Surprisingly, beachside suburb Bondi has lacked a cool, playful boutique hotel to match its laid-back vibe… until now.

Past the row of gelato-coloured bicycles for hire, we enter QT Bondi to the sound of Californian surf music, to a small but personality-filled lobby with gorgeous, smiling staff who (like everyone in Bondi) look fresh from the surf, wearing neoprene-look dresses to remind you that you are just metres away from Sydney’s most famous beach.

Bondi’s first major luxury boutique accommodation, QT Bondi is the sixth QT to open in Australia.

With another in Melbourne on the horizon, the rapidly expanding QT Hotels & Resorts appears to be positioning itself as Australia’s answer to the Ace Hotel group in the USA.

Each hotel is aimed at a young, design-conscious demographic and has been given a distinct look and feel to match the vibe of the area, and in this case, allowing guests to experience the Bondi lifestyle with a barefoot-luxe feel.

Greeted by neon-lit silhouettes of flamingos and palm trees, we head through the lobby, past the kitsch, Bondi-themed mural by artist Shaun Gladwell.

Down the narrow hallway with dizzyingly patterned carpet and doors painted in eye-popping shades of peach, fluorescent yellow and teal the message is clear – while stylish, QT Bondi doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Our room feels more like an apartment than a hotel room. It’s spacious, with fresh white walls, blonde faux-timber floors and limited bursts of colour and surf-inspired art.

There are touches of personality throughout – the mini bar offers cheeky Bondi essentials including kombucha, a string bag holding a pair of thongs, and a beard-trimming kit.

The bathroom is clean-lined and luxurious, with subway tiles, and the boutique hotel staple Malin+Goetz products, which seem to have become synonymous with hip lodgings these days.

Contemporary interior trends are checked off at every turn – Falcon enamelware cups and black tapware in the bathroom, pastel Muuto-inspired wall hooks and Robert Gordon paint-dipped mugs in the kitchenette will help the style-conscious feel at home.

The not-so-good news: QT Bondi does not offer food, nor is the pool or gym open… yet.

Originally scheduled for November 2015, the opening has been delayed by the construction of the Pacific apartment complex next door, with which it will share these amenities.

The good news is QT’s location puts you in the thick of everything that’s cool in Bondi, and the super-friendly staff has this covered, pointing us in the right direction of Porch and Parlour, where we can pretend we are locals for the weekend, complete with salty hair.

The details: QT Bondi

Where: 6 Beach Road, Bondi 02 8362 3900;

Verdict: QT Bondi is the perfect place to spend the weekend like a Bondi local, with everything at your fingertips. However, it feels like a work-in-progress (albeit a promising one), with features such as the pool missing.

Score: 4/5

We rated: The genial staff and their perfect local recommendations made our weekend, plus the playful, on-trend aesthetic matched Bondi’s mood perfectly.

We’d change: The lack of food and other basic amenities didn’t seem justified given the price tag.

Notes: We paid $360 for a QT King room.

All AT reviews are conducted anonymously and our writers pay their own way – so we experience exactly what you would.

Australian Traveller issue 68

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