Crave a little theatricality with your morning coffee? Love the colour red? Heading to Australia? QT Sydney, a fashionable hotel with a camp-meets-cool sensibility, is the Australian capital’s go-to spot for luxury accommodation with a sense of humour.
Wedged between two historic Depression-era buildings on busy Market Street and within walking distance of major sites like Sydney Harbour, the Opera House, Hyde Park, and the lush Royal Botanical Gardens, this 200-room design-oriented hotel exudes quirkiness and sex appeal. It all starts with the saucily dressed “directors of chaos” manning the front doors. Wearing all black, Rocky Horror Show-esque uniforms and magenta bob-cut wigs adorned with jaunty chapeaux, these toothsome meeters-and-greeters double as bell hops, taxi fetchers, and chatty tour guides. They instantly establish the glam rock vibe, itself further reinforced by the atmosphere of Parlour Lane Roasters, a retro-style coffee shop located in the hotel’s street-level entranceway that transforms into a buzzy aperitivo wine bar at night.
This is ground zero for QT Sydney, a former 1929 ofﬁce building whose original art deco details, including a heritage tile ﬂoor inspired by the ornately decorated State Theatre next door, gleam again thanks to a 17-month restoration project honouring the exuberance of the city’s swashbuckling past. The hotel’s winsome energy continues into elevators decorated with LED wall art, which stream music cued to the number of people detected by hidden sensors. Singles get lonely heart songs, while groups—in particular those headed to the hugely popular Gilt Lounge, located above the excellent brasserie-style Gowings Bar & Grill upstairs—get singalongs like James Taylor’s rendition of “You’ve Got a Friend”. You can’t help but smile.
Yet behind the fun is a serious approach to hospitality and service, starting with the second ﬂoor check-in where eclectic decor (tufted settees, old suitcases reconstituted as cabinetry, dramatic stage curtains) fills two distinct lounge areas for soaking in the elegantly edgy atmosphere. Guest rooms provide variations on eccentric aesthetic themes—there are 12 styles to choose from. Stand-alone tubs shaped like bird nests, walk-in stone showers, smoky mirrors, bowler hat lamps, decorative niches with porcelain animal ﬁgurines, bold textiles, and large and super comfortable beds trimmed with the softest of white linens are contemporary design elements combining comfort with textural appeal. The walls and windows are thick enough to mufﬂe the sound of the bustling city scene below.
For added relaxation, the onsite SpaQ has a hamman-style steam room, an old-fashioned men’s barber shop, and a customizable menu of massages and facials. The beauty experts are knowledgeable, friendly, and, like the rest of the QT Sydney staff, they make fabulous look easy.
49 Market St., Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia
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