When Loh Lik Peng, founder and owner of Unlisted Collection: was introduced to a heritage site at the top of Chippendale’s Kensington Street back in 2011, it was both love at first sight and the beginning of a puzzling project. Fast-forward four years, and what is set to be Sydney’s finest boutique design hotel is officially open for business.
Two iconic heritage-listed buildings – the former Clare Hotel pub and the Carlton & United Breweries Administration Building have been carefully adjoined by a glass link-way under the engineered expertise of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects. The result: a distinctive and unique design-led property constructed with obsessive attention to aesthetics and a focus on retaining as many interesting and original features as possible.
The Old Clare Hotel brings a unique offering to the Sydney hotel market. Not only a place to stay – but for curious travellers and locals alike to entertain, enjoy and experience the cornerstone of Chippendale, the thriving, emerging city suburb.
A total of 62 rooms and suites of 7 distinctive types feature high ceilings, large original framed windows, heritage timber panelling and original exposed walls. Highlights include the heritage C.U.B. Suite – featuring spacious separate sleeping quarters, ample meeting, living and dining space with an eight-seater table and an anteroom with library. The Mary O’ Suite – named after Chippendale character, Mary O’Shea, also known as Pig Mary entails a separate entertaining and dining area for up to eight guests, a wet bar and sleeping quarters overlooking Kensington Street. The Chippendale Lofts are both contemporary and spacious, featuring a private bedroom with open white marble bathroom and sitting area over two levels.
Intricate, quirky objects and fixtures have been hand-elected to furnish each space; including .PSLAB pendant lights, vintage furniture, custom tote bags and cushions inspired by Australian fauna and flora created by Eloise Rapp. There are 62 custom made desk lamps fashioned from transformed vintage machinery of decades past by Paul Firbank a.k.a. The Rag and Bone Man, while New Zealand brand Triumph & Disaster challenge the senses with specialised amenity sets in each room. Throughout the hotel, Maison Balzac have created a bespoke and welcoming scent, evoking the memories of the past.
Downstairs, The Clare bar adjoins the hotel reception – embracing the ethos of its earlier incarnation as preferred watering hole for locals, indie rock lovers, bohemians, artists and intellectuals. Upstairs, an expansive Rooftop Pool and Bar with panoramic views of the surrounding district is the ultimate locale to have a sunrise yoga session or sundowner in equal measure.
Additional amenities at The Old Clare Hotel include a private gym and a heritage meeting space. A day spa will also launch in early 2016. Outside of The Old Clare Hotel; explore the Chippendale neighbourhood by custom made bicycle.
Three independent restaurants, offering different dining experiences, will also open as part of The Old Clare Hotel. Automata, Clayton Wells’ first solo restaurant, seating 60 guests and serving a constantly changing five-course menu has opened on Kensington Street. Silvereye, situated on level 2 of the hotel is by former Noma chef, Sam Miller, and will offer two tasting menus. Silvereye will open from September 22nd. Kensington Street Social, the 100-seat all-day venue from long-term Unlisted Collection: partner Jason Atherton will round out the restaurant openings.
The arrival of The Old Clare Hotel offers Sydney locals and travellers a thriving cultural playground and fixture of authentic urban experiences.