Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, Sydney’s newest five-star hotel will be accepting guests from 6th October, 2017, making it the city’s first new-build luxury hotel to open in 15 years. In honour of this landmark occasion, Sofitel gave us a sneak peek inside the hotel well over a month before the official opening date.
As I pull up to the towering glass exterior of the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, I am greeted in French by a line of impeccably dressed staff. I step inside the lobby, which is still under construction, a reality reinforced by the caution tape behind the reception area and black covers over the floors. Despite all this it is obvious that the finished product will be spectacular, with soaring ceilings and the signature Sofitel gold accents. I’m ushered into a sleek elevator that whisks me noiselessly to the top floor of the hotel where the Club Millesime Lounge is located. Available exclusively to Club Sofitel members, the room offers jaw-dropping panoramic city views spanning from the Anzac Bridge across the CBD and the Harbour.
It’s approaching 6pm and the sun is setting over the city, streaking the sky with blazes of pink, red and orange. As I sip a glass of Louis Roederer Vintage 2009 and survey the skyline, I learn that we are being given this sneak preview in part because the official pre-launch party on 3rd October will be reserved exclusively for charities. Sofitel owner Dr Jerry Schwartz has gifted the hotel to 28 charities for the night and they have sold the rooms to raise funds for their respective causes. Each charity will have its own dedicated floor on the night and those who have purchased the charity tickets will be the very first to experience a night at the new Sofitel.
While I won’t be staying overnight at the yet to be completed hotel, I am taken on a quick visit to one of the suites. On entering the Prestige Suite, I am again treated to spectacular city views through the floor to ceiling windows in the living area and bedroom. The generously sized bathroom offers a freestanding tub with a direct line of sight through the bedroom over the cityscape (provided the bathroom door is left open).
The living area in the Prestige Suite
We reluctantly leave the suite and head to the hotel’s restaurant, Atelier by Sofitel, where Executive Chef Matt Coates has prepared a feast of nouvelle French cuisine, featuring a crispy skin Barramundi fillet from Cone Bay and a wood–fired grilled Darling Downs grain-fed 9+ Wagyu Rump Cap. The wood panelled room is accented with feature walls of roughly hewn timber and glass cubes and the banquet table is adorned with tall pink plural arrangements. After dinner we retire to the venue’s dedicated champagne bar, where we sip champagne cocktails at the glass-topped bar, savouring our last moments in what will undoubtedly become one of the city’s favourite destinations for sundowners.
Design details at Atelier by Sofitel
Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour will open on 6th October, 2017. Rates will start from A$332.