Postcards / Travel

Postcards from Darling Harbour at Sydney’s new W Hotel

W Hotel Sydney: What to eat, do and take

I was speaking to a friend recently about how, when travelling, there's just something pretty incomparable to staying at a hotel. Sure, it probably has something to do with it feeling so much more glamorous than your usual BnB-style homestay, but it also boils down to the fact that you can totally and completely relax at a hotel.

Forget your key? Don't want to cook tonight? Seeking a local recommendation? Need a fresh towel? It's a luxury that pays for itself ten-fold, and there's not many places who do luxury quite like the brand new W Hotel in Sydney's Darling Harbour.

The 588-room resort is equipped with it all – dining options, rooftop bars, wet decks and sauna rooms – and their jaw-dropping interiors do little to take away from the stellar customer service they offer. It felt like the perfect locus for an end-of-year weekend staycation; a reprieve before the chaos of the holiday season. And so, I thought I would share how I spent my time at the W Hotel Sydney, and some of my whirlwind trip highlights, below.



W Hotel Sydney has a considered selection of rooms and suites available to stay in, each offering sweeping views out to the harbour and city. Your room comes equipped with a delightfully deep bathtub and rain shower, and the beds are comfy as hell. As is customary for W Hotels, each bed is adorned with a fun piece of decor – Sydney's branch modelling some oversized stuffed sharks in a native floral print. As my friend Jewel attested after dinner: "The true value of the shark plushies becomes more apparent after a few wines." I couldn't agree more.



Whether you're staying overnight in the hotel, or you're just a Sydney resident simply looking for some R&R – there's not much more indulgent than paying W Sydney's Away Spa a visit. Their space-age, Kubrick-esque interiors certainly help you to leave the world behind as you enter – from cylindrical manicure and pedicure pods and blue-lit relaxation zones, to their post-treatment experience showers, sauna, steam room and beauty bar. It's a new-age respite from the real world.



For a short staycation, packing was kept light – and their gorgeously equipped hotel rooms mean that even if you forget something, they've probably got you covered. From tooth brushes to GHD hair dyers – even the shampoo and conditioner offerings from Davines were heavenly. I carted along a set of The Emma Lewisham Essentials – perfectly sized for travelling – and of course my trusty Coach Tabby bag.

The rooftop pool is a must when you stay – so swimwear (like this one from Peony Swim) and a spot of sunscreen (like this one from Ultra Violette) will sort you out nicely. Pool towels are provided. We'd suggest donning the bathrobes and slippers from your room too.



Sometimes you just don't want to leave the hotel – and luckily for us, the W Sydney has a few distinct and acclaimed dining options available within the confines of its locale. Up top, we paid a visit to the pool-adjacent 29/30 Bar, treating ourselves to some of their signature cocktails and tapas (I would highly recommend ordering the flatbread). But for a fuller gustatory experience, you'll need to head down to Level 3, where the BTWN restaurant is serving up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Dinner is an elevated experience consisting of a myriad of shareable entrees and mains that feature locally sourced and seasonal produce. Oversized king prawns, roast carrots and a delightful mushroom ragu mafaldine were washed back with a silky smooth chilled bottle of JC's Own Bluebird Grenache, before heading to the 2AM:dessertbar – an outpost of the popular late-night hang in Singapore.

A definitive highlight was the expansive breakfast buffet on offer each morning; a culinary wonderland that took the idea of a continental breakfast to new heights. They also make a perfect scrambled egg.

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