Ongoing development of the CBD, particularly around Darling Harbour, has increased pressure on rooms and sparked a frenzy of new hotels
NEW In 2015, a swarm of new boutique hotels infiltrated Sydney, injecting an element of quirkiness into the slightly stagnant hotel scene. This included the dive-bar-turnedmodern-gem The Old Clare Hotel in the Chippendale suburb, and the promise of “barefoot luxury” at the glamorous beachside 69-suite QT Bondi. Heritage lovers welcomed the Primus Hotel on Pitt Street, with its celebration of 1930s Art Deco glamour, along with Hotel Palisade, housed in a century-old building and boasting a rooftop with envious views over the harbour and Barangaroo. Two Ovolo hotels also opened (one in Darling Harbour, and one in Wooloomooloo) offering their unique modern take on hospitality.
Last year, the bigger players took their turn. Hyatt Regency returned to Sydney in November 2016, following a major A$250 million (US$200 million) refurbishment of the former Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Darling Harbour. As part of the expansion, a new 24-storey tower saw the addition of 222 guestrooms, making Hyatt Regency Sydney one of the largest in Australia with a total room count of 892. Other highlights of the hotel include the open-air rooftop bar Zephyr, plus 3,700 sqm of event space including two ballrooms and 21 meeting rooms.
Two new airport hotels have opened at Sydney Airport. In July, the 136-room Mantra Hotel opened near Terminals 2 and 3. All rooms are Studio King variety (with varying view options) and come with wifi (for an additional fee) and rain showers. The 24-hour reception promises an “express checkout”, while the on-site restaurant offers buffet, à la carte and grab-andgo options. Daily rates (including breakfast) start from A$195 (US$155) per night – though an opening offer of A$159 (US$126) is available including 1GB of internet access per day and welcome drink voucher.
Officially opening its doors on September 1, the new “refreshingly simple” Travelodge Hotel Sydney Airport features 209 rooms (with king, twin or triple bed configuration options), T’s Bistro (all-day dining with an alfresco courtyard), a late-night bar, luggage storage and a shuttle service. An opening offer is available with 25 per cent discount plus breakfast for A$164 (US$130) per night.
Last month also saw the opening of Skye Hotel Suites Parramatta, an all-suite property with 72 apartment-style units.
This month, the hotly anticipated
will open its doors. Located opposite the new International Convention Centre Sydney (ICC), the luxury hotel will offer 590 rooms displaying the brand’s signature blend of French elegance with contemporary design. The hotel will also feature three bars, a restaurant, club lounge and outdoor infinity pool. Just down the road will be
65 Sussex Street – a midscale property from M&L Hospitality scheduled to open by the end of the year. Designed by architects Fitzpatrick and Partners, the eight-storey property will have a distinctive geometric façade, 182 guestrooms including four suites, plus an internal courtyard.
Next year will also see the opening of TFE’s Vibe Hotel
North Sydney in February 2018. The contemporary 187-room hotel will feature the hallmarks
of the “new generation” of Vibe Hotels, which include inspiring guestrooms, public spaces designed for socialising, and free wifi. A 300-capacity Creative Conferencing facility will also address demand for more dedicated meeting and event space. This will be followed by the Vibe Hotel Sydney Darling Harbour in 2019. Also in 2018, Marriott is set to open both the Four Points by Sheraton Parramatta and the Four Points by Sheraton Sydney,
Central Park. The former will offer 271 rooms close to the Parramatta CBD, an indoor swimming pool, fitness centre and conference and meeting facilities. Meanwhile, the 297-room Central Park property will open as part of a mixed-use development at the former Old Kent Brewery site. It will feature a bar with an outdoor terrace and 550 sqm of function space.
DOWN THE LINE
A number of hotly anticipated properties are in the works with proposed 2019 opening dates. These include talks to install a 402-room
W Hotel into the glamorous A$700 million (US$550 million) The Ribbon project at Darling Harbour; rumours of St Regis and Bulgari openings; plus designs being released for an architecturally extravagant Ritz
Carlton to be installed at The Star entertainment hub.
More certain, however, is the return of IHG’s Crowne Plaza. A management agreement has been signed for a 160-room property at Darling Harbour, with four multifunctional event rooms and an 80-seat restaurant. In 2020, IHG is also planning to open a new
Holiday Inn in the CBD, while Accor Hotels has announced plans to open The Porter House under its MGallery by Sofitel brand.