The new A by Adina Sydney opens with glam 1950s-style bar
There’s a golden thread running throughout A by Adina Sydney – a stylish new hotel in the heart of the city overlooking a number of heritage buildings and featuring a swanky 1950s-style hotel bar.
The new, premium apartment hotel is in a fabulously central location on Hunter street, just a short walk from Sydney Harbour, the Sydney Opera House, the historic Rocks district, Hyde Park and the city’s shopping malls.
What I love about this hotel is the fact that its design and construction has purposefully activated a network of laneways known as Curtain Place. The lanes open onto Australia Square, the site of Australia Square Tower by renowned architect, Harry Seidler. The circular Australia Square building was completed in 1967 when it won the prestigious Sir John Sulman Award from the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.
The arrival of 26-storey A by Adina, owned and operated by TFE Hotels, brings an impressive and contemporary architectural element to this significant area of the city that overlooks Australia’s oldest street, George Street. The building glows – quite literally, thanks to bronze-tinted exterior aluminium cladding and the use of metallic-coated synthetic mesh resulting in a shimmering façade during sunlight. The hotel’s lobby and impressive golden staircase was designed by JPW Architects, while the guest floor interiors and lobby furniture was designed by Carr Design Group.
The hotel is home to the city’s first sky lobby, 100 metres above street level and with its own skyline hotel pool and gym.
I loved the curved brass staircase on the lobby level that takes guests up to Dean & Nancy on 22.
This elegant cocktail bar exudes a 1950s, ‘Las Vegas’ vibe, created by the clever team behind Maybe Sammy – the award-winning bar in Sydney’s Carrington Street that recreates the golden days of cocktail lounges.
I was fortunate to attend the hotel and bar’s official opening night. The staff at Dean & Nancy on 22 were elegantly dressed in double-breasted maroon-coloured jackets. Sliding onto the leather upholstery of the stylish dining booths, we had a spectacular view of Sydney’s beautiful twinkling night lights from our gold-veined marble table. I felt right at home in my vintage 1980s sequinned top, blending in with the colour palette of the decor! There’s dimmed lighting and a definitive, sophisticated adult ambience; and with its elevated position and striking golden architectural details, it felt like we could have been in a hotel skyscraper in New York or Tokyo. The bar has two different zones connected by a walkway lined with refrigerated cabinets housing premium wines and champagne. There’s a black grand piano in the bar too where musicians regularly perform.
But the cocktails is where the fun is at! If you order the ‘Rolling A Double’ cocktail, you’ll receive a pair of dice – if you roll a double, you’ll score a cocktail upgrade. The Coffee Champagne cocktail is designed as a sensory experience, delivered with a hand cream that you apply to your skin that draws out the aromas of the drink. The Rosella cocktail comes topped with a lime aromatic bubble that causes much curiosity and gasps as it evaporates after a few seconds into a soft, smokey cloud. Bar snacks are created by executive chef Jane Strode. The menu has a vintage, mid-century aesthetic.
The hotel’s 194 apartments feature an integrated control system that seamlessly prepares each of its 82 studios, 104 one-bedroom, and eight two-bedroom apartments from the moment guests begin check in. When they swipe their key card, the technology sets off an automated welcome experience including raising the blinds on floor-to-ceiling windows and turning on the lights. Amenities are in sensibly-sized large pump bottles (avoiding plastic miniatures) and are sourced from Hunter Lab Natural Skin Care.
On the lower-ground entry foyer, a new Italian eatery by acclaimed Sydney restaurateur, Maurice Terzini (of Icebergs restaurant), will soon open – with indoor and alfresco dining that opens onto Curtin Place between George and Pitt Streets.
When it comes to ‘new’ hotels, the ones I most admire are those that manage to smartly weave heritage and historical elements into modern design while still retaining a sense of place true to its location. A by Adina Sydney, and its ab fab Dean & Nancy on 22 bar, is an uber-chic and shining bright new light in the hub of where Sydney began as Australia’s first city.