Dramatic LED art walls are framed by restored art deco and baroque details, next to show-stopping spotlights and ornate gilt displays cases. You’ve just stepped into the QT Sydney, in Australia. Opening today, the hotel is set within two of the city’s most iconic buildings – the historic Gowings department store and heritage-listed State Theater. The Design Hotels newest member is is located in the heart of Sydney’s central business district (CBD) and retail precinct and is in close proximity to Darling Harbour. While the facades have been restored to their former glory, inside is a stunning mix of original features, curated digital art installations, eclectic artifacts and quirky design pieces inspired by the retail and theater history of the buildings. The service concept is equally fresh. A first in the city, the hotel’s Concierge iPhone and iPad app helps guests create their bespoke travel experiences of Sydney.
Acclaimed designer Nic Graham’s bold design of the hotel is at its pinnacle in the lobby, where historical features are set off by an imposing LED wall of digital art by Daniel Crooks. The space serves not just as a lounge, but as a playground after dark. In conjunction with the city’s well-known designers, architects and art connoisseurs, the public spaces bring the magic of the old and new alive. An audio-visual piece playing between levels creates a sensory adventure adjusting to the mood of the elevator and its occupants. All the art work was exclusively selected by curator Amanda Love.
Architect Shelly Indyk has set many quirky nuances across all 200 rooms of the hotel. A deep palette of reds, oranges, yellows and whites is featured throughout the 12 unique room styles. Retaining the original timber floors from 1929, the rooms in the Gowings Building are bright and airy with eccentric touches and embellishments. The adjacent State Theater rooms boast exclusively designed Rothko-inspired carpets and rugs, along with light, playful touches like bowler hat lamps and light fittings. The dark stone bathrooms are accented by oversized signature baths and large separate showers with pin spot lighting ensuring the right vibe. The rooms and bathrooms are finished with unusual collectables and pops of color, making it an appropriate hub from which to explore the creative scene in the surrounding neighborhood.
Guests are ushered into the beating heart of the hotel through the door into the Gowings Bar & Grill. The lounge spaces and bar areas, with a selection of cutting-edge DJs, evokes the energy of Sydney – a city that is home to a special group of pleasure seekers and power players. The Gowings Bar & Grill’s Creative Food Director, Robert Marchetti is an industry veteran with 24 years’ experience in the field. Styled after a brasserie, it offers wood-fire oven roasts and seafood on rotisserie, prepared from the freshest of Australian ingredients, mixed in with handpicked artisan products. For a quick coffee or casual bite, Parlour Lane Roasters at the entry level of the hotel provides a perfect fix. It’s a European style café, with experienced baristas serving some of Sydney’s best coffee, as well as quick, easy and social breakfasts and lunches. The Parlour Lane Roasters turns into a bustling aperitif bar from the afternoon into the evening.