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Issue 10: Sydney

Discover a locally curated guide to the city's finest experiences

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      Issue 10: Sydney

      This hip new hotel from India’s acclaimed Taj Hotel group is as eye-catching as it is easy to love. Set in an artfully updated warehouse on the Woolloomooloo (say that three times fast!) Finger Wharf, its accommodations–including a waterside cocktail bar and 36 loft-style suites–marry industrial glamour with luxurious service and serene vistas of the harbor.

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      Photo courtesy of Sydney Opera House Trust.
       
      Before a show.
      Photo credit: Jack Atley.
       
      Photo credit: Jack Atley.
       
      Photo credit: Jack Atley.
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        Issue 10: Sydney

        Wanna catch a wave? Situated on the northern shore of Sydney just a short ferry ride from Circular Quay, Manly Beach was the birthplace of Australian surfing–and its pretty vistas, a laid back vibe, and big breaks still make it a perfect place to hang ten. Happily, for novices (or anyone in need of a refresher), it’s also home to one of New South Wale’s most respected surf academies, Manly Surf School. Choose from private or group lessons–or splurge for a daylong surf tour of the northern beaches–all staffed by professional surfers who pride themselves on hands-on instruction with patience and plenty of humor.

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        A cozy corner for a cocktail. Photographs by Vanessa Levis.
         
        Pick your barstool.
         
        The peaceful pool.
         
      • Bathers enjoy a beautiful day. Photograph by Vanessa Levis.
        Bathers enjoy a beautiful day. Photograph by Vanessa Levis.

        Issue 10: Sydney

        A little white-sand oasis tucked in between two lush headlands, Tamarama Beach has a peaceful vibe that feels worlds away from the bustle of Bondi. Not that it’s a yawn: nicknamed “glamarama” for its top-notch (often topless) people watching,  Tamarama ‘s surrounding parkland also plays host to the annual Sculpture by the Sea festival.

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          Issue 10: Sydney

          Set inside two dramatic, landmark buildings–the State Theatre and Gowings Department Store–this new, high-design boutique hotel brings a bit of playful panache to the heart of the Central Business District. Each of the 200 unique guest rooms sports a mix of modern and vintage-style furnishings and fine linens in bright fashion-forward prints–as well as luxury touches like super-soothing “gel” mattresses and a “DIY-martini” welcome tray. Headed for a night out among the beautiful people? Start with a spiffing up at the old fashioned in-house barber shop–and finish with a nightcap in the clubby Gilt Lounge.

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          Eye-catching textiles. Photographs by Vanessa Levis.
           
          A vibrant bouquet.
           
          Homemade bread.
           
          Baubles and bangles.
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            Issue 10: Sydney

            Petite and perfectly appointed, this charming 31-room boutique hotel is proof that when it comes to luxury lodgings, good things often come in small packages. The sleek, generously proportioned guestrooms and baths–stocked with perks like Bose stereos, preloaded iPads and Bulgari toiletries–lure a sophisticated clientele. And downstairs, the 151-ft marble Establishment bar is the longest–and one of the most perennially packed–in the city. Lucky you: hotel guests get to jump the queue.

          • Wood roasted spatchcock with parsley root, burnt butter, radicchio & sea parsley and a stylish table setting. Photograph by Vanessa Levis.
            Wood roasted spatchcock with parsley root, burnt butter, radicchio & sea parsley and a stylish table setting. Photograph by Vanessa Levis.

            Issue 10: Sydney

            While The Woods is unmistakably a lavish hotel dining room (it’s set off the lobby of the Four Seasons), its scale doesn’t diminish the intimacy of its approach or the artful, less-is-more quality of its food.  As its name suggests, this is a restaurant that celebrates wood smoke and fire–for grilling, for roasting, and for generally teasing all manner of deliciousness out of prime ingredients. Chef Hamish Ingham excels at crafting modern Australian dishes–like olive and applewood grilled calamari with bitter greens and roasted potatoes with smoked crème fraiche–that delight without overreaching.

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            Beetroot croquettes.
             
             
            A bit of trompe l'oeil.
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              Issue 10: Sydney

              Established in 1871, the grand Art Gallery of New South Wales rivals the world’s best museums with impressive holdings of classic and contemporary international art. But for visitors from abroad, the don’t-miss attraction is a robust and inspiring collection of 19th-century Australian works, Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islander art–including desert paintings by residents of the remote Western Desert and bark paintings from the Saltwater People of the coast.

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              Pickled vegetables.
               
              Hot and sour beef salad.
               
              Red curry of pork.
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                Issue 10: Sydney

                One of the world’s best zoos, Taronga offers not only fabulous exhibits featuring Aussie icons like koalas, kookaburras, wallabies, and Tasmanian devils, but also a perch high on a hill with jaw dropping views of the Sydney Harbour and Bridge and Opera House. Families may want to sign up for the “Roar & Snore”–an overnight “safari” in the zoo that includes accommodation in luxe tents, a delicious fireside feast and up-close encounters with wildlife like lions, elephants, snow leopards and meercats.

              • A bartender at work and a Japanese Highball cocktail. Photographs by Vanessa Levis.
                A bartender at work and a Japanese Highball cocktail. Photographs by Vanessa Levis.

                Issue 10: Sydney

                Since opening in 2011, this jazzy, candlelit basement boite has reeled in loyal patrons with a knockout combination of affable service, smart-but-never-stuffy décor, and a stellar lineup of beverages. The options range from draft beer to craft cocktails and serious wine, including some vintage ports that have been cellared since the 1920s. No matter when you arrive, chances are it’s likely to be busy–but trust us, the perfect Manhattan, the people watching, and the friendly welcome make the wait more than worth it.

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                  Issue 10: Sydney

                  A seductive mix of old and new, Sydney’s 1888 Hotel deftly merges the dramatic industrial details of its setting–in a circa 1888 wool warehouse–with hip, young service and carefully chosen high-end updates like complimentary iPads, loft-like suites, and a lobby alcove custom designed for Instagram “selfies.” Though there is no pool on site, the hotel has a relationship with the world-class Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre, just a few steps away, which contains not only an olympic-sized pool but also fitness classes and multiple steam and sauna facilities.