Luxury Hotel Review: QT Sydney

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Where Is It: In the heart of the Sydney CBD near the State Theatre.

Why Go: The location, the design, the cool-factor.

Best For: Chic couples.

Three Things We Loved: The artwork, the unique touches in rooms, the location.

The Ultimate Factor: The art-meets-fashion design.


Frequent travellers to Sydney will always have their favourite hotels, but the opening of the hip new QT a few years back undoubtedly shook things up a bit when it comes to accommodation loyalty. Besides a terrific, central location in the heart of the Sydney CBD, the hotel not only injected some much needed designer style into the local market, but also reinvented the famous Gowings Building, and the heritage-listed State Theatre complex. Joining the two buildings is a lobby which has to be seen to be fully appreciated, a link between two unique historic spaces, as well as a precursor of intriguing design elements which await guests. From custom artwork, to the heritage objects which stand side-by-side in organised chaos, you could spend an hour exploring the lobby's intricate nooks and crannies. If relaxing and observing is more your style, there is also bespoke furniture including bold armchairs in colours ranging from yellow to magenta, on which to relax and people watch. Head up to your room and you'll be in for some unusual elevator music, which kicks in as you enter.

The Accommodation:

The QT has an impressive spread of 200 accommodations of varying types, from Twin Rooms to opulent State Suites, all of which have quirky differences with no two alike. They were originally designed by architect Shelley Indyk, with features including custom-made illuminative amber glass cabinets to create a warm glow in each room, and showcase a curious mix of crystal perfume bottles and decanters. Other unusual features including animal coat hooks, and other artefacts you wouldn't expect in a hotel. The lion's share of rooms are the King Deluxe types.

Where We Stayed:

Our home for one night was a King Deluxe. Just entering the room, via a long interior hallway with a highly polished dark brown wooden floor, your eyes meet a crazy mix of colours, including fuchsia and burnt orange, with different styles and fabrics. The king sized bed was a centrepiece of our room, adorned with a red fur rug and the head surrounded by black wood. The windows presented a view of George Street, warehouse style (from the old Gowings store), shielded with sheer grey drapes, and one of the walls was striking in gun metal grey colour. As for design touches, besides the glowing cabinet there were felt bowler hat lampshades, and an art deco style martini set complete with two cocktail glasses, a stainless steel shaker, and miniatures of high end spirits including Belvedere vodka and Patron tequila. The mini bar was out of the ordinary also, packed with retro style products such as Thomas Chipman potato chips. Moving on to the bathroom, it was highly masculine and simple in design, all black marble and gun metal grey tiling, with products from USpa. The centrepiece here is a deep Japanese bath, and sliding partitions behind the vanity unit, to open up the space to join the bedroom offering unusual views, and plenty of light.

What Else Is There: 

If you can drag yourself out of your room, there is plenty to keep you amused at QT including the elaborate Gilt Lounge, Gowings Bar and Grill for cocktails and fine dining, and spaQ for a spot of pampering. All venues embrace the same eclectic styling of the hotel, with a unique design and artefacts which will either make you smile or scratch your head in wonder. 

The Verdict

QT was hyped up long before its doors opened, but it has lived up to its reputation on all fronts, a quality hotel with bags of style and individual character, with all of the key offerings you expect from a top class five star city hotel. My advice is don't just visit for an overnight, as there are too many things to explore, and to enjoy.

QT Sydney is located at 49 Market Street, Sydney 2000, 02 8262 0062,

Joanna Hall