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at Jonah's Hotel
Photograph: Supplied

The best staycations in Sydney

You may not be able to roam beyond our shores at present. But who needs to with these great getaway options in your own backyard?

By Maxim Boon
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After a year of staying put, you're probably feeling that holiday itch, but as it currently stands, overseas travel is unlikely to resume for at least a year. You can of course go on an interstate hop, but don't overlook the wealth of holiday options you've got in your own backyard.

Sydney has some of the finest guestrooms in the country, offering plush, luxe, thoroughly bougie comforts and indulgent experiences worthy of a staycation. We've picked out some of our favourites within Greater Sydney that are ready and waiting to take your booking.

Looking for a room that's a little more out of the ordinary? Check out the most unusual places to stay in NSW.

Little National guestroom
Photograph: Supplied/Little National

Little National Hotel Sydney

Hotels Sydney

Perfect for: a big night out in the city.

This small yet perfectly formed luxury capsule hotel packs a lot of luxe into its modestly-sized rooms. For those looking to make the most of the heart of Sydney, its location could hardly be better. Situated above Wynyard Station, a stone's throw from Barangaroo, Martin Place, Circular Quay and George Street, it's the perfect bolthole for those who want to paint the town red. Be sure to check out its stunning rooftop bar during your stay.

 

Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel

Bars Pubs Watsons Bay

Perfect for: beach lovers in search of a view.

Sunsets, surf, killer fish and chips – Watsons Bay is a coastal getaway all on its own, and thanks to the regular ferry service from Circular Quay, it couldn't be easier to reach. The rooftop bar at the Watsons Bay Boutique Hotel is already one of Sydney's favorite summertime hangouts, but by booking into a room here, you can take your time exploring this charming peninsula in Sydney's far east, including Camp Cove, the Gap Bluff coastal walk and the incredibly 'grammable Hornby Lighthouse.

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QT Sydney

Travel Sydney

Perfect for: shopaholics on a retail therapy getaway.

The QT is a hotel brand with seriously impressive creds. Its combination of five-star service and quirky style makes a stay in any of its locations an instantly extraordinary experience. The outpost in the heart of the Sydney CBD, perched above the State Theatre, is arguably one of the plushest in the chain's portfolio, but it's also ideally located for guests who want to splash some cash in the city's high-end retail outlets. Within a couple of minutes' walk, you'll find black label fashions and top-shelf boutiques galore, which makes dragging all those shopping bags back to your room at the end of the day so much easier. 

Spa pool at the Langham
Photograph: Supplied

The Langham Sydney

Travel Millers Point

Perfect for: ultimate, old-school luxury. 

With the charm and ruffled curtains of a boutique hotel, but the class and glamour of an international institution, the Langham will have you feeling like a royal with its plush suites, panelled walls (for real) and sumptuous, velvet furnishings – and that's before you set your sights on the Observatory Suite's ornate, gilded fireplace. The otherworldly Roman bathhouse style indoor pool is waiting for you downstairs, so be sure to stop in for a splash.

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at Jonah's Hotel
Photograph: Supplied

Jonah's

Hotels Luxury hotels Palm Beach

Perfect for: a resort-style break not too close to the city

According to fashion designer Tom Ford, “Time and silence are the most luxurious things we have today.” If that’s the case, then Jonah’s might just be the most luxurious hotel in Sydney. The hours really do seem a little bit longer in the Northern Beaches, and the distant echo of the crashing waves far below is pretty much all you can hear at this intimate clifftop retreat overlooking Whale Beach.

 

A bathroom of Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour with a view out over the water
Photograph: Supplied

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour

Hotels Luxury hotels Darling Harbour

Perfect for: those who want a taste of the high life.

Some people choose a hotel for its proximity to the best of the city, and this 590-room five-star beauty overlooking the CBD is certainly in the heart of the action. But should you also be seeking a staycation where you can kick back, nest and sink into your ultra-luxe surroundings, the Sofitel can't be beat. Everything you could need is on your doorstep. There are three bars, including a Champagne lounge with an impressive selection of wine by the glass, and you’ll want to spend some time in the infinity pool, which juts out dramatically over Darling Harbour and has its own bar for waterside cocktails. But for a really extra experience, splash out on one of the corner rooms with a view of Darling Harbour. The bathroom has one of the best views of the city, which you can enjoy while soaking in your very own bathtub.

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Rooftop pool with loungers next to it
Photograph: Supplied/InterContinental

The InterContinental Sydney Double Bay

Travel Double Bay

Perfect for: relaxing poolside with a cocktail in hand.

Double Bay may not immediately strike you as an ultra-chic getaway spot, but once you're reclined on a lounger by an azure pool, sipping an ice-cold cocktail in the summer sun, we're pretty certain your opinion on that will change. There are many luxury facilities guests at the InterContinental can enjoy during their stay, including a day spa and high tea service. But the rooftop pool is by the far the biggest drawcard on offer here. Lido life doesn't get any more glamourous than this.

A suite at Taronga Zoo's new Wildlife Retreat
Photograph: Supplied

Taronga Zoo Wildlife Retreat

Hotels Luxury hotels Mosman

Perfect for: experience seekers who want to take a walk on the wild side.

This complex of sleek, timber-clad lodges encircling a private bushland garden is a remarkably successful fusion of elegant sophistication and sustainable design, where wildlife and the high-life exist side by side. In the heart of Sydney's oldest zoo, with spectacular views of the city, a stay here includes five-star dining in the hotel's exclusive restaurant, private tours of the retreat's wildlife sanctuary, and after-hours tours of the zoo to meet its wild residents without the crowds.

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Pier One room interior
Photograph: Supplied/Pier One Sydney Harbour

Pier One Sydney Harbour

Hotels Dawes Point

Perfect for: a luxury getaway with the dog.

Located in the shadow of the Harbour Bridge, just minutes from the Rocks and Circular Quay, Pier One is a no-brainer for tourists who want to be close to the city's biggest attractions. But there's plenty to treat locals here too. The hotel is fully dog-friendly (they even have a 'doggy degustation' if you really want to pamper your pooch), its in-house restaurant, the Gantry, is considered one of the best fine diners in town, and the hotel's Experience Seekers packages offer a range of once-in-a-lifetime activities to make a staycation here truly unforgettable.

Hero-shot-with-tents-at-sunset-landscape1-LO-RES.jpg
Photograph: Supplied

Roar and Snore

Travel Mosman

Perfect for: an out-of-the-ordinary night under the stars

In a town filled with great spots to watch the sunset, we dare you to find a better one than Taronga Zoo. Or a more exhilarating wake-up call – who wouldn't want to (safely) rise to the sounds of the jungle? That's where Roar and Snore, Taronga's glamping experience, comes in. Enjoy after-hours zoo tours and comfy beds in your luxury tent accomodations.

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Camping, Cockatoo Island
Photograph: Destination NSW

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Natural beauty is one of Sydney's best assets, so it makes sense you'd want to experience a night or two in the city's great outdoors. Fortunately, camping around Sydney is not only possible, it's often very affordable. Check out our edit of the city's best camping sites for the chance to wake up next to the Harbour, adjacent to crashing waves, or deep in a national park.

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