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Primus Hotel Sydney features five stars, six floors, and nine decades of history

Primus Hotel Sydney opened in December 2015, making it Sydney’s newest five star hotel. Primus Hotel brings new life to The Sydney Water Board head office, an opulent building which dates back to 1939, and is an impressive addition to Sydney’s premium hotel market.

The dramatic lobby transports you to the scene of an Edward Hopper painting. Yet at the same time, it leaves you very much grounded in 2016.

Described by Sydney Water Heritage Assets as “one of the most exquisite examples of the Art Deco style and detail in Sydney, if not Australia”, the Primus hotel has transformed this unique building into new use, but in doing so has gracefully maintained the building’s original beauty.

The lobby and corridors on the level of our room were lined with original tiles, heritage listed owing to the fact that this level originally belonged to the water board’s scientists. Cleverly, such finishes transport you back in time to the deco era (though the style is technically late ‘Functionalist’ Art Deco, for those in the know). The effect is a rich dose of escapism in a hotel already made for the perfect weekend escape.

We spent our first hours in the gym, and the rooftop pool. Drifting in the long, narrow pool, the city unfolds above you, with the surrounding buildings overlooking the hotel.

Our room (Executive) was grand in size and fit-out. Again, the finishes are quality and the perfect blend of ‘now’ indulgence with a throw to ‘then’. The shower space is walled with corrugated glass; think semi-opaque and deco curves. The bathroom is large, and features a separate shower and large soaking bath.

Back on the ground floor we dined at The Wilmot. Our round, shattered-glass table was placed to take in the spaces – not least the stark pink, eight-metre high, rare scagliola columns defining the lounge area.

The Wilmot’s tasting menu was seven courses of bliss. Executive Chef Ryan Hong has put together a contemporary yet unique menu, featuring local produce with hints of the orient. The matching wines complemented the food beautifully.

By the morning, The Wilmot had transformed to a comprehensive breakfast buffet, complete with chef stations for egg and fresh juice orders. We were impressed that the extravagant evening and morning offerings were produced in such a compact, open kitchen.

Primus Hotel Sydney is situated right in the heart of the CBD, a block away from Hyde Park and a casual stroll to the Opera House, Darling Harbour and Surry Hills. All of the hotel’s 172 rooms have complimentary internet (which is still too rare in Australian hotels) and offer Appelles amenities. Every convenience you would expect from a five-star hotel is offered and is reflected in the city’s highest TripAdvisor rating.

For those whose budget allows for more than $3000 per night, consider staying in the Presidential suite on the top floor. This 160 square metres of luxury features a butler kitchen, ten-person dining table, and amazing views of the city.

Primus Hotel Sydney is a striking, modern hotel, which has been perfectly assembled from an iconic building. The front and back of house work together to shape a truly memorable experience.

Primus Hotel Sydney - Rooftop
Primus Hotel Sydney Executive Bathroom
Executive King Room
Primus Hotel Sydney - Lobby
Primus Hotel Sydney Rooftop Pool

About the author

I co-founded Lost At E Minor in 2005 and run Conversant Media.

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