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William Inglis Hotel – horsey manes and fine Champagnes

February 2, 2018 Headline News No Comments Email Email

The new William Inglis Hotel MGallery by Sofitel, which held its much anticipated launch event on Wednesday night, is not only a fun place to stay, it also stands out as a special property with a distinct purpose that distinguishes it from other five-star hotels.

As well as being the first five-star hotel in southwest Sydney, the latest MGallery by Sofitel is the accommodation centrepiece of a remarkable project – the relocation by renowned thoroughbred horse sales company William Inglis & Son Ltd from Randwick in Sydney’s east to new AUD 140 million precinct called Riverside Stables.

Just as the Randwick premises was located next to Royal Randwick racecourse, the new premises is located right next to Warwick Farm racecourse. The dawn view from my room yesterday morning was of horses galloping down the track on a training run. Most exhilarating! The rooftop Chiltern Pool Deck and Bar gives panoramic views of the racecourse and surrounding greenery as well.

The Big Barn, a grand space for dining or functions

Riverside Stables is the result of nine years of planning. Having been at Randwick for 100 years, Inglis needed to ensure its new home at Warwick Farm was just right. Thoroughbred auction sales will begin there in days, with horses fetching anything from AUD 1000 to AUD 2.4 million. The average is about AUD 350,000.

An equine theme distinguishes the 144-room hotel (named after William Inglis, the Inglis company’s figurehead and founder), but you don’t have to be an avid follower of horses to enjoy staying there. Everything is dual purpose, so open spaces and facilities are perfect for meetings and weddings as well as horse-related events. Plenty of weddings have already been booked. The Big Barn, with stables along the walls, is a sensational space, dramatic and big enough for a truly grand sit-down dinner.

Inglis managing director Mark Webster chats with guests

Facilities include a fully equipped 24-hour gymnasium and luxurious day spa on level eight.  Conferencing facilities include the sales arena, suites, meeting rooms and private dining. The sales arena is a versatile space for up to 1000 guests with seating options ranging from theatre, classroom or banquet to cocktail and boardroom.

As well as the big picture, the new hotel has got the small stuff right. Staff obviously enjoy working there and are proud of the property. It shows. Rooms are great (and the shower is excellent) but the hotel is about more than just accommodation. At breakfast, a jockey was seated, enjoying eggs and coffee beneath a horse motif. Another little touch: guests can blend their own juice using a juicer. You drop in your choice of carrots, beetroot, apple and similar, push the button and the result pours into your glass.

Lobby of the new William Inglis Hotel, MGallery by Sofitel

As well as servicing the racing industry and clients – the hotel will be a drawcard for regional tourism across both the corporate and leisure sectors.

Each of the 144 guestrooms is named after one of the many champion racehorses sold by Inglis. The biggest guestroom, on Level 8, is the Presidential Suite – named the Black Caviar Suite. Each guestroom is named after a champion racehorse and adorned with a painting of the winning jockey silks, as well as images or artwork depicting the horse.

Moet cocktails are served!

Guests at the hotel’s opening function on Wednesday night mingled for cocktails at the Chiltern Pool Deck and Bar, where cabanas and sun loungers overlook more than 120 hectares of greenery. Champagne and canapés went down well – including beef carpaccio, duck breast with quinoa, apricot jam and fermented chilli, and lemony goats cheese with organic honey and beetroot.

After Inglis managing director Mark Webster welcomed guests at sunset, visitors descended through eight levels to the Big Barn nestled amongst the Riverside Stables garden for a rustic, long-table dinner.

Chiltern Pool Deck and Bar overlooks a racecourse and more than 120 hectares of greenery

Following the main course, the evening concluded in the elegant, old-fashioned 1867 Lounge whisky bar for local cheeses, petits fours and a tasting of rare whiskies, boutique wines and a host of cocktails.

The William Inglis Hotel, MGallery by Sofitel is situated on Governor Macquarie Drive, 25 minutes from Sydney International Airport and 30km from Sydney CBD. As an opening offer, it’s charging AUD 199 per night in a superior king room including breakfast for two in Newmarket Room.

Written by Peter Needham

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