When Marsden Hotel Burwood opens on December 14, it’ll be the inner-west suburb’s first new luxury accommodation in more than 10 years. Opening a hotel in an area not usually frequented by tourists may seem like an unusual decision, but Jason Patterson, the hotel’s general manager, tells Broadsheet there’s some significant Sydney history behind it.
“When I first got here, I did ask the owner, ‘Why Burwood?’ and [it turns out] there’s a lot of history with Burwood,” he explains. “Burwood was the halfway point for people travelling from Sydney to Parramatta in their horse and carts, so this is where people would stop for the horses to rest.”
While travelling by horse and cart these days is rare (it’s just a six-minute walk to the hotel from Burwood station), Patterson says he wants to pull people out of the tourist hotspots into the inner-west suburb, which is known for its array of Chinese eateries.
“We’ve produced a beautiful five-star hotel that will drag people from the city, and that’s what our goal is: to get people out of Sydney to this food mecca,” he says. “And the more people we can drag from Olympic Park and from the city, well, that’s good for Burwood too.”
The hotel itself – the second from the Marsden group, which opened its first in Paramatta last year – has the kind of design and amenities you’d find in an inner-city boutique hotel. The 90 rooms have a monochrome colour scheme, and there’s a pillow menu and room service around the clock. Bathrooms are decked out in marble, with copper fittings, freestanding bathtubs and rainfall showerheads. In a nod to sustainability, the hotel’s lock systems will detect when guests have left their rooms and automatically switch off electricity.
While Burwood is renowned for great Asian-leaning food, the Marsden is adding some Euro-flair to the neighbourhood, with a meat-heavy restaurant, a patisserie and a Mediterranean-inspired rooftop bar.
“Burwood is really a food haven now, there are so many varieties of Asian food,” says Patterson. “It was a great opportunity for the hotel to launch into the European genre to complement the area, not compete.”
The upmarket Onyx restaurant is mainly powered by woodfire, with a Mibrasa grill and charcoal oven pushing out grass-fed Angus, grain-fed Wagyu and an assortment of other meats that have been dry-aged in-house. (Diners will be able to select their preferred cut and age of meat.) Old wooden sleepers from the original Anzac Bridge, decommissioned in 1995, have been worked into the design of the restaurant too.
Artisaint – the pink-hued patisserie, cafe and deli – will serve French pastries, cheese and meats, as well as à la carte breakfast. And up on the roof is Skye Bar, with a roaming Aperol trolley, private cabanas and a pool. There’s also a champagne bar serving oysters and charcuterie boards, and you’ll be able to grab a boozy brunch too. With views stretching all the way to the CBD and Paramatta, guests will be in prime position for the New Year’s Eve fireworks.
Ultimately, the Marsden is aiming to offer a five-star experience in an area that doesn’t have a reputation for premium accommodation.
“We’ve tried to take away the word ‘no’ from our vocabulary,” says Patterson. “So whatever gets asked of us, we will try our utmost to achieve, or we’ll find an alternative.”
Marsden Hotel Burwood opens on Saturday, December 14. Bookings here.