December 19, 2017
Nearly 20 years after it hosted the Olympics, Australia's largest city is poised for a hotel boom, according to French hotelier AccorHotels, which last month opened a new Sofitel hotel in Sydney's central business district. The property, the $500 million Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, is the first new-construction, international luxury hotel to open in Sydney this millennium, and one of more than 40 hotels that are scheduled to open in Sydney over the next five years.

"Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour is the first new-build five-star hotel the city has seen in more than 15 years and it is going to be a flagship property, not only for AccorHotels but for the Australian hotel industry," said Simon McGrath, chief operating officer of AccorHotels Pacific.

Featuring a glass exterior with triangular accents that represent sails - an homage to the property's maritime location - the 35-story hotel offers 590 guest rooms, including 35 suites; a top-floor club lounge; three bars, including Sydney's largest Champagne bar; a signature restaurant; a gym; an outdoor infinity pool; and nine meeting spaces, including a grand ballroom for groups of up to 450 people.

The Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour is the city's second Sofitel hotel - joining the nearby Sofitel Sydney Wentworth - and a third already is underway: AccorHotels in March announced plans to build a $120 million MGallery by Sofitel hotel, also to be located in Sydney's central business district. Scheduled to open in 2020, the boutique hotel - to be called the Porter House Hotel, MGallery by Sofitel - will feature 121 guest rooms, a pool, a fitness center, two restaurants, a bar with an art gallery, meeting and private dining facilities, and a business center.

Concluded McGrath, "A new boutique hotel such as this will provide both business and leisure travelers with a new luxury boutique experience in Sydney, whether they visit for conferences, events, cultural, or sporting events."