NileGuide Expert Says:
A wonderful beach at your doorstep, this is a long way from the bustle of the CBD. A good place to base yourself if you're visiting the northern beaches, Pittwater or Hawkesbury River region.
69 Bynya Road, Palm Beach NSW, Australia
(02) 9974 5599
Given that the visitor to Sydney is spoilt for choice when it comes to waterside hotels, whether in the city, adjacent the harbour or on the coast, it takes an exceptional property to lure guests an hour's drive north for more of the same.
Well, Jonah's at Whale Beach has been responding to this challenge since first opening as a roadhouse in 1929. It's come a long way in the following 80-plus years. The 11 exclusive rooms plus private cottage - all with a balcony, spa and 180 degree Pacific Ocean views - were luxuriously refurbished in 2005. But the piece de resistance is the alternative transport option; instead of hire car or limo, guests can hop aboard a seaplane in harborside Rose Bay and be at Whale Beach in about 15 minutes. But what a quarter hour of aerial sightseeing that would be.
Perhaps that's a key reason why Jonah's is the only Relais & Chateaux hotel in Sydney - arguably one of the most prestigious hotel associations in the world.
Of course, having traveled all this way, most things are pretty much at hand. You have spa and massage therapy to order, same with the gourmet room service. Plus, Jonah's restaurant is a destination in itself, as many local northern beaches residents attest to. Its modern Australian menu, with a French influence, is updated seasonally using the freshest of local produce, and with a heavy emphasis on seafood. It has even maintained its One-hat status in the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide for many years, a feat few restaurants can sustain.
It's probably not the place to stay for an entire vacation; Jonah's is more that exclusive special mini-break or long weekend you'd promised yourself. To this end, the exquisite and exclusive property delivers in spades.