InterContinental Sydney’s transformation is finally complete

The landmark hotel has been given a new lease on life, with its famous rooftop now open to the public.

By Chris Ashton, October 11 2022
InterContinental Sydney’s transformation is finally complete

InterContinental Sydney is one of the city’s enduring five star icons; a hotel which has welcomed well-heeled guests for more than 30 years. Reopening today sporting a top-to-bottom refurbishment, that reputation is only expected to grow.

Among the many highlights of the two-year $120 million project are 509 rooms and suites swathed in green and blue tones to echo the view, and a grand lobby bar ready to welcome guests for all-day drinking and dining.

For the first time in the establishment’s long history, there’s also a public rooftop bar tailor-made for soaking up the skyline views, including Sydney Opera House and the Harbour Bridge.

The Treasury is designed a green-filled urban oasis, open all day for dining and drinks.
The Treasury is designed a green-filled urban oasis, open all day for dining and drinks.

First opened in 1985, InterContinental Sydney is housed within the 1851 Treasury Building, itself a tapestry of architectural styles from Victorian Neo-Classical to Italian Palazzo.

Design firm Woods Bagot – also behind the new InterContinental Sorrento Mornington Peninsula – were handpicked to usher it into a fresh era.

A redesign of the hotel’s entrance and reception area, now featuring an intricate art wall detailing a historical timeline of the city and property from 1788 to the present day, is just one of numerous enhancements to the property.

Admire ferries and yachts on the water from your Harbour Bridge View Room.
Admire ferries and yachts on the water from your Harbour Bridge View Room.

Jennifer Brown, General Manager of the InterContinental Sydney, describes the relaunch as the beginning of an exciting new chapter and is thrilled to unveil the fruits of the past two years.

“InterContinental Sydney is one of the city’s most loved and storied hotels, and we are excited to welcome back our guests to form part of its next chapter and explore what the new era for this hotel hails,” Brown enthuses.

“I know many are eager to sample the curated cocktails and soak in the spectacular views from our new rooftop bar. This is just one of the many new experiences we have to share.”

Find a seat at The Treasury's curvaceous bar, or settle into one of the comfortable lounge chairs.
Find a seat at The Treasury's curvaceous bar, or settle into one of the comfortable lounge chairs.

At the heart of the hotel is The Treasury: a stunning bar and restaurant with plush lounges and intimate booth seating, and a striking oval-shaped bar open all day for dining and drinks, with an extensive menu of local beers, wines, spirits and cocktails. 

Up on level 32 is the hotel’s crowning glory, Aster Bar.

Previously only accessible to guests in Club-level rooms and suites, the transformed rooftop space is adorned in marble, brass and elegant velvet seating and boasts 270-degree views of the city.

Aster Bar on level 32 will have you raising a glass to its spectacular view.
Aster Bar on level 32 will have you raising a glass to its spectacular view.

Don’t worry though, Club InterContinental hasn’t gone anywhere, it’ll still continue to deliver exclusive perks for guests in Club level rooms.

Rounding out the dining trio is The Conservatory, a light-filled breakfast space with open cooking stations and a walk-in pantry, ready to fuel up guests for the day ahead.

The Conservatory is the hotel's fresh breakfast venue.
The Conservatory is the hotel's fresh breakfast venue.

Among the lavish rooms are Classic and Superior City Rooms gazing back to the city skyline, as well as Harbour Bridge and Opera House Rooms, which afford stunning views of their namesakes.

A chaise window lounge in every room allows guests to soak up the view, with other essentials including a Smart TV, complimentary Wi-Fi and gourmet mini bar also included. The trademark marble bathrooms are also stocked with Byredo amenities.

Wellbeing amenities include a state-of-the-art gym and indoor heated pool, which enjoys an abundance of natural light and stunning views overlooking the Opera House. 

26 Jul 2015

Total posts 71

Looks like a great move for the club lounge, its such a great space. The last time I was there with club lounge access though was pretty underwhelming. Nothing like it was previously and not really worth the extra cost. At least now, you can still enjoy what is one of the best spaces in Sydney and only have to pay for the drinks (as opposed to extra room cost).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

06 Oct 2016

Total posts 127

I did a new room in December and my wife took a picture of the carpet and got some for our dining room… happy with what I saw and I hope the finished product will meet my expectations 

It certainly is a charming building. As a Platinum Ambassador IHG Member, I always used to stay there, BUT, became so disappointed with the Club Lounge, so drifted off to other hotels, because of the food (very limited and restricted) and the service.

It was far more enjoyable to have breakfast in the courtyard than the Club..

It looks like things have improved, so will try it again.

Kevin Jackson.

Velocity Platinum

08 Jul 2011

Total posts 14

A good move forward. Intercontinental Sydney had become lack-luster and Club invitations were never forthcoming for Platinum members, so I switched to the much more exciting and generous  Sofitel Darling Harbour. I'll give IC Sydney a try soon and see what they have come up with.

27 Apr 2022

Total posts 1

Does anyone know whether the horrid shower curtains in the rooms (not suites) have been replaced with screens as part of the renovation?  I love this hotel but was always grossed out by the use of shower curtains!

04 Dec 2017

Total posts 71

Rooftop railing doesn't look too safe for children. By the looks of things it would be pretty easy to navigate it if a child wanted to.

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

29 Mar 2015

Total posts 93

There is so much I disagree with in this short sample statement. 

24 Jun 2020

Total posts 35

I have stayed here on many occasions over the years, mostly for a special event and to always venture to the rooftop area but the thing that grossed me out the most was the bathrooms in every room I stayed at. It made the rooftop a hard sell in my opinion as the service and amenities were not as good as it used to be. Hopefully the bathrooms also got a refurb but with the Aster Bar open to all and sundry, I don't have to put up with the dreary bathrooms anymore and can just hit the rooftop bar (once Sydney gets a sunny day that is).

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 May 2020

Total posts 3

I stayed in a new twin beeded room there two weeks ago on the left side of the building as you face the Harbor Bridge.
I have stayed there many times over rhe last eight years as an IHG Royal Ambassador..
Not sure if it is the same for all rooms but the bathroom was small and only a shower now.
My view was of an jacent office block over the road.
The Club wasn't opened and Ambassador benefits with the exception of the minibar credit and Royal Ambassdor  room upgrades were suspended by permission of IHG Corporate. No Club option was available merely a AUD60 per day F&B credit. Some minibar prices are as high as I've seen (90g of chocloate Almonds, Gummie Bears $19!). Beers more reasonable priced as were the spirits.
Breakfast was provided free in what felt like a school refrectory, though it was certainly good quality and plenty of choice.
The wine list in Treasury Bar is expensive. The cheapest glass of wine was $24 and bottle $85 with wines averaging around $32/glass. Maybe that's just SYD prices.
The new spaces I saw are nice.
All that said, I was left incredibly underwhelmed (frankly have been for a longtime compared to my other 100 days per year in IHG properties) and on my next visit to Sydney I'll be at The Kimpton.
Having just completed trips to London, Sydney, Kuala Lumpur, Hanoi (both Intercons) and Ho Chi Minh there is defintely a tightening up of benefits across the group compared to the pre-covid days.

American Airlines - AAdvantage

16 May 2019

Total posts 4

Looking forward for a stay next month on my celebratory Round the World. Hope it’s back to its high standards of a few years back for this Ambassador

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