As I stepped into the lift, the music switched from upbeat dance music to Elvis crooning … Are You Lonesome Tonight?
I wanted to stamp my feet. No I’m NOT lonesome.
I wanted to protest that I was actually on my way out. To dinner. With a girlfriend. Thank-you very much.
Being the blonde that I am, it took until meeting up with said girlfriend at Circular Quay to catch our ferry ride to dinner for her to explain that no, I wasn’t a loser.
Rather I was just caught up in the quirky humour that is Sydney’s QT Hotel.
As she regaled me with a story of her and her friends purposely riding the lift so it could fill up and turn into music party mode, I nodded and thought … that’s SO QT.
From the beret-wearing concierge greeting you at street level through to the uber-chic reception staff, to the quirky and eclectic decor that offered an Instagram opportunity at every glance, this is as far removed from a stock-standard chain hotel as you get.
And I like that. A lot.
Just like I like to see people wear a little personality in their wardrobe, seeing a hotel wear its personality proudly … well, that makes me smile. A lot.
The QT is Sydney’s newest hotel.
Its home is up off the street level in the historic Gowings building and Heritage-listed State Theatre in the heart of CBD retail heaven. With a nod to its historical origins, there is more than a hint of Art Deco in design, splashed beautifully with a slick and clever modernism that makes for memorable hotel moments.
I was a guest for the night, road-testing the hotel as an example of what Summer in Sydney has to offer for the ultimate summer girls’ escape.
Because Sydney is excitingly beautiful at the best of times but in Summer … well, it completely goes into show pony mode.
One look out my bedroom window from THE most comfortable king-sized bed to the QVB shopping centre, confirmed that this was indeed the perfect location for such a weekend away.
See, for me, the ultimate getaway with the girls has to start with where you collapse at the end of the night.
But then it has to offer the kind of experiences that make up the magic formula for an escape that involves plenty of fluffiness, a champagne or six, a dinner where the talk never stops, a good dose of pampering … and shopping.
There always has to be shopping
1. Book a spa treatment. A quality spa located within the walls of the hotel in which you are staying cannot be overlooked or ignored. To do so would be very much against the rules of An Escape With The Girls. Never underestimate the power of a good facial or massage straight up at the start of your escape. It will make your mini-break feel more like a maxi one and instantly transport you to relaxation mode. That’s exactly what my therapist at the QT Spa achieved for me … in one hour she took my gnarly, knotted shoulders and pummelled them gently but firmly into submission. Take that 2012 … be gone from my back.
2. Head out to dinner somewhere swish on the water. Sydney is a foodie delight. It also shows off by even making how you get there something more than a little amazing. Which is why I found myself meeting my girlfriend at Circular Quay for a ferry ride to our waterfront dinner at Rose Bay – $7 one way and you get an evening’s view at the city’s most iconic structures AND a peak into the harbourside mansions of the rich and famous – there’s Sydney’s summer show pony advantage again. Our destination was Catalina. Being an out of towner and all, I did not realise just what a treat I was in for. My Sydney-sider girlfriend did. An extra bonus that comes from dining out on a girls’ escape is that girls find it absolutely acceptable to create a meal based around sparkling wine and four entrees … and dessert. Of. Course. Can I tell you? The food and the location were unbeatable. Expect to pay about $125 per person. Might even fly in on a seaplane next time … as you do.
3. Book a shopping tour with those in the know. I am not someone who needs much encouragement to shop. No, quite the opposite. I write about shopping every day, so every time I shop, it’s research, right? Research doesn’t come any better than this – a guided shopping tour of Woollahra and Paddington. And my guide for the morning, stylist Jane Ackman, knows her stuff. Shopping this way just begs for purchases. Begs, I tell you. The location itself is magical, particularly William Street in Paddington where the boutiques are converted bottom levels of terrace houses, and it’s not unusual to find yourself being served by the designer herself. Entering the cool of each store and even being offered sparkling water while you browse … now that’s very summer in Sydney. If that doesn’t cast a spell over your credit card, nothing will.
Can you see how easily it is to fall in love with Sydney during the summer months? Uh-huh. To book your own Summer in Sydney getaway click here.
THIS COMPETITION HAS NOW CLOSED
lastminute.com.au and Styling You is giving you the chance to kick-start your Summer in Sydney escape with the chance to win a $250 lastminute.com.au experiences voucher. To enter, leave a comment below answering this question:
Which of the experiences above – spa, restaurant dinner or shopping tour – would you most like to do?
Entries will be judged on originality and creativity. The winner must include his or her email address when registering to comment. Failure to do so renders your entry null and void, as we have no way of contacting you to claim your prize. The winner will be notified by email and listed here. For full competition terms and conditions, visit here. The competition opens, Thursday, January 10 at 6am (AEST) and closes Thursday, January 17 at 6am (AEST).