Heart of the city
Fresh from an extensive refurbishment, Hilton Sydney reprises its role as one of the Harbour City’s slickest hotels.
Occupying pride off place in the very heart of the city, the Sydney Hilton has been an icon since it was first opened in the mid 1970s, and a recently completed $25 million refurbishment only builds on its perennial appeal.
19 March, 2021
First opened in the mid 1970s, the Sydney Hilton has the whole location thing nicely stitched up
In real estate terms it’s all about location, location, location, but when it comes to luxury accommodation, the location – while certainly important – is just one of many factors that separate the good hotels from the really outstanding ones.
First opened in the mid 1970s, the Sydney Hilton has long had the whole location thing nicely stitched up straddling as it does the block with bustling Pitt street on one side and George Street the other.
With the the expansive shopping precinct of Pitt Street Mall effectively on its doorstep and the grand Queen Victoria Building right next door, the moment a guest leaves the hotel premises they find themselves right in the heart of the action and a short stroll in any direction opens up myriad Sydney options to explore, from shopping to dining, art galleries to theatres, museums to parks. Even those in town on business rather than the more pleasurable pursuits find the Hilton’s location in the very heart of the CBD a bonus and of course the hotel is well equipped to host large business gatherings and conferences, so the business traveller has likewise always been well covered.
Since first opening its doors in 1975, the Hilton has seen many changes, the most significant of which was the major transformation of the iconic original structure that was completed in 2005.
This saw the whole building essentially reborn, a major reconstruction project from top to bottom which delivered the modern structure that greets guests today, with its striking combination of sandstone and glass, towering lobby ceilings and abundance of light. Yet the new building retained such historic gems as the historic Marble Bar on George Street, which was painstakingly removed brick by brick and then rebuilt in its original place beneath the new, contemporary structure.
Most recently, the Hilton has undergone an extensive $25 million refurbishment of its entire 547 guest rooms and 40 suites, making best use of the ‘enforced down time’ brought about by the Covid restrictions of last year. As a result it emerges better than ever to offer pleasure and business guests that celebrated combination of location and five-star service and facilities that have been trademarks of the Hilton since the very beginning.
The refurbishment has seen rooms and suites redesigned and configured to provide travellers with more useable space as well as completely replacing soft furnishings, carpets and curtains. Furniture in the rooms has also been replaced with slick new selections that includes redesigning the traditional desk arrangement to maximise space while still providing business guests with a functional work space.
The bathrooms have been extensively remodelled and decked out in the latest European finishing and tap wear, and without getting too personal, the expansive bath in one of the new suites, with its views over the city is the perfect place from which to contemplate the day, or night to come.
New finishing touches abound in each room category, with everything from new light fixtures to inclusions like the 55-inch Smart TVs across the board and new artwork throughout. The overall impression is slick and polished, but without compromising warmth or comfort.
As part of the refurbishment, new room categories have also been added in the form of Corner Room and Family Room categories, offering greater space and views over the city in the former, and twin connecting rooms in the latter to allow families ample space to spread out when travelling together.
Most recently, the Hilton has undergone an extensive $25 million refurbishment of its entire 547 guest rooms and 40 suites
Indeed time spent in the luxurious suites is time well spent, and a decadent weekend nestled high above the Harbour City will strike a chord with many a traveller
The work on the collection of suites has resulted in an impressive offering that starts with the Junior suites, Executive, City right through to the range-topping Ambassador suites. Each boasting generous space to move which of course increases as you move up through the offerings and of course captivating views out over the city. Little touches abound that make each one more ‘user friendly’ like the ‘hidden panel’ window in the City Suite, where a section of the wall panelling by the bed can be opened to provide even more light – not just practical, but a quirky piece of design. The abundance of in-built window seats throughout likewise capitalise on the space and the stunning views for those not troubled by heights.
Indeed time spent in the luxurious suites is time well spent, and a decadent weekend nestled high above the Harbour City will strike a chord with many a traveller, but there is plenty to entice even the most reclusive from their city eyrie.
Those with a passion for the physical are well catered for at the Hilton with an indoor heated pool and access to the Fitness First Pitt Street facility to work out to their heart’s content. Less active but no less invigorating is the Alysium Spa, but those who take the relaxation part of a relaxing getaway seriously need look no further than the aforementioned Marble Bar for a quiet drink in superb, heritage listed surroundings. This iconic bar situated effectively beneath the pavement of George Street was originally built 127 years ago and is the perfect place for a pre or post-dinner drink, its ornate decoration as fascinating as many of the clientele who frequents this Sydney institution.
Four storeys above the ground is the Zeta Bar, which is your more contemporary cocktail bar or guests can have a glass of wine at the Glass Wine Bar while they wait for their table at the chef’s hatted Glass Brasserie situated on the second floor of the Hilton. With its soaring ceilings and views out over the historic Queen Victoria Building, Glass is not only visually stunning but is renowned as one of Sydney’s finest restaurants. It showcases the culinary genius of award-winning chef, Luke Mangan, who often makes an appearance to chat with patrons as they dine on his superb modern Australian creations and enjoy one of Sydney’s most extensive wine lists. The menu changes with the availability of the freshest ingredients, and whether guests order a la carte or opt for the degustation menu, it is a culinary experience that will long live in the memory.
All this without even leaving the premises and you still have the rest of Sydney to explore.
As the country emerges from a year of restrictions and enforced isolation, and with international travel still on the back burner for now, the local travel industry is seeing the emergence of the ‘staycation’ as Australians explore their own backyard with renewed vigour. Destinations and activities that were perhaps taken for granted by local travellers until last year ‘happened’ are being viewed with fresh eyes, making properties like the Hilton in Sydney and the city itself, prime locations to get away, relax and recharge, even if only for a decadent weekend.
For more information visit Hilton Sydney.
With its soaring ceilings and views out over the historic Queen Victoria Building, Glass is not only visually stunning but is renowned as one of Sydney’s finest restaurants
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