Crown Towers Sydney stands as a sky-scraping jewel on the waterfront of the Harbour City, steadfastly reflecting her beauty from every angle. Here, we share what to expect from a stay at the luxury hotel.
As the tallest hotel in Sydney (standing proud at 275 metres) and sporting a distinctive and sleek, reflective design, Crown Towers Sydney not only stands out visually as the defining landmark of the Barangaroo precinct, but as we discovered, the views, service and dining options to be found inside its walls also sets it apart from the rest of Sydney’s accommodation offerings.
The back story
Since opening in late December 2020 after four years of construction, this $2.2 billion hotel has lived up to its six-star hotel rating. While this rating doesn’t officially exist, we’ve discovered that it’s the only way to really describe the above-and-beyond experience to be had here.
From the eye-catching reflective exterior (thanks to over 8000 floor-to-ceiling glass panels) on the harbour’s edge to the curved geometric hotel design by award-winning British architecture firm Wilkinson Eyre to the 349 spacious, bespoke rooms designed by renowned New York-based firm Meyer Davis – the decor exudes elegance. And that’s before we even mention the water views, which include both Darling Harbour and Circular Quay (sometimes even from the same room).
The hotel has a range of deals on offer, and those who join Crown Direct unlock even further deals, like the Sneaky Sunday deal with an exclusive Sunday night rate of $550, including buffet breakfast for two.
The award-winning British architecture firm Wilkinson Eyre is responsible for the design of the hotel. (Image: Katie Carlin)
From the moment I drive up to the large glass doors of Crown Sydney, I’m shown warm and attentive service by the valet. That continues as I check in, and much later when I continue to get lost on my way to Crown Spa and afterwards, to dinner (the fault of my terrible sense of direction, it’s actually very well signposted).
They’re also very happy to help point you in the direction of the best restaurants for your tastes (an almost essential service, as choosing from the 11 restaurants here is a difficult decision) or local highlights in the Barangaroo area.
The six-storey chandelier features 396 pole-length crystals that light up of an evening with mesmerising results. (Image: Katie Carlin)
I am rarely floored by a hotel room, but walking into the Premier Harbour Bridge Suite absolutely achieved it. Floor-to-ceiling glass windows boast the true highlight of this corner room: a view of Darling Harbour from the loungeroom, and the Harbour Bridge from the bedroom.
Speaking of which, both are luxuriously spacious. The living room is technically also a dining room, with a well-stocked mini bar and kitchen essentials (coffee machine, kettle, sink, cups and plates). A few paces away, long white sofas and dark blue armchairs that could comfortably sit a whole family plus a few of their friends, face each other in front of a giant TV screen.
Luxuriate on the lounges to watch TV or the view.
A door separates the bedroom, complete with a king bed, plenty of space, and an absolute dream bathroom complete with double sink, large bathtub, spacious shower and a toilet with many gadgets including a self-opening lid and warmed seat. The Dyson hair dryer is also a highlight. There’s another half bathroom in the entry hall as well.
I especially appreciate the light setting that allows you to pick full brightness, mood lighting or off with the touch of a button. Blackout blinds ensure the many walls of windows don’t interfere with your REM sleep, and all blinds are operated with the press of a button.
Spend all day in your bathtub.
The heated multi-level infinity pool on the fifth floor of the Crown Towers with its harbour views and anchored in-pool day beds (in addition to the ones that line the outskirts of the pool under white sail sun umbrellas) is as bougie as they come. Poolside attendants are on hand to take our food and beverage order – all from the comfort of one’s floating day bed of course.
Private cabanas line the back wall overlooking the pool, they’re available to book in five-hour blocks for $250 to $450 (depending on the time of week) and guarantee you’ll be reserved twin day beds in addition to the cabana’s lounge, fridge stocked with complimentary non-alcoholic drinks, a platter, television and an exclusive cabana-only dine-in menu. There is also a large heated jet spa for use.
The infinity pool at Crown Towers Sydney boasts breathtaking views of the harbour.
We included Crown Spa Sydney on our ‘best in Sydney’ list for good reason. This is the type of luxurious spa you could easily spend the full day in, from warming up in the sauna to indulging in massage performed by absolutely expert hands to sipping tea in the recovery room before relaxing your muscles further the Aqua Retreat. Even walking into the marble-covered lobby is an experience. It earned its place in the prestigious Forbes five-star hotel club.
The dreamy, light-filled space was designed by Blainey North. A soft colour palette soothes visitors from the moment they walk in, while pops of gold and brighter colours keep the Aqua Retreat area a pretty and inviting place to be.
Even the Crown Spa lobby is beautiful to behold.
I personally opted for a much-needed relaxing massage. After heading into the women-only changerooms on the hotel’s sixth floor, I jump into my robe and leave my belongings in a secured locker.
When I’m ready, I leave via another door to enter the massage area. I’m shown right through to my room – it’s a maze in here, and I’m glad I have help navigating the soft-hued hallways and many white leather doors leading to various treatment rooms – where my extremely friendly masseuse asked questions to make sure I get a personalised experience.
She leaves so I can de-robe and jump onto the table – which I realise with delight is actually long enough to fit my 6-foot-tall body (an unusual occurrence, trust me). After the massage, the masseuse showed me back into the recovery room and brought me tea and a small chocolate to enjoy for as long as I wished. I’ll be honest though, the famed Aqua Retreat was calling my name. The retreat features a 37-degree Vitality Pool alongside lilac-tiled heated day beds and an Infrared Sauna made of cedar wood.
Relax your muscles further in the Aqua Retreat.
Tennis court and gym
Never has there been a more picturesque place to workout than the hotel’s fitness studio; its harbour-facing views are enough to turn exercise avoiders into gym junkies faster than you can say, “it’s time to checkout”. The gym is fitted with TechnoGym’s exclusive Artis equipment and guests can book a private training program or opt for a game of tennis on the open-air court. The striking cobalt blue surface of the court is decorated with bright pink iconography by Indigenous artist Reko Rennie. Find both on the sixth floor next to the spa.
The striking open-air tennis court on level six of Crown Towers Sydney. (Image: Katie Carlin)
The food and drink
The real crown on this stay (pardon the pun), is the bar and restaurant lineup. Italian fine dining at a’Mare (AKA the best Italian you’ll ever eat outside of Italy); famed contemporary Japanese fusion at Nobu; an intimate sushi affair at Yoshii’s Omakase; authentic Cantonese fine dining at Silks; the best of Australian produce cooked with wood, charcoal and steam at Woodcut; a culinary journey around the world at the buffet-style Epicurean restaurant, a traditional Chinese teahouse experience with a twist at the Teahouse; waterfront views, live music and a tantalising cocktail list at TWR (The Waiting Room) in the hotel’s lobby; and the highly anticipated 26th-floor terrace bar, Cirq.
Inside the lavish hotel lobby bar at Crown Towers, TWR. (Image: James D Morgan)
I start at a traditional Chinese teahouse mixed with luxe lounge bar, Teahouse, to try out their creative cocktail selection, seated in one of their whimsical ‘birdcages’ with a striking bird-filled wall-paper that contrasts rather brilliantly with the vibrant red carpet. As a sucker for anything matcha, my standout was Teahouse favourite, the Jade sour: gin, jasmine tea, orgeat, lemon, egg white and matcha powder. It’s a fun and subtle twist on exactly what you expect from a sour, just a minimal hint of matcha.
Teahouse’s Jade sour cocktail is a must-try. (Image: Kassia Byrnes)
Next, I head to Woodcut for dinner. Luckily I bring a plus one, as the menu is famous around Sydney for its delectable meat cuts and fresh seafood. My plus one (a seafood fanatic) could not stop raving about his half-Southern rock lobster with kombu butter main. As a vegetarian, however, I discovered a whole vegetarian menu, but the best thing anyone will eat here is the Woodcut Truffle Toastie with whipped gruyere (in my humble and completely satisfied opinion). The sommelier is also a delight, and I ask him to help me choose a wine from the extensive list for each course – something that he nails every time.
There is nothing like completely including your tastebuds before waddling the short distance back to your room and flopping into a large, soft bed.
Enjoy the best of Australian produce in moody surroundings at Woodcut.
I thought it couldn’t get better than my dinner experience until I walked into the buffet breakfast the following morning. My version of heaven is a good buffet breakfast and this one takes the cake. With food stations covering everything from freshly made crepes to classic hot breakfast foods to Asian-inspired options. Wash it all down with the best range of fruit juices I’ve ever seen at a hotel buffet, all served in an adorable class bottle. I won’t admit to how many times I refilled my plate, but I will recommend arriving on an empty stomach.
Those deals I mentioned can also include dining vouchers – like the mid-week escape Crown Towers hotel deal at $800, inclusive of a $350 dining credit.
Be sure to order the Woodcut Truffle Toastie.
The hotel’s opening ushers in the next stage of transformation for the Barangaroo precinct, which has evolved from a former 22-hectare disused shipping container site into a hub of dining, shopping, entertainment and cultural offerings.
Address: 1 Barangaroo Ave, Barangaroo NSW 2000
Website: Crown Towers Sydney
There are 349 total guest rooms, including various high-rise villas and two premium villas. The top villa will sit across two levels and will be the tallest habitable space in any hotel in Sydney. The Premier Harbour Bridge Suite is one of over 10 room and six villa types currently available to book at Crown Towers Sydney, including the Deluxe King Room, Harbour Bridge King Room, Opera King Room and Executive Harbour Bridge Room.
There are currently 11 bar and dining options open for business, and you don’t need to be a guest to dine here.
This article was originally written by Katie Carlin, with updates by Kassia Byrnes.