A newly refreshed Sofitel Sydney Wentworth subtly reopened to leisure guests this week, signalling the return of Joie de Vivre at the historic address in the heart of the CBD. Reopened on 10 March 2022, the five-star French-inspired hotel has been busy behind the scenes enhancing facilities, designing new menus and bolstering its workforce in anticipation of its return to regular operation.
The luxury property has invested close to one million dollars into a full suite of soft furnishing enhancements, spanning the 436-room hotel’s lobby, guestrooms and suites, food and beverage offering, and conference facilities.
Sam Panetta, General Manager of Sofitel Sydney Wentworth, couldn’t be more ecstatic, telling LATTE the luxury property is primed to welcome new and returning loyal guests, and showcase its rejuvenated offering. Guests arriving in March and April will also receive a complimentary glass of French Champagne.
“It’s very, very exciting for us as a business and as a hotel as we’ve made significant changes ahead of the reopening,” Panetta said.
“We’re starting to ramp up business, bringing the teams back, recruiting a number of key positions and roles right across the hotel. It’s exciting to see the industry rebuilding.”
All rooms and suites at Sofitel Sydney Wentworth now feature new, and highly acclaimed, luxurious signature ‘SofitelMyBed’ mattresses, new linen, pillows, chairs and furniture. The hotel’s distinctive style of ‘French luxuriousness’ is brought to life by partnering with creative, passionate and sophisticated French brands, such as Balmain Paris which embodies a modern sense of art de vivre.
Rooms have been refreshed “to ensure our guests returning are coming into something that’s new,” Panetta explains. “They’ll feel that it’s new and it’s different from the moment they walk into the room.”
The enhancement begins as soon as guests arrive with the hotel’s bright and spacious lobby including the classical floral arrangements, well known and recognised by loyal guests, and the characteristic Sofitel scent infused in the air.
Conferencing is a major segment of Sofitel Sydney Wentworth’s core business, and all 11 rooms including the Ballroom have been fully refurbished with new carpet, wallpaper and lighting, and are ready to welcome back all conference delegates.
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth’s most recent major retrofit saw all carpets and curtains replaced.
On the F&B front, Sofitel Wentworth has a new cocktail menu and has revamped its French-inspired lunch and dinner options, while the hotel’s decadent High Tea experience remains an essential offering.
Panetta says service will be a key factor to ensuring the delivery of five-star luxury experience for guests. A strong emphasis has been placed on retraining all staff, known as Ambassadors, and building the hotel’s teams.
The hotel has invested in purchasing new equipment, new uniforms and expert service training for staff. “All that comes together to ensure that we have the product to deliver our globally recognised Sofitel experience for guests,” Panetta said.
Sofitel rituals also continue to be embraced, such as an abundance of fresh floral arrangements and the candle lighting in the lobby each evening at sunset, when lights are dimmed and music switched over to create a more mellow atmosphere.
Re-connecting with all key partners is high on the agenda for the hotel.
“We have stayed in close contact with all our clients, our guests, our partnerships throughout the two-year pandemic. We haven’t let that go at all because they are so important to us. Now, it’s great to see the hospitality industry bouncing back with renewed exuberance,” he told LATTE this week.
Forward bookings continue to grow as consumer confidence returns, Panetta said, while there is also a lot of new business generated from short-lead bookings.
“We can see an increase in demand for the coming months and it’s getting stronger. I can see the confidence level rising.
“Business is growing exponentially,” Panetta said with enthusiasm.
“We can see the business returning now and it’s encouraging that people want to come in for a weekend away and short stays.
“What we’re also starting to see is a lot of people plan for events and conferencing and social events throughout the year.
“And we’re finding that the leisure business and corporate business, at the moment, is quite reactive. But that will stabilise from May onwards. People will start planning a little bit better now as they return back to the office, as they start planning what the next six to 12 months look like for their businesses.”
“The hotel has exciting plans to continue to make this one of the leading properties in Sydney, the future’s looking bright,” Panetta concluded.