Who says you need to travel far to enjoy new experiences? If time (or funds) don't permit, try exploring your own city, or one close by...
Barangaroo is one of those places you've probably heard of, but don't know too much about. Sure, It's the future home of Sydney's Crown Casino (due to open in 2021), but there's so much more to do, see and experience.
Where to stay
You'll love the sleek look and feel of the West Hotel as soon as you arrive. With dim lighting, dark woods, an atrium with natural light and plenty of fresh greenery and friendly staff, this hotel is one of Sydney’s newest designer hotels built to be equipped to modern life.
The property features 182 stylish guest rooms, including four spacious suites. Each room has Bluetooth-enabled audiovisual technology and Google Chromecast, if you're traveling for business or you simply want to keep bingeing your favourite streaming service.
Designed by Australian Architecture firm Fitzpatrick and Partners, with interiors by Woods Bagot, the focus is very much on botanical elements with a touch of modern elegance. The geometric windows give a futuristic feel, yet the deep green hues found in the luxurious velvet recliners and ottomans in every room make every guest feel cosy and relaxed.
What to do
The laneways of the Barangaroo complex are filled with boutiques and department stores featuring high street, handmade and high-end wares. Collector Store and Somedays are niche fashion and homewares boutiques featuring items from all over the world.
For the more mainstream purchases, stroll around the Peter's of Kensington for colourful and stylish kitchenware and find both international and local fashion and beauty in the small-format David Jones.
If you're into music, books or film, you don't want to miss out on the independently own and run Title store, featuring records, coffee table books, trinkets and cool pop-culture curios.
Have a drink at Solander Bar
Situated underneath the West Hotel, Solander Bar is home to smooth, velvet seating and dark, mysterious decor, the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing and sophisticated drink and a tasty bar snack. Cocktails and craft beers are the order of the day at this bar, with delicious botanical-inspired beverages and cold, crisp beers the best antidote to a busy day. The food menu is also a must!
Where to eat
If you're seeking a Cantonese culinary experience, look no further than Old Town. Go for the steaming hot dumplings, tasty seafood dishes, hot soups and wontons and enjoy the friendly service. The menu has something for everyone, including a selection of roast duck, chicken and pork belly, as well delicious tasting plates to make sure you don't miss out on all the vibrant flavours.
Situated on Barangaroo Avenue, The Butchers Block offers tasty options to suit every dining opportunity of the day. Whether you're after a cup of coffee or want to enjoy in a hearty dinner with friends, this restaurant can cater all your varying needs. Think steaks cooked to perfection, flavourful pasta dishes and of an evening, indulgent desserts.
NOLA Smokehouse and Bar
Celebrate the rich culture of New Orleans, Louisiana across the globe in Barangaroo at NOLA Smokehouse and Bar. With a menu boasting southern-style delicacies like popcorn shrimp, deep-fried okra and various slow-cooked meats, you'll get the whole NOLA experience thanks to the comprehensive and luxurious spirits and cocktails menu and live jazz music.
Riva Reno Gelato
We're calling it - some of the best gelato in Sydney can be found at Riva Reno. The flagship store can be found across the CBD in Darlinghurst, but the same authentic artisan flavours can be enjoyed at the Baragaroo store. Riva Reno gelato is made fresh every day - and you can certainly taste the creaminess and texture in all of their decadent flavours. It's worth every calorie!