Sydney has a new, world-class hospitality offering in the form of this remarkable new harbourfront property.
Soaring above the Sydney skyline at a staggering 275m high, Crown Sydney is a timeless new addition to the city’s vibrant waterfront. Its unique twisting structure, opening up into a petal-like formation, was conceived by award-winning architectural firm, WilkinsonEyre.
This 349-key hotel, complete with an impressive F&B offering, spa, terraces and private gaming salons, and topped by expansive residential apartments, is situated in the newly transformed Barangaroo Reserve. Formerly a disused containter terminal, this vibrant precinct is now awash with superb dining establishments, retail outlets and native gardens.
Sydney’s exceptional harbour is front-and-centre of all aspects of the hotel’s architecture and design – captured and celebrated by the project’s highly prestigious team of designers and suppliers. Leading design firm, Meyer Davis, was responsible for the majority of the hotel’s interiors, and worked with the greater design team to create the ultra-luxurious, detail-oriented and handmade feel of the property.
“The interior design of Crown Sydney emphasises and amplifies the reflection of the harbour,” explains Will Meyer, co-founder of Meyer Davis. “Working in response to the architecture crafted by WilkinsonEyre, we drew the outside in by combining our signature sensibility of refined luxury with Sydney’s coastal hues and unbounded energy.
“Working in response to the architecture crafted by WilkinsonEyre, we drew the outside in by combining our signature sensibility of refined luxury with Sydney’s coastal hues and unbounded energy”
“The main challenge – and the greatest accomplishment – of this project was responding to the undulating architecture. Because of the intricate way in which columns are distributed in the building (which allows for its unique sculptural form), each guest room floor plate was different and required shifting millwork and furniture plans.
“This challenge extended through the residences and public spaces. We put a lot of care into responding to the incredible focal stair in the lobby, and how the various pools and outdoor lounge areas work in relation to the undulating architecture and incredible Sydney views.”
Awash with light and stunning natural materials, the lobby makes quite the first impression. “Drawing inspiration from reflections of the light on Sydney harbour, we wanted to convey a timeless elegance – combining luxe stone with metal detailing and using light-reflective fabrics to create an inviting and indulgent environment,” explains Will.
“We also selected a light and neutral colour scheme with moments of intense contrast through the use of blue tones,” adds Meyer Davis co-founder, Gray Davis. “This palette allows the surrounding views to become the key focal point.”
The opulent lobby bar, TWR, offers the perfect setting for afternoon tea by day, and after-work drinks by night. A sophisticated interior space is perfectly complemented by a second, outdoor terrace area. “The lobby nar design is inspired by the interiors of a luxury superyacht and features rich stone, metal, wood, leather and glass detailing,” says Gray.
From showstopping chandeliers to impactful yet subtle schemes, the array of lighting within Crown Sydney is worth a special mention. Global lighting and audio visual design studio, FPOV, worked in close conjunction with Meyer Davis and a number of other top lighting brands on the project.
Perhaps one of the most significant designs is a considered and architecturally sympathetic crystal ring chandelier that adorns the spiral staircase linking the first floor through to the fourth. FPOV collaborated with globally renowned firm Preciosa to deliver the piece.
“When you have a project with several different designers like this one, the lighting has to enhance their individual style – we’ve got to be design chameleons in this regard,” explains Mark Elliott, FPOV’s global creative director. “Wilkinson Eyre designed this wonderful oval-shaped atrium staircase, and we wanted the chandelier to maintain the wonderful purity of this space. We came up with an architectural chandelier, using a series of aluminium blades embedded with LED and crystal, as balustrading.”
This dynamic, programmable installation allows the colours of the lights to be set and changed according to the desired ambience.
As is to be expected, Crown Sydney profits from a stellar F&B line-up, with a carefully curated selection of venues.
The three Michelin-starred Clare Smyth has opened her first, highly anticipated Australian restaurant, complete with interiors by Fabled UK.
Nobu at Crown Sydney, meanwhile, is headed up by one of Nobu’s classically trained sushi chefs, Harold Hurtada. Designed by Studio PCH, the restaurant features soaring ceilings, origami-inspired forms, striking timber panelling and showstopping chandeliers.
Studio PCH is also resonsible for the interior of Yoshii’s Omakase, an intimate 10-seat fine dining room set inside the entrance to Nobu. Here, guests can experience a 10-course Japanese omakase prepared by chef Yoshii.
Bates Smart has designed the interiors of the hotel’s exquisite cocktail bar, Teahouse. Fusing contemporary hospitality design with the rich tradition of chinoiserie interiors, Teahouse boasts an extraordinary level of bespoke detailing. Each design element celebrates the theme of an ‘oriental jewel box’, from bar cabinets crafted as ornamental pagodas to the highly decorative custom ceiling, which acts as a canvas of texture and oriental patternmaking.
The highlight, however, is a series of ‘bird cage’ pavilions. These exotic, sculptural, semi-private enclosures showcase intricate design detailing and craftsmanship. Plush built-in banquettes, fabric wall linings and decorative bespoke light fixtures create a multi-layered and intimate setting.
Elsewhere, chef Ross Lusted and Sunny Lusted have opened Woodcut – a unique dining experience celebrating Australian produce. Three open kitchens create an immersive dining experience for guests, who can witness their unique cooking methods – using wood, charcoal and steam – firsthand.
Nationally acclaimed and award-winning Sydney chef and restaurateur Alessandro Pavoni has opened his latest, a’Mare, with interiors by Michela Curetti, while Epicurean will bring a global menu to life with nine exciting live kitchens, waterfront views and a bright, contemporary design by Meyer Davis.
Last, but by no means least, Japanese design firm, Strickland, has crafted the interiors for both 88 Noodle Bar and Silks. Led by chef de cuisine Meena Throngkumpola, 88 Noodle Bar recalls the great noodle houses of Shanghai, with fast, filling cuisine and a bustling atmosphere.
Silks, meanwhile, offers traditional Cantonese cuisine within a gloriously opulent setting. The interior draws from the natural colour and beauty of the Blue Mountains, tree ferns and opals, mixed with jade stone.
Crown Spa Sydney
Sydney-based architectural and interior design firm, Blainey North & Associates, drew on the hues and lines of Sydney Harbour for the hotel’s immersive spa. Nestled on the sixth floor, Crown Spa’s elegant flowing forms and translucent resin walls are a tribute to the harbour’s tranquil waters.
“Nestled on the sixth floor, Crown Spa’s elegant flowing forms and translucent resin walls are a tribute to the harbour’s tranquil waters”
“From the moment guests enter the spa, each element of design, down to the smallest details in lighting, vaulted ceilings, and backlit features, has been curated to create a bespoke and intimate experience,” explains MD, Blainey North. “We worked with a number of artists across the world to achieve this, including a tailor in New York, who hand-painted silver leaf wallpaper, and Sydney-based surfboard shaping pioneer, Hayden Cox.”
The spa incorporates two relaxation rooms, 11 treatment rooms, two vitality pools, experience showers, infrared saunas, steam rooms, manicure and pedicure stations, as well as a yoga and meditation area.
Crown Sydney offers a total of 349 guest rooms, incorporating 327 rooms, 20 villas and two premium villas. The unique footprint of each guestroom floor has resulted in varying layouts, but each of the rooms features plush interiors, with custom furnishings, luxurious bedlinen, cutting-edge, in-room technology, and vibrant coastal blue accents. Deluxe king rooms offer striking, dark marble ensuites, complete with an egg-shaped bath, walk-in shower, and Grown Alchemist amenities.
“The Super Villa takes luxury to another level,” explains Will Meyer, discussing one of the Crown Sydney’s most prized accommodations. “The materials embrace a refined sense of elevated design, boasting a residential attention to detail. A neutral canvas of bleached oak flooring, rich wood panelling, and high-contrast accent stone is perfectly paired with more vibrant hues seen in the furniture fabrics and artwork, all of which is enhanced by the spectacular 360° views of Sydney.”
“The Sky Villa is the crown jewel of this iconic tower,” adds Gray Davis. “At 69 floors high, the residence embraces the uplifting sensation of literally being in the sky. Its finishes are effortlessly sophisticated in their clean, pure beauty, and enhance the play of light.”