(L-R) Shane Smollen, Tim Greer, Corey Cooney, Wayne Chivas, Jamie Crookes, Sarah Derry, Mike Rodrigues and Libby Harris

Australia’s first 25hours hotel is set to open next year with construction officially kicking off at the Paddington site this week.

Operated by Accor, 25hours is a leading leisure and lifestyle brand that reflects the local community in which it lives.

Located at 1-11 Oxford Street Paddington, this historic site was originally home to Marshall’s Paddington Brewery before being replaced by West’s Olympia Pictures in 1911. In the 90s, it become a popular Sydney nightclub, Grand Pacific Blue Room.

Sydney property developer Central Element and joint venture partner Boston Global Group were joined by Accor Pacific CEO, Sarah Derry, NSW Government 24-Hour Economy Commissioner, Michael Rodrigues, and City of Sydney, Nighttime City Manager, Libby Harris at a turning of the soil event on Thursday.

Central Element Managing Director, Nathan Chivas, Central Element Directors Shane Smollen, Architects, Tim Greer and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, and Boston Global Group Chairman and Founder, Bill Moss, were all in attendance.

The Australian debut of the 25hours brand will result in a 105-room property on the city’s eastern fringe

“We truly believe this project will transform this site on Oxford Street and be a catalyst in restoring Paddington to one of Australia’s leading leisure and lifestyle precincts,” Central Element Director, Wayne Chivas, told those gathered.

“This site holds great historical significance in the contribution to Paddington as one of Sydney’s world-renowned and most-famous nightlife strips. And with the commencement of construction on this project today, this site will now be transformed into a Social Hub and a space where global travellers and local guests can meet and form a dynamic and adventurous community.”

Rodrigues said the development will play an important part in the future of Oxford Street and the future of the city.

“The 25hours Paddington, restaurants, bars, live performance and music space will add a new vibrancy and diversity to this precinct, creating a dynamic and adventurous community and draw international and local visitors to the city,” he said.

A rendering of a guest room at 25hours Sydney Paddington.

The development will include a 105-room boutique hotel, rooftop bar, central garden courtyard, restaurant, café, retail, as well as state-of-the art entertainment and live performance facilities.

‘You know one, you know none’

Accor Chief Executive Officer, Sarah Derry, spoke to HM about the latest development and what makes 25hours unique.

“The phrase that we use is, ‘You know one, you know none’. Each location is unique – it takes on the spirit of the city, the local community, it reflects the culture, the art and the precinct that it’s in, and that’s what makes 25hours so special,” Derry told HM.

“The food and beverage element is a really special part of 25hours, and so the site that we have here in Sydney will have incredible restaurant on the street front and an incredible rooftop bar.”

An artist’s impression of the rooftop bar at 25hours Sydney

The building itself is a unique Sydney landmark steeped in history – a Gadigal pathway for Australia’s First Nation’s people and home to Sydney’s first theatre.

“This has always been a site of firsts, and so it’s makes sense that it’s the first 25hours in Australia for us,” Derry said.  

“The building facade will be retained, but what you’ll see from a design perspective will be innovative and really reflect the city itself. Paddington has always been known for a vibrant culture, and certainly food and beverage, whether it’s the gastronomic pub scene, the incredible restaurants around here, so the hotel will continue to reflect that as well.”

Next stop: Melbourne

The Sydney opening will be followed by a Melbourne edition of 25hours, due to come to fruition in 2024.

“Our second location in Melbourne is in the Malt District in Cremorne, which again will be another iconic location for us,” Derry said.

This hotel will incorporate the history of the building and the district in the design, and the local art scene will also come to life as part of the food and beverage offering.

“So, we’ll have at least two [25hours hotels in Australia] and we’re having conversations about growing that brand even further here,” Derry said.

“Globally, we’ve got 15 right now in seven different countries, and we’ve got four in the pipeline, two of which are [the aforementioned hotels] here in Australia.”

Tonkin Zulaikha Greer are the architects behind this project, which will be built by Richard Crookes Constructions.