If you are a fan of muted tones and understated art, QT Sydney will not be your bag, it is bold, theatrical, colourful and utterly fabulous.
Located in the historic Gowings and State Theatre buildings in the city’s CBD area, QT Sydney is a rather wonderful surprise, blending Gothic and Art Deco architecture and design, with modern touches and dramatic flair.
The theatre of QT starts as soon as you step inside, the rather dashing door host greets us, looking like he’s stepped off the set of Peaky Blinders and ushers us into the darkened entranceway adorned with glass caged mannequins sporting sequined stage outfits and dramatic headdresses.
The ground floor holds the hotel café, besides which you find the lifts that take you to the lobby. You know you are in for a fun time at QT when the lift serenades you! High tech sensors can tell if you are travelling alone, and it plays songs like Elvis’ “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” or Eric Carmen’s “All by Myself.” If there are two people, the music will adjust to different tunes, including “Just the Two of Us” by Bill Withers and “You’ve Got a Friend” by James Taylor. If more people get in the music goes up a notch, elevator dancing encouraged with everything from Prince’s “1999” to Lady Gaga’s “Just Dance”.
On the first-floor lobby, you are greeted by loud statement pieces of furniture and an assortment of art pieces. Swedish artist Michael Johansson’s piece named, “Past Forward” takes up a whole wall and consists of found objects including old suitcases and TVs. An adjacent wall holds framed screens with rotating images of classic movie posters whilst behind the check-in desk you are greeted with more risqué imagery.
The staff here appear impossibly cool, attired in ‘wearable art’ that would not look out of place on the front row at Paris Fashion Week. The front of house and check-in staff donned particularly flamboyant clothing that I only wished I could pass off.
Accommodations are located in two wings — the theatre and department store. Gowings Wing, the department store side, has vintage tiles on the wall and the original signage. In the theatre wind the corridors are adorned with abstract art pieces and the door handles are cast hands holding the door numbers.
Our twin room, located in the Gowings Wing, was spacious with plenty of storage and a surprisingly large bathroom, centre stage of which is a retro circular bath. The dark furnishing and decor provide a rather seductive feel to the room, perhaps encouraged by the ‘couples play set’ included in the room’s amenities.
Shelves within the glass wall separating the bathroom and bedroom are adorned with coloured glass bottles, these look stunning at night when the light shines on them, although prudes beware — it’s never clear if your companion can see into the bathroom when you are in there!
The hotel’s Gowings Bar & Grill boasts the ‘old-cool swagger of a New York steakhouse with the freshest flavours of Little Italy’. Overseen by acclaimed chef Sean Connolly, the restaurant attracts locals as well as hotel guests. Known for its stylish and contemporary atmosphere and a menu that showcases clean, crisp flavours featuring fresh handmade pasta and locally sourced produce including the best Australian meat and seafood.
Walking up the stairs located in the centre of the restaurant you get to the vintage-chic Gilt Lounge — a fun, intimate space. In the afternoons head here for the splendid looking QTea, a signature High Tea experience, mirroring the hotel’s theatricality, featuring a curated collection of culinary curiosities served with Perrier Jouët.
Come evening, the lights lower, live DJs start their sets and the Gilt Louge expert mixologists take the rein. This is the perfect spot to either start your evening, or to head for a final night cap.
Parlour Lane Roasters café, located by the Market Street entrance is a European-style café-by-day serving barista-poured coffee and what is considered by many as Sydney’s best breakfast, featuring must-have classics such as smashed avocado, artisan breads and pastries as well as heartier cooked options. Mediterranean style lunch options follow and come evening time, it is a great spot to sip an aperitif whilst enjoying their delicious Ploughman’s Theatre Board.
No luxury city centre hotel is complete without a Spa, and at QT’s hip day spa — SpaQ — there is an extensive choice of treatments, therapies and packages tailored to your needs and time restraints, choose a quick facial to preen yourself for a night on the tiles, or splash out on the Metamorphosis package lasting a glorious 6 hours. Men can get spruced up and enjoy exemplary grooming at the in-house barbers.
QT Sydney seems a destination within itself, with so much to take in and enjoy, you could almost forget that outside the doors is one of the most exciting cities in the world. Its city centre location however, ensures that you don’t need to travel far to enjoy the best of what the city has to offer. Just next door to the QT is the State Theatre, a stunning heritage-listed theatre and Sydney’s most iconic venue for film, theatre, music.
Catch a show at the iconic Sydney Opera House which is a 25-minute walk away, or 10 minutes by cab, and enjoy a drink at the neighbouring Opera Bar, where you can snap away at the magnificent views of the Opera House and Harbour Bridge.
Although you are in the centre of the city, you are not far from wonderful park land to explore. Just a few minutes stroll from the hotel will take you to Hyde Park, Sydney’s oldest public parkland and within 15 minutes walk you’ll find yourself at the 30 hectare Botanic Gardens, the largest botanical gardens in the whole of Australia.
For some retail therapy just around the corner from QT, you can shop designer brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, Burberry, Tiffany and Hermes around King and Castlereagh streets. Westfield Sydney, located underneath the Sydney Tower, is also just a short hop from the hotel and is the largest shopping centre in the city.
However you choose to spend your time in Sydney, the QT Hotel offers a fun, lively and luxuriously comfortable base, and one you will want to return to again and again.
To discover more, visit: qthotels.com
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All imagery courtesy of QT Sydney.