The 5 star Radisson Blu Sydney is housed in a restored and heritage listed sandstone beauty. Less like its much Instagrammed New York Beaux Arts cousin the Flatiron Building, it is more reminiscent of that city’s smaller Renaissance Revival masterpiece, Delmonico’s.
Formerly home to John Fairfax & Sons headquarters and the Bank of New South Wales, the hotel is at the business end of town. Perfect for a business stay but oh so close to the Opera House, Harbour and Pitt St Mall, making it easy to combine business with pleasure. (Officially now known as bleisure if you hadn’t heard). If travelling from the airport solo, catch the train, like I did as the hotel is a mere four minutes downhill from Wynyard Station.
With one of Sydney’s better restaurants, the two-hatted and multi-award winning Bentley Restaurant & Bar also in the hotel it isn’t going to be hard to be fed well while staying at Radisson Blu Sydney. In fact, with Rockpool Bar & Grill, Mejico, and Quay all just a short walk away, the hotel’s location is superb.
Check-in is simple with great service from Chantelle. Arriving before 1pm my Atrium room is ready. Walking to my room I can’t miss the countless black-framed monochrome images recounting the building’s past. From 1856, the building was home to the publishers of the Sydney Morning Herald and exactly a century later it became the Bank of NSW. Additional levels were added and the cupola rose to incorporate the Radisson in 2000.
Rooms at Radisson Blu Sydney
There are currently 336 guestrooms & 28 suites in the boutique style hotel. The very recent refurbishment – ‘New Blu’ re-design has meant a contemporary colour scheme feature metallics, hits of electric blue and citrus velvets. The very clever wall behind the bed seems to give a nod to the Australian love of corrugated iron. It is, in fact an acrylic coppery optical illusion that is indeed flat.
Architects Bates Smart were responsible for the 21st century makeover and they also undertook the glamorous transformation of the Intercontinental Sydney Double Bay. The high ceiling makes the rooms seem more spacious and the soft grey and off white carpets are chic.
The ‘don’t disturb’ bed is a ‘true’ king with crisp, white, high thread count sheets. It’s easy to plug in phones and other digital devices with lots of power points. This being the business end of town – the requisite desk luckily doesn’t impede on your chill-out space. And, thank goodness for the speedy and free Wi-Fi. I only wished I had more time to sample the pillow menu and the better selection of TV channels than most hotels offer.
The bathrooms are sleek and marble. If you like your showers forceful – you’ve come to the right place. This is perhaps the best shower I ever enjoyed anywhere in the world.
There is also a separate tub for a long, relaxing soak. Plenty of large, fluffy bath sheets. Check. Make-up mirror. Check.
There’s a knock at the door and the charming Frederico asks if he can deliver an ice bucket with a chilling bottle of Domain Chandon and something special from the hotel’s pastry chef. This is a mini-selection from the Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney’s much lauded High Tea. There is a ‘too pretty to eat’, patisserie-cream filled mini éclair adorned with the tiniest of fresh flowers. There are citrus hearts crowned with gold leaf, choc caramel slice and brownie all under the watchful eye of the choux pastry swan with Chantilly cream and jam. An absolute delight.
Breakfast is included and has all the usual suspects, made-to-order omelettes as well as fresh Bircher muesli and berry compote. Not enough time to linger but the buffet chafing dishes hold good scrambled eggs (not watery or rubbery) and delicious bacon.
Why you should stay at Radisson Blu Sydney:
When it comes to location for both business and leisure, the Radisson Blu Sydney is second to none. The staff finds no request too much trouble – smiling and helpful at every turn. The new rooms are comfy and the dreamy beds ensure a good night’s sleep. In short, come for the location, be dazzled by the comfort and stay for the High Tea.
Disclaimer: ThisMagnificentLife was a guest of Radisson Blu Hotel Sydney