2009 Travel Guide
Sydney gets another boutique hotel, but this one is in the inner-city suburb of Pyrmont. With plans to open in March of 2013,1888 Hotel is the brainchild of the 8 Hotels Group (you'll be hearing more about them very soon) and will prove to be the jewel in their crown of properties.
Located on the opposite side of the historical Darling Harbour, Pyrmont is close enough to the city for easy accessibility, but far enough to maintain a neighborhood feel. The suburb was historically Sydney's huge wool processing area and that's what makes this building unique. Housed in a former wool-storage facility, the hotel will keep elements of late 19th century structure. High ceilings, exposed brick walls, huge period windows and an internal atrium towering the seven stories of the hotel all pay homage the 120 year-old building.
Similar to its roots, each room will feature industrial elements both new and old. During the refurbishment, the developers found some original iron bark, using it as shelves and the desk surfaces in the rooms' design. Each of the 90 rooms will boast polished concrete, steel, bronze, marble and an eclectic collection of antique furnishings, but with all the modern bells and whistles.
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We were lucky enough to stay in a Jewel Suite with Spa (Aussies call Jacuzzis 'spa baths'), which is a huge residential-style spread with lots of special touches.
Sydney has been in desperate need of some exciting new hotels for some time, and The Darling certainly answers that call. Its technology and luxury reminded us of new and recently redone hotels in New York City--or even Vegas, given that it's connected to a casino, The Star.
Take a spin through our room video and photo gallery and then we'll get into the highlights of our stay...
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For awhile now, we've wondered if anyone uses hotel alarm clocks anymore. Usually, we answer this ourselves in the negative. (Once you learn to trust your cell phone alarm, there's no turning back.)
But on a recent trip to Sydney, we decided to use the alarm clock in our room--quite simply because the alarm clock was our hotel room. Forget iHomes and other iPod dock alarms. Rooms at the sparkling new hotel The Darling can wake you up in a much more 3-D, natural, customized way.
At last, there's some fancypants hotel action in Sydney! The city's most iconic hotel, The Park Hyatt Sydney, will soon emerge from an extensive makeover--and a brand new five-star hotel will open just around the corner. She's called The Darling, and she is part of the new-look Darling Harbour casino The Star (formerly known as Star City).
Apparently Sydney was feeling a little left out in the cold, with Melbourne's Crown stealing all the country's posh casino-hotel thunder. But the new Star will be home to a new spa and pool, new stores including Gucci and Bottega Veneta, and a bunch of new restaurants including one from David Chang—Momofuku Seiōbo, one that will be part of The Darling— Sokyo, and an outpost of one of our favorite restaurants in all of Sydney, Golden Century.
He may have arrived via private jet to Sydney but so far British soccer superstar David Beckham has insisted that he get the same hotel digs as his LA Galaxy teammates inside the Star City Hotel & Casino downtown.
The 32-year-old had the option of the Royal Suite at Star City's hotel but will, just like every other player, take a standard room (well, his does have Harbour views).
The Royal Suite goes for about $5,230 a night while a regular room starts at around $230. And this is not the first time Becks has refused the royal treatment when staying with his team at a hotel. He famously hit up at Doubletree Hotel in Washington D.C. rather than request more...ahem...Posh digs.
While the LA Galaxy is set to play the Sydney football club in a friendly match Tuesday night, Becks and the team should have plenty to do in their downtime. The Star City Hotel is part of a larger entertainment venue that includes a casino, 7 restaurants, 8 bars, and several theaters with live shows.