The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence -

FOL­LOW­ING a soft open­ing three months ago, the Hong Kong-based Lang­ham Hos­pi­tal­ity Group has “of­fi­cially” un­veiled its new Syd­ney ho­tel.

The for­mer Ob­ser­va­tory Ho­tel, in The Rocks precinct, has un­der­gone a com­plete over­haul to de­liver the largest stan­dard rooms in the city (98 in all, in­clud­ing some very glam­orous suites), a se­ri­ous art col­lec­tion cu­rated by Sotheby’s, fea­tur­ing works by Sid­ney Nolan and Brett White­ley, “pri­vate but­ler ten­nis af­ter­noons” on a court with a view, and even dog-friendly suites.

All light-filled gue­strooms pro­vide ac­cess to fresh air, ei­ther via win­dows that open or small Juliet bal­conies or ter­races. Fur­nish­ings are be­spoke, rugs hand­made and the colour pal­ette soft and fem­i­nine.

The mood is res­i­den­tial and ex­pen­sive, fea­tur­ing over­sized “su­perk­ing” beds and thought­ful, el­e­gant touches, such as sil­ver Wedg­wood clocks on the bed­side ta­ble and sooth­ing jazz mu­sic play­ing as you en­ter the room. Bath­rooms are like­wise lux­u­ri­ous; most have dou­ble mar­ble van­i­ties, gen­er­ous ameni­ties and a huge wa­ter­fall over­head shower fit­ting.

The only el­e­ment of the ho­tel not to be touched is its fa­mous un­der­ground swim­ming pool with stars­pan­gled ceil­ing; it sits at the heart of the Chuan Day Spa, which has had its own multi-mil­lion dollar over­haul and fea­tures steam rooms and a gym.

DON’T MISS: A cock­tail or mock­tail in Palm Court, pre­pared at your ta­ble and named for ports around the world. Try the Vera Cruz.

DINING IN: Daniel Ru­dolph heads the Kent Street Kitchen where the cui­sine is des­ig­nated “Euro­pean chic”. Be sure to try the house-baked bread and hand-churned but­ter. Cheese is made in-house and there’s a ded­i­cated char­cu­terie room. The Ayles­bury duck comes highly rec­om­mended, cooked sous vide for 60 min­utes, then caramelised and glazed with honey and spices. The Palm Court hosts af­ter- noon tea with Wedg­wood in the style of the group’s flag­ship Lon­don ho­tel.

DINING OUT: Sake (fu­sion Ja­panese) or Quay (fine dining) are both an easy stroll from the ho­tel but the com­pli­men­tary Lang­ham pink Lon­don cab is also at guests’ dis­posal.

ASK THE CONCIERGE: Pop across the road for a pri­vate star-gaz­ing ses­sion at the Syd­ney Ob­ser­va­tory or take one of the ho­tel’s pink bikes to ex­plore the har­bour precinct and The Rocks; the kitchen will pack you a pic­nic.

CHECK­ING IN: Rooms from $635. More: syd­

ALSO TRY: The Lang­ham Lon­don; The Penin­sula Paris; Raf­fles Istanbul.


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