If you can’t make time for a long jaunt to somewhere exotic, why not try exploring your own city – or one that’s a short flight away.
Sydney is home to many Aussie icons, but how about exploring the other gems that are right under your nose?
Where to stay
For an inner-city adventure that you won’t forget, you can’t go past QT Sydney.
Instead of being faced with an impersonal hotel, the QT Sydney offers historical architecture, blended with cheeky art and a touch of luxury.
The lobby, restaurant and rooms all feature eclectic decorating features with a range of baroque, Gothic and art deco elements. Think plush velvets, leather and textured cushions. You get the idea - bold colours and touches of burnished gold remind you that the devil is most certainly in the detail.
All of the guest rooms boast the original timber flooring from decades ago when the hotel ran as a shopping precinct and theatre. Each room is individually decorated with the history of the building in mind and with the intent on celebrating the unusual – there will be at least three items that you’ll want for your own home.
Another bonus is getting to experience the bespoke QT signature king bed with gel mattress – it will have you feeling better rested than ever before.
If you’re taking time out to focus on yourself, QT has just launched their wellness campaign. Any room booked, this month, comes with the option to add a yoga, training or meditation session. Don't worry, it’s not all about getting on the fitness bandwagon. The new Green Bars offer up a cocktail selection that aren’t too naughty, so you can treat yourself afterwards.
Rooms at QT Sydney start from $320 and currently there’s a deal offering an overnight stay in a QT King Deluxe with complimentary upgrade to Executive King, breakfast for two in Gowings Bar & Grill, discounted valet, and most importantly you get to pick a card upon check in. If you draw the Queen of Hearts, the opulent QT State Suite is all yours for the night.
What to do
Since the QT is right next door to the State Theatre, check out what’s on. A variety of shows are held there on a regular basis from comedians to singers, to stage shows.
While you're here, it would be a mistake to skip SpaQ. With the therapist’s help, choose your treatment on the day after being guided by what’s most troublesome to you at that moment in time. Apart from the spa menu, make time to indulge in the Hammam-inspired steam room – complete with ice fountain.
Just a hop, skip and a jump down the road, lies The Rocks. Often overshadowed by Circular Quay, this historical area will pleasantly surprise you. Take a step back in time with a walking tour and marvel at cobblestone roads and winding paths.
Navigate the laneways of The Rocks to discover some of our favourite gems. @thefinefoodstore_rocks and @aslancoffee for the coffee connoisseurs. @ponydiningtherocks serves up delicious dishes from their wood-fired grill. Or visit the newest kids on the block @tayimrocks and @kameyaramenbar . #therocks #laneways #sydneyeats #sydneydining
If something more active is up your alley, and the weather is good, why not give stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking in the harbour a go? You’ll get some unique views of the city and explore spots where the ferries don’t go.
Where to eat
There are numerous options in the CBD to grab a bite to eat. Whether you want to venture into Chinatown and grab a serve of steaming dumplings at Chinese Noodle House, or walk through the landmark Strand Arcade and treat yourself to a gourmet bowl of pasta at Pendolino, there’s plenty of variety.
A new haunt for locals is Matteo Downtown. Here you can feast on silky burrata from the mozzarella bar or indulge in some wood-fried pizza – grab a bar seat at the back near if you want a cosy spot.
If a bar with delicious snacks is more your thing, drop into Old Mate’s Place. This rooftop bar offers an inside space decked out with dark wood and lush green plants and an intimate deck where you can soak up the sun by day or marvel at the city lights at night.