For a city with arguably the most spectacular water views, Sydney has very few luxury hotels that celebrate their harbour side location. The suites at the Sebel Pier One are not only close to the water – they’re over it.
The heritage building started life as a working wharf early last century as the main wharf for P&O ships – the entry point for many £10 migrants to the Great Southern Land. After laying idle for years, Accor commissioned Bates Smart Architects to re-imagine the pier to combine the heritage building’s quirks with a fine contemporary design aesthetic.
The floor to ceiling windows perfectly frame all of Sydney’s icons – the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, Fort Denison and Luna Park. And, then you venture out through the sliding doors of your Harbour View Balcony Suite and your breath gets taken away. All the senses become a little sharper: you catch a whiff of the Pacific, hear the not quite romantic rattle of Sydney’s trains and think just for the moment that you might just reach out and touch the ferries or harbour cats. You seemingly float above it all.Pier One’s Harbour View Balcony suites actually sit over the water – close enough to wave to the passengers on the 6.02 to Woolwich or even the excitable cruise goers on the P&O Pacific Princess. But as you relax on your designer day bed taking in the panorama, it’s a little like turning left after entering the plane – it’s really that good.
The suites are more like an apartment: entry way with separate powder room to the left and a lounge area with marble topped wet bar, dining table and chairs and chaise to the left. At the suite’s centre is the bedroom with a concealed LED flat screen TV that rises from the base of the sumptuous pillow-topped king-size bed. Your only first world problem now? Will it be the News or the views?
The best place to take in the panorama might be in the deep standalone egg shaped bath. Turn off all the lights, fill up the tub and add a little amber and patchouli Bath Caviar and you will be transformed. This is the only bathroom that could topple the Mandarin Oriental Las Vegas off TML’s number one spot.The indulgent twin rain showers also feature side jets, and the vanity is fitted with double brass bowls. The aforementioned mind-bogglingly good amenities are from Appelle Apothecary and are generously served up in large bottles. The body lotion is scented with mandarin peel, rosemary and cinnamon bark and the shower gel includes Australian lemon myrtle, sandalwood & Rosalina. These are perhaps the finest toiletries to be had in any luxury hotel, anywhere.
Sometimes it’s the little things that add up to create the full 5 star experience and Sydney’s Sebel Pier One has many: a top of the range Nespresso machine with real milk (not UHT) in the mini bar; fluffy not scratch bath robes; a shower with settings from rain shower to tsunami; and WIFI that works. It’s these little things, combined with the lavish comfort, and those views that will leave you with a grin wider than that familiar smiling face across the harbour. www.sebelpierone.com.au
(TML was the the guest of Sebel Pier One)