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LUXURY HOTEL: Sofitel darling hotel, sYDNEY 

I’M lying in the bath with Sydney laid out before me, the water of the harbour sparkles and the windows of the high rise buildings glint in the sun.The whole room is bathed in a golden glow. As views go it doesn't get much better than this.Two walls of my corner suite are glass and through the floor to ceiling windows Sydney seems to put on a show especially for me. There are views from everywhere, even the aforementioned tub.

Sofitel Darling Harbour has views AND location - an estate agents dream.And a tourists dream too, if you are heading to Sydney for a vacation or a local's staycation, this is the perfect spot. 

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour  bathroom
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour  bathroom
Sofitel Darling harbour Luxury Corner Room
sofitel darling harbour atelier
sofitel darling harbour champagne bar
sofitel darling harbour exterior good
Sofitel Darling Harbour pool luxury travel bible
sofitel sydney darling harbour lobby

Balanced on the edge of the tub is a fanciful plate of chocolates and macarons for me to sample.  How decadent is that? I feel like a princess in a very chic, modern tower. A 21st century fairy-tale.  It is hard to leave the bath (or the views) but I must, since it’s time to eat some more (as I said. Decadent).  Sofitel’s Atelier restaurant is paying homage to the company’s French heritage with a Marseille-influenced menu.

The hotel has launched a new ‘Marseille’ Chef’s Table* experience, there’s a certain symmetry since Marseilles and Sydney are both harbour cities. Niçoise salad, bouillabaisse, Braised short rib provençale with ratatouille, olive tapenade, iced nougat are all part of the tasting menu, created by Executive Chef and Provence native Eric Costille to  celebrate the culinary traditions of the French Riviera.  Just to show how very French it all is Sofitel has partnered with the renowned cookware manufacturer, Le Creuset, to cook the dishes in true native style.

But before the bouillabaisse the bubbles. We head to the Champagne Bar (what could be more French?) for a pre-dinner tulip and yet more glorious views. Darling Harbour is dressed up in its evening sparkles, adorned with coloured lights and a necklace of expensive yachts.  We toast her finery with a 2009 Louis Roederer*, specially bottled for Sofitel in partnership with designer Philippe Starck. Almost any fine champagne we want is on offer, right through to a jeroboam of 2002 Louis Roederer Crystal at a cool $22,000.   


To make that first sip just a little more special for an additional $25 you can have your champagne cork removed by sabre.  Champagne Sabrage goes back more than a century, legend has it that Napoléon’s cavalry used the trick for celebratory bubbles on the go, as he rose to power during the   French Revolution. Santé.

The next morning I open the blinds to yet more sunshine streaming in. Built where a lighthouse once stood the hotel really has the perfect vantage point. In one direction I can see as far as the Anzac Bridge where cars that look as small as Mario carts are flooding over to start the working day, in the other are the blue waters of Darling harbour.

The day beckons me outside.  I go down to the lobby and walk past the reception desk and the  coloured fish swimming in  Australia’s largest hotel aquarium and out to Darling harbour. From here I can walk to almost anywhere in the city but choose a stroll towards Barangaroo. As the hotel is so central I’m here before the crowds and the morning is mine.  An hour of wandering later I retrace my steps, Sofitel Darling Harbour stands out against the cobalt blue sky, calling me back or breakfast. 


*Available for small groups of 4 to 20 guests, the ‘Marseille’ Chef’s Table experience is served for the whole table as a 4-course set menu ($119 per person) or 4-course set menu with matching wines ($179 per person).

* Discover the Maison of Louis Roederer with an exclusive masterclass with Chef de Cave, Jean Baptiste Lecaillon, coming all the way from Reims, Champagne. Guiding you through a 5 Champagne flight of Louis Roederer blends paired with canapés by Eric Costille. This Champagne masterclass will be Jean Baptiste Lecaillon’s only Sydney appearance – only at Champagne Bar. Monday 24 June 2019 6pm until 7:30, $189pp

Booking for both essential: www.sofitelsydneydarlingharbour.com.au

 Hilary Doling, 13/06/19
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