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Sydney's Observatory Hotel - charm personified
15th Mar 2004
The brightest star in Sydneyís galaxy of top hotels, The Observatory has an enviable Rocks address, a rich history and an graceful colonial style, which makes you feel immediately relaxed and at home.

Undisputedly elegant, The Observatory Hotel, managed by the Orient-Express, offers trappings of tradition while welcoming customers from every walk of life with its cosy warmth. Itís a remarkable achievement and part of its recipe for success.
The Drawing Room and library-like Globe Bar on the ground floor are spacious and bright. With a careless charm in the all-important details: random pictures on the walls, open fires, various ornaments, tonnes of leather-bound books and the dayís papers spread out temptingly on the dark wood tables, it is more like walking into an old private mansion than a hotel, and therein lies the charm.

The bedrooms are not-so-little rooms of paradise with huge four posters, antique furniture and sleek bathrooms, with of course CD and DVD players, broadband and 24 hour news channels.
With the Galileo Restaurant home to one of Australiaís rising star chefs, Harunobu Inukai, who trained under Joel Robuchon and Tony Bilson, the menu is traditional French with a twist of Japanese. If you are lucky you might even catch a glimpse of renowned chef Tetsuya Wakuda, who is a regular visitor.

Downstairs is a haven in the shape of the Day Spa and Health Club with its infamous pool. You will feel as if you are bathing alfresco as you look up at the twinkling ceiling featuring the Southern Hemisphere at night. The treatment rooms have more pampering in store with wraps, mud masks and packs, massages and facials galore. Several special treatments are also on the menu. The Tibetan Bell Therapy restores the bodyís harmonic tones, quietens the brain and opens the spirit to enhance clarity and restore balance. Ancient Stone Therapy uses hot and cold stones to massage pressure points and the Australian made LiíTya products give a ritualistic treatment sourced from traditional Aboriginal spirituality and healing techniques.
Special touches elevate the hotelís service to untouchable heights. Choices of linen and pillows, spare eyeglasses should yours break or be forgotten, broth, tea and entertainment packages if you are feeling under the weather, and plenty of extras for kids in the form of complimentary teddies, personalised snacks, tiny bathrobes and games and videos. And the ultimate in fresh ideas, should you be feeling lonesome, the hotelís goldfish, Basil and Cybil can be delivered to your room to keep you company. Just donít expect them to remember you next time you stay.

With so much on offer inside the hotel it is difficult to tear yourself out and about, even though the Sydney Harbour bridge, and restaurant and bar area of The Rocks is just minutes walk away.

Lleyton Hewitt recently filmed a French style commercial there and Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin have stayed. What further endorsement could you need?

The Observatory Hotel,
89-113 Kent Street,
Tel 61 2 9256 2222
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