The imposing W Sydney today welcomes guests through its doors in Darling Harbour. The hotel sits in the former Imax theatre spot, rising between the snaking expressways connecting the lower city and Chinatown to the inner west.
The open date for the glassy build – which is the biggest of the W Hotels worldwide, and first expected in 2020 – was pushed out by lengthy delays. But it’s expected to be worth the wait.
The 588 luxury rooms and suites have been decked out by London-based interior experts Bowler James Brindley; rooftop bar 29/30 spreads across levels 29 and 30 (as the name suggests), boasting a mosaic-tiled infinity pool with sweeping harbour views; and level-three restaurant Btwn is helmed by Chris Dodd (ex-Aria, The Blue Door), with Janice Wong’s renowned 2am: Dessertbar filling a sweet pocket at one end.
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The Sydney digs express the same bright personality the W is known for around the world. Local artists, designers and creatives have been commissioned to make their mark on the space: Sophi Odling’s vast street-style murals coat the walls of Btwn; the expansive spa Away is sectioned off with graphic screens by local artist Bradley Eastman; and Australian-Ukrainian artist Stanislava Pinchuk has designed an arty constellation of lights along the guest corridors, guiding people to their rooms.