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New and improved Strand Hotel celebrates best of Sydney with a Parisian twist

An “unexpected and charming escape amongst the anonymity of William Street”

The Strand Hotel is the first in a series of new venues by Public Hospitality. The group has been guided by a vision to uncover the potential within heritage buildings, restoring them to their former glory.

Public Hospitality executive director Peter Crinis said the Strand’s refurbishment spoke to the evolution of Darlinghurst.

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“With The Strand’s opening, we want to offer something that leans on the charm, history and character of the building and neighbourhood right on the fringe of Sydney’s bustling city, while creating something new and fresh for locals and travellers,” he said.

“As the experience of dining and travel continues to evolve, we are looking forward to welcoming guests to experience something truly boutique for a more intimate experience of Sydney.”

The Strand has undergone extensive refurbishment in two key areas, providing guests with a delectable new dining experience in their bistro alongside a magnificent rooftop bar.

As for the hotel, there are 17 freshly renovated boutique suites. The accommodation ranges from cosy one-person accommodation through to deluxe residential-style rooms.

Strand Hotel Suite

Suites are appointed with refined, contemporary interiors that includes everything from crisp white linens, rattan bed heads, accented with deep green finishings and contrasting dark floorboards.

The Strand’s offerings are designed to appeal to both travellers looking for an inner-city Sydney oasis and locals wanting a staycation within walking distance of Surry Hills, Potts Point, and the CBD.

Public Design Studio Principal Architect, Tom de Plater said the refurbishment was a light touch, with an aim to revive the interiors to meet modern-day standards.

“The approach is always to reuse the existing configurations and add some layers to the space, after peeling back many of the previous layers,” he said.

“This process means you are always thinking on your feet, you can’t set and forget the design, so it’s a very hands-on approach.”

The first glimpse of the inspired restoration is The Strand Bistro on the ground floor. It draws its cues from turn-of-the-century Paris, with a modern laidback interpretation of French cuisine.

Alongside the architectural team, co-founder of cult denim label Ksubi,  George Garrow had a hands-on role with the project as creative director.

He said: “My purpose is for the character of the hotel to grow and continue to build over time, just as if you were building your own home.

“The Strand has been designed with the intimacy and personal service of a boutique hotel, creating a community hub of like-minded people, that makes you want to return again and again.”

Described as a “charismatic hotel house of ParisIan sensibility where grit meets glamour”. The Strand’s design has a masculine edge to contrast the refined furnishings and warm texture of the walls.

Mr de Plater said the bistro’s French influence was inspired by the design concept.

The Strand Hotel Bistro

“The idea was to tie the aesthetics in the with the menu to strive for a well-rounded and strong experience for guests,” he said.

With this in mind, culinary director, Nick Mahlook alongside head chef Alex Kavanagh designed the Bistro menu to hero seasonal Australian produce, with a Parisian twist. Expect all the classic French flavours, alongside dishes that shine in their simplicity.

The bistro’s drinks list is also impressive, with an extensive line-up of French and Australian wines, aperitifs, cocktails and beers and a 49-strong whisky selection.

Heading to the newly opened Strand Rooftop, the space has been designed to provide hotel guests and locals with an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle.

“We’ve designed the rooftop to provide an unexpected and charming escape amongst the anonymity of William Street, with a deliberate strong contrast to the aesthetic experienced through the brooding texture and materials of the hotel rooms and Bistro below,” Mr de Plater said.

The bar serves signature drinks alongside a menu of light dishes such as tuna tartare & fried shallot with sesame crackers, corn and gruyere croquettes, fried chicken with pickles and hot sauce and our rooftop toastie with leg ham, mustard and pickles.

Describing The Strand Hotel as a drink, Gorrow wants the hotel to feel like a dirty martini; classic, with a twist.

And if it was a song? Sebastien Tellier’s Look or Roland Ray’s Girl on my Mind.

Contemplating The Strand’s refurbishment, Tom de Plater said it was hard to select a favourite feature of the building.

“It’s a curation of multiple uses and spaces that all weave together to create a mix of exploration and intrigue, no matter where you are, or what you are doing,” he said.

“The upper levels of centuries old pubs are often ignored, so we try to reinvigorate them to lean into the history.”


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