THIS October French panache comes to when Sofitel Darling Harbour opens its luxury doors. This is Sydney’s most exciting luxury hotel opening since the Sydney Olympics building spree. The 35-level, 590-room hotel is the first new build luxury hotel in Sydney's CBD since the Westin Hotel opened in 1999. Designed by Sydney architect Richard Francis-Jones, from Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT), The silvery tower with triangulated glass features, stands sentinel next to the new International Convention Centre at the heart of the Darling Harbour redevelopment.
Rooms have floor-to-ceiling windows and the earthy, golden tones of the rooms reflect the sandstone on which Sydney is built and create a warm and welcoming ambiance. An added plus is the chance to sleep on sumptuous MyBed™. Book the top floor Bellaeve Suite and you’ll wake to spectacular views of the sun rising over Sydney in a palatial 112sqm suite with a separate living room decked out in chic French-inspired décor.
TLTB readers will want to head for the outdoor infinity lap pool looking across Darling Harbour and the soon-to-open Le Rivage Pool Bar for drinks with a harbour view. While the 3rd floor Champagne Bar (serving only the best, including French Champagne naturellement ) looks set to be the newest cocktail hangout for chic Sydneysiders.
The signature Atelier restaurant, presided over by Executive Chef Matt Coates, (last seen at The Conservatory Crown Melbourne) is the place for l’experience gastronomique and the international menu tempts with locally sourced produce prepared at the rotisserie and grill, accompanied by what we are assured is a “ creative dessert philosophy” Can’t wait.
Australia’s most exciting new hotel will also have an exciting and unusual launch. The billionaire owner of the property is hotel developer, plastic surgeon and philanthropist Dr Jerry Schwartz. On October 3 (Three days before the official opening) Schwartz will give over the hotel to charities such as World Vision , Wires Wild Life, Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute, and the Starlight foundation, as well as the charity close to his heart which supports stem cell research. The charities can sell, auction or raffle off rooms to raise funds. "We're giving people the chance of being the first to sleep in this brand new luxury hotel and also give to charity, that's a great combination," Dr Schwartz is quoted as saying in the Australian Financial Review.
One more piece of good news for luxury travellers is that there are plans to add a helipad on the roof if city authorities allow.
LUXURY LINKS: www.sofitelsydneydarlingharbour.com.au