Fresh from a multi-million dollar re-design, the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney is arguably the most romantic luxe crash-pad in town. The wow factors begin the minute you walk in to the serene lobby. Into its heart sweeps a dramatic curved staircase, down which—at any moment I’m sure—Cate Blanchett will effortlessly glide in an Oscars gown.
The hotel is slap bang in the CBD, a stone’s throw from Circular Quay and a short walk from the tree-lined streets and sandstone pubs of The Rocks. Its stellar harbour views make The Four Seasons a perfect example of a hotel that is also its own destination. My wife and I spent most of our stay rugged up in fluffy bathrobes sipping coffee and staring at the mesmeric view from our Full Harbour View room. We gazed at the soaring charcoal-grey skeleton of the Harbour Bridge arcing beautifully over the narrows, watched the colourful ferries coming and going at Circular Quay, and took photos of the sun-kissed shells of the Opera House and the glistening harbour beyond.
On our first day, we only left the room to eat in the hotel’s private Lounge 32 retreat and have a quick dip in the heated pool (the biggest outdoor hotel pool in town). Apart from that we were locked down in our eyrie and glued to the view.
Best room for two
Full Harbour King Club rooms are the most impressive because of their size (53m2), free access to Lounge 32 for meals and drinks, and the jaw-dropping panorama.
Premier rooms are significantly cheaper but still have tonnes of space—some are the same size as the Full Harbours—and some have partial views of the harbour, including the Opera House.
The hotel’s stylish and sympathetic refurbishment has meant that even the entry level Deluxe rooms (26m2) are romantic. They are cute, chic and decorated with charming bird prints by Sydney artist Anna-Wili Highfield. The designers have added window bench seats too, which are perfect for romantic couples to cosy up on. Some Deluxe rooms have partial harbour views.
If you like to see Sydney turning on its neon in the evening and getting ready to party, pick a City View room (Deluxe or Premier class), with views through the steel canyons and over the rooftops of the CBD. Or, if money is no object, splash out on one of the hotel’s suites.
In all rooms and suites you get Christian Lacroix toiletries, a Nespresso machine and a Bose mini sound system, and throughout the hotel you can enjoy the legendary service for which Four Seasons is known worldwide. If this is your first Four Seasons experience, beware because it can become addictive.
Romantics should make time for a two-hour Couples Indulgence treatment at the hotel’s Endota Spa. It’s a blend of relaxing body massage and infusion facial (both using organic Australian products) and is the ideal way to relax and reconnect with your loved one.
Ever eaten in an oversized jewellery box? Now’s your chance. The hotel’s lobby restaurant—Mode Kitchen & Bar—is inspired by 1920s glamour, with art deco lamps, corrugated opaque glass and lots of bronze. The spacing of the tables is clever, so some diners feel they are inhabiting their own jewellery box compartment. Sydney designers Luchetti Krelle also created a large central bar, which is perfect for a Mode G&T before you dine.
With superb and knowledgeable guidance from our waiter we had the heavenly Hiramasa kingfish sashimi and the wood-roasted zucchini flower to start, followed by the blue-eye trevalla with lemon myrtle tea (yep, it works) and the roasted lamb shoulder with Tasmanian mountain pepperberry. Delicious.
After that feast, we only managed to share a dessert – a perfectly balanced raspberry, vanilla and thyme framboisier.
If your room gives you club access and you fancy something a bit more casual, head up to Lounge 32 for yet more amazing views, food throughout the day and cocktails in the evening — all included in your room rate. The Lounge 32 breakfasts were particularly good, especially the divine fruit crumbles.
Just across the lobby from Mode is Grain, a wood-lined bar with some of the most imaginative cocktails in town. If they still have it on the menu try an Earl Grey tea-infused sharing cocktail called Te Nero, which was created by Grain’s Bar Supervisor Adam Lau. Adam was the 2019 Amaro Montenegro Australian bartender of the year and is a superb cocktail guide, so whether you are a novice or an aficionado, let him take you through the menu.
Grain also has a vast whisky collection (more than 200 at last count) and plenty of rare rums too. In fact, the bar ages its own rum, then makes bespoke cocktails from it. We loved Grain so much went back the next night for pre and post-dinner drinks. But the view was calling us back to our room for another session of harbour gazing.