Capella Hotels & Resorts debuted in Australia last month with the opening of Capella Sydney.
Occupying an entire city block near Circular Quay, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, the property is housed in the historic Department of Education building designed in the 1900s by New South Wales (NSW) government architect George McRae.
Pontiac Land Group led the seven-year restoration and reimagination of the building, which is part of the city’s Sandstone Precinct. Now, Capella Sydney offers 192 guestrooms and suites across nine levels, three drink and dine options, six meeting and event spaces, and world-class health and spa facilities.
“The opening of Capella Sydney is a milestone moment in the company’s global expansion,” said Cristiano Rinaldi, president, Capella Hotel Group. “This launch represents a significant opportunity for Capella to showcase its refined and curated offerings to Sydney and its visitors, and we look forward to amplifying the stories, culture and experiences of the city through a uniquely Capella lens.”
Property highlights include:
- A collection of acquired and commissioned art in the lobby that features works by Australian artists like Judy Watson, Otis Hope Carey, Elise Cakebread and Georgia Bisley, and culminates in a large robotic lighting installation by Dutch art due DRIFT, which is suspended in the hotel’s central gathering space.
- A lounge area called Aperture, which occupies the original courtyard of the old building, and is now home to the property’s signature restaurant Brasserie 1930 and McRae Bar, both of which feature cuisine in collaboration with The Bentley Group.
- A suite of health and wellness facilities on level six, which includes Auriga Spa, a 20-meter pool, yoga platform and fitness centre.
- A private ground-floor retreat for in-house guests called The Living Room, which is a signature space in all Capella properties.
The Living Room is also the place where the hotel’s culture and experience programs are conceptualized and facilitated by “Culturists,” who are on-hand to share information with guests. A current program is a two-hour, walking, storytelling tour of a bygone era, which takes guests from the hotel to the laneways of The Rocks, to hear tales of the history of the Department of Education building, the Sandstone Precinct, and the culture, crime and convicts that shaped the city.
“Pontiac Land has always been passionate about creating meaningful developments that contribute and help shape their communities,” said David Tsang, CEO, Pontiac Land Group. “Capella Sydney was an ideal opportunity for us to sensitively repurpose this culturally significant landmark in the heart of downtown Sydney and transform it into a more public offering as a leading luxury hotel for everyone to be able to experience. We are grateful for the support of the NSW government, and the City of Sydney in the achievement of our shared vision for Capella Sydney’s contribution towards a vibrant and rejuvenated Circular Quay precinct.”