Capella Sydney launches as a member of Virtuoso

Sydney's brand new luxury hotel joins luxury global network of travel advisors

Australia’s newest ultra-luxury ‘destination hotel,’ Capella Sydney, has joined the Virtuoso global luxury community, LATTE can exclusively reveal.

Opening its doors to the public for the first time on Wednesday this week, Capella Sydney ushers in a new level of luxury, style and uniqueness the city has been craving. Occupying an entire block at the northern end of the CBD, Capella Sydney is no cookie-cutter hotel and has been seven years in the pipeline for owners, Pontiac Land Group.

Set within the Department of Education building, Capella Sydney has two entry points – the main entry off Farrer Place, and a drive entry off Loftus Street. The property offers 192 rooms, including 31 suites and four unique Signature Suites, scattered throughout.

Capella Sydney, main entrance from Farrer Place | Credit: Timothy Kaye

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In ascending order from the ground up, the rooms and suites move from Deluxe Rooms to Premier Rooms, Skyline Rooms, Deluxe Suites and Skyline Suites. Most rooms are outward facing with some lower level rooms facing inward towards the centre courtyard and lounge area known as Apertur. Learn more about the hotel specifics in LATTE’s previous article this week on the opening, here.

At the face of Capella Sydney is the highly experienced hospitality professional, Marc von Arnim. Prior to joining Capella Group, von Arnim had amassed 30 years of experience with Hyatt Hotels, most recently as GM of Park Hyatt Sydney for 7.5 years. His Hyatt tenure saw him assigned to other Park Hyatt properties within the Group in Busan and Seoul in South Korea, and Goa in India where he oversaw a full renovation of the hotel.

Speaking exclusively with LATTE on day one of operation, von Arnim said he was elated to finally be able to throw open the doors of Sydney’s newest masterpiece.

“Bookings are going really well,” he said. “We’re a new brand that people don’t understand, we’re in a building that is not purpose-built, that has been sealed up its entire life. Now, people are coming in and the first thing they are doing is pulling out their phones and taking photos. It’s a magnificent space.”

“We have very strong forward bookings, our bar is full on the first night, and there’s been some great word of mouth,” he explained.

“This is not your standard hotel and because of that it takes a bit of understanding. But once people step in here, you can see their faces and you watch them light up, and they are mesmerised,” he said.

Von Arnim said originally, the adjacent Lands Building – together with the Education Building known as the Sandstone Precinct – was intended to be the Capella Hotel and Education

Marc von Arnim, General Manager, Capella Sydney

building had been flagged by Pontiac Land to fall under Capella Hotel Group’s sister brand, Patina. However, the Lands Building is 100% heritage listed which, von Arnim says, would prevent the hotelier from making it work as a standalone hotel.

Capella Sydney's McRae Bar on opening afternoon

Instead, the Lands Building will be Stage 2 of Capella Sydney. Still two years away from completion, that development will have no guest rooms. It will however offer limited lower level retail outlet space, two floors for a private members club, event space, including Capella Sydney’s ballroom, and the top floor will be a dedicated bar with terraces. A subterranean tunnel will link the two Sandstone Buildings beneath Loftus Street, but will be used by staff only.

Von Arnim said Capella Sydney had no plans to join any of the large global hotel group consortiums, such as Leading Hotels of the World or Preferred Hotels Group. Capella Hotels and Resorts is however aligned with the GHA Discovery program, and it will also be a member.

Capella Sydney, pool

“We’ve already been accepted into Virtuoso,” von Arnim revealed to LATTE, noting the property chose not to join the Virtuoso Preview program that opens hoteliers up to the luxury travel network’s breadth of travel advisors ahead of an official opening.

“[Virtuoso] believed in us, they saw the product on many occasions to ensure we were on track and fulfilling what we said we were doing.”

“So they believed in us and accepted us,” von Arnim said, also confirming he and Capella Sydney’s Director of Sales and Marketing, Nicolena Oborn, would attend Virtuoso Travel Week in Las Vegas later this year to further amplify noise for Sydney’s newest luxury hotel.

Bistro 1930, Capella Sydney

The appeal for von Arnim to join Capella was being given the freedom to be creative and design every asset of the property that would complement the targeted guest.

The Queensland-born hotelier notes that what will make Capella Sydney stand out from the “sea of sameness” in the luxury space is its focus on indigenous culture and traditions, service levels of the staff, and the quality of experiences and the finer details, such as the 400-thread count Frette ‘Singapore Grey’ linen in rooms and suites.

For Virtuoso guests, Capella Sydney is providing an upgrade on arrival (subject to availability), daily breakfast for up to two guests per room, US$100 hotel credit, early check-in and late check-out and complimentary wifi.


Lead image: Marc von Arnim, General Manager, Capella Sydney in the Liberty Suite – a two-level Signature Suite that is awash in the afternoon sun.

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