NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, helps to cut the ribbon to open Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour.

Sydney’s skyline and hotel landscape once again has the Crowne Plaza name emblazoned in lights after the brand’s new location at Sydney Darling Harbour was officially opened in a ceremony earlier today (Oct 7).

Opened by NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, in the hotel’s Two88 restaurant, the ceremony was also attended by Tourism Australia Managing Director, Phillipa Harrison, Destination NSW General Manager, Stephen Mahoney and Accommodation Association CEO, Dean Long.

“From its sustainability initiatives to new technology in the rooms and restaurants, Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour is a wonderful addition to the brand’s growth in Australasia.”

IHG Managing Director Australasia and Japan, Leanne Harwood, said the opening event was a strong endorsement of support to get the industry moving once again.

“Globally we are completely transforming the brand as we build hotels of the future with flexible design and innovation that modern travellers crave,” Harwood said.

“And, here in Australia, 2020 really is the year of Crowne Plaza, with the refurbishment of our existing estate, and the opening of new hotels in Hobart, Adelaide, and Sydney Darling Harbour.

Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour features 152 rooms.

NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, praised the efforts of the hotel’s owner and IHG in bringing the Crowne Plaza brand back to Sydney after 10 years away.

“It’s great to see that during these difficult times, we are able to come together to support the hospitality and tourism sector which has had, probably the worst year on record.

NSW Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, speaking at the opening of Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour today.

The Premier took an opportunity for a veiled swipe at Queensland for its short-sighted approach to operating cohesively and reopening its border while still remaining vigilant about COVID-19.

“Apart from Victoria, no state government should have any borders at this stage and I think it is ridiculous that they do.”

IHG Director of Operations, Ruwan Peiris, said the new Sydney hotel was a spectacular iteration of what the brand has to offer.

“I can’t express my gratitude enough to have such a wonderful, headlining property in the heart of Sydney,” Peiris said.

IHG Director of Operations, Ruwan Peiris.

“Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour will be a sustainable hotel, through initiatives such as paperless check-in, bamboo key cards and the ‘Awesome Partnership’ we currently have with OzHarvest.”

Peiris paid tribute to the hotel team, led by General Manager Eugene Human, for the “tireless efforts” put in by himself and his entire team over the preceding months, with the hotel originally meant to open in May but pushed back due to the pandemic.

Speaking on behalf of the hotel’s owners, Shokai Ausbao Regional Director, Jason Gao, said the company was thrilled at having been able to secure the site and bring the Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour to life.

“I’d like to thank IHG for doing such a great job in getting through the difficulties with the pandemic. Since we entered into the agreement in 2015, IHG has invested a great deal of resources to make sure the hotel can open, which has proven a great success.

“I think the next choice for us will be to stay with IHG if we choose to develop another hotel,” Gao added.

Crowne Plaza Sydney Darling Harbour features a rooftop infinity swimming pool.

The 13-storey, 152-room Crowne Plaza Darling Harbour brings the brand’s global revamp and focus on flexibility to the NSW capital, with each room noticeably divided into three distinct zones aimed at providing separate space for guests to work, relax and sleep.

Work sections feature a well-lit desk, with a sofa to chill out and a king bed for sleep featuring a pillow menu, – plus a spacious bathroom fitted with Antipodes amenities.

Rooms are aimed at supporting business and providing leisure guests with everything they need, including USB outlets and charging stations, high speed WiFi, Chromecast televisions, aromatherapy spray and a bedtime ritual guide to help guests drift off for a complete and restful sleep.

Guest facilities include a rooftop heated pool, fitness centre and three F&B venues including La Bella Trattoria and Bar – opening early next year – and the Two88 Bar and Kitchen, which will open six days per week serving a locally-sourced menu.

On the ground floor, guests and visitors can also access the Café 58 for a selection of grab-and-go options.