June 17, 2021 | By Joyce DiMascio
Missed part 1 of this story? Read it here.
Hilton Sydney embraces the Queen Victoria Building – and makes the most of its proximity to the sandstone treasure. You see it from so many angles – it is such a treat.
The juxtaposition of the modern, high-rise Hilton against the sandstone ornate Queen Victoria Building captures the essence of Sydney’s mixed architecture – modern, glass and steel high-rise with precious magnificent colonial sandstone heritage in between.
Ironically, the luscious contours and carved stone, copper domes and statues of the QVB are best viewed from inside Hilton Sydney – and in particular Glass and from its chic fourth level, Zeta Bar and Terrace.
Holding an event at Hilton Sydney is a vertical experience. And that is quite a joy as no function or meeting space, dining area, lounge, cafe or guest room is ever too far away.
Function spaces sit layer upon layer in the tower as the first four levels are dedicated to meeting rooms and hospitality and event spaces. They are connected by escalators or elevators and the flow works well if events are spread across several floors.
As for capacity and flexibility, there is an excellent range of rooms and spaces. They are all flexible and numerous have natural light and outdoor areas. Normally the property can host events for up to 3,000 people. At present it is 1,500 with the two square metre rule.
And staff at the high-rise Sydney institution are delighted to be taking care of clients again as the number of events steadily return. From reception to banquet staff, housekeeping and concierge, the service standards are excellent.
According to Blair Weir, Hilton Sydney’s Commercial Director, last month was its best since reopening just after Australia Day, and the future pipeline is looking encouraging.
“Sydney really needs its border open again as soon as possible,” he says. “Being vaccinated is the key to our industry coming back.”
Weir says bookings policies are much more flexible now and conference day rates are very generous.
Corporate bookings have shorter lead times – this is becoming a pattern as clients delay committing to events because of concerns about lockdowns, he says.
But all-in-all there is optimism that events are slowly coming back.
Hilton has operated the hotel since 1975 and in 2000 acquired the site and completely gutted and refashioned the entire building. It was a mammoth undertaking.
The company is hugely invested in the Sydney market. The latest refurbishment being further evidence of this.
Hotels are integral to the economic life of cities. Their capacity and service to the visitor economy is critical. Hilton Sydney has been part of the fabric of Sydney for a long time and is likely to for many years to come.
The team has endured so much over the past 18 months. As Weir says, the staff are very excited to be looking after guests again.
From the street, Hilton Sydney is not overstated, but step inside the revolving doors and her charm and business events pedigree are revealed.
The hotel is now in the hands of its new General Manager, Hayden Hughes – there’s no doubt the hotel’s post-Covid life with him at the helm will take on a whole new level of warmth, professionalism and quintessential Australian hospitality.
We look forward to chatting to him soon.