The ideal home base in Sydney
Located near the Royal Botanical Gardens and just steps from the Opera House, the Rocks and Circular Quay, is The InterContinental Sydney, a beautiful hotel inside a 19th century New South Wales Treasury building. The restored structure, complete with the original wrought iron elevator, creates an inspiring meeting spot called The Cortile, where patrons come to admire the architecture and meet for drinks, nibbles or a lavish afternoon tea.
Each of the hotel‘s 509 guestrooms boast contemporary décor and bath amenities by Agraria. Those who book Club InterContinental rooms have the access to the private lounge on the 31st floor. With a wrap-around outdoor terrace, club guests can enjoy complimentary cocktails, 27 Champagne selections and small bites while taking in harbor views. In the evenings the venue turns into an intimate Supper Club opened to the public with a DJ turning up the mood.
Far from being just another hotel restaurant, 117 Dining is a culinary surprise providing an intimate setting for an exquisitely-prepared meal. The Degustation Menu is paired with sake and wines selected by the Sommelier Robert Knight. The meal’s ingredients are local with nuanced Asian influences and prepared with French techniques. Seafood lovers will enjoy Café Opera which offers a nightly buffet filled with blue crab, mussels, shrimp, several additional local crustacean delicacies and sushi. If you’re craving something a little heartier, they also serve comfort foods such as roast turkey or roast beef.
Outside the property’s doors are endless sightseeing opportunities and entertainment options, many with easy walking distance of the hotel. The Sydney Opera House offers an hour-long tour every 30 minutes and can be booked through the hotel concierge. Another fascinating venue not to be miss is the Sydney Fish Market. This is the largest of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and second only in the world to Japan in variety. Spend some time walking the stalls, viewing over 100 different species and sampling the freshly-sourced and prepared seafood with the rest of the locals who make this a regular haunt.
If you are game, take a cooking class at the Sydney Seafood School located on the second floor of the Fish Market. They offer several sessions most days of the week such as the BBQ Seafood Cooking Class which includes cleaning squid and shrimp, fileting fish, cleaning mussels and preparing marinades and sauces, all cooked on a grill. Participants start out by watching a cooking demo before assembling into teams of five and preparing your meal. All dishes are accompanied by a paired wine and the experience ends with espresso and chocolates.
For the past three decades, the InterContinental Sydney has been inviting guests on its property and serving as an ideal home base for exploring the heart of the city. The hotel often books out during key holidays that overtake the bay, like New Years Eve or Australia Day, so plan ahead if you anticipate a stay during those times. Rooms begin at around USD $260 (Euro 228,00) a night.