Made up of three historic 1870s terrace houses in a plum location on leafy Victoria Street in Potts Point, the latest Spicers property, owned by Flight Centre founder Graham Turner and his wife, Jude, is right in the thick of the action. On your doorstep are brilliant restaurants, cafes and bars, and the CBD, Rushcutters Bay, the Royal Botanic Garden and Sydney Harbour are in walking distance.
A $20-million conversion of the trio of terraces has created a stylish boutique stay. There are just 20 luxurious rooms and the feel is more grand home than hotel. Surrounded by historic art deco and modern architecture, Spicers Potts Point blends classic Sydney heritage with a fresh contemporary feel. Interiors are neutral with bursts of turquoise and blue, and contemporary art work by Australian artist Martine Emdur (renowned for her underwater paintings). This is the only Spicers property without a restaurant, however it does have a compact but light-filled breakfast room, an honesty bar and cosy library.
I'm staying in the hotel's pick of the rooms, the Victoria Terrace Suite, which has its own private wrought-iron terrace, where cheeky cockatoos gather in the fading afternoon light. The alfresco table and chairs are the perfect spot for a glass of wine while you ponder where to go for dinner. There's also a king bed, stone bathroom with freestanding bath and rain shower, mini bar with select complimentary items including cookies and bottled mineral water, Bose Soundlink Mini and Leif bath products.
Aside from a generous a la carte breakfast (the hotcakes are a winner), complimentary drinks and canapes are served to in-house guests each evening. On the night of my stay, we were served a beautifully crafted G&T, along with spicy nuts, olives and a plate of dumplings. There's no need for an on-site restaurant given the incredible restaurants, cafes and bars on your doorstep, including Billy Kwong (go soon, it will close this year) and the famed Butler restaurant. You can also order room service supplied by a choice of local restaurants.
There's so much to do in this fashionable Sydney enclave. Have coffee at Gypsy Espresso, browse Potts Point Book Shop, drink martinis at the Roosevelt, or take a walk through the Botanic Garden. The hotel offers a terrific guide to what's available nearby and we went by Spicer's recommendation and dined at Cho Cho San. Guests can also enjoy complimentary access to PE Dept Gym.
Spicers Potts Point is the perfect Sydney stay, with stylish rooms, terrific breakfasts and warm, unpretentious service.
From $299 including breakfast (parking extra). Phone 13 77 42; see spicersretreats.com
Sitting on the terrace with a pot of tea watching the world pass by, and evening cocktails and canapes.
Having to lug my bag up several flights of stairs.
Sheriden Rhodes was a guest of Spicers Retreats.