SKYE-high long-term stays in Sydney’s CBD
Cathy and Lisa Wagstaff check in to the brand-new serviced apartments of SKYE Suites Sydney.
Long-term stays in the heart of the Harbour City have been given a boutique touch with the arrival of SKYE Suites Sydney. Housed within the newest addition to the skyline – Koichi Takada’s 25-storey Arc by Crown Group tower duo – the 73 serviced apartments form the first phase of the mixed-use development on Kent Street, ideally situated between Town Hall and Wynyard.
The hotel spans the lower portion of the building, between ground and level nine, with residential apartments from the 10th floor and up. Horizon Lounge and rooftop will be an exclusive space to admire the city views from beneath the arched metal fins that gives the building its distinctive, sculptural aesthetic. Meanwhile, on the ground floor, Skittle Lane, once a thoroughfare to access the warehouses that were common in this part of town in the 19th century, will be revitalised in November as a retail and dining precinct featuring Izakaya & Ramen Michi from Masuya Group and Ministry of Coffee. Meu Jardim will be a multi-level Portuguese bar and restaurant, while Ussi Moniz Da Silva is the latest tapas venue from Da Silva of Upper East Side Bondi fame. An illuminated sculpture, Reflect, will dominate the eight-storey-high atrium, which is equipped with a retractable glass roof that automatically closes when it rains.
Sydney city living
SKYE Suites Sydney aims to give its guests a taste of the inner-city lifestyle, with studio, one- and two-bedroom suites equipped with all the comforts of home. Families and long-term business travellers in particular will appreciate the kitchen and laundry facilities, particularly the Smeg cooktop and oven, Vittoria coffee machine and mini-bar stocked with Australian-made drinks (which is complimentary when you book directly through Crown Group, rather than an OTA). The design is clean and contemporary, and the spacious bathroom is stocked with Kevin Murphy amenities. Smart tech is incorporated throughout, from the in-room iPad with local guides, newspapers and housekeeping requests to the app you use as a room key and to summon your car from the valet. Chromecast media streaming to the Samsung TV makes it easy to watch your favourite content straight from your device and sensors in the room switch the lights off after 30 minutes of inactivity to conserve power. Keep an eye out for Signature Luxury Travel & Style on your coffee table; we will be in all suites as of next week.
Downstairs, you’ll find the lap pool beside the lobby, nicknamed the ‘Ice Cave’ due to its quirky, white, domed roof and walls. The crisp, cool design is complemented by the warm welcome we receive from GM Ben and reception manager Melany, who have worked together previously and instantly make you feel at home with their easy manner and efficiency.
Barangaroo on the doorstep
Step out onto Kent Street and you’ll see just how well located this hotel is. The George Street shopping hub is three blocks away to the east, while the burgeoning precinct of Barangaroo with its multitude of restaurants and bars is a five-minute walk west. This is the city’s hottest neighbourhood for eating out, with a growing number of shops, including an outpost of David Jones. With Skittle Lane not yet open, we head to Italian favourite, Bel & Brio, for dinner. Billing itself as a “light-hearted approach to fine dining”, the menu showcases paddock-to-plate produce, including our crispy pork belly with celeriac purée, 24-hour slow-cooked beef cheeks with a whisky and dark chocolate sauce and dessert of pistachio tiramisu. Bel & Brio’s independent store Cellars ensures the wine list is excellent, focusing on French, Italian and Australian labels. This gourmet emporium even has a Marketplace, stocked with fresh produce, pantry essentials and specialty ingredients, for those days when you’re inspired to cook in your suite.