Embrace the sweet life at Sydney’s best luxury hotels [2024]

Sydney may no longer hold the title of Australia’s largest city, yet it’s still the most recognisable one on the global stage, enticing visitors from near and far with its harbourside appeal.

After taking in icons like the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, or venturing across to Manly on the ferry, you want a hotel that’s equally show-stopping. Somewhere delivering five star comfort, with a great bar, restaurant and spa to match.

With this in mind, and in no particular order and by no means a complete list, these are some of the best luxury hotels Sydney has to offer.

 

W Sydney

After lengthy delays and a fever pitch of rising anticipation, W Sydney finally unlocked its doors in October 2023, and it was arguably well worth the wait, with a stellar Darling Harbour location backed by flamboyantly fabulous guest rooms and amenities.

W Sydney rises between two expressways of the Western Distributor.

W Sydney rises between two expressways of the Western Distributor.

Housed within the curvaceous ‘Ribbon’ development, it’s quirky and kitsch – imbued with a playful confidence that extends from the petalled W sign at its entrance, past all-day dining venue BTWN, and up to to the glitzy level 29 pool.

The swimming pool on level 29.

The swimming pool on level 29.

Due to the building’s rather distinctive shape, no two of the W’s 585 rooms and suites are the same. That said, they do share a similar DNA, such as crisp white panelling from floor to ceiling and vibrant red and pink waratah-inspired prints.

The hotel's Extreme Wow suite lives up to its name.

The hotel’s Extreme Wow suite lives up to its name.

And that’s before you even factor in the sensational city views, extending right along Darling Harbour towards Barangaroo and North Sydney in one direction, and across undulating tower blocks and parklands in the other.

Capella Sydney

Another recent addition to the city is Capella Sydney, and it’s arguably one of the most enchanting hotels in town – a haven of modern refinement with a fascinating past to boot. 

Spanning eight levels within the former Department of Education building, built in the Edwardian Baroque style in 1915, the property underwent meticulous restoration over the course of eight years, with the result sure to satisfy any traveller.

Aperture restaurant is the social heart of the hotel.

Aperture restaurant is the social heart of the hotel.

Occupying a full city block – encircled by Loftus, Bridge and Young Streets – it features three distinct dining venues, a wellness spa and 192 beautiful rooms and suites.

Each room is an inviting sanctuary with high ceilings and standalone tubs, but the Capella and Liberty suites are next level.

The Liberty suite offers a bathroom glimpse of the Harbour Bridge.

The Liberty suite offers a bathroom glimpse of the Harbour Bridge.

Anchored to the hotel’s Young Street shoulder is signature restaurant ‘Brasserie 1930’, which celebrates Australian produce and age-old cooking techniques, such as curing, smoking, fermenting, preserving and pickling, all backed up by a stellar wine list.

Auriga Spa houses a 20-metre heater indoor pool, sauna, steam room and gym.

Auriga Spa houses a 20-metre heater indoor pool, sauna, steam room and gym.

Other venues include the leafy Aperture, open daily for dining and drinks beneath a soaring glass ceiling and kinetic sculpture, and McRae Bar, a ‘Victorian era drinking den’ named in honour of the building’s original architect, George McRae.

Manly Pacific Hotel

‘This doesn’t feel like Sydney’ is a common remark from guests checked into Manly Pacific Hotel, and it’s easy to see why, with the hotel not only styled for the tropics but its ambience too more like Byron Bay or the Gold Coast.

The Beach Club desk at Manly Pacific Hotel.

The Beach Club desk at Manly Pacific Hotel.

Positioned opposite the Norfolk Island pines, sand and rolling waves of Manly, the five star hotel – part of Accor’s MGallery Hotel Collection – is home to 213 beachside rooms and suites, together with a trio of dining venues.

Drinks and light eats can be ordered to the rooftop via a QR code.

Drinks and light eats can be ordered to the rooftop via a QR code.

Bistro Manly is your daily port of call for buffet breakfast (though its French-infused dinner menu is a great way to bookend your day) while the Japanese fare of Tokyo Joe and cool cocktails of 55 North are also great options for something more relaxed.

Villas are the pinnacle of the hotel's offering.

Villas are the pinnacle of the hotel’s offering.

Crowning the hotel is a sun-soaked rooftop pool, where you can pair your ocean outlook with drinks and bites from the bar menu, plus an infrared sauna available for private bookings.

QT Sydney

Downtown Sydney is brimming with historic architecture; grand buildings filled with over a century of stories, of prosperity and decline, and eventual evolution. QT Sydney spans two such buildings: the State Theatre and the adjacent Gowings building, both opened in 1929. 

QT Sydney's lobby seating.

QT Sydney’s lobby seating.

Rather than leaning too heavily into the heritage, the hotel instead charts its own path, embracing Alice in Wonderland-like whimsy with its eclectic oversized chairs, building rich ambience with mood lighting.

There's nothing understated about Parlour, and that's a very good thing.

There’s nothing understated about Parlour, and that’s a very good thing.

When a craving for sumptuous food and inventive drinks takes hold, Gowings restaurant and bar – now under the creative direction of Sean Connolly – is waiting to tickle your taste buds with Mediterranean-leaing fare matched by an exceptional wine list.

For something more casual, Parlour on the ground floor is well worth a visit. Not only does it plate up delicious French-infused dishes, but the OTT decor (which features a former State Theatre ticket booth turned wine cellar and vaulted ceiling) will spur ample conversation too.

The QT State Suite features separate lounge and dining areas, plus its own balcony.

The QT State Suite features separate lounge and dining areas, plus its own balcony.

Rooms run the gamut from entry-level QT King, fitted with a well-stocked minibar and desk, through to decadent QT Junior Suites and the QT State Suite.

Read our in-depth QT Sydney review here. 

InterContinental Sydney

One of the city’s enduring icons, InterContinental Sydney has welcomed well-heeled guests for over three decades years. Thats position among Sydney’s best hotels has been cemented for many more yet to come thanks to an extensive top-to-bottom refurbishment.

Every one of its 509 rooms and suites is now swatched in shades of green and blue, echoing the harbour view outside, while its public spaces – including two dining offerings and a Club Lounge – have been given a significant makeover too.

Breathe in stellar views of Sydney from the hotel's rooftop Aster Bar.

Breathe in stellar views of Sydney from the hotel’s rooftop Aster Bar.

First opened in 1985, InterContinental Sydney is housed within the 1851 Treasury Building, itself a tapestry of architectural styles from Victorian Neo-Classical to Italian Palazzo. The Treasury in its atrium is a perfect space to admire this heritage in all its glory.

Find a seat at The Treasury's curvaceous bar, or settle into one of the comfortable lounge chairs.

Find a seat at The Treasury’s curvaceous bar, or settle into one of the comfortable lounge chairs.

If there’s one space which is an absolute must-visit for every guest, it’s Aster – the hotel’s level 32 restaurant and bar, adorned in marble, brass and elegant velvet seating. And the view? It’ll leave you speechless.

Crown Sydney

Amid the complete reimagining of the Barangaroo corner of the city has come a suite of new office towers, a smorgasbord of trendy eateries, and, the gleaming Crown Sydney. 

Competing for the title of Sydney’s best view, Crown Sydney offers a mix of 350 hotel rooms and nearly 100 residential apartments across 75 floors. Across these you’ll find the Executive Harbour Bridge Suite which offers a dining room for four, separate bedroom and powder room.

Fancy a dip? The infinity pool overlooks the waters of Darling Harbour.

Fancy a dip? The infinity pool overlooks the waters of Darling Harbour.

Closer to ground level is an expansive infinity pool and spa with cabanas overlooking the western harbour.

There’s also a tennis court which doubles as an event space, while the Crown Spa is the first in Australia to offer quartz hot sand and touchless spa wave treatments across its 11 rooms.

Enjoy a grand arrival at the Crown Sydney.

Enjoy a grand arrival at the Crown Sydney.

While every hotel offers dining, few can boast no less than eight individual restaurants which, albeit pricy, are tipped to deliver a memorable sensation for every tastebud.

Headlining the dining offering is Sydney’s first Nobu, which couples with the micro 12-seat Yoshii’s Omakase. On top of that is the open-kitchen Woodcut Steakhouse, delicate Italian A’Mare, stylish Cantonese Silks, sustainable fare at Oncore by Clare Smyth, the Epicurean buffet or high tea at TWR.

Read our in-depth Crown Sydney review here. 

Park Hyatt Sydney

Possibly the most enviable piece of real estate in Australia, many of Park Hyatt Sydney’s rooms admire the Opera House just across the harbour.

Wake up to unforgettable views of the Sydney Opera House.

Wake up to unforgettable views of the Sydney Opera House.

Park Hyatt Sydney is something of a deceptively large building, yet well laid out, wrapped around Campbells Cove. It’s impossible to go anywhere here without encountering a postcard view.

There’s 155 spacious rooms and suites that start at 40 square metres and you can enjoy a rooftop pool, terrace and a stylish bar where you’ll want to be seen, but there’s no club lounge, in line with other Park Hyatts. 

The appropriately-named Opera Suite features six balconies from which to soak in the view.

The appropriately-named Opera Suite features six balconies from which to soak in the view.

The Cove Suite offers two balconies, while you can enjoy up to six with the Opera Suite. Most suites have separate sitting areas, while the Rooftop Suite delivers exactly that in the form of a private outdoor terrace. 

In the mood for some gourmet indulgence? The Dining Room by James Viles is the place to go.

In the mood for some gourmet indulgence? The Dining Room by James Viles is the place to go.

For a sense of true indulgence, the Sydney Suite is the Park Hyatt’s main event. At 350 square metres, full kitchen with dining for eight and a marble bath with sauna and spa, it’s one of the most expensive hotel rooms in Sydney but it’s worth it.

Swissotel Sydney

More than 20 years on from its debut, Swissotel Sydney remains a beacon of sophistication in the CBD, though you wouldn’t know it from the street. The only hint at what lies within is a marble-clad entrance and concierge desk, staffed by a well-dressed doorperson.

Swissotel Sydney's entrance on Market Street.

Swissotel Sydney’s entrance on Market Street.

Continue up to level eight and the full picture soon comes into view, with the reception housed in a soaring atrium filled with natural light. It sits alongside Arches on Market lobby bar, followed by signature restaurant Ten Storeys.

Arches on Market lobby bar is open daily from 12pm till late.

Arches on Market lobby bar is open daily from 12pm till late.

As part of the Accor Hotel stable, Swissotel guests can earn and redeem points through the Accor Live Limitless loyalty program, which is free to join and unlocks a bevy of benefits at the higher tiers. Accor Plus members also receive multiple benefits.

Swissotel Sydney is filled with a classic sense of sophistication.

Swissotel Sydney is filled with a classic sense of sophistication.

The hotel’s 369 rooms are spacious and understated, with most adopting a monochromatic aesthetic accented by pops of chrome, leather and timber-look panelling. If we had to choose, the Signature Skyline Balcony Room would be the one.

Read our in-depth Swissotel Sydney review here.

Four Seasons Sydney

With Circular Quay on its doorstep, Four Seasons Sydney is a must-visit for those aiming to set out and enjoy a quintessential ferry-hopping experience. That said, the hotel itself is a very good base to simply retreat in style.

The harbour views are always a struggle to avert your gaze from.

The harbour views are always a struggle to avert your gaze from.

As Australia’s only Four Seasons hotel, it proudly flies the flag for the global brand with 531 rooms and suites, plus the delightful Mode Kitchen & Bar and nearby Grain bar, which serves up light bites backed by an exceptional drinks list.

Your standards will be supremely high if you’re not impressed with the expansive Full Harbour King Room, which sits in the building’s corner and projects great views out to Circular Quay.

Full Harbour View King rooms feature a corner sofa.

Full Harbour View King rooms feature a corner sofa.

If you’re staying in one of these, or the one and two-bedroom suites, access is granted to the exclusive Lounge 32 on its namesake floor. It’s a haven and perfect for meeting friends and family or enjoying the complimentary canapés and drinks, including international wines.

Grain cocktail bar features an extensive list of craft beers, Australian wines and spirits.

Grain cocktail bar features an extensive list of craft beers, Australian wines and spirits.

From here, you can also partake in private check-in and out, daily breakfast and a regular roster of delicious cakes and pastries prepared by the hotel’s talented pastry chefs.

Then, head to what is one of Sydney’s best swimming pools for a dip, which is heated in the winter. Seems appropriate for a hotel bearing the name Four Seasons.

Four Seasons' outdoor pool is a gem on a nice day

Four Seasons’ outdoor pool is a gem on a nice day

On the ground floor, fine dining is really put into practice at Mode Kitchen and Bar, which is somewhat small so make sure you pre-book your table. The service is exquisite and on tap is some of Sydney’s best seafood including enormous king prawns and the wood-roasted catch of the day. Make sure you order a side of the polenta chips too.

Read our in-depth Four Seasons Sydney review here.

Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park

Luxury hotels in Sydney don’t have to hug the harbour to offer great views. Adjacent to another of the city’s natural attractions – the 16-hectare Hyde Park – is the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park.

Refurbished in 2019, the 558 rooms adopt a Hyde Park-esque colour palette with natural timber, stitched leather, dark celadon green walls and black marble bathrooms. Rooms feature high-backed executive chairs at the ergonomic desks which feature multiple USB charging points.

A King Executive Terrace Park guest room at Sheraton Grand Hyde Park

A King Executive Terrace Park guest room at Sheraton Grand Hyde Park

Suites are numerous and all overlook Hyde Park and St Mary’s Cathedral, with private balconies starting from the Terrace room. The Ambassador Suite takes on a décor and look of its own with wallpaper resembling vintage suitcases and bright purple throw pillows.

The hotel’s Sheraton Club lounge is its statement piece, resembling a New York loft and located on level 21. Here, eligible guests can privately check in and out and enjoy daily breakfast or evening drinks and canapes.

The hotel's Club Lounge is an excellent hideaway to relax or get some work done

The hotel’s Club Lounge is an excellent hideaway to relax or get some work done

To get work done, there are some office supplies like a printer, copier and even a fax machine. Remember those?

The flagship ‘Feast’ restaurant is your main go-to for breakfast outside of the Sheraton Club and is complemented by The Gallery, which serves afternoon tea and some savoury delicacies. You’ll also find a gym and pool on the 22nd floor.

Read our in-depth Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde park review here. 

The Langham, Sydney

Perched in the upper Rocks precinct and a short walk to Barangaroo, The Langham is an elegant world away, yet only a few steps, from centuries-old residential terraces which reflect what Sydney once was.

The Langham Sydney on Kent Street

The Langham Sydney on Kent Street

While diminutive in room number at 96 compared to towering counterparts on this list, The Langham Sydney touts a rich exclusivity with views over a sometimes-forgotten part of the harbour.

At the top of the rooms list are The Observatory Suite and The Residence, both over 100 square metres and packed with extravagances including a stately fireplace and grand eight-seat dining room, or equipped kitchen with refrigerated private bar area.

The Residence at The Langham Sydney

The Residence at The Langham Sydney

While there’s no dedicated club lounge, you’ll feel like you’re in a private club at The Langham’s Romanesque 20-metre heated indoor swimming pool where you can float and disappear into the night sky mural on the ceiling.

It's easy to get lost in the serene night sky mural at The Langham's pool

It’s easy to get lost in the serene night sky mural at The Langham’s pool

When it’s time to dine, one of Sydney’s most fun restaurant experiences is in-house at Kitchens on Kent. Billed as fine-dining, buffet style, you can wander among a variety of live cooking stations watching expert chefs craft wares including towers of seafood and charcuterie. 

Read our in-depth review of The Langham, Sydney here.

Shangri-La Sydney

Cross the Harbour Bridge in a southbound direction and the Shangri-La Sydney is impossible to miss. Another of the city’s skyscraping hotels at 36 levels, the Shangri-La boasts one of the best views in the city from many of its 564 rooms and suites.

A Premier Harbour Bridge Room at Shangri-La Sydney

A Premier Harbour Bridge Room at Shangri-La Sydney

The incredible Royal Suite delivers a separate bedroom, living room and dining room with grand piano, executive study and wide views of the harbour, Opera House and bridge.

On Level 30, the exclusive Horizon Club is an expansive space with high ceilings and a mixture of armchairs and sofas overlooking both Sydney Harbour and out to the west. There’s plenty of staff roaming who will keep your glass full and a changing table-service menu where you can enjoy breakfast, morning tea and afternoon tea.

You'll find the Horizon Club on Level 35

You’ll find the Horizon Club on Level 35

Also on offer is the Shangri-La Sport Club and Health Centre, with an indoor heated 25-metre pool, fitness centre and shaded outdoor terrace.

Perhaps the highlight of your time at the Shangri-La is a dining experience at Altitude Restaurant.

Book in advance at Altitude and you may get a table at the window looking straight out

Book in advance at Altitude and you may get a table at the window looking straight out

While even at night the view is spectacular, the new modern Australian menu from Executive Chef Brent Morley is a treat for the senses. In crafting the culinary line-up, Morley assessed the nation’s finest producers to source items such as grain-fed rib on the bone from Jack’s Creek, a multiple time winner of the World’s Best Steak Producer.

Hilton Sydney

Hilton Sydney has seen witnessed a considerable amount of growth and change over its near-50 years in the CBD, yet if there is one thing that has remained constant, it’s the hotel’s place among the best luxury hotels in town.

It’s difficult to find a better location: just one step outside the revolving doors puts you right in the centre of town, opposite from the QVB and a half block from Town Hall.

Hilton Sydney is a staple of well-heeled travellers.

Hilton Sydney is a staple of well-heeled travellers.

Nightlife at Hilton Sydney is as timeless as the company’s 100-plus-year-old legacy, eternally exemplified by the timeless and heritage listed Marble Bar in the basement, originally built in 1893.

Built in the former Adams Hotel, the Victorian structure was carefully dismantled and reassembled in Hilton Sydney in 1973.

Built in the former Adams Hotel, the Victorian structure was carefully dismantled and reassembled in Hilton Sydney in 1973.

If you’d prefer to go higher, the Zeta Bar and rooftop terrace is all about putting a creative spin on traditional cocktail recipes and on a calm night is one of the best spots in Sydney.

To access Hilton’s Executive Club, you’ll need to book an Executive Room or higher.

Hilton's Club Lounge offers plenty of space to work or chill out

Hilton’s Club Lounge offers plenty of space to work or chill out

The lounge itself feels like a grand living room, with a buffet station along the wall serving breakfast and a variety of sweet and savoury items throughout the day. There’s also the evening drinks and canapé service from 6pm each evening.

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

A refurbishment is one thing but a newbuild is quite another, and the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour is one of the city’s most prominent examples of what the state government has for many years called ‘Tomorrow’s Sydney’.

Just a few steps from the front door of the International Convention Centre, the hotel was essentially part of the redevelopment of this part of Darling Harbour and really gives the area that intoxicatingly fresh car smell.

The rooftop pool overlooks Darling Harbour and the city

The rooftop pool overlooks Darling Harbour and the city

The towering structure is emblematic of the élégante French Sofitel vibe. It’s another of the few Sydney CBD hotels with an outdoor rooftop pool but its beach club environment fits well overlooking the picturesque Darling Harbour (just ignore the giant carpark behind it).

The flagship room is the Prestige Suite, which sits in a top corner and really projects that executive apartment feel. It’s not the biggest suite in the building but still offers a separate living room.

Sofitel Darling Harbour's Prestige Suite

Sofitel Darling Harbour’s Prestige Suite

There are quite a few room types which grant access to the Club Millésime lounge up on Level 35.

The Club Millésime lounge sits high on Level 35

The Club Millésime lounge sits high on Level 35

Much like your room will have but on a grander scale, there are great views to bask in but the window seating will fill up quickly and that outlook really sells it.