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Town & country


The remaking of a famous hotel into the Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay and a retreat to the nearby Blue Mountains with One&Only make a perfect pairing and offer just rewards for the long flight to Australia


author: Patrick Whyte


lifetime”. But the long journey needn’t be that daunting if you plan things correctly with these two properties in Sydney. In fact, if clients are really pushed for time, the city can act as the perfect base for combining city, beach and countryside. First on my whistle-stop tour


F


was Sydney Harbour – on a warm autumn day, one of the world’s great people-watching spots. Tourists mill around trying to find a better angle for a photograph across the bay, while those who work in the city queue up to order their requisite flat whites. Circular Quay, the main


transport terminus in the area, operates as a gateway to the wider city, preferably via one of the many ferries. My journey took just 20 minutes and afforded me close-up views of Sydney’s icons – the Harbour Bridge and Opera House. My destination was Double


Bay, one of Sydney’s swankiest suburbs. Nicknamed “Double Pay” because of its sky-high rents, the area has been making a comeback after falling on hard times during the global financial crisis. The neighbourhood’s landmark


hotel suffered hard times of its own in the past. The Ritz-Carlton Double Bay was built in 1991 and gradually established itself as a hotspot for visiting celebrities, including Madonna and Princess


Diana – and fatefully, rock star Michael Hutchence, who died there. With Ritz-Carlton long gone and the hotel later out of favour, it lay vacant for a number of years before new owners with deep pockets came onboard. It opened last November as


the 140-room InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, helping to cement the renewed feeling of positivity in the area. Initial impressions are misleading though for a luxury hotel –


76  TTGLUXURY.COM  SUMMER 2015  TRIED & TESTED


or many people, Australia equates to gap years, emigration or a “trip of a


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