Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour opens its doors today, 6 October 2017 – the first new-build internationally branded luxury hotel in the harbour city since the Sydney Olympics. And it has certainly made an entrance.
The gleaming 35-story tower rises above Darling Harbour and is front and centre in this revitalised part of Sydney. The International Convention Centre (ICC) is a minute away, the Australian National Maritime Museum is a very short stroll, and the delights of Cockle Bay, King Street Wharf and Barangaroo are all in the precinct.
“It is incredibly exciting to be opening the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour – the newest hotel in Sydney and the first new Sofitel property to be built in Australia – in the same year as the brand is marking their 50th anniversary as a symbol of French elegance in hospitality” said Simon McGrath, Chief Operating Officer of AccorHotels Pacific. And the property lives up to the hype in all respects.
We had a sneak peak at the magnificent property a month ago, and it has wow factor across the board from the moment we enter the very smart porte-cochere. The highlight has to be the Club Millesime Lounge, located on level 35 – the top of the hotel. This divine lounge area is exclusive to guests staying in Club Sofitel rooms and suites, located from levels 28-34. The views are exceptional, spanning Darling Harbour, the city and around towards the Anzac Bridge. Club Sofitel guests will come here for a private check-in and enjoy other special privileges. Just as well it is quite spacious, as guests will not want to leave once they are ensconced, drink in hand, looking at that view.
The Sofitel has 590 guestrooms including 35 suites. The rooms are beautiful, with a contemporary design and all the comforts you would expect of Sofitel, including the MyBed. The suites feature a television in the bathroom, double shower heads and huge soaking tubs. For an extra special occasion, the top of the line is the Bellerive Suite, which offers a separate living room, dining room and butler’s pantry.
All through the property, there are design elements that pay tribute to the location of the hotel, with timber used extensively in a nod to the maritime heritage of this part of town. The design palette also includes a striking red ochre and blue exterior and other elements that remind us of the indigenous clans of the Eora nation who lived around Tumbalong – the name given to Darling Harbour. These historic ties blend beautifully with the hotel’s cutting-edge design.
Drink and dine
The Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour has three bars and the stylish Atelier by Sofitel restaurant. Located on the third floor, Atelier, with Executive Chef Matt Coates at the helm, serves incredible local seasonal produce combined with the culinary techniques that highlight the origin of Sofitel’s French heritage. The signature dish will be the contemporary deconstructed bouillabaisse, and although we didn’t get to try that when we were spoiled with an exemplary dinner during our sneak peak, the calibre of the meals we enjoyed was out of this world.
Also on the same level is the largest champagne bar in Sydney, offering 20 different types of champagne, from the smaller champagne houses like Canard-Duchene and Pol Roger to the houses of Louis Roederer and Pommery. There also will be a special Louis Roederer Champagne from the 2009 vintage in collaboration with artist Philippe Starck, representing the mix of innovation and French heritage. Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour will also be the only hotel in Australia to acquire a special edition 3L Jeroboam of Cristal Brut valued at $22,000. The bottle is encased in 24 carat gold-dipped latticework handcrafted by two master goldsmiths over four days. We definitely didn’t get to try that!
The property also features the Esprit Noir lobby bar, a great place to sip on a cocktail, and one of the spaces that is sure to be on every instagrammer’s list – the Le Rivage Pool Bar. Sitting pretty on the fourth floor, the pool bar will be the place to hang out, with a beautiful infinity pool and plenty of space to laze away the morning, afternoon or evening.
Everything about the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour is beautiful, and even though it is far better to be inside it, it does look quite something from the surrounding area, especially at night, with its 6000 LED lights shining like a beacon.
Grand opening package
To celebrate the opening of this impressive property, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour is offering a Grand Opening Package which includes overnight accommodation in a Superior Darling Harbour View room, buffet breakfast for two at Atelier by Sofitel restaurant, a Champagne degustation served at the Champagne Bar for two people, a selection of Ladurée sweets and late checkout of 3pm. The Grand Opening Package is priced from $529 and bookings can be made at www.sofitelsydneydarlingharbour.com.au