The best luxury hotels in Sydney

Four Seasons Sydney - one of the best luxury hotels in Sydney
At Four Seasons Sydney you can book a suite that overlooks the famous habour

It’s not hard to find a little bit of luxury in a city as glamour-prone as Sydney. It may have something to do with the glittering harbour that undulates its way through the city centre, shedding its infectious beauty from the Central Business District to the genteel suburbs that lap at its edges. Or the lure of the ocean beaches, where Sydneysiders lie their bronzed bodies beside Aperol Spritzes, framed by dramatic cliff-scapes and picture-perfect coastlines.

Find the glitziest places to stay below — from the recognised, big name properties with cavernous marble lobbies and polite-to-within-an-inch-of-their-lives staff; to the outliers, with a little more character but no less luxe. These are the best luxury hotels in Sydney.

How we review

Every hotel in this curated list has been visited by one of our expert reviewers, who are usually hosted on a complimentary basis. They stay for a minimum of one night, test at least one meal and trial other experiences that the hotel might have to offer. 

Sydney is a town obsessed with real estate and the Park Hyatt occupies the city’s top spot. Wake up to uninterrupted views of Sydney Harbour and the Opera House staring straight back at you, begging you to get out of bed and explore. But you may just want to lie in and gawk at her beauty. Look up from your morning laps in the rooftop pool – those are the Art Deco curves of The Harbour Bridge above you. Staff offer the highest level of personalised service; the general manager even leads group runs. On arrival, let reception know how you take your morning coffee, or your pillow preference. Sydney has many great dine-with-a-view restaurants, but at The Dining Room, on the hotel’s ground floor, you’ll be breaking bread with the city’s most arresting sights laid before you.

An insider guide to Sydney

If a true five-star experience is what you’re after – afternoon turn-down service, in-house pastry kitchen, page-long pillow menu – look no further. All rooms feature views of either the Western Harbour or the urban Sydney skyline, plush and enormous beds, and large, elegant bathrooms. It feels like an ersatz English country house hotel, with pastel pink and green armchairs, elaborate floral arrangements and an impressive Sotheby’s-curated art collection. Its location is a part of The Rocks that few people see, but within walking distance of downtown Sydney and Barangaroo. The 20-metre heated indoor pool is a Sydney icon — the ceiling is painted with a mural of the night sky.

• The best boutique hotels in Sydney

The only Four Seasons hotel in Australia is a true five-star property located in the epicentre of Sydney’s tourist precinct. There are uninterrupted views of the city’s crown jewels: the Harbour, the Bridge and the House, especially if you’ve opted for the building’s corner Full Harbour King Room. Service is on point – from customised jogging maps of the city right down to organising marriage proposals. Lounge 32 has outrageous views to enjoy over breakfast, pastries, and evening drinks and canapes; there’s a handy express check in and out service here, too. Dinner at Mode Kitchen and Dining is a fine-dining treat and should be followed by a whiskey flight at Grain Bar, where you can choose from over 200 varieties. The rooftop pool, which is heated in winter, is an ideal spot to recover the next morning.

• The best restaurants in Sydney

This five-star hotel is situated in the bay-side enclave of Double Bay — a sophisticated and quiet harbourside locale known for upmarket boutiques and high-end dining. Back when it was known as The Ritz Carlton, the hotel was the Sydney retreat of choice for Princess Diana, Elton John and David Bowie. Its new restaurant and bar, helmed by Sydney’s hospitality enfant terrible, Maurice Terzini (he of Icebergs Dining Room and Bar fame), has restored some of the former glamour, with a piano bar complete with martini trolleys and a menu that leans towards the finer things in life: think oysters and blinis with clotted cream and caviar. The rooftop lap pool has magnificent views stretching out to the harbour and breezy, fabric draped cabanas oozing poolside luxury.

• The best five-star hotels in Sydney

With a flashy glass exterior, wraparound harbour views, and its very own champagne bar, this newly built hotel has brought style to Darling Harbour. The lobby, bathed in the natural light that streams through soaring, glass windows, has a gentle colour palette of ochre and blue – a nod to Australia’s indigenous heritage. Guests staying on floors 27-34 have access to Club Millesime, where breakfast, light snacks, canapés and drinks are served throughout the day. An express check in and out service is located up here, too. The brand new, two-storey spa has a range of wellness journeys, including the “half-day journey” — a five-hour treatment that combines exercise, nutrition, wellness and beauty treatments, and ends with a light lunch and guided meditation. Those in need of even more introspection can make use of the meditation zone or “contemplation deck.”

• The best bars in Sydney

The two-storey Horizon club offers a private check-in service, light breakfast and dining options, snacks throughout the day, and cocktails in the evening. On level two, The Shangri-La Sports Club and Health Centre is home to a 25-metre heated indoor pool, sauna, gym and the Chi Spa for holistic treatments and pampering — try the Chakra Healing massage for a complete reset. Altitude, the hotel’s in-house restaurant, is a hotspot for visitors, celebrations and make-or-break relationship moments — on the 36th floor, and with floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s one of the most romantic spots in town.

• The best hotels in Sydney's CBD

From the welcome glass of bubbles upon arrival, to the outstanding service at The Gantry, Pier One outdoes itself. The staff capture just the right balance of professionalism and warmth. At cocktail hour, a bottle of chilled sparkling wine is delivered to all guests. At both breakfast and dinner the service is pre-emptive and full of charm. For the active traveller, fitness classes include personal training and group yoga classes. The hotel occupies a historic building that has been updated with bespoke fittings and has a nonchalantly elegant vibe, making this a coveted spot in which to relax and take in Sydney Harbour at her glittering best.

• The best things to do in Sydney

A striking sculpture of a giant red swallow is the first thing you’ll notice upon entry, and that sense of whimsy continues throughout the soaring, light-filled lobby, with its playful mix of colours, and custom-designed carpets by Sydney design legend Akira Isogawa. The hotel is located within the gregarious Star City casino complex; however, the hotel itself is a design haven. There's a 25-metre outdoor pool, and the spa which features a Moroccan hammam room, whirlpool bath, couples treatment rooms, and products by La Prairie and ESPA is considered to be among the very best in Sydney. Walking through its dark, moodily-lit hallways, in-the-woods-inspired soundscapes in the background, is almost as transporting as the massage and meditation experience. Sokyo is one of Sydney’s most sought after sushi spots; it’s also a fine-dining restaurant with outstanding service. Those wanting to go all out and book the Penthouse will be rewarded with their very own karaoke room.

• The best budget hotels in Sydney

At Sydney’s first six-star hotel, where the infinity pool overlooks Sydney Harbour, you can order poolside dining from your private cabana, where you’ll also have your own safe, cheeseboard, minibar and television. There are 349 rooms (including 22 luxury villas) each with king-size beds dressed in luxe linens, and down pillows by Jaspa Herington. Crown Spa has terraces for yoga and meditation, relaxation rooms and infrared saunas, while separate female and male aqua retreats each have a vitality pool that runs at the same temperature as the human body. ‘Experience showers’ shoot jets of hot and cold water at your body from many different angles — it sounds scary; it’s not. It feels like there are 100 restaurants in the Crown precinct but, in fact, there are only eight. Clare Smyth’s first and only international restaurant, Oncore, is up on the 26th floor; Nobu lingers on level two; and Amare, a must-visit for the perky pesto pasta (yes, it’s only pesto but trust us) is among the many others on ground level.

• The best beaches in Sydney

In the (modified) words of Carly Simon, you should walk into this hotel like you are walking onto a yacht. Everything sparkles, from the marble floors to the enormous dandelion-shaped light fittings and, of course Sydney Harbour, lapping its welcome through the floor-to-ceiling windows. Across the road, The Royal Botanic Gardens beckon, and guests can choose between green or blue views (top tip: request the harbour view, the price difference is minimal). The rooms are apartment style — yes, you can do your laundry in this lush location — and are extremely spacious. There is a sleek, heated indoor pool with a 24-hour gym, a sauna and a sun deck with floor-to-ceiling views. Dinner at Q Dining is a glamorous affair, with plenty of options if you’re interested in tasting the local seafood. The in-house cocktail bar, Hacienda, has become a favourite go-to for CBD locals.