InterContinental Sydney Double Bay – first look

The hotel at 33 Cross St, Double Bay, Sydney had been sitting empty and in disrepair for some time. It was announced last year that it would be extensively renovated and open as an InterContinental in early 2014.

Early 2014 came and went. Finally in November 2014, the hotel opened for guests. Despite the brand name, it is a small hotel at 140 rooms (contrast 509 rooms at the InterContinental in downtown Sydney). Construction adjacent to the property hasn’t yet finished. The arcade below the property still noticeably under construction and now houses Saké, a ‘contemporary Japanese restaurant’.

The hotel entrance is on the ground floor, with the reception desks located up a level through elevators or a staircase. For some reason the driveway entrance and exit are reversed to how they normally are in Australia, causing drivers to regularly try drive in the exit (as is natural, to avoid turning across the traffic). In passing, we noticed the bell staff get very snotty about this.

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In this post we will review the club. In a future post, we will review the rooms and the hotel more generally.

Club InterContinental

 The club is located on the second floor of the hotel.

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Club InterContinental

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Club InterContinental

Club InterContinental

Club InterContinental

The club spills out into a courtyard, which can only be accessed from the club.

Club InterContinental courtyard

Club InterContinental courtyard

Club InterContinental

Club InterContinental bar

For most of our stay, the club was empty. It was common to have a 1:1 guest to staff ratio. Service was very attentive, bordering on overbearingly so.

The hotel charges AU$150 a night supplement for the Club (except for Suites – where it is included). It will be interesting to see whether this commercial model persists for the Club.  

Much like the InterContinental Sydney (ie the CBD property), the lounge serves ‘twilight drinks’ from 5 to 7pm, and breakfast in the morning. The wines on offer are of a much higher quality than the downtown property.

Twilight drinks wine list

Twilight drinks list

The evening spread in the lounge consists of cold cuts, cheeses and a few hot items – none of which particularly took our fancy.

Evening spread

Evening spread

One note on the courtyard – a large number of the hotels rooms look out directly into the courtyard – including some at the same level as the club. We imagine these rooms, particularly on the lower floors, are not very pleasant for this reason.

View from courtyard

View from courtyard

At breakfast, the club has a selection of buffet items – we do wonder given how few guests there are in the club whether it makes sense to have a hot buffet at all. One can also order eggs made to order from the menu:

Breakfast menu

Breakfast menu

Made to order eggs

Made to order eggs

The hotel regularly repeats that it is Sydney’s only five star hotel outside the CBD. It also plays up its history. It was originally a Ritz Carlton. In a future post, we will review the rooms and the hotel more generally.

Have you stayed at the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay? What did you think?

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