The Luxe List 2015

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The Cortile lounge at Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay.

The Luxe List 2015: InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, Australia

The prime patch of Double Bay land that the InterContinental calls home has both an illustrious and infamous past. Princess Diana, Madonna, and Elton John all checked in when the building housed the city’s Ritz-Carlton; it’s also the location where legendary Australian INXS front man Michael Hutchence was found dead in 1997. But since then, the building has received a US$17.5 million makeover, transforming it into the only five-star hotel outside of the city’s business heart. Offering easy access to the beach, the property’s 140 rooms and suites—many with bay views—are all white and charcoal, with splashes of soft blue nodding to the waterside locale. There’s still drama in the lobby thanks to a 160-kilogram chandelier, brass-plated lifts, and marble floors, which also spill into the Stillery bar with its impressive collection of 60 types of gin. Fans of chef Shaun Presland’s Saké Restaurant in the Rocks district will be happy to hear the hotel is home to a second outpost of the establishment. But the real allure is the rooftop. Enjoying unbroken bay views from poolside cabanas here is the ultimate end to a Sydney day, though non-guests can expect a minimum spend for the privilege over summer months.

61-2/8388-8388; Intercontinental; doubles from US$342 

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