Into the Blu

Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney, in an historic building in a prime position on the corner of Hunter, Pitt and O’Connell Streets, recently unveiled a $12m re-design, the hotel’s first since opening in 2000.

We took a media tour through the hotel’s new-look rooms before all rooms are due for completion in July. Nothing on the exterior of this sandstone heritage-listed building has changed – notable in its appearance as resembling the Flatiron building in New York. The building, established in 1856, was the former office of newspaper publisher Fairfax up until December 1965.


Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney


The first phase of the new works was completed in September, which saw a refresh to the hotel’s function and meeting rooms – including the Sir James the Sir Warwick and the Lady Fairfax Room. The second phase will see an update to the five-star hotel’s 336 guestrooms and 28 suites. Reviewing an existing room and then a preview of the new-look design by renowned interior architects Bates Smart, rooms have been given contemporary touches and furnishings with Radisson’s signature metal-blue colour present in the way of velvet settees and chairs; silk fabrics, upgrades to the original marble bathrooms and, our favourite, the must-touch Italian metallic wallpaper.

The rooms have also given way to a layout more appropriate for leisure travel, with the large office desk that once featured in the design when the hotel launched in 2000 making way for a more subtle and moderate-sized work desk. Though technological needs have been taken into account with free WiFi throughout the hotel and double USB and power sockets at each bedside.

In both the rooms and the corridors, which are lined with black and white historic images of the hotel and Sydney, light fittings and carpets have been upgraded, giving an art-deco aesthetic with an understated, chic style. For dining options, guests have one of Sydney’s best restaurants at their disposal with the Bentley Restaurant & Bar, winner of two Sydney Morning Herald Chef’s Hats, within the building featuring contemporary design and cuisine. For hotel guests, meals at Bentley can be charged to their hotel account for settling on departure.

From July, in what the hotel claims to be a Sydney-first, it will be offering navy silk pyjamas for guests, following a partnership with Australian sleepwear brand, Papinelle. Regular visitors can leave their sleepwear behind and return for their next stay to find it cleaned, pressed and ready for use in their room. Stay tuned for the hotel’s relaunch Celebrations package which will include free his and hers pyjamas for all guests booking on that promotion.

Room rates start at A$338 per night.

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