Today’s opening of Capella Sydney is confirmation that luxury truly knows no bounds.
Sitting in the heritage-listed Sandstone Precinct, just minutes from Circular Quay, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and the Opera House, Capella occupies the old headquarters of the NSW Department of Education and Department of Agriculture. The building was handed over to Pontiac Land seven years ago to begin careful restorations and bring it into the modern era while still honouring its heritage-listed status.
“Capella Sydney was an ideal opportunity for us to sensitively repurpose this culturally significant landmark in the heart of downtown Sydney and transform it into a more public offering as a leading luxury hotel for everyone to be able to experience,” Pontiac CEO David Tsang said.
The entwining of the two worlds, old and new, is evident the minute you enter the Farrer Place lobby. Soaring ceilings, detailed cornices, and the liberal use of marble speak of an era long gone. But the sleek lines and negative black space bring an air of modern minimalism to the building, as does the textile work by Elise Cakebread and contemporary Indigenous artworks by Otis Hope Carey — a Gumbaynggirr/Bundjalung man.
On the ground floor, the Living Room is a private retreat for residents. It’s a signature space at all Capella properties and is where the hotel’s culture and experience programs are conceptualised. One such program is a two-hour storytelling tour, taking participants from the hotel to the laneways of The Rocks, uncovering the history of the building, the Sandstone Precinct, and the culture, crime, and convicts that shaped the city.
The voluminous Aperture lounge occupies the original courtyard of the building. It’s the gateway to the hotel’s amenities, including the McRae Bar and landmark restaurant, Brasserie 1930. Upstairs, the 192 guestrooms and suites follow much the same design style as downstairs — sleek, elegant, and with just the right amount of character peeking through. Think standalone tubs, Italian Frette linens, and arched windows framing the Sydney Harbour Bridge in the distance.
On level six, guests are invited to swim in the 20-metre heated indoor pool or indulge in a rejuvenating massage at Auriga Spa, where sumptuous surroundings provide the ultimate escape in the heart of the bustling city.
“The opening of Capella Sydney is a milestone moment in the company’s global expansion,” Capella Hotel Group President Cristiano Rinaldi commented.
“This launch represents a significant opportunity for Capella to showcase its refined and curated offerings to Sydney and its visitors, and we look forward to amplifying the stories, culture and experiences of the city through a uniquely Capella lens.”
Stay at Capella Sydney
In celebration of its arrival in Australia, Capella Sydney has curated a limited-time package for hotel guests, the $1,500.00 Capella History Journey (available until June 30th, 2023). As well as overnight accommodation for two in a deluxe guest room, those who take up the offer will receive breakfast at Brasserie 1930, a bespoke welcome gift on arrival, complimentary access to the Living Room, and valet parking.
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All images: Timothy Kaye