Penrith’s first five-star hotel has opened. We check in to the Penrith Sydney Pullman to see if it lives up to its rating.
The Pullman Sydney Penrith opened its doors to the public in August 2023, making its debut as the first five-star hotel in the Western Sydney suburb.
Part of the multinational hospitality group Accor, the hotel has been a talking point for locals since its conception in 2017 but reached an all-time high when construction recommenced post-Covid in 2022.
The Pullman Sydney Penrith officially opened in August.
Penrith itself has been on the rise in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. Wander around the area now and you’ll notice premium experiences, fine-dining restaurants and community-minded spaces all adding to the area’s appeal.
The hotel is the first in Penrith to be rated five stars.
So, it’s no surprise that a new five-star hotel has been the talk of the town. It has received a considerable amount of attention and no fewer high expectations, among not only the industry but guests too. We check in to see if it lives up to the hype.
I type ‘The Pullman Sydney Penrith’ into my GPS and a 40-minute route is mapped out for me from my home. As the small pin drops, I feel a flare of excitement. I’m on my way to the newly opened Pullman Sydney Penrith in western Sydney.
The Pullman Sydney Penrith is located in the Panthers Leisure & Entertainment Precinct.
Hotel locations don’t get much better than this: the new hotel is in the heart of the Panthers Leisure & Entertainment Precinct, which is packed with things to do.
I ponder going for a swing at aqua golf or playing games at Timezone, while others would surely find fun at iFly Indoor Skydiving or Cables Wake Park.
iFly Indoor Skydiving is right next door to the new hotel. (Image: Destination NSW)
I’m also tempted by the Squires Terrace Bar at the nearby Panthers Club, which pours nothing but beer from James Squire Brewhouse. But I’m not heading to Penrith to play.
There’s a grand allure lingering as I pull into the Pullman Sydney Penrith, the anticipation of something new and being among the first to discover it – the hotel has only been open for six days when I walk through its doors.
The air-conditioning ever-so kindly welcomes me into a very open and bright lobby, with art on the walls, floors and tables in the form of paintings, rugs and a simple yet stylish décor.
The lobby is stylish and bright.
From the Tom Ford by Tom Ford hardback on a marble coffee table to leather armchairs and graphic rugs, the colour scheme and textures of fabrics and furniture match perfectly.
It’s quiet on a Thursday afternoon and the reception staff match that energy. I’m greeted with warm politeness and a willingness to help, but it’s not overbearing, and I’m allowed to take my bags to my room unattended.
Use the spacious lifts to get to your floor.
I’m staying in a stylish Junior Suite on the second floor. Across its four levels, The Pullman Sydney Penrith has 24 Junior Suites, 96 Superior Rooms and 25 Deluxe Rooms. There are also eight Accessible Superior Rooms.
The Superior Room has a king bed, making it perfect for couples.
After putting my bag down, I head straight for the bathroom to freshen up. I wash my face and apply some moisturiser from Melbourne-based company Hunter Lab, which makes up part of a small but curated selection of toiletry products for me to use during my stay.
The small kitchenette is equipped with everything you need for a hotel stay, minus a kettle (sorry, tea drinkers). I usually opt for an English Breakfast, but instead, I try out the De’Longhi Nespresso Vertuo Next coffee machine (the latest from Nespresso), which produces a delicious, albeit lukewarm beverage.
The kitchenette is decked out with (almost) everything guests need.
In my quest for a hotter coffee, I find a microwave, which matches the fridge and freezer, all from Fisher & Paykel. An extensive minibar menu also offers up chocolate, chips and wine. And there’s no need to pick up the phone to order. Use the in-room tablet to order from the minibar menu.
Room furnishings are sleek and chic.
The in-room tablet is by far my favourite feature of the room, apart from the rain shower I spend way too long enjoying later that night. The sleep therapy menu can be found with a few taps of the screen.
I scroll past face and eye masks, a selection of pillows, a night light, a sleep sound machine that produces soothing background noise and an essential oil diffuser for aromatherapy before I earmark the herbal tea platter for later.
Food and beverage
Dinner that night is held at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Marcel, which is named after designer and architect Marcel Breuer, who designed the former Torin factory building in Penrith.
Marcel is named after designer and architect Marcel Breuer.
As I’m pouring over the extensive cocktail list at the bar, the bartender gets my attention and asks me what I’m looking for. I throw him a few key words: sweet, fresh and fruity.
A moment later I’m sipping a pina colada with a twist. The Jean-Claude Pandan is going down a treat, with the Plantation Pineapple and Flor De Cana Blanco rums mingling sweetly with pandan and coconut flavours.
The design of both the restaurant and bar is light and neutral, all curves and textures. Deep and light browns meet olive greens, creams and whites which come in the form of soft leathers and wooden textures.
Deep and light browns meet olive greens.
Akshay Arora, Director of Food and Beverage at Pullman Sydney Penrith, describes Marcel as “food for the people, wine for the heart.” The philosophy is apparent as I dig into dinner, a nine-course shared menu featuring Kiewa Valley lamb, Ranger Valley rib eye and a biscotti crème brûlée to top it all off.
Dinner was a nine-course shared menu, starting with a mushroom risotto. (Image: Taylah Darnell)
As I sip my wine after dinner, I notice the excitement I felt when I first walked into the building earlier that day lingering. Maybe it’s the wine. Or the anticipation of heading back to my room to enjoy the selection of teas that promise a good night’s sleep. But there’s something there, and I can’t seem to shake it.
Thoughtful golden accents are sprinkled throughout the space.
Downstairs on the ground floor, the hotel’s cafe, Tori, is waiting for the sun to rise. Coffee, tea, juices and pastries all waiting to be made and served. Where Marcel is elegant and elevated, Tori – so named after the Torin Building – is focused on connecting the community in a relaxed and welcoming space.
Tori is a welcoming space with a community feel. (Image: Taylah Darnell)
In the morning, I enjoy a continental breakfast bar at Marcel. After snacking on pain au chocolat, fresh fruit and flavoured yoghurts, I devour a big breakfast from the menu.
Waking up to a fresh continental breakfast. (Image: Taylah Darnell)
Yet surprisingly, the highlight of my meal is the freshly squeezed orange juice delivered up from Tori. It’s just what I need; sweet, zesty and cold – it prepares me well for the day ahead.
Although not much of a gym junkie, I head down to the fitness centre before I check out to see what it’s all about. The area is spacious and filled with natural light, with brand-new equipment partially selected by the official Panthers team from the stadium across the road.
The fitness centre was co-designed by the official Panthers NRL team.
From a leisurely run on the treadmill, circuit training or weightlifting (up to 30 kilograms), you’ll find everything required for a good workout. Personally, I’d opt to sweat it out in the sauna instead.
For a five-star hotel, a stay at the Pullman Sydney Penrith is reasonably priced. Room rates start around $261 a night for a Superior Room and range up to $356 for a Junior Suite (prices are accurate at the time of writing).
Checking out on Friday morning, the usual weight I feel at the end of the week is noticeably missing. On the other hand, it feels more like a Sunday. I’m relaxed and full – body and heart.
The feeling of excitement that has lived with me since arriving yesterday doesn’t disappear as I exit through the front doors. It remains; a reminder to come back and live in it again. The Pullman Sydney Penrith certainly lives up to the hype.
It will undoubtedly be a popular option for travellers looking for an elevated hotel offering come the opening of the new Western Sydney International (Nancy-Bird Walton) Airport in Badgerys Creek – only a 20-minute drive from the airport once it opens in 2026.
Score out of five: 4/5
We rated: The rain shower and in-room tablet.
We’d change: Maybe add an in-room kettle for those who don’t like coffee. A pool would also go a long way for those hot Western Sydney summer days.
Notes: The Pullman Sydney Penrith are taking notable steps to being accessible to all, including eight Accessible Superior Rooms. Other sections of the hotel are also accessible, from the underground car park to the restaurant, cafe and rooms.
Address: 83 Mulgoa Road, Penrith, Australia, 2750.