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A Look Inside The American Express Vivid Lounge

Hang out in a neon cosmos, drink in hand, and gaze at some of Vivid’s best spectacles.
By Cordelia Williamson
June 07, 2019

A Look Inside The American Express Vivid Lounge

Hang out in a neon cosmos, drink in hand, and gaze at some of Vivid’s best spectacles.
By Cordelia Williamson
June 07, 2019

in partnership with

Sydney has lit up once again with its annual festival of lights, music and ideas. Even with the sudden cold, Vivid Sydney has got us getting out from under the doona and exploring our city. The CBD's three-kilometre Vivid Light Walk, spanning precincts at Darling Harbour, Barangaroo, Luna Park and Circular Quay (including an interactive playground for kidults), has a total of 50 large-scale projections. Plus, there are additional happenings taking place at Taronga Zoo and Chatswood and 15 light installations within the Royal Botanic Garden, including an immersive field of 500 fireflies. Yep, it's the biggest Vivid yet.

And while it's a must-do every year for locals and tourists alike, battling through the crowds, unfortunately, comes as part of the package. If the hubbub is a bit too much, but you still want to enjoy the sights, American Express has got the spot. You can find the American Express rooftop lounge atop the Overseas Passenger Terminal in Circular Quay. Once there, you can lounge about, drink in hand, and take in all the surrounding lights, without elbowing your way through the masses.

Located on Cruise Bar's rooftop, the exclusive lounge is aglow with blue lights and starry night projections, immersing you in a neon cosmos. Along with feeling as if you're part of a light installation, with the bright blue wash over the entire space, the lounge has some of the best Vivid views, including spectator-favourite the Sydney Opera House's sails and the glittering harbour beyond.

The interior has ceiling-to-floor glass for uninterrupted views, with a selection of barstools, higher tables and lower, cosier seating. Meanwhile, outside, you'll find chairs aligned with Vivid vistas. The bar has drinks galore — bubbly, wine, beer, a couple of cocktails and a range of spirits. So, grab a drink and nab a spot next to a heater on the balcony or get cosy on one of the many comfy chairs inside the luminous lounge — Vivid views don't get much better than this.

From here, you'll see LA-based Chinese American artist and filmmaker Andrew Thomas Huang's Austral Flora Ballet dancing across the Opera House sails; the 'symphony of beams that play across the city skyline' that is City Sparkle; the MCA's facade lit up by Claudia Nicholson's Let Me Down; an underwater wonderland at Customs House; and, of course, a neon Sydney Harbour Bridge. Plus, as you ride the escalator up to the lounge, you'll get an up-close look at Celestial Pancake — a fibre-optic suspended light installation simulating the night sky.

These exclusive, high-up views are free for American Express cardholders. Plus, you can also get $5 back when you spend $30 or more at the bar — just save the offer to your Amex card in the lounge's 'tap and save kiosk'. But perhaps best of all, you don't even need an American Express card to get in. Non-cardholders can register here to gain complimentary access to the lounge from 8pm onwards — simply show your confirmation email at the door.

Whether you're kicking off your night here or dropping in midway through your Vivid tour for some relief from the cold (and crowds), the American Express lounge is your haven in the centre of all things Vivid. Gaze upon uninterrupted, panoramic views while sipping on a glass of vino and snacking on oysters, cheeses and charcuterie, Lebanese chicken wings and flatbreads with dip. Plus, DJs will also be playing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights.

The Amex Vivid Lounge will be open every night of Vivid — from Friday, May 24 to Saturday, June 15 — between 5.30–10.30pm. To get your name on the list, head over here.

When you need a break from the crowds but not the lights this Vivid season, American Express has your back. Gain access to the American Express Vivid Lounge for free — even if you don't yet have an American Express card. All you have to do is sign-up here.

Images: Kimberley Low.

Published on June 07, 2019 by Cordelia Williamson

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