If it's true that you can judge a hotel by walking through the foyer, then just a couple of steps across the white marble floors of the revamped The Langham Sydney promises a luxurious stay indeed.
It's virtually a brand-new hotel, where every detail has been touched by luxury, from custom cornices and bespoke pendant lighting to the five marble fireplaces in the foyer. But the best gift of the renovation has been the reveal of new harbour views.
“This incredible redevelopment will leave guests, clients and the Sydney market ‘wowed’ with what has been achieved in four short months,” said the hotel's general manager, Sofia Lefevre.
The hotel’s re-design is the work of GA Design London and Australian luxury building experts, ICMG. GA Design was involved in the design of every room, structure, interior fit out and each single piece of furniture inside the hotel.
With an iconic brand such as the Langham brand we wanted to ensure our designs communicated the story of the hotels’ grand history whilst simultaneously reinvigorating the spaces with contemporary design elements combined with sophisticated and classic references.
In order to give the hotel a high-end residential feel, we introduced rich, elegant materials and Colonial-style features aiming to produce unique yet timeless spaces for the guests to enjoy.
The hotel's sense of place has also been given a boost by an impressive collection of Australian paintings bought in consultation with Sotheby's. Brett Whitely and Albert Tucker are represented, and The Langham now has seven Sidney Nolan pieces, making it the largest privately held Nolan collection in the country.
The new interiors are classic, with lots of soft grey and teal. "I think this is the only hotel in Sydney with such a strictly classic interior," says Su Ball, executive director of London-based design firm GA Design, who oversaw the refurbishment. The firm is fluent in five-star hotel design, with Langham fit-outs for Hong Kong and Chicago under its belt as well as design work for the St Regis and Four Seasons groups.
Each of the bespoke furnishings is beyond elaborate: custom-designed and made by hand with the highest-quality materials. The super-king beds in the rooms measure up to a ridiculous 2 by 2.1 metres, while the crackled-lacquer finish of the reception desk took a week's careful work to complete.
Mismatched and eclectic ornaments, such as brass bowls by Tom Dixon and carved marble candle holders, also help make this feel like a stylish home rather than a hotel, as do the floral arrangements. Today's selection is lavender stock, hydrangeas and peonies, a joyous celebration of natives and traditional English buds and leaves arranged in wabi-sabi fashion on every available surface.
It's obvious someone around here is good with details. "We knew what we wanted, from the glassware, crafted solid silverware, the right crockery and the special silver bowls that hold the house-made lemon parmesan olives and truffle popcorn we serve as bar snacks," says Lefevre, who was very hands-on in the selection process, travelling with the GA Design team to manufacturers in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Singapore to approve each of the pieces.