Ravesi's Hotel, Bondi review: Bring bikinis and bling

Read our writer's views on this property below

Nicole Bittar joins the Bondi blondes on the beachfront.

A January long weekend in Sydney is all about economies of scale. Opt for a few extra nights after its world-famous New Year's Eve celebrations and what goes up must indubitably come down.

So we swap fireworks and steep tariffs for an extended stay opposite Bondi Beach. This international symbol of summertime glamour has enough razzle-dazzle without the big bang of gobsmacking pyrotechnics.

A former eastern suburbs girl, I crave the trashy trendiness of downtown Bondi. Ravesi's, with its air of establishment and commanding corner location, is the obvious choice to kick off my Melbourne heels, slip into slides and feel like a local again.

Effusive welcomes are definitely not de rigueur at check-in. Service is slick, professional and understated, performed by a beautiful young thing with a designer haircut and unaffected manner. Of course.

At entrance level to our mezzanine-style suite, a glistening white-porcelain bathroom with stone vanity and black-framed mirror is cleverly positioned for sandy limbs to make use of the shower over bath after an ocean dip. Its placement is inconvenient, however, when you need to traipse to the toilet in the middle of the night. Pampered, moi? This is Ravesi's, after all, and the Bondi cognoscenti expect nothing less than the royal treatment.

The white-walled, open-plan lounge, in shades of taupe and blond wood offset by a dark television cabinet, black feature vase and framed prints, creates a better impression. Timber shutters cover white-framed french doors that lead to a high-walled, terracotta-tiled terrace with potted palms and black wrought-iron furniture.

An original feature window frames the money shot: picture-perfect Bondi Beach. It is a magnet, day or night. From this vantage point, the scene is a tonic for even the most jaded Sydneysider.

We climb the anticipated stairway to heaven to our corner suite, though we're treading a well-worn path. Mottled weave carpet could do with a professional makeover or even replacement to return Ravesi's to sparkling form.

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The main bedroom would be a complete retreat with the addition of an ensuite. A king bed in crisp, white linen with a black valance and upholstered bedhead creates a dramatic effect. Funky artwork on a taupe feature wall takes pride of place. Built-in wardrobes, a second flat-screen television and louvre-style window shutters complete the stylish scene.

Downlights, art deco-like ceiling cornices and air-conditioning add to the ambience of comfort and glamour. There's a minibar and an extensive room-service menu, including oysters served five ways and champagne.

Sound-proofing on our second-floor suite is exceptional considering the constant stream of noise and clatter from the bustling first-floor restaurant and popular Drift bar. The swanky year-old cocktail bar attracts an impressive alumni of A-listers, uber-model Miranda Kerr and oil baron Brandon Davis among them. The aptly titled Bring Your Bling champagne cocktail, including chargrilled pineapple smashed with basil and spiced syrup, is undoubtedly the tipple of choice.

Returning to our suite, we watch with awe the beach's population explosion on a 26-degree Sunday, which, Bondi lifeguards say, peaked at 30,000 visitors about 3pm, petering off to a trickle at 8.30pm. At any time of the day or night it's a spectacular human circus, and we've got a ringside seat.

Weekends Away are reviewed anonymously and paid for by Traveller.

VISITORS' BOOK

Ravesi's Hotel

Address Corner Campbell Parade and Hall Street, Bondi Beach.

The verdict Some of the sheen may have dulled in Bondi's jewel in the crown but the million-dollar view of aquamarine waters and white sands teeming with sun worshippers more than compensates for any loss of gloss.

Price Side View rooms from $240 a night; we paid $325 for a one-bedroom, Side View suite.

Bookings Phone 9365 4422 or see ravesis.com.au.

Getting there Centrally located on Bondi Beach; catch a taxi from Sydney Airport or public transport via Bondi Junction. Parking nearby costs $20 a day.

Perfect for A glamorous beach weekend with beautiful people.

Wheelchair access Yes.

While you're there Sip Campos espresso at Gertrude & Alice Cafe Bookstore on hilltop Hall Street; shop until you flop at glamour palace Camilla in Warners Avenue; sample the moveable feast at nearby Sushi Train.