The hotel occupies a historic building that has been updated with bespoke fittings and has a nonchalant elegant vibe, making this a coveted spot in which to relax and take in Sydney Harbour at her glittering best. The hotel is built over the water on the first of four historic piers in Walsh Bay, and sits directly beneath Sydney Harbour Bridge — you’ll feel like you can reach up to touch her belly when you glance upwards.
Walsh Bay is Sydney’s theatre district: the neighboring wharves house The Sydney Theatre Company, Sydney Dance Company and Bangarra Dance Theatre (an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander performing arts organization). A 10-minute stroll will take you to Circular Quay and public transport in all directions. Rough-hewn beams and reclaimed timber wall cladding are a nod to the building’s past life as a shipping wharf.
These relics of the past hum harmoniously alongside the more luxe elements of polished stone and gold in the floors, and in the central zinc-topped bar. Wooden light fittings, which resemble either boats or fish skeletons depending on your headspace, hang in the space above the bar, like maritime ghosts of the past. From the welcome glass of bubbles upon arrival to the nigh-on flawless service at The Gantry, Pier One outdoes itself. The staff captures just the right balance of professionalism and warmth.
At cocktail hour, a bottle of chilled sparkling wine is delivered to all guests. At both breakfast and dinner, the service is pre-emptive and full of charm. The hotel is known as one of the most pet-friendly in town, and special rooms are reserved for those with furry friends in tow. For the active traveler, fitness classes include personal training and group yoga classes.
An oversized bed faces a large television, but it’s the view outside the window that will hold your attention. The rooms are large by Sydney standards and the floor-to-ceiling windows make the most of the exceptional views of Walsh Bay and Sydney Harbour.
Sliding doors that separate the bedroom from the bathroom can be opened so that the sunset over Sydney Harbour may be enjoyed from the oversized egg-shaped tub. The shower has eight jets that target you from all sides, as well as from above, and there is an impressive array of amenities from organic skincare range Appelles Apothecary, including ginger lily bath salts and bath caviar. The minibar is packed with goodies and includes ready-made cocktails, should you be in need of a Negroni upon arrival.
The hotel’s in-house restaurant, The Gantry, is a Sydney dining destination. It’s a cosy spot with mood lighting, and one glass wall overlooking the harbour. For an indulgent experience, try the tasting menu: six courses for AU$110 (£63), add a further AU$89 (£51) for matching wines. Elegant dishes such as charcoal-grilled kangaroo with pickled pear, radicchio and juniper are expertly paired with fine Australian wines.
At breakfast, fridges lining the back wall are filled with juices, jars of fresh fruit, chia puddings and yogurts. There is a large selection of freshly baked pastries, and the hot food buffet offers crispy bacon, hash browns, eggs made to order and an omelette station. There is also a ‘healthy station’ offering fresh salads, vegetables and a juice machine.