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18 September 2012
QT Hotel Sydney
The newest hospitality offering in Sydney is an outrageous affair that marries heritage with play-time, we sent Benjamen Judd to explore
It has been an anticipation filled wait but the launch of Sydney's newest luxury accommodation, the QT Hotel, has finally happened with their doors opening earlier this week.
Taking over two of the city's most iconic buildings, Gowings Men's Department Store and the State Theatre on Market Street, the hotel offers a mixture of old-world glamour combined with contemporary comforts.
An enormous undertaking from the moment the idea was conceived, the design process for the hotel was part restoration and part interpretation of both buildings' original purposes. The end result comes from the collaboration between Nic Graham + Associates – whose team was responsible for the styling for the public area which includes boutique café Parlour Lane on the ground floor, Gowings Bar and Grill upstairs and one more level up the premier cocktail bar, Gilt Lounge – and Shelley Indyk from Indyk Architects, who designed and styled each of the 200 guest rooms.
Shelley's particular genius comes through when you realise that each of the guest rooms is completely different from each other. Add to that, the rooms are also split across the two buildings, which provided her team with two distinct set of restrictions in regards to the heritage listed requirements for both sites.
"The challenge of heritage wasn't too onerous. The buildings had undergone a lot of change internally so there were particularly items that needed to be preserved and that added value and character to the possibilities rather than limitations," Shelley said.
"The character of the two buildings was quite different and so the challenge there was to enhance the difference – but still maintain a sense of one hotel brand. The State Theatre had a more flamboyant and theatrical quality about it whilst Gowings was more industrial and utilitarian. Many craft based industries had their workshops in Gowings!"
When pressed on her favourite area of the completed hotel, Shelley offered:
"The bathrooms are pretty luxurious....and then the rugs and carpets are all one off Indyk designs with Brintons...... Too many items! I was never good at answering what is your favourite colour!"