The Establishment Hotel is located in the heart of Sydney’s CBD, a short walk from Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and the Botanical Gardens.
Sydney Airport (www.sydneyairport.com.au) is serviced daily by all major international and Australian carriers. The airport is about 17km from the city CBD and the Establishment Hotel.
Wynyard Station is a five minute walk from the Establishment Hotel. Take the Airport and East Hills Line from Sydney Airport, or the South Line from Central Station, to Wynyard Station (www.cityrail.info; 131 500). Exit the station at George Street turning left to walk down George Street. Turn Right onto Bridge Street, then right again onto Bridge Lane. The Establishment is on the right.
Taxis from the airport are quick and reasonably priced, or if you prefer you can hire a car from one of the many rental companies at Sydney Airport. The drive is about 30 minutes. Guests can park at the Four Seasons Hotel, a five-minute walk away, which costs around AU$50 a night or 24 hours. The hotel can also organise private transfers.
Regular ferries depart from nearby Circular Quay (www.sydneyferries.info) bound for Manly and Taronga Zoo on the North Shore, Rose Bay to the east, and Darling Harbour to the west. There is a ferry information office at Wharf 4.
Worth getting out of bed for
Sydney's CBD (Central Business District) is bustling with great retail therapy. Hot stores in the area include Australian pyjamas label Peter Alexander, at Shop 4, Ivy, 330 George Street and island-inspired Tommy Bahama just next door at 330D George Street. Tick off the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge (and climb it if you're feeling brave); the Museum of Sydney, on your doorstep, traces the city's history and if that piques your interest the Rocks neighbourhood is where European settlers first arrived in Australia – it's now a lively area with well-heeled shops and eateries. To the west, Darling Harbour is a buzzy waterside hub of boutiques, restaurants and bars, with frequent events and art installations. And, two cultured institutions lie within walking distance: the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Visit both, pausing in the Royal Botanic Garden for a picnic in between. To beach hop and see some rugged coastal beauty, follow the Bondi to Coogee walk.
If you've sampled the Establishment Hotel's fab clutch of bars and restaurants but are still hungry for more, head for the white-hot Ivy complex nearby, also owned by entertainment players Merivale. A one-stop shop for all things hip and happening, it embraces a stack of bars, restaurants and even a pool spread over 330 and 320 George Street (for reservations for any of them, call +61 (0)2 9240 3000). Palings Kitchen and Bar occupies Level One of 330 George St, a large open dining space dotted with picnic tables and hanging fairy lights. The menu is as large as the space, featuring dishes from Sunee's Thai canteen, steaks (cooked on the open grills from former occupant Mad Cow) and dessert courtesy of pâtisserie princess Lorraine Godsmark. At Uccello on level four, which overlooks the adjoining Pool Club deck, head chef David Locette creates authentic Italian dishes. Decor is a subtle blend of white and wood with hits of yellow and textured ceramics adding appealing accents. For Chinese fine-dining, turn up the heat at Spice Temple in the CBD. Further afield, Bills in Darlinghurst is famous for its laid-back brunches.
Tiny, intimate French-style bistro Ash Street Cellar, at 1 Ash Street, tucked away down an alley beside the Ivy complex, has a fine wine list but is also a good place for grabbing a coffee, with seats both inside and out on the quiet pavement. The decor mixes raw wood, graphic pattern and a dash of dark, Gothic opulence.
The Ivy complex (created by Establishment’s owners Merivale) is also a one-stop socialising shop. Don’t miss the much-fêted Ivy bar, a clean-lined, monochrome watering hole: upstairs, the rooftop Pool Club combines three of Sydney's most popular activities, drinking, dancing and dipping into a pool, in an open-air space, complete with private cabanas and DJ-crafted tunes.