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A Sydney Sojourn

One of the most coveted perks at Travelzoo is the Travelzoo Experience, in which Deal Experts and other employees take advantage of the same travel, entertainment and local deals we publish to our subscribers and report back on their experience.

I’ve always been curious about what it would be like to be a tourist in my own city. So, for my Travelzoo Experience, I decided to treat myself to a 5-star hotel stay in my home city of Sydney. To add to the fun, we fully committed to making the most of being a tourist for the weekend.

Staying at the Four Seasons Hotel Sydney, we dined, drank and experienced Sydney as a visitor might. To take advantage of staying at this fancy hotel, we kicked off our weekend with a night of indulgence at the hotel’s signature restaurant ‘The Woods’. Known for its modern Australian cuisine, I dined on one of the tastiest spatchcock dishes I have had, coupled with an Italian Pinot Grigio, as recommended by the sommelier. As an added bonus, we received some complimentary Australian cheese to finish off our meal, capping off a very memorable and delicious dinner.

The following day we woke up to clear, blue skies and views of the Opera House. We headed to the 32nd floor to the Executive Club for a delicious buffet breakfast. The Executive Club access comes at an additional cost and includes complimentary Wi-Fi, breakfast in the morning, snacks and beverages throughout the day and cocktails and canapés in the evening. It is well worth the extra spend! For breakfast, the eggs were cooked to order so I went for poached eggs, and my, were they good! They were perfectly cooked with a side of bacon, tomato, sausages, freshly squeezed juice and coffee. The right way to start a day of ‘exploring’ Sydney.  There was also a selection of fruit, cereal, pastries and more - if you can fit it in.

We boarded a ferry via Darling Harbour and then spent the afternoon at Island Bar, the bar on Cockatoo Island (where you’ll definitely want to order some pizza!). From there we travelled back to Circular Quay, freshened up and headed back to the Executive Club for the evening drinks and canapés. I was thinking it would be waiters taking your drink orders but it was actually a self-serve food and drink bar. Amazing! We sampled some very nice wines and even mixed up some cocktails to make the most of the experience. We then went to Café Nice – the new French restaurant in Circular Quay that is part of the Fratelli Fresh group. I went against the grain and chose to go Italian for my main, and the risotto was delicious! We then enjoyed a nightcap at Grain – the very atmospheric and fun bar at the hotel.

Sunday was the day of the Bridge Run – a 9km marathon event held every year. I found tremendous satisfaction lying in bed watching all the poor runners on their journey!  It was quite an interesting point of view, and one I would never have had from my place in Paddington. The Rocks was buzzing with runners and spectators and so we chose to soak up the vibe with a leisurely breakfast at one of the cafes. We also stopped off at The Museum of Contemporary Art to see the current exhibitions.

I did not expect a break in my own city to really feel like a holiday. It also felt like we had been away a lot longer than we were. On top of that, having the opportunity to take a dip in the pool or relax in the Jacuzzi certainly did not go astray.

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Tips by

Deal Expert, Sydney
Friday, October 11, 2013
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Emily Carstairs