Double Bay — Sydney, Australia
Sydney’s former Ritz-Carlton, which hosted the likes of Bill Clinton, Elton John and Madonna, has opened its doors again, this time as part of the InterContinental group. Architecture firm Bates Smart was given the task of dragging the old girl – a part of the fabric of this harbourside neighbourhood – into the 21st century. The 140 rooms and suites all feature marble bathrooms, balconies and views of Double Bay, Sydney Harbour or the hotel’s French-inspired courtyard. The Royal Suite, the hotel’s most exclusive, has floor-to-ceiling windows and a walk-in wardrobe. On the ground floor, a retail and lifestyle space includes chef Shaun Presland’s acclaimed Saké Restaurant & Bar, a companion piece to the hotel’s own dining space overseen by Julien Ponteau. The focal point, however, is the new rooftop infinity pool with bar, private cabanas and five-star panorama.