These 3 Sydney hotels are among the 5 coolest in Australia and New Zealand, according to travellers

Sydney dominated the list of Travel and Leisure readers' favourite hotels in Australia and New Zealand

Winnie Stubbs
Written by
Winnie Stubbs
Lifestyle Writer
A suite with a green couch at the Ace Hotel
Photograph: Anson Smart

Planning a Sydney staycay but not sure which hotel to choose? We hear you. From quirky inner-city gems to breezy beachside pads, Sydney is home to some pretty exceptional hotels. And we’re not the only people who think so – with the Harbour City dominating a recent list of the best hotels in Oceania. Global travel publication Travel and Leisure has just released its annual list of the coolest hotels in Australia and New Zealand, and three out of the list of five winners are right here in Sydney.

The annual list is informed by more than 186,000 Travel and Leisure readers, whose votes for their favourite hotels from around the world form region-based lists. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across more than 8,700 global properties, and lists were compiled rating the best five hotels in each region. Although the survey considers hotels from across Oceania, Sydney dominated the list – with three out of the five favourite hotels right here in the Harbour City, and the other two located in the Kiwi's capital, Auckland. While the main takeaway here is the clear travel preferences of Travel and Leisure readers, we back their choices – there’s no better place to spend a night than Sydney, and our hotel game is pretty damn strong. The three Sydney hotels that made the list range from the old-school stalwart the Four Seasons to a trendy new outpost of Seattle-born Ace Hotel housed in a former brick factory, with Circular Quay’s Capella also gaining a well-earned place.

A hotel room with views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House.
Photography: Supplied | Geoff Lung | Four Seasons Hotel Sydney


Topping the list was the ever-opulent Four Seasons, which moved up from its place as second-favourite in 2023 to number one for 2024. The towering hotel in Sydney CBD scored points for its uber-central location (it’s right in The Rocks, steps from our Food & Drink Editor’s favourite restaurant), “spectacular views” of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House and absurdly indulgent experiences, including seaplane tours to regional restaurants. 

After being ranked as one of the best hotels in the world by the travel experts from Afar Media back in April, Capella went on to win over Travel  Leisure readers with its luxurious fit-out and stellar service. We’d add its stunning subterranean spa as good justification for Capella’s place as the third coolest hotel in the Australia/ NZ region.

Capella Sydney
Photograph: Supplied | Capella Sydney

The final Sydney hotel to make the list was the Surry Hills outpost of Ace Hotel – whose buzzing lobby bar is our favourite spot for a post-work Martini, and whose rooftop restaurant was one of the city’s most exciting openings of last year. 

The hotels were each evaluated on five criteria: rooms/ facilities, location, service, food and value. For each characteristic, readers rated the hotels as excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor, with the final score being the average of all responses. At the top of the list, Sydney’s Four Seasons gained an overall reader score of 93.44 – a pretty sparkling outcome.

The five coolest hotels in Australia and New Zealand according to Travel and Leisure readers are:

1. Four Seasons Hotel Sydney (reader score: 93.44)
2. Park Hyatt Auckland (reader score: 91.76)
3. Capella Sydney (reader score: 91.76)
4. Cordis, Auckland (reader score: 88.24)
5. Ace Hotel Sydney (reader score: 86.35)

You can check out the global lists (and update your travel bucket list accordingly) over here.

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