These are the opulent feeling, formal and swanky bars you want to order a cocktail or two from, and enjoy great water and harbour views if you are lucky. Just premium, much sought after bar spaces.
The ECQ bar at Circular Quay is just terrific. Once a Sydneysider drinks a cocktail from here, wow you really feel like your in heaven; especially due to the amazing views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the ferries leaving and arriving into the quay. Just needs to be visited at least once to be appreciated for all of your hard work. Reward yourself; life is really short.
And of course, this review would not be given any justice if I did not mention the all popular Establishment by the Merivale group. The ambience just screams out opulence and luxury. If you are prepared to wait on a Saturday night, it is worth it; then most certainly patience is a virtue for you.
Jackson's on George is also a quality bar worth going to. Great service and the coolest tasting liqueur drinks like the midori lemonade. It is also fun when there is free entertainment, you will want to stay here. Go outside if you can. Also the Brooklyn and the New Windsor hotels nearby are also worth a shot.
To turn up the flavour with loud music, the greatest pool tables and a pivotal spot among the waterfront, then the Pontoon at Darling Harbour is your destination for a great night out with a bit of a hangover; if you wish.
Oh and the Paddington Inn. A great place designed to achieve those once in a while fun hangovers. Fast service, and they do not go overboard on the ice in those cowboys and midori lemonades.
For something a little more elegant, or if you want to try one of Sydney's most expensive chai lattes, then the bar near the concierge at the Westin Hotel in Martin Place is worth it. Chic and contemporary settings to catch up with a friend or family member.
Otherwise for something perhaps a little more laid back and for a great location for Sydneysiders to watch the Melbourne Cup (did the same before moving to Melbourne), pay a visit to the newish Belvedere Hotel. Otherwise the nearby Sanctuary Hotel and the Three Monkeys also fits the bill in terms of a more upbeat style and ambience to boot.