Sydney

With its picture-postcard beaches, stunning harbour and almost-year-round perfect weather, Sydney has something of a reputation  as a relaxed destination, free from airs and graces.

While that is certainly true, remember this is also the city where properties regularly go under the hammer for AU$30 million (US$22.3 million) plus, and requests for elite services such as private-jet transfers and superyacht charters  are increasing significantly.

Interested in experiencing how the other half live? You can start by locking in the following.

Catch a plane to lunch

Feeling peckish? Why order in when you  can make the most of Sydney’s spectacular harbour and coastline with a Sydney Seaplanes transfer from Rose Bay to Jonah’s Restaurant,  a prestigious dining establishment dramatically perched atop a cliff overlooking Whale Beach?

Watch whales breach in the distance as you enjoy a leisurely three- or four-course lunch, take in a walk along the secluded beach and remember to get your camera ready for your flight back – it takes a scenic circuit over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Sydney Opera House. Jonah’s lunch packages are priced  from AU$555 (US$410) per person.

Check in to the Park Hyatt

What does it cost to have the world at your  feet? A cool AU$20,000 (US$14,870) a night if you’d like to make like visiting celebrities Pink and Lady Gaga and experience the Park Hyatt’s exclusive Sydney Suite.

A palatial 350m2 two-bedroom apartment complete with private butler, the Sydney Suite makes the most of its vantage point overlooking the harbour, offering guests a sprawling outdoor terrace that takes in an almost 360° view of Sydney Harbour and all of its icons. Add to that a dining room for eight, return limousine transfers in the vehicle of your choice, and a list of amenities such as a steam room, dry sauna and spa, and you’re still only starting to scratch the surface. The Sydney Suite has a two-night minimum stay requirement.

Enjoy a deluxe spa treatment

Give your jet-setting body the love it deserves  by booking yourself in for the truly decadent, four-and-a-half-hour Champagne & Gold Indulgence spa treatment at The Day Spa by Chuan, located deep in the heart of one of Sydney’s great dames, The Langham.

The experience begins with a full-body massage, which is followed by a BABOR HSR skin-refining facial and an application of BABOR Shaping body cream (which is packed with stem cells  of champagne, pear and berries), before being rounded off with a deluxe manicure and pedicure. A light lunch complete with  Laurent-Perrier champagne is also included.

The Champagne & Gold Indulgence spa package is AU$715 (US$530) on weekdays and AU$760 (US$565) on weekends and public holidays.

Commission a special piece

In the market for a little something-something glittering with Australia’s famous pink diamonds? Master jeweller Nic Cerrone has been creating such designs for 45 years – Barbra Streisand

is a fan – incorporating gems from the remote Argyle Mine in Western Australia, the biggest source of rare pink diamonds in the world.

It doesn’t have to be pink diamonds of course; you can discuss your wishes and stones of choice with Cerrone himself during a VIP experience, which includes not only a meet-and-greet and  a tour of his Leichhardt workshop, but a high tea in the jeweller’s Grand Salon. VIP Cerrone experiences start from AU$50 (US$37) per person (minimum of two people per booking).

Enjoy a view on the rocks

Give your partner a gift – and a memory –  they’ll treasure for a lifetime by booking a table  at Shangri-La’s Blu Bar on 36, which floats high above the glittering lights of the harbour, and asking your waiter to bring you your pre-ordered Martini on the Rock.

Exquisitely crafted using the drink of your choice, be it ultra-premium vodka, gin or a sparkling mineral water, the rock in this instance is  a sparkling diamond swimming in the glass.  The cherry on top? An overnight stay in one  of the hotel’s most spectacular rooms. The AU$10,000 (US$7,435) Martini on the Rock takes  a day to prepare, so be sure to order ahead.

Charter a superyacht

Get to know Sydney’s islands and landmarks intimately by taking to the harbour in the manner we should all become accustomed to:  by soaking up the sunshine from a sunbed aboard the 120ft (36m) superyacht Quantum.

Boasting three luxurious levels, Quantum comes fully staffed (including a private

on-board chef for charters up to four hours, should you so desire), and can accommodate up to 45 guests for standing canapés, 18 for a formal sit-down dinner and eight guests for overnight charters. Hourly rates start from AU$2,750 (US$2,045; four hours minimum), while an overnight charter (24-hour use) is AU$20,000 (US$14,870).

Climb the Harbour Bridge with a difference

While climbing to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge is not for everyone, if you fancy the idea of greeting a new day by saluting the sun 134m above sea level,  then BridgeClimb is for you.

Most visitors tend to book in for a group tour. However, private climbs can be arranged from a private side entrance for those requiring more discretion, as can  a host of pre- and post-climb enhancements such as canapés at the summit, musical accompaniments, helicopter flyovers,  sky writing and, yes, even a yoga session. Private climbs start from AU$3,822  (US$2,840) per person.

Intimate dining at Bennelong

Taking your place at a table in Bennelong,  a decadent restaurant at the Sydney Opera House, is a celebration like no other. Renowned executive chef Peter Gilmore’s menu takes you on a journey through the nation’s home-grown flavours, and there’s the celebration of that famous view.

To make your memorable occasion even more so, book The Table, Bennelong’s semi-private dining experience where high-profile guests can enjoy discretion without feeling distanced from the buzz  of the restaurant’s electric atmosphere.

An à la carte menu (from AU$100 (US$74)  per person for lunch) is offered, and there  is flexibility to tailor to specific needs. Minimum spends apply.

Luxurious Sydney

Whether you go home with fine  jewellery or simply memories of glamorous days and nights on the waterfront, there’s  no doubt that Sydney knows how to turn  on a bespoke deluxe city break. The Emerald City is truly a gem of a destination – especially for those who want a luxury experience that goes beyond five stars.

From Travel Colours August 2018