It’s not often that I stay in a major hotel in Australia that I know every little about, but recently, not only did I stay in what I would call a top star hotel located in a development called the Star, but also a hotel I would describe as a real “darling” and it is actually called The Darling at the Star!
Located in Sydney’s harbourside Pyrmont, a short walk from the CBD, The Darling is part of The Star’s $870 million refurbishment which includes 20 new restaurants, bars and cafes, a sophisticated retail collection, and a nightclub with panoramic views, and they’re all right next door to The Darling.
The Darling’s rather understated minimal style entrance when I approached the hotel, belies the outstanding and quite stunning style and presence of this amazing hotel revealed as I entered the “designer” lobby, a clear and very successful statement of contemporary art and design.
With 171 rooms, The Darling at the Star is described as Sydney’s most lovingly detailed luxury hotel and has been named one of the Top 60 Best New Hotels in the World by Condé Nast Traveller, with even what at The Darling is described a standard, but I think far from standard room, offering guests a footprint of 35m2, including all the features that The Darling describes as so “Distinctively Darling”, including, feature floor-to-ceiling glass and windows that open, the Darling bed,with a customised1000 spring mattress, 400 thread count 100% Egyptian cotton bed linen, a goose down comforter and a menu of 12 luxury pillows, Molton Brown Products exclusive in Australian hotels, to The Darling, a relaxing rain showerhead and a European wand, and at one touch of a button you can do anything, well nearly anything, from lowering the blinds to adjusting the air temperature
In addition, they provide a stylish glass top business desk with internet [which is free], a personal safe that fits a laptop, coffee machine, well stocked mini bar and a 46″ HD TV.
I was lucky enough to be staying in a stunning Jewel Suite which has all the above and much more, with a king-size bedroom and separate living area, complete with wet bar and all in a massive footprint of 70m2.
I loved that The Darling is located right at the heart of The Star entertainment complex, and while I am not personally into gaming, what I did like is that many of Sydney’s top restaurants are located right on the doorstep, without even going outside, providing effortless, enjoyable pleasure and high quality experiences.
After pre dinner drinks at the incredible rooftop Sky Terrace, I was very lucky to be able to enjoy an absolutely superb degustation menu at Sokyo, described as “where Tokyo and Sydney collide”, with superb modern Japanese and Australia influenced flavours prepared by chef Chase Kojima, amazingly with matching wines and sake throughout dinner.
In absolute contrast, yet equally superb, after pre dinner drinks at Cherry and some very interesting gaming training, I was able to experience Balla’s classic Milanese cuisine inspired by Stefano Manfredi, served against a backdrop of Sydney’s stunning harbour, with again a stylish classic Italian menu hosted by
Assistant Manager Giacomo Zanello prepared by the highly talented Francesco Mannelli and again a perfect selection of matched Italian wines, with dishes including
pan fried scallops with pea puree, broad beans and red quinoa
Veal Tonnato with caper and smoked mayonnaise, tagliatelle with slipper lobster, tomato, capers and oregano and veal fillet wrapped in prosciutto, sautéed zucchini and vincotto Other The Star restaurants include BLACK by ezard, offering
sophisticated dining at Teage Ezard’s contemporary Australian grill, The Century, described as a fusion of modern Chinese food and delicious family favourites and Sydney’s much-loved institution is now at The Star, Momofuku Seiōbo, the only Australian restaurant by internationally renowned chef and visionary, David Chang.
I even managed to squeeze in a genuine Italian pizza at Stefano Manfredi’s Pizzaperta, translated as “we are open for pizza”, located right at street level at the Pirrama Road entrance of The Star with Pizzaperta’s dough made from unrefined stoneground Molino Quaglia ‘Petra’ flours imported from Italy. Each delicious pizza is described as designed with simple flavours to complement the handcrafted pizza base, cooked to perfection in the
Stefano Ferrara wood-burning oven direct from Naples.
At The Darling, breakfast is served at Sokyo, a very comprehensive and high quality selection of Western and Asian food to choose from, with succulent pastries and a great hot choice.
A hotel of The Darling’s quality and status, would not be complete without The Spa, which I was also very fortunate to experience and yes it was absolutely superb, with a massive 14 treatment rooms and offering a full range of treatments, including signature treatments and luxury La Prairie facials, the exclusive 5-star spa in Sydney for La Prairie skincare facials, ESPA body treatments, or The Spa’s two Moroccan Hammam chambers and for those that need somewhere to work off all those amazing, yet delicious calories, where better than in The Darling’s beautiful outdoor pool.
So, if you are looking for a very stylish, “cool”, contemporary, designer, yet extremely well equipped, comfortable, or even sumptuous place to stay in Sydney, with incredible rooms and suites, superb staff and customer care, and with an incredible choice of restaurants and eateries and entertainment, right on your doorstep, then this “darling” and “star”, The Darling at The Star is the place to be!
To check out The Darling and my review of this stunning, world class, boutique hotel click on the video below:
For more information about this amazing hotel visit www.thedarling.com.au
Written by : John Alwyn-Jones