Four Seasons, a window overlooking Sydney

The 5-star hotel offers an incredible view of the Opera House and the most famous bay in the world. And that lounge on the 32nd floor...

09-02-2017

The very famous bay of Sydney as seen from the top floors of the Four Seasons. The Canadian group has directed the 5-star luxury hotel since 1992 but only since ten years later, in 2002, under its brand.

I love Australia, I love the empty spaces I can fill with my thoughts and my horizons. The first city I visited was Perth, a lifetime ago. The latest? Sydney, in mid January. It was the first time. Even I find it weird, I know, since many people believe it’s the most beautiful city in the world but life doesn’t unravel in straight lines. I had the opportunity to stay close to the pier where the ferries joining the two banks of the unique bay dock. I stayed on the 30th floor of the Four Seasons tower. A very special position, with the Opera House on the right, and the Harbour Bridge on the left.

The stay was unfortunately short, but significant. Forty-eight intense hours, no more. Basically two nights and a (rainy) day. Sun at the arrival, then lots of rain in the middle of the Austral summer. And it pleased me greatly, besides its bother, because I understood what the people in Melbourne say of their rival city. There’s always a pinch of envy. It’s like us in Milan when we speak of Rome.

A detail of the Lounge 32 on the 32nd floor of the Four Seasons in Sydney, Australia

A detail of the Lounge 32 on the 32nd floor of the Four Seasons in Sydney, Australia

I remember what a colleague once said, as if he only said this the other day: «What can Sydney have that Melbourne hasn’t, aside from the bay and the Opera House?». Which is a bit like wondering what Rome has that Milan hasn’t aside from the Coliseum and the [seven] hills. But then when there’s bad weather and you’re on the Circular Quay, when you walk down George Street and then cross Darling Harbour or take the opposite direction to the botanic gardens, Sydney is “only” beautiful. And staying at the Four Seasons gives everything a beautiful frame. With or without the sun.Five hundred and thirty-one rooms placed on thirty-four floors, with the lounge on the 32nd floor for important guests. As soon as you walk in, you understand who, aside from the clothes, is travelling on business or for pleasure.

The gourmet restaurant inside the Four Seasons in Sydney is closed until the autumn. When it will open, it will be completely renovated

The gourmet restaurant inside the Four Seasons in Sydney is closed until the autumn. When it will open, it will be completely renovated

The latter are looking for tables close to the windows to admire the bay, the former instead prefer not to be distracted and choose corners far away from the windows. Whatever my place, I would have never stopped enjoying a superb chickpea hummus. Lounge 32 is the pride of the manager of this 5-star luxury hotel Rudolf van Dijk: «These places aren’t usually designed for tourists, but Sydney is different». And an intelligent general manager shapes the hotel based on the context.

Arriving in a historic district called The Rocks, where Sydney was born in 1788, and finding the main road in the metropolis scattered with building sites, pits and barriers is a strange sight. There are works even outside and inside the Four Seasons. I arrived two days too late to dine there, at Mark Best’s restaurant, Pei Modern, closed for complete renovations. Too bad because Best honours his surname. He really is an authentic great chef.

A picture of the skyscrapers that tower over the most central and historic of the bays scattered around the metropolis. In the centre you can notice the Four Seasons tower

A picture of the skyscrapers that tower over the most central and historic of the bays scattered around the metropolis. In the centre you can notice the Four Seasons tower

What I like is that no matter which Four Seasons you visit, it has an elegant style. There’s nothing ever excessive, uncalled for and showy. The American extravaganza that those who want to show off their money to the people around them enjoy so much. And then I like the functional details. My room, 3011, cosy and the perfect size for a couple, could be immediately turned into a studio: you just had to move from bed to desk. Lights, plugs, adapters, shelves, the bay framed by the window, the sun shining over the Opera House, the bay, the bridge, clouds and fog hiding them. Perfect postcards, always.


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