A pet-friendly stay at Larmont Sydney

Reimagined then renovated, Larmont Sydney delivers a first - rate stay for every woman and her dog, as Katie Milton discovers.

Scrumpy pulls me out of the lift and stops at the window on the 12th floor of Sydney’s newest five-star boutique hotel. Last time I was here, there was a showgirl sitting inside an oversized martini glass where my springer spaniel is now sniffing. For the launch party, the Larmont team had transformed the four suites into iconic Kings Cross Venues – the first inkling of the hotel’s endeavors to connect with its local surroundings. Once a privately owned penthouse, the entire 12th floor has been converted into the Larmont’s top tier suites. The rest of the hotel is housed on the lower levels, in the space previously occupied by The Diamant Hotel.

Scrumpy drags me up the stairs and as I open the door to the Signature Suite, he yanks free and makes for the doggy welcome pack, devouring the treats in his bowl before I even enter the room. He pauses and looks longingly at me with his soulful chocolate eyes. Is that all? Along with his kitsch food bowl is a cushioned dog bed, a water bowl and a bottle of Capi mineral water. Scrumpy whines; he prefers San Pellegrino.

No more treats in sight, he continues his inspection. Bypassing the spacious bathroom with freestanding tub and waterfall shower stocked with Malin + Goetz amenities, he runs out to the balcony and takes in the views of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House to the left, and the sailboats moored in a harbour to the right. The deck is impressively large for an inner-city hotel, but the size can’t keep Scrumpy outside as he peers cautiously over the edge before pawing again at the glass door. Ignoring the dog bed he jumps up onto the cloudsoft king and curls into a small ball – the Scrumpy stamp of approval.

Scrumpy enjoys his welcome toy



The 103-room Larmont is boutique hospitality group Lancemore’s first city hotel, and one of only four five-star Sydney hotels that is dog friendly; set in what used to be the bustling red light district of Kings Cross. The past three years have seen the gentrification of the once infamously seedy district into a slick urban neighbourhood where strip clubs have been replaced by trendy cafes, specialty bars, high-end restaurants and, now, a five-star hotel. “I saw a big change happening and I wanted to be a part of it in one way or another” said Lancemore CEO Julian Clark in his speech at the hotel’s launch. Clark has spent the past year visiting more than 100 boutique hotels in 20 countries to get a feel for what makes a small hotel great. And what comes through in the Larmont is a strong sense of place, understated service, and the small touches such as two complimentary items in the mini bar and a range of premium wines available at retail price.

The lobby – more public space than five-star check in – is, apart from a few stylish couches, minimal with a styled nook off to the side outfitted with a communal table, art books, magazines and city guides to the surrounding area; the perfect place to sit and plan your day. The front desk is manned by friendly staff, guys in cool pinstriped shirts and women in vibrant chic dresses – uniforms which complement the low key, laid back service, for dogs and their humans.

I forgo happy hour in on-site restaurant The Hyde, where guests are served a complimentary glass of Lindenderry Wine from Lancemore’s cellar door along with canapes, and head through the sliding glass doors for a yoga class at the adjacent BodyMindLife studio. The lack of gym facilities in the hotel is alleviated by free yoga and Pilates classes for guests as well as access to Anytime Fitness, a one-minute walk down the road.

City views from the bathroom

 

Head Chef Christian Colognesi helms the The Hyde, a bright, open dining space with sleek blue-cushioned booths, circular bar tables and original artworks by Melbourne artist Jane Hall on the walls (pieces from the same series also hang on the walls of my suite). While it’s not on the menu, the bartender happily mixes me a Negroni. The restaurant is quiet for a Saturday night and when the waiter asks where my dog is, I feel guilty at the thought of Scrumpy alone in the room. I didn’t know the restaurant was pet friendly too, so I wolf down the crispy zucchini and smoked mozzarella, and moreish arancini balls – hearty, filling and full of flavour – and head back upstairs.



Tech savvy and modern, the hotel encourages guests to order UberEats or Deliveroo for dinner, and there’s an Apple TV for Netflix binges or a Bose Sound system to connect your Spotify playlists to. I settle for a long bath and Lindenderry sparkling, the only thing missing is a fluffy bathrobe to wrap myself in afterwards – I'm told the hotel plans to have all rooms and suites fitted with bathrobes by the end of the year. The next morning, Scrumpy’s welcome chew toy is in little pieces on the floor, so I treat him to a side of smoked bacon along with breakfast in bed. He’s happy, I feel refreshed and I order us an Uber home.



lancemore.com.au/larmont

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