Set in a mini-complex that includes several bars and a nightclub, this boutique property (just a stone’s throw from Circular Quay) is understandably popular with the late-night set. The 31 rooms here are spacious and super-stylish, with Japanese dark timber floorboards, brushed steel-and-glass furniture, and slick marble or bluestone baths with double vanities. Some have high, girder-beamed ceilings and a stark black-and-white color scheme; others are softer-edged, with fabrics in shades of dove, mauve, and oatmeal. All have LCD TV’s, Bose iPod docking stations, and mini-bars. Not that you’ll need to drink in your room: just outside are three different hot spots to choose from, including the perennially packed Hemmesphere lounge. There’s also one of the best “mod-Oz” (modern Australian) restaurants in the city, Est—where the menu might include grilled prawns with cauliflower purée or Black Angus beef with chestnut mushrooms.
Tip: If you’re keen to be seen, talk to the concierge about getting into Hemmesphere. Even for guests, the line to get in can be outrageously long.
Room to Book: The Duplex Penthouse, where the chic modular furniture, frosted-glass fixtures, and higher-than-thou location make you feel like a VIP.