It's the talk of the town, but what's Ivy really like? With a reputation as one of Sydney's most exclusive nightspots, it's hard to say you've experienced this city's nightlife unless you've been here if you can get in.
Notorious for its 'face-police' at every corner, Ivy lives up to the hype of exclusivity. Try to get anywhere but the ground-floor, and you definitely start to get the impression that you have to be 'someone' to get in. But it goes overboard in fiercely trying to make sure it has the crowd it wants the glamour stakes are high but once you're in the people here look pretty much the same as what you'd find at Establishment down the street.
Door staff and management seem to revel in giving you the once-over, which could ruin your night before it begins. But once you get past the checkpoints, this 'pleasure palace' definitely has the wow-factor. Made up of five bars and a number of restaurants, it's all about themes at this entertainment mecca.
Pure Ivy' at the outdoor courtyard on the ground floor is where the crowds are and this is where you'll find live entertainment every Saturday night. But it's insanely packed, smoky and there's nowhere to sit down.
The 1950's-inspired Ivy Lounge on the second-floor is a lot less crowded with plenty of seating. This is my pick of the rooms in the entire Ivy complex it's well-designed, oozes sophistication and is refreshingly understated. This floor also houses the Sailors Thai restaurant and leads the way to the 'Den' another exclusive art deco themed room with a mirror bar and velvety lounges.
The 'Pool Club' on the fourth floor is where most people try and get to, a bar featuring a pool, entertainment and private cabanas. The cocktails here are what you'd expect from a decadent place like this try one from the 'Ivy League' selection: the 'Pearly Gates' Belvedere Raspberry Vodka with Butterscotch and raspberry puree and lychee ($18) or the 'Romeo Juliet' Sagatiba Pure Cachaca and Liqor 43 muddled with chunks of pineapple, coriander and lemon ($18).
There's a lot of people-watching going on, and you suspect most of the people at the Ivy come here just to be seen. There's a lot that can be said about this place, but basically Ivy on a Saturday night symbolises a side of what Sydney is all about flashiness, indulgence, possibilities and opportunities, with a hint of trashiness.
Love it or loathe it, Ivy is an entertainment institution. So if this is your kind of scene, dress to impress, order a cocktail or two, settle into a plush lounge chair and soak up the scene of one of Sydney's most talked-about venues.