The future is here and it looks bright. That’s thanks to the Crown Group, which has opened the doors to its first boutique serviced apartments in Sydney’s CBD this week. Skye Suites Sydney comprises 73 serviced apartments, including studio suites and two-bedroom suites. The big reveal for this first phase of Arc by Crown Group is the luxury hotel apartment rooms available in Skye Suites Sydney. We think this glittering masterpiece will continue the city’s downtown hotel renaissance.
At first glance, the interior of the building is a series of stringently simplified arches. And what we love are the curved lines that open to the sky when it’s sunny and mirror the presence of the greater structure. The hotel also shakes loose the notion of what a CBD hotel should be: the new multi-residential tower sets another new benchmark for architectural excellence in the inner city.
World-renowned architect Koichi Takada collaborated with Crown Group to make the building design memorable. They’ve done that in spades. From the ice-cave themed lobby to the arched metal fins that cantilever around the Horizon Lounge and rooftop, this is a building that keeps the spirit of Sydney in mind.
There is a real sense of romance that swirls around this hotel and we love the fact it’s just a few blocks away from busy, buzzy Barangaroo. After checking into our superior-sized two-bedroom apartment suite – which features Delonghi appliances, Vittoria coffee machines, Kevin Murphy toiletries and hair care products, complimentary WiFi and pre-stocked mini bar – we wander down the way to dinner at Bel + Brio. After a delightful meal, we check out the pool, where two hotel guests are splashing each other for sport in full view of the lobby.
It’s a beautiful spring evening and even in the city the air seems to smell like jasmine so we love that we can open the heavy balcony doors for fresh air. The development features a masonry facade podium and glazed frontage inspired by the city’s significant heritage buildings and it’s so design-savvy that we think it will please both itinerant business folk and stalwart Sydney locals.
Like Sydney itself, the Skye Suites structure is vibrant and it’s a beautiful expression of a brick facade that connects to the past while looking to the future and the very beautiful modern building above. Catch the glass elevator up through the multiple layers to the public rooftop space or wander down Skittle Lane, where artefacts found during the build have become part of a dazzling display for the hotel. We love how the Crown Group has incorporated the history of the lane, which was built in the late 1980s and once used as a bowling alley for soldiers and servicemen.
Reflect is the name of the illuminated sculpture, a public artwork created by Ramus Illumination stretching 12 metres across the atrium comprising of thousands of LED lights. The artwork will change colour according to the sound and movement of people walking beneath it. Genius! The higgledy-piggledy cobblestones in Skittle Lane have been polished so it can be repurposed as a pedestrian thoroughfare that will link it with Kent and Clarence Streets. The streets surrounding the hotel will become part of a glass and metal mini CBD village with fine dining and al fresco eateries that add to the feeling of this vibrant precinct.
When Crown Group’s Co-Founder and chief executive officer Iwan Sunito graduated from UNSW in 1992 with a Bachelor of Architecture, he had already started forging the distinctive signature style that permeates his work. Iwan grew up in Indonesia and his monumental constructions display harmony between concrete, history and nature. What informs Sunito’s creative vision is his desire to connect the past, present and future and contribute something worthwhile to the city of Sydney.
Skye Suites Sydney follows in the wake of the Crown Group’s successful foray into Parramatta. And from our perspective it is a striking addition to Sydney’s skyline, realising Sunito’s vision to ‘enhance the existing streetscape for domestic and international guests and Sydneysiders’. We can’t wait for the rooftop to open: it’s going to be our unofficial after-hours rec room. And the fact that we can order off the bespoke bedding menu makes us want to move in.
The fact you can breakfast at a communal table with the corporate crowds at Cross Eatery the next day seals the deal. Linger over that breakfast salad and eavesdrop on the Machiavellian plot being hatched beside you. The hotel will attract a steady stream of corporate travellers. But we also hope it feels as attractive for Sydneysiders as it does for those flying in and out. We give it the big thumbs up.