Forever summer, yes that was and perhaps still is my dream…
Having immigrated to Australia from Taiwan in 1989, and due to the seasons here being directly opposite to those of the Northern Hemisphere; not to mention being a bit of a wimp when it comes to the cold… I was lucky to avoid winters for several years by living alternately in Taipei then Sydney as the temperature changed. I guess those few years back in the 1990s when I escaped the winter entirely, were my closest experience to that forever summer dream.
So it is now nearly mid December and while many of you are looking forward to a ‘traditional’ crisp and cool white Christmas; I want to wend my way back from the north to the Southern Hemisphere and focus on this beautiful harbour city I live in, particularly now it’s the Australia summer. And if like me your thoughts are to escape the Northern Hemisphere winter, then make yourself a cup of tea or coffee, sit back and consider what I’m about to share with you. Here’s the first instalment of my Australian summer – Sydney mini series:
Starting with… Where to stay in Sydney?
Trying A Serviced Apartment As Our Temporarily Sydney Home And Why
Serviced apartments, some call them aparthotels or the self-contained suites. I truly think that this is the best of both apartment living and the convenience of hotels. We have the independence and it feels like home by using our own kitchen and internal laundry; at the same time, able to enjoy fresh towels and having our bed beautifully made daily. Wonderful!
There are many serviced hotel suites and apartments around Sydney, for this post I choose to stay with Meriton Suites Bondi Junction, here are the highlights from our two-night stay that impressed me the most:
Who has not watched Australian TV classics like Neighbours and not been amazed and perhaps a little jealous of those big open suburban spaces! Yes Aussies are spoiled by living in such a spacious land. So you can be a little spoiled for space too when you stay at the Meriton Suites Bondi Junction (MSBJ) which promises to be ‘three times larger than a typical hotel room’. Now having experienced tiny hotel rooms in Paris, Rome; London, Taipei; Hong Kong and Tokyo.., you get the picture; I see a roomy room as a benefit of Australian living and you don’t want to miss out.
We were given an upgrade to a two-bedroom apartment due to the onsite construction work to extend the apartment complex until August 2018; we were upgraded away from any noise. The moment we walked into our modern apartment, I was immediately impressed by how large it was. The brochure did not lie!
A full kitchen, large dining/living area; an airy bedroom with yet another flat-screen cable TV, a walk-through wardrobe between the bedroom and bathroom… Did I mention an internal laundry that may come in handy for longer stays, and a balcony over looking Eastern Suburbs with an outdoor table and chairs.
Yes it’s also an apartment with a view!
A sizeable and comfortable bed, that walk-through wardrobe and a bathroom with separate bathtub and shower were all parts of the elements to make our home away from home extra sweet.
TV plus takeaway equals instant couch potatoes (yes that’s us)! Life was good and so was the couch! It made watching TV much more relaxing and fun. As we don’t have a big sofa like that at home nor a flat-screen TV, it really felt like a holiday I must admit!
What else I enjoyed the most during our stay? It was nipping down to the indoor pool and spa for a splash and those massaging bubbles from the spa jets; I wish I had more time to indulge! And I also loved having my morning coffee (thanks Kent) on the sunny veranda.
Well they do say location is everything don’t they? And here we were sitting in a prime location. Nestled 15 floors out of 20 above the Bondi Junction Bus/Rail interchange and ‘next door’ to the sprawling Westfield shopping centre. Along with streets of bars, restaurants and supermarkets, all right on your doorstep. It really is all here in terms of convenience, no mater if you want to stay put, or head to the beach by bus or into the city by train; it’s all very very easily done.
After our late morning swim, we were hungry and didn’t want to travel far for food, I felt like Chinese so we decided to go for Cantonese style Chinese cuisine at Zilver restaurant in Bondi Westfield for lunch. It was Monday, there was no queue, though you can expect one on the weekend. Our yum cha (dim sum) in Zilver Bondi was satisfying as they had plenty steamed dumplings, the shallot and prawn were my very favourite!
There are plenty of other choices in Westfield’s food court to choose from: Mexican, Japanese; Italian, Middle-Eastern; Indian or modern Australian – you name it! All seemed to be doing strong trade during the lunch time rush.
If you fancy something special; somewhere by the beach or with a view, stay tuned for some top Eastern Suburbs restaurants in my coming Sydney mini series!
Allergic to shopping centres? Fair enough! A short walk to the next block, we found a Thai restaurant and 20 minutes later we were back home with our more than acceptable takeaway meal, but then Sydney does do Asian food well! The apartment also provides a booklet of delivery menu offerings of different cuisine to select from; in this case your meal is only one phone call away.
Is home cooking your thing? The apartment has pots, pans; kitchen knives (a bit blunt – Kent brought his folding French kitchen knife just in case); the good news is that big supermarkets such as ALDI and Coles and local delicatessens are just a short walk away. Convenience? Tick! Tick! Tick!
How did we get there?
Since Kent and I only live two stations away, we travelled by Sydney Train. Just hop on the Eastern Suburbs line and go all the way to Bondi Junction (it goes no further), which is just four stations from Town Hall in Sydney’s CBD.
For those of you who drive, the entrance to the underground car park is right on Grafton Street, it is also a bus lane so be aware of the busses. Car parking is charged at a nightly rate of $36 per vehicle. ‘Please validate your parking ticket with front desk Guest Services staff before exiting.’
Sounds good to you? We were happy with our short stay and I would highly recommend the location and the suites to any traveller visiting Sydney; especially when you travel with family or friends, the extra space will be a breath of fresh air. Stay tuned to more detailed reviews of staying in and enjoying Sydney’s Eastern Suburbs and famous Bondi Beach by White Caviar Life. Learn more to make your next Sydney summer, Australia/Down Under visit fun and memorable.