InterContinental Sydney Double Bay

The opening of the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay was long awaited by frequent visitors to Sydney, partially because it would be the city’s only five star hotel in the suburbs. In our first post we provided initial impressions of the InterContinental Sydney Double Bay, and in particular its club lounge.

This post looks at the rooms at the hotel. As a new property that is still finding its feet with regard to service, we have not commented on that in this post.

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The chaise lounge in the corner of the room was very comfortable, as was the bed. In contrast, the lounge chairs seen below in the left corner were uncomfortable for extended periods of sitting, which is unfortunate as this was the closest thing the hotel has to a ‘work desk’. The legs of the table stuck into our shins a few times while we were working.

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Eagle eyed readers might have spotted the pineapple on the table – that was part of the Ambassador welcome gift.

The rooms here have automation that we would put in the ‘frustrating’ category. The blackout curtains and the privacy sheer are both electrically controlled and shut themselves when you are out of the room (presumably to keep the sunlight out). Regretfully, there did not appear to be any way to turn this ‘feature’ off. Additionally, the curtains run on a track where they do not overlap, leaving a gap of light to come in where the curtains meet.

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The bathroom lights also have a sensor and turn themselves on (with a fading effect) whenever you enter the bathroom. Again, it did not appear possible to turn this off. Perhaps some tape over the sensor?

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Each room is decorated with a bird sculpture sitting on top of the cupboard (containing the minibar and Nespresso machine), and apple and pear sculptures sitting on the shelf above the television. On the right of the television console there are HDMI inputs and the like, making it easy to attach devices to the television, which is helpful given the disappointingly limited selection of cable channels available on the television.

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The rooms each feature an individual balcony. The guests in the next room had re-purposed a glass from the minibar to use as an ashtray. Classy.

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DBb1DBx23The minibar is very unusual at this property. It is loaded with alcohol, containing three full bottles of wine, two 100 ml gins and a beer. This is accompanied by two tiny bottles of tonic water (the point is the ratio is wrong), a Coke, a 28 Black energy drink and some water.

Attention to detail is regretfully lacking in the finishing of the rooms. For example, below is the view of the headboard while sitting in the chaise lounge. While this is hardly a big deal, it is regrettable.

The public spaces of the hotel are very nice. There are two lifts from the reception area to the hotel’s guest floors (which occupy levels 2 through 5, level 6 just being the pool bar access), and your guest keycard is required to make it move.

The interiors of these lifts (pictured below) seem to be original. However, on our stay one was often out of service.

With only two lifts, the hotel will need to work to ensure the lifts both work to avoid frustrated guests. At times, we were left twiddling our thumbs waiting for the lifts (although the hotel does pipe elevator music into the elevator waiting areas on the guest floors).

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As an aside, entering the hotel on the ground floor, guests need to take a separate set of elevators or the stairs up to the main lobby.

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The hotel has a roof top pool – at something like ~700 cm deep this must be the shallowest hotel pool we have ever seen (and we have stayed at a number of Andaz hotels). The roof top pool is essentially a bar with a water feature. Every time we visited, it was unpleasant as half of Double Bay seemed to have piled in to have a cigarette.

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Given how narrow the hallways on the guestroom floors are, we were surprised to find large maid carts left in the hallway, taking up over half of the already narrow hallways. Our bathroom was stocked with Agraria toiletries, although we noticed L’Occitane also on the cart.

Club InterContinental

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As outlined in our first post on this hotel (which focuses on the club lounge), the Club InterContinental is located on the 2nd floor of the hotel and is located behind an unlocked door. We do like the courtyard of the lounge, although it is a bit of a stretch to call it private, given how many rooms look out over it.

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To elaborate on the breakfast buffet selection, we have placed a number of pictures of it below.

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In summary: while it is novel that this is Sydney’s only five star hotel outside the CBD, our view is this property isn’t of the standard of a number of the five star hotels that can be found a short drive away in Sydney’s CBD.

Our recommendation is that travelers with a ‘go to’ five star in the CBD, should continue to go to that property instead.

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