The chicest new venue to grace the Sydney scene is Water @ Pier One. If you missed the launch on November 1, don’t worry, micenet AUSTRALIA was there to cover the canapés, cocktails and cake.
BY EDWINA STORIE
There was cake, oh yes, there was cake. A double layer chocolate mud cake with chocolate ganache icing, crowned with strawberries and served with a side of guilty pleasure. Such an indulgent creation was worthy of the opening of Water @ Pier One, The Sebel’s new event space, and the pier’s 100th birthday.
Aglow with candles and purple hues, the new venue was buzzing with the excitement of the party season’s beginnings. Around 300 industry guests mixed and mingled in a space that can hold up to 440. The 180 degree views through the floor-to-ceiling windows showcased the magnificent structure of the Harbour Bridge from its underbelly, the cheeky smile of Luna Park, and the rustling waters of Sydney Harbour. The band Musical Functions fitted comfortably with Pier One’s good looks, playing jazz throughout the evening as the sun set behind them. Themeing by Divine Events saw tall white candles clustered together on tables, a sculptured white lounge that looped into the air created a statement, while an ice sculpture by Art of Ice Sculptures punctuated the middle of the room.
This is the recreated space of the old Harbour Watch conference rooms that now perches on the tip of the pier. A generous makeover transformed it into Water @ Pier One, joining eight new conference rooms with the same wrap-around windows, electronic blinds and state-of-the-art sound and audio-visual equipment. Water @ Pier One ups the ante on its business events stakes, reigning in what the venue claims is ‘a new and revitalised era of premium hospitality’. The Sebel’s guest rooms were completely refurbished in late 2010 while 29 new guest rooms including seven large suites, four of which have large balconies, were recently added.
Completed in 1912, the pier has been a major arrival and departure point for cargo ships, passenger ships (it was the first P&O terminal), and now of course The Sebel hotel which was recently acquired by the Accor group.
Pier One’s general manager Michael Sheridan, who had the pleasure of blowing out the candles on the magnificent cake, said the feedback since the venue’s re-opening has been overwhelmingly positive. “People just can’t draw their gaze away from the water and the Harbour Bridge which can be appreciated from all angles of the room,” he said.
With those water views, seafood was of course a focus. A sushi and oyster bar was manned by two chefs while roving waiters served beer battered flathead, duck salad with coriander and chilli on betel leaf, pork belly with green papaya and peanuts, and wagyu sliders, among much more deliciousness. While the cake was being cut, sweet treats whet the palate with espresso panna cotta, berry sorbet, and Frangelico granita.
Promotional partner Etihad Airways generously gave away five return tickets for two anywhere in Australia on its domestic airline partner Virgin Australia. The event also launched the competition of a highly coveted prize that many PCOs will be working for. The Business With Class competition is designed to reward conference bookers while offering meeting planners the city’s newest meeting and event facility. The winner will receive two Peal Business Class tickets with Etihad Airways to the destination of their dreams. Entry is gained by booking events at Water @ Pier One with dollars spent earning tickets to the draw. For example, an event worth $5000 to $10,000 earns one ticket whereas an event of $30,000 to $39,999 earns eight, and anything over $50,000 earns 10. Entrants have from January 1 to July 31, 2013, to enter the most significant business events promotion the venue has undertaken. The winner will be drawn on August 7 with the winner announced and prize presented on August 14 at a fun gala cocktail party at Water @ Pier One. No one went home empty handed at the opening party with guests receiving a large gift bag of chocolates, branded water bottles, chrome USB stick as the hotel goes paperless, and beautiful toiletries that are a taste of what will be in the new guest rooms in 2013.