The grace notes in this new-build hotel by Hilton's Curio Collection are botanical: a striking white-waratah motif in the lobby, a garden atrium, leaf-patterned carpets and native flowers throughout. The all-day streetfront restaurant is named after a botanist, First Fleeter Daniel Solander, and the bar mixes botanical-leaning cocktails. On the CBD's western edge and close to Barangaroo, the hotel has a façade clad in geometric wall panels that create the look of a faceted jewel, and these panels frame big windows in 182 jewel-toned rooms and suites. Smart touches include a gym full of natural light and, in rooms, backlit bedheads, ceiling-mounted Bluetooth speakers, and sound-proofing that ensures it's as quiet as a rainforest.
Inhale fresh air and disconnect from the city over a meal or drinks in the atrium "jungle", a clever use of vertical space and natural light between towers.
Attention to small details is impressive. Light switches have USB ports. The light over the clothes rail is shaped like a bird. And there's a (free) muesli bar and bag of popcorn with machine-made coffee in rooms.
All-day dining in Solander, a good-looking room with marble parquet floors and velvet-upholstered chairs, starts with a small, well-chosen breakfast buffet ($28) including chia puddings, and apple and wheatgrass presses. Or settle in with a full breakfast ($39) starring a textbook eggs Benedict.
The jade-green terrazzo bar and backlit wall glow like jewels from the streetfront. Cocktails take the hotel's botanical theme literally, with house-made bitters, infused spirits and syrups in the rather ambitious likes of Beetroot Mojitos and Nettle Gimlets.
This review was made independently for the Gourmet Traveller Hotel Guide. The guide's reviewers visit unannounced and pay their way.