spa is well worth a visit: on the ground floor of the hotel (near Sake), it offers treatments using Payot and Sodashi products (love Sodashi) as well as a hair salon. You can swan on over in your robe and slippers if you dare (they say lots of guests do) and indulge.
The writer stayed as a guest of The InterContinental Double Bay.