Have the ultimate city vacay with our guide to The Star Sydney’s neighbourhood and find out what to do in Pyrmont and surrounds.
Sydney’s leading dining and entertainment precinct, The Star Sydney sprawls over a swathe of prime harbour real estate in Pyrmont. Surrounded by the historic architecture of the former working-class suburb, with glimpses of the city skyline and water from every angle, The Star Sydney offers a city-adjacent location with room to breathe.
Find home base
From your base at The Darling or The Star Grand Hotel & Residences, take your pick of six signature dining experiences, find a new you in The Darling Spa, browse luxury boutiques like Gucci and Versace and try your luck on the gaming floor of The Star Casino. And when you’re ready to roam further afield, Sydney is waiting.
Feast your senses
Across Pyrmont, a small army of chefs keep some of the city’s best restaurants humming. BLACK Bar & Grill sears up Sydney’s tastiest steak; Flying Fish melds contemporary Australian flavours with premium seafood and Sokyo renders sashimi and wagyu steak sublime.
Meanwhile, on the casual dining front, there’s Italian newcomer Cucina Porto, Middle Eastern mezze bar Bar Tikram, cult dumpling house Din Tai Fung and still more. Feeling inspired by all the gourmet action? Take your turn in the kitchen at the Sydney Seafood School inside Pyrmont’s famed Sydney Fish Market, which is a must-visit for any self-respecting foodie.
Catch up on the arts
Steps from The Star, Sydney Lyric theatre plays host to world-class musicals, theatre, concerts, opera and ballet. This summer, Pippin heralded a triumphant return to live theatre with its Tony Award-winning blend of magic, acrobatics and song. Next up for a limited run in February, the percussion stylings of all-female troupe Drummer Queens will reverberate to the rafters and finally, in March, the long-awaited masterpiece Hamilton begins its Australian debut at the Lyric.
If your inner performer is awakened, give it free reign at Sydney Dance Company. Just on the far side of Darling Harbour, the respected company offers adult dance classes in everything from hip hop to jazz. If, however, you’re not yet up to sharing your skills in its waterfront studio, join a virtual class from the privacy of your suite (and dance like no one is watching).
Set sail on the harbour
To truly do justice to our Harbour City, nothing comes close to getting out on the water. A ride on a ferry is de rigueur, and one of the most pleasant ways to beat the traffic – hop on the service from Pyrmont Bay to Circular Quay, and from there to anywhere.
If you’re craving something a tad more exclusive, cruise out of Darling Harbour with Sydney by Sail, which offers everything from group trips to skippered charter yachts. Set off in the early evening to watch the sunset over the water on the Twilight tour, or go all-out and commandeer a private yacht for a full day and explore hidden coves and quiet harbour beaches.
Ever since Australia’s first free Chinese settler Mak Sai Ying stepped off the boat at Port Jackson in 1818, arrivals from China have helped shape the city of Sydney. On the easy 20-minute stroll from The Star to Haymarket – Sydney’s Chinatown – you’ll pass one of the most poignant reminders of this cultural legacy.
Designed by architects and gardeners from Sydney’s sister city, Guangzhou, the heritage-listed Chinese Garden of Friendship is an oasis of Zen on the fringes of the city. As soon as you pass through those gates, the hubbub of the CBD is replaced with the wind tousling willow trees and a burbling pond filled with giant carp. For a more contemporary side of Chinese culture, head further south into Chippendale to White Rabbit Gallery, where philanthropist Judith Neilson exhibits one of the world’s most important collections of contemporary Chinese art.
Leave time to roam
Close enough to the action of the CBD but surprisingly peaceful, Pyrmont is best explored on foot. Dedicate a relaxed afternoon to following its hidden stairs and laneways to scenic pockets, from Union Square with its Georgian sandstone terrace to Pirrama Park with its Harbour Bridge views. Let your feet lead you to Waterfront Park as sunset begins, to watch the sky light up behind Anzac Bridge. Before beating a retreat back to Flying Fish to catch the last of the sun’s rays over cocktails and share plates.
Visiting over summer? Discover the best pools and beaches near The Star Sydney to beat the heat.
All images courtesy of Destination NSW, Daniel Boud and The Star Sydney.