Yes, Hilton — but gone (or at least all but unrecognizable) is the dismal Seventies tower that once went by that name. Today’s Sydney Hilton, fresh off a A$200m makeover, is a revelation, a modern business hotel done the way they all ought to be: prime central location, swanky modernist guest rooms, state-of-the-art amenities, and bars and restaurants stylish enough to appeal to more than just bored businessmen with expense accounts.
As renovations go, it’s a pretty thorough one, with changes beyond the cosmetic — whole floors were knocked out to expand soaring interior spaces like the towering sunlit lobby or the 30-meter-high wine wall in the Glass restaurant, and the health club occupies the entire first below-ground level, complete with fitness facilities, saunas and steam baths, and a 25-meter heated pool.
Upstairs the guest rooms break little new ground, but they’re well-executed and contemporary, all wood floors and flat-screens, frosted-glass bathrooms and ergonomic work desks. And perhaps the biggest change is in the areas of dining and entertainment — the Glass brasserie was designed by a star New York architect and is overseen by one of Sydney’s celebrity chefs, and even the Marble Bar, a fixture since 1893, has got a new lease on life — though largely untouched by renovations, its crowd benefits from the Hilton’s new cachet.