When I first moved to Sydney I was lucky enough to spend the night at QT Sydney. I’d had lots of recommendations for the hotel, so I was eager to check it out for myself.
QT is located on Market Street in Sydney’s CBD (central business district), in the impressive old Gowings department store and State Theatre buildings. The iconic State Theatre is still in use below the hotel.
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If that wasn’t cool enough, once you’re inside, the art deco furnishing, unusual artwork and modern design make it one of the most interesting hotels you’re ever likely to visit.
You’re welcomed into QT by the ‘Directors of Chaos’, an all-female concierge team wearing red wigs and black leather outfits. You enter via the Parlour Lane Roasters café, which is a great spot for a coffee and a bacon sandwich and features some interesting artwork, including horse mannequins clothed in dresses!
From here, you take the lift to the reception. Impressively, the elevator music is determined by the number of people in the lift, so if you’re solo you’re likely to hear “My, Myself & I”, for a couple, ‘Just The Two Of Us’ and for a group the music changes to a party tune.
The main reception area of the hotel is a colourful mishmash of different furniture, artwork and textures. Curated by designer Nic Graham, many of the items were found in Op/Charity Shops in Sydney. In addition to this, all of the public areas of the hotel feature digital art. The design team have worked hard to retain the features of the two original buildings and integrate these with the interior design.
I stayed at QT Sydney with my sister, and we were given a Deluxe King room overlooking Market Street. It had a huge window and a great view of the State Theatre Sign.
Everything about the hotel is a bit quirky, including the door numbers, which are located in ‘hands’ outside each room!
The rooms at the QT are all slightly different, but they all have incredibly comfortable gel filled beds and are beautifully furnished. The bathrooms are impressive with huge bathtubs, waterfall showers and Malin + Goetz products.
The QT was credited with having the ‘best minibar’ in the 2016 Gourmet Traveller Australian Hotel Awards. Each one contains some of the usual things you would expect; alcohol, snacks, chocolate, as well as more unusual items, including an emergency bowtie and Pick Up Sticks!
In addition to the mini bar, each room has an Espresso martini kit with instructions, should you wish to make your own cocktails. (Or you can head to the cocktail bar!)
The QT has two bars, Gowings Bar and Grill (also a restaurant) and Gilt Lounge. These are located in the department store side of the hotel.
The Gowings Bar was pretty bustling, as you would expect on a Friday night. It has a great wine list, but we were in the mood for cocktails and headed upstairs to the Gilt Lounge, which has a much more intimate feel, with red drapes and more relaxed seating. As well as the usual cocktails, the menu includes some more unusual options, and twists on the classics. I had a ‘Penicillin’; a whisky based cocktail with honey and ginger and Vicky had ‘Natural Hipster’, made with spirulina and aloe vera.
We didn’t get a chance to eat at Gowings Bar and Grill, but the food looked fantastic, and the open kitchen featured a huge Yellow Fin Tuna hanging in a glass seafood room, along with a beautifully displayed collection of ingredients.
Below the lobby is the hotel spa: SpaQ. As you exit the lift there is an impressive display of chemistry bottles and flasks along the wall, which leads into the spa. SpaQ has a different approach to most spas, and rather than booking a specific treatment in advance, they encourage you to book a time slot and tailor your treatments to you on the day. The 6 treatment rooms, like the rest of the hotel, have retained the style of the original building, and there is also a men’s barber and a steam room.
I absolutely loved staying at the QT, everywhere you go there are arty little flourishes and funky additions that you don’t expect to see in a hotel. It’s in a great location, in the centre of the city, but it’s also the sort of hotel that you don’t really want to leave once you’re there!