If you’ve ever partied with an Aussie, you likely already know: Australia is known for a good time. Sydney and the surrounding area is brimming with potential, with the promise of an unforgettable adventure lurking around every corner. It may be quite the commute from the US, but a trip down under still remains one of the top destinations for sun, relaxation, late nights, and repeat. Whether you’re in town for business or pleasure, here’s how to spend a decadent weekend on Australia’s Southeastern coast.
The Dolphin Hotel
Part wine bar, part club, part pub, The Dolphin Hotel is a nightlife trifecta and crowd pleaser for both visitors and locals. Featuring three distinct spaces, this choose-your-own-adventure spot in Surry Hills is a pub upon entrance, a wine bar with nightclub vibes upstairs, and topped off with a relaxed open-air rooftop terrace with picnic tables.
Ramblin Rascal Tavern
Inventive cocktails reigns supreme at this cool basement bar on Elizabeth Street. Here you’ll find cozy leather booths and exposed brick walls that give off speakeasy vibes without the kitschy novelty. Dubbed Sydney’s Original Five-Star Dive Bar, the no-frills institution is known for its stiff drinks and a barback so expansive, a ladder is required to pull down the literal top-shelf stuff.
The Baxter Inn
Whiskey fans will particularly love The Baxter Inn for its impressive selection of rare and top-shelf spirits. Tucked into Clarence Street, this sophisticated bar is totally unpretentious, making it a great spot to get schooled on your favorite whiskeys. We recommend grabbing a seat at the bar and chatting up one of the bartenders. You’ll walk out with more of an education on your favorite spirit than any cocktail book could provide.
Icebergs Dining Room and Bar
You may have seen that crystal clear pool juxtaposed over the equally glistening ocean on Instagram before. Welcome to the Bondi Icebergs. Quite possibly the most 'grammable venue in all of Australia, the Icebergs, right next to Bondi Beach, touts unparalleled views of the sparkling Bondi coastline, where guests can pull up a spot and spend the afternoon drinking good wine and watching the handfuls of surfers below. The dining experience is just as luscious, focusing on a seasonal modern Italian menu executed by head chef Monty Koludrovic. Here, guests are treated to beyond fresh local seafood plates, handmade pasta, and more.
Tucked into The Establishment Bar in the CBD, Mr. Wong boasts a delicious convergence of vibey atmosphere and fine dining. However, getting a seat at the Cantonese institution can be nearly impossible, but if you do grab a seat, prepare to have your mind blown. The modern Cantonese menu includes everything from classic dim sum to mud crab in a dimly lit French-colonial dining room that’s equally cozy and cool.
Rick Stein at Bannisters
After a day spent surfing and lounging on Mollymook Beach, head to Rick Stein at Bannisters for some of the most creative seafood fare in New South Wales. This Mollymook institution is set right on the coastline, boasting unobstructed views of the ocean and surrounding Bannisters hotel property. Helmed by well-loved Rick Stein himself, the seasonal menu includes creative takes on traditional seafood dishes, like Oysters Charentaise, freshly opened oysters with spicy sausages, and grilled Hervey Bay scallops with toasted hazelnut and coriander butter.
Park Hyatt Sydney
Sydney’s most luxurious getaway is tucked into the Northernmost peak of the Sydney Harbour Bay Coastline, straddling the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House. The five-star property includes 155 guestrooms and suites, that reflect a natural feel with rich layers of chocolate, cream and beige hues juxtaposed against the sparkling blues of the Circular Quay waters. Expect jaw-dropping views of the harbor and opera house, alongside all the amenities you’d expect, including specially commissioned art by prominent Australian artists in each room, a rooftop pool, and private balconies.
Bay & Bush Cottages
Whether you’re into luxury travel, or you’re more into spending time in the wilderness, Bay & Bush Cottages in Jervis Bay are willing and ready to cater to the exact level of roughing it that you’re up for. This neighborhood of boutique cottages was made for those who want to experience everything the Australian bush has to offer—without sacrificing creature comforts. Each cottage is equipped spa amenities and a Jacuzzi tub, king-size bed, air conditioning, and a hand-delivered breakfast that marries both modern Australian and French cuisine.The vastness of the property is conducive to wildlife sightings…Don’t be surprised if you wake up to a family of kangaroos outside your door come morning.
Bannisters By The Sea
If sea views, infinity pools, and cocktails in the sun are more your thing, head to Bannisters By The Sea in Mollymook. This beyond picturesque property is redefining coastal luxury by way of its tranquil cliff-top day spa and laundry list of amenities, including private balconies with ocean views, sumptuous Roman baths in select suites, and gas fireplaces.