Capella Hotels and Resorts has confirmed it will open its debut Australian property, Capella Sydney, in March 2023. The announcement was made at ILTM Asia Pacific, being held in Singapore this week.
The introduction of Capella’s first project in Australia was revealed by LATTE three years ago, at which time the development had been proposed to open in 2021.
Capella Sydney is the culmination of a transformation of the heritage-listed Department of Education into a luxury hotel that will welcome guests and patrons for the first time in the building’s history. Positioned on Bridge Street and easy walking distance of Circular Quay, the hotel occupies an entire city block, encircled by Loftus and Young Streets.
The character-filled building is nestled in close proximity to Sydney’s commercial, arts and cultural districts and at the heart of Sydney’s latest retail and hospitality precinct.
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An iconic sandstone structure, the Department of Education was constructed in two phases. From 1912 – 1915, government architect George McRae designed the Bridge Street side that was home to the Department of Education. It stood there alone for 15 years, before John Reid & Son completed the second half, facing Farrer Place, that became home to the Department of Agriculture.
Upon entering the hotel, guests will feel a sense of grandeur with soaring ceilings and refined interiors that embrace the aesthetic of the original building. A bespoke art installation ‘Meadow’ by Studio Drift will showcase the unrivalled space within the central atrium. Suspended below an enviable glass ceiling, the kinetic sculptures blossom by mixing the light colours and the gradient of the fabrics, reacting to guests as if they were the sun to a blooming flower.
The ground level of Capella Sydney will be home to food and beverage outlets and meeting and conference rooms. Signature restaurant, Brasserie 1930’s modern art deco design was inspired by the building itself whilst its name is derived from the period it was built. Seating over 130 guests, diners can enjoy a culinary experience that offers locally sourced produce in a city renowned for its food culture. In honour of architect George McRae, the McRae Bar is a modern interpretation of the glamorous 1920s.
Offering 192 guest rooms and suites, Capella Sydney is an urban sanctuary set within the Sydney CBD. Guest rooms are spacious, averaging over 50 sqm whilst suites range up to 245sqm.
All guest rooms feature high ceilings and offer a sense of calm with muted tones and a neutral colour palette as well as an abundance of natural light. Opulent and oversized bathrooms comprise of double vanities, rain showers with most also including deep soaking stand-alone bathtubs. Intuitive in-room technology will be integrated within the historical fabric of the hotel, enhancing the overall guest experience.
With an all-encompassing approach to well-being, Capella Sydney’s offering includes the award-winning Auriga Spa, a 20-metre swimming pool intentionally positioned under a large heritage lantern (skylight) of similar scale, a fitness centre and yoga platform. This space on Level Five was once used as a gallery to showcase works of art as the heritage lanterns scattered throughout permeate an abundance of natural light and reflection. Auriga Spa draws on the strength of its surroundings with a focus on holistic ancient practices.
A previously flagged rooftop bar, proposed a number of years ago, has been excluded from the project. It is also understood that the addition of the neighbouring historic Department of Land building – as the focal point of further hotel amenities and services – will follow at a later stage of the masterplan.
“We’re looking forward to breathe new life into Sydney’s historical Department of Education together with Pontiac Land Group,” said Cristiano Rinaldi, President of Capella Hotel Group. “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to establish our presence in Australia, introduce Capella’s craft of hospitality and continue our growth beyond Asia.”
“Following seven years of meticulous planning, conservation and renovations, Pontiac Land is proud to unveil this grand hotel together with Capella Hotel Group,” remarked David Tsang, Chief Executive Officer of Pontiac Land Group.
“Capella Sydney will elevate luxury accommodation options for business and leisure travellers, and inject fresh energy into the rejuvenated Circular Quay precinct,” Tsang added.
Earlier this year, Capella named Marc vo Arnim as General Manager of Capella Sydney. He was previously the GM of Park Hyatt Sydney, and has more than 20 years’ hospitality industry experience.
A number of jobs are also currently being listed for Capella Sydney on Seek.com.au, including a Sales Manager, Executive Sous Chef and other restaurant and back-office positions.
At this stage, reservations have not opened for the property on Capella’s website.
Capella Hotel Group operates two brands – Capella Hotels and Resorts, with 13 locations across Southeast Asia, China and projects in the pipeline in the Maldive, South Korea and Japan; and Patina Hotels & Resorts, with resorts in the Maldives and Ubud.