Sydney is one of those cities that excels on all lifestyle fronts bar the accommodation one, with hotels that combine service, intimacy and original character few and far between. It’s why finding a perfect catered rental property is so gratifying: enter The Billyard (contemporaryhotels.com.au; from £580), an achingly chic and supremely well-located two-bedroom escape, right on the water in Elizabeth Bay. The owner has taste in spades and it shows, from the leather Cassina Cab dining room chairs to the captivating textiles and washed-pastel palette. But the trump card is surely the private harbour pool – unique in all of Sydney, and at guests’ disposal. Up north in the boho utopia of Byron Bay, meanwhile, Rae’s on Wategos (raes.com.au; from £357), an old favourite of the Aussie glam set, recently emerged from a makeover courtesy of Tamsin Johnson, one of the country’s most sought-after interior designers. Rattan and vintage Gervasoni lighting, African textiles and French brocante meet in signature stunning Johnson style in the penthouses and suites; the prime access to famous Wategos beach remains another USP.