When Sydney's new International Convention Centre opened its doors at Darling Harbour at the end of 2016, it was just one part of the area's ongoing revamp. Welcoming patrons from October 6, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour is another — a lush 590-room hotel that marks the city's first new internationally branded luxury accommodation since the 2000 Olympics.
While most hotels like to think they're offering creature comforts that you won't find at home, SSDH isn't inflating its luxe claims. As designed by award-winning Sydney architect Richard Francis-Jones, and costing a cool $500 million, the 35-storey building features floor-to-ceiling views of the city and Darling Harbour, a French-inspired rotisserie and grill, a dedicated Champagne bar and a decadent pool drinking and hangout space.
Those staying the night can pick between standard rooms or 35 suites, with the latter coming complete with in-bathroom TVs, soaking tubs, private check-in and their own sky-high guest lounge. Meanwhile, anyone just looking for a beverage or meal can pick from the site's signature restaurant and three bars, as well as between the likes of deconstructed bouillabaisse, cocktails in the lobby or by the 20-metre infinity pool, and over 20 types of champers.
A 450-person ballroom, 6000 external LEDs that will be used for eye-catching light displays, and other design touches that nod to the indigenous clans of the Eora nation who lived in the area — think sail-like triangular accents, and colours of red ochre and blue — are also part of SSDH's package, as is a link with Marseilles. French-theming is part of Sofitel's general approach worldwide, so they've picked the southern port city as this hotel's inspiration. As well as the look and feel, that means patrons can expect Sofitel Wine Days, aka a month of celebrating French wine and living.
Find Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour at 12 Darling Drive, Sydney. Head to the hotel's website for further details.