Hilton Sydney, Sydney $$$$
Concierge.com's insider take:
Sure, it's a Hilton, and hence a magnet for large groups (especially of the suit-and-tie variety; the hotel boasts more meeting space than any other in the country). But a $150 million renovation in 2005 infused this place with a knockout design, including an open, light-filled glass lobby with a 65-foot ceilingwhich means you can now get cool digs at mid-range business-traveler prices. The 577 rooms are a soothing mix of wood-paneled walls, glass tables, and cream-colored upholstery. If you've had a particularly rough business meeting (or you're just feeling too lazy to turn on the faucets yourself), arrange for a "Bath Master" to fill your tub and add scented herbal oils. For livelier entertainment, the onsite Glass Brasserie and the quite-cool Zeta Bar are good places to loosen up with those zany work colleagues.
From the editors of Condé Nast Traveler:Less a face-lift than a head-to-toe transformation, the Hilton's $145 million refurb was primarily tailored to the needs of its executive clientele. Every guest room serves up the muted modernism expected of a 577-room, five-star business hotel. Luckily for the rest of us, the Hilton's real appeal is a canny symbiosis of its ambience and the pulse of the city. Even the huge gym caters perfectly to this urban jungle, with a multitude of classes, a generous lap pool, and a range of saunas and steam rooms. The hotel also includes the upscale Glass restaurant and three bars, the pick of which is Marble, an opulent, underground ode to Victoriana. 2006 Hot List
When to go: Sydney's sizzling summer months, from December through March.
Which room to book: Relaxation Suites grant access to an executive lounge that offers evening nibbles and a very civilized happy hour (doubles, $232–$350).
Amenities: 24-hour Room Service, Bar/lounge, Gym, Pool, SpaSubscribe now to Condé Nast Traveler for just $1 an issue! ›