Former Ritz-Carlton Sydney Scrubs Up To Become an InterContinental
If you're a fan of anything and everything Ritz-Carlton, you might remember the hotel brand having a property in Sydney that has since been merely part of fond memories of luxury digs and top-notch service in the upmarket inner-suburb of Double Bay. Now, some deep pockets are giving the old hotel new life by turning it into an InterContinetal Hotel.. This will be the second InterContinental Hotel for the city.
The new owners will fork over a wad of cash to transform the derelict building which was built as Australia's only Ritz in 1991 and eventually became the destination for the likes of Princess Diana, Madonna and Bill Clinton on their visits Down Under. In 1997, the hotel made an infamous list when INXS lead-man, Michael Hutchence, was hung himself in room 524 causing the hotel's reputation to nosedive. In 2001, it was turned into Sir Stamford which then closed in 2009 causing the building to go in ill-repair.
Now, plans are to re-open the hotel, currently acting as home for squatters and illegal parties, this January with 140 gleaming rooms and a shopping arcade on the ground floor featuring a gym and a spa. To make this a destination for weary travelers and locals, a trendy lobby bar and restaurant have made it on the refurb list as well as a rooftop pool for catching some rays and picturesque views of the iconic Sydney Harbour. (just like the Ritz-Carlton used to offer)
More to come as the refresh takes shape and the undesirables find a new place to trash.
[Photo: Daily Telegraph]