In a world where we seek to reconnect with nature and indulge in unparalleled luxury, the iconic city of Sydney welcomes us to experience the extraordinary. It’s been my home away from home for the past 25 years as my folks live in this stunning water city, where practically everywhere you turn, there’s a sight of water and corresponding clear blue sky. It’s a city that’s blessed with incredible vistas, some of the freshest seafood, and pretty hot bods if the surfie type is your thing.
This round, I decided to stay at the Hyatt Regency. Nestled in the heart of Darling Harbour, Australia’s largest upscale hotel has undergone a remarkable transformation. After a multi-million dollar refurbishment, the hotel now embodies the city’s charm, elegance, and timeless connection with the waters that surround it.
My luxurious retreat awaited me in the Sydney Terrace Suite, one of the hotel’s most lavish offerings. Boasting 34 square metres of expansive outdoor terrace space with panoramic views of Darling Harbour, this suite was an exquisite blend of sophistication and relaxation. Designed for bespoke entertaining and private dining, it offers a sense of seamless and personalised luxury. Think: a private Regency Concierge who tailors personal itineraries, a private chef to indulge your culinary desires, 24/7 valet parking, and even a private mixologist to concoct the perfect evening tipple. The Sydney Terrace Suite has an expansive balcony, accommodating up to 12 guests for an alfresco soiree or six guests for a sumptuous seated dinner.
The hotel’s dining experiences are equally exciting. Sailmaker, the all-day dining restaurant, serves fresh seafood and locally sourced produce, providing a true taste of Sydney. Zephyr Sky Bar, located high above the city streets, offers stunning sunset views and creatively crafted cocktails. Jackalberry tempts with an adventurous array of world flavours, while Lobby Bar, Gin High Tea, and The Dundee Arms Pub cater to various tastes and moods. If the dining proves a heavy daily indulgence, then pop over to the modern gym, with its state-of-the-art machinery and spin bikes. Plus, it boasts stunning views of Darling Harbour.
For a touch of glamour and enchantment, Zephyr Sky Bar stands out as one of Sydney’s most iconic rooftop bars. Perched twelve floors above Darling Harbour, it offers unrivalled views of the celebrated harbour. Its extensive drink menu includes timeless classics and contemporary, experiential beverages created in collaboration with local beverage heroes. The bar boasts an impressive collection of rums from around the world and a range of exclusive cocktails served in unique vessels, including pineapple glasses and disco balls. The food menu at Zephyr complements the drinks, featuring contemporary dishes infused with fortified wines and rum reductions. Pacific Oysters and a classic charcuterie board make for delightful shared moments.
During the day, the hotel’s unique location allows for some exploring of the surrounding areas by foot. Try the Koala Breakfasts at WILD LIFE Sydney Zoo. This city zoo has long been celebrated for its dedication to the conservation of Australia’s unique wildlife. From the regal Princess, a cassowary, to the mischievous Tasmanian devils, the zoo is a testament to the beauty and diversity of Australian fauna. Take a guided tour, where you come face to face with kangaroos, wallabies, snakes, lizards, and even three freshwater crocodiles. But the star attractions are always the koalas. The guide told us about the care, conservation, and habits of these charming marsupials. And you will get an opportunity to take pictures with them sleeping in the eucalyptus tree.
The next day, we ventured for the Sydney Bridge Climb: Where the World Unfolds Beneath Your Feet. This remarkable journey takes you to the highest peak of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, providing breathtaking 360-degree views of this magnificent city. The adventure begins at the Climb Base beneath the Bradfield Highway. I ventured across catwalks below the road-deck until I reached the South-East Pylon. A series of ladders lead to the start of the upper eastern arch, with the summit looming ahead. I saw the Sydney Opera House from a vantage point I’ve never seen before—uninterrupted, panoramic views that extended from the Pacific Ocean in the east to the majestic Blue Mountains in the west. The whole experience, which lasted 3.5 hours, was a great work out—with 1,332 steps taken, clocking approximately 500 calories, a good burn-off from the daily feasting.
On the final evening, I dined at The Dining Room by James Viles at the beautiful Park Hyatt hotel. This was the quintessential relaxed harbourside dining experience offering modern Australian coastal cuisine.
As I gazed at the mesmerising sunset over my cocktails from Zephyr Sky Bar, I marvelled at how Sydney never fails to delight, offering not only unparalleled luxury but also a chance to reconnect with nature. Whether it’s a trip to the zoo, a crazy bridge climb or just relaxing and enjoying the views from the terrace of our suite, Sydney continues to charm me. Good thing my folks live here so I can enjoy that Aussie hospitality just a little longer.