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Sometimes when I travel, I come across neighborhoods that are so distinct and vibrant that I can’t help but wonder what it might be like to live there. I think that’s a pretty common response among travelers. And it’s certainly part of the reason Airbnb is so popular: Everyone wants to experience a destination like a local.
Bondi Beach — one of Sydney’s hippest neighborhoods — was the last place that got me wondering. And at QT Bondi, guests can feel like they have their own apartment in Bondi, but with the added perk of hotel amenities. And agents can be confident they are sending their clients to a reliable, upscale property.
The 69-unit QT Bondi is the sister property of QT Sydney, from the boutique hotel chain that sets the standard for cool in Australia. QT Bondi is located in the heart of Bondi Beach, just off Campbell Parade across from the Bondi Pavilion. The neighborhood is full of trendy restaurants, bars and nightclubs, as well as chic stores and galleries. The hotel actually shares a building with a major supermarket, which makes picking up supplies easy. QT Bondi guests also get access to the nearby Speedo Fitness Club, a local full-service health club.
Guestrooms at QT Bondi are laid out like luxury studio apartments. The overall vibe is modern and artsy, with pop art on the walls and a lot of whimsical touches. Everything seems new and the rooms definitely have an upscale feel.
The QT Deluxe King I stayed in featured a good-sized bathroom, a king bed, a sofa, a breakfast nook and a terrace. There’s a fully equipped minikitchen that comes with a small fridge, a sink, a microwave, a dishwasher, a washing machine and a dryer. The room has a large television, excellent Wi-Fi access and fully functioning air-conditioning.
There’s also a minibar with wacky items, including classic games such as Dominoes and Pick-Up Sticks. There are even flip-flops for those who might have left theirs at home.
There’s no shortage of activities and attractions in and around Bondi Beach, including swimming in the rock pools at both ends of the beach, a small links-style golf course, paved seaside walking trails, great surfing and, of course, people watching.
Bondi is served by the Sydney train system, although it’s a bit of a haul from the center of the city, so a taxi, Uber or rental car might be a better option. The hotel has valet parking for about $30 a day.
Clients heading to Sydney who want to experience one of the city’s most vibrant neighborhoods should check out QT Bondi. It will probably be most popular with millennials and hip, artistic couples — but everyone can appreciate living like a local at quirky Bondi Beach, even if only for a few days.