Shangri-La Sydney’s new ballroom

Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney launched its fully refurbished Grand Ballroom in November. The 668 square metre room is described as an elegant space inspired by the iconic silhouettes and sculptural elegance of Sydney’s two most famous landmarks – the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. The new Grand Ballroom’s ceiling features four ornate crystal chandeliers in a series of oval recesses, each bordered with more than 2000 glowing crystal rods that are hand-crafted from alabaster. Conceived to create the illusion of natural light where the colour and contrast may be adjusted for individual events and occasions, scalloped patterns and wave-like motifs adorn the ceiling and walls with hints of European flair and Australia’s rich colonial history.

Equipped with the latest technology, the ballroom’s lighting, sound and audio-visual system are controlled through a wireless iPad, while 69 light-emitting diode (LED) ceiling lights can be individually remote controlled to highlight table centrepieces or specific areas of an event. Complimentary wi-fi is also available throughout the facility. General manager Franz Donhauser said the team was excited about the new Grand Ballroom which is rich in detail and reflects the story behind The Rocks. “It is wonderful that we’re able to combine the elegance that Shangri-La is known for around the world with a special venue that truly reflects our iconic position along Sydney Harbour,” he said.

Darling Harbour’s newest darling

M&L Hospitality’s plan to transform the Four Points by Sheraton Darling Harbour has been approved by the New South Wales government which will result in a new tower housing 230 additional rooms and extensive meetings facilities, completed by early 2016. The new development includes 4810 square metres of pillar-less convention, exhibition and function space designed by Bates Smart, providing a new event venue in the heart of Sydney. It will also reportedly address the shortage of event space during the remake of Sydney’s International Convention, Exhibition and Entertainment Precinct. Along with the new hotel rooms, the new tower will also be occupied by an A-grade boutique office component – as part of the project’s 5000 square metre commercial development.

NSW Deputy Premier, Andrew Stoner, said, “The expansion of Four Points by Sheraton Sydney is a strong vote of confidence in the NSW visitor economy and the NSW Government’s vision to transform Darling Harbour into one of the world’s best areas to live, meet and be entertained.” The property currently has 683 accommodation rooms. The development features cutting-edge design led by the renowned Australian architects, Cox Richardson Architects. Interestingly, the podium area of the development will be built over the Western Distributor freeway. m