48 hours down under.
Where to Stay Swissôtel Sydney swissotel.com/sydney
Located right in the heart of Sydney’s downtown, close to the Sydney Opera House and the lush Botanical Gardens the Swissôtel Sydney is close to many of the sight and sounds you will want to take in. This luxury five-star hotel offers 369 rooms and suits that are fresh and modern. The hotel’s Signature Skyline rooms and suites, all boast breathtaking views stretching from the Sydney business district all the way to the Blue Mountains.
If you are looking for a little pampering, regenerate, refresh and reward yourself with some well-earned rest and relaxation at Swissôtel Sydney’s Spa and Sport. Enjoy a carefully crafted range of signature face and body treatments.
Are cocktails more your fashion, then make sure to stop by the Crossroads Bar. This reintroduction to the classic hotel bar can accommodate large groups or couples looking for a cozy corner. Another option is to order the in-room bar and “Build Your Own Cocktail”.
Where to Eat
The dining choices in Sydney are almost endless, but on this trip I want to find something a little different. These two fit the bill perfectly.
Alibi Bar & Kitchen alibibar.com.au
Night 1 - I headed to the Woolloomooloo district to try out a new plant-base restaurant call Alibi. Located within the Ovolo Hotel, Alibi offers an incredible menu created by plant-based chef Matthew Kenney. Kenney’s food philosophy is simple, “clean eating need never compromise on taste”
This evening started with one of their signature cocktails, The Godfather Thompson. A mix of Laphroaig 10-year-old scotch whiskey, barrel aged whiskey bitters, angostura bitters, orange and liquid nitrogen. Wait for the liquid nitrogen to evaporate, then pour the mixture in to your glass. Very tasty.
As a true carnivore I wasn’t sure what to expect from a planet-based menu. But fear not, these dishes are amazing. Full of flavor, texture and well seasoned. If fact after only a few bites I forgot for a moment that there was no meat. My favorites, Kimchi Dumplings and the Lasagna.
Vegetarian or not, you must give Alibi a try while staying in Sydney.
Spice Alley spicealley.com.au
Spice Alley is tucked out of the way behind the Kensington Street lane way in the Chippendale district.
This street food meets lane way open air food court takes you on a culinary journey through a variety of Asian cuisine. Dine on Singaporean dishes at Alex Lee Kitchen, Bang Luck Thai Street Food, Old Jim Kee’s Malaysian spices and Cantonese street food from Hong Kong Diner and that will just get you started. But before you dig in, venture on down the street to Handpicked Cellar Door and grab a bottle of your preferred wine. For me, nothing pairs better with Beef Rendang and Roti than a Margaret River Merlot.
Also, make sure you place an order at Shanghai Dumpling Bar. This new addition to the Spice Alley group prepares some of the most delicious dumpling I’ve eaten. Handmade in unique flavored pastry including pumpkin, spinach and beetroot these dumplings can be cooked potsticker style or boiled. Either way, you will leave wanting more.
What to Do
Top of the list for most people, the Sydney Opera House. I was no different, and the best way to view this landmark is from what is one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. Head down to Circular Quay, there you will find dozens of harbor cruise boats. Or if you want something more person try Sydney Harbour Boat Tours (sydneyharbourboattours.com). They offer 3-hour harbor cruises, or you can charter the boat for the day. With a day charter you can tour the harbor, stop for a catered lunch on a secluded beach and then watch the sunset with champaign and canapés.
In for a little adventure, try the Bridge Climb and get an amazing 360 degree view of Sydney. The Royal Botanic Garden, Sydney Opera House, Hyde Park, Australian Museum and Art Gallery of New South Wales all within walking distance and well worth the short stroll.
Don’t forget the famous Bondi Beach. Just a short cab ride from downtown this beach is an incredible. If your up for a swim stop by the Bondi Icebergs POOL and do a few laps in what is likely the most photographed pool in the world. For those not splashing around in the ocean, Bondi Beach has lots of shops and restaurant, something for everyone.