World famous hotel brand returns to Sydney

Some 18 years after it disappeared from Australia’s accommodation landscape, iconic hotel brand the Ritz-Carlton is coming back to Sydney.

The six-star luxury hotel will form part of a $500 million development on The Star’s Pyrmont site.

The city’s two Ritz-Carlton hotels closed almost two decades ago and have since reopened as the Sir Stamford at Circular Quay and InterContinental Double Bay.

Now the Marriott International-owned brand is back, with a 61-storey tower adjoining The Star’s casino expected to open in 2020/21.

The development, a joint venture between The Star Entertainment Group, Chow Tai Fook and Far East Consortium, will include a 220-room hotel and 200 lower floor apartments along with food and leisure facilities.

The Star project will see an overhaul of the existing casino amenities, including a rooftop pool area with harbour views and around 15 more food outlets.

It will sit in direct competition with rival casino group Crown Resorts’ new luxury hotel development at Barangaroo on the Sydney Harbour foreshore.

But it’s not all about catering for high rollers.

According to developers, the local Pyrmont community had been engaged in planning on the project, with a five-storey neighbourhood centre also part of the development, including a social enterprise café, reading room, function space, collaboration hub and rooftop terrace.

Richard Francis-Jones, director of architects FJMT who have developed the Ritz-Carlton plan, said: “Our vision is for a beautifully sculpted architecture that will seem to grow from the great sandstone of Pyrmont.”

The Star’s CEO Matt Bekier said Sydney needs more luxury hotels to cater for international tourists, particularly the burgeoning Chinese market.

“By moving to close the shortfall in supply, we can ensure we don’t miss an opportunity that offers considerable economic benefit to this city and this state,” he said.

“This country is experiencing significant growth in inbound tourism, an upward trend which shows all the hallmarks of continuing well into the future.”

The project is awaiting final approval from the NSW Department of Planning and is the first of three Ritz-Carlton hotels planned for Australia, with Perth’s Elizabeth Quay and Melbourne’s Spencer Street also mooted for future developments.

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