Who among us does not wish to savour, from time to time, the very height of luxury? These indulgences often seem so far away, but there is a Forbes-awarded five-star hotel on every Sydneysider’s doorstep. Yep, The Darling received the eminent rating in 2017 and 2018, and is the first hotel in NSW to ever be awarded the honour. But what exactly elevates The Darling into such esteemed company? Here are five reasons it’s on our list.
You had me at five stars
Paris. Tokyo. Pyrmont. Many think luxury is something you need a passport for, but when Forbes announced its 2017 Star Awards list, The Darling became the first Sydney hotel to receive the coveted rating, meaning this local getaway will no doubt satisfy your itch to indulge. The rating is kind of a big deal – experts anonymously evaluate applicants using an 800-point system designed to compare the elegance, service and decadence of the world’s finest hotels. The Forbes ratings have long been the world’s gold standard in the hospitality industry since 1958, placing Pyrmont’s Darling alongside such illustrious hotels as New York City’s Ritz-Carlton and London’s 45 Park Lane.
Unrivalled spa treatments
The Darling is home to Sydney’s largest and most luxurious day spa, which also made Forbes’ aforementioned list for being a four-star spa. The 13 treatment rooms feature a saltwater Jacuzzi, Moroccan hammam chamber, and two exclusive couples suites, should you and your partner care to share a little intimacy.
Perusing the spa menu will make the workaholics among you weak at the knees – a white caviar illuminating facial, Moroccan mud body wrap, or deep muscle massage do it for you? There’s even a complete section dedicated to pregnancy treatments, so if you know a mum-to-be who’d appreciate a gentle body exfoliation, skip the baby shower and arrange to send her here instead.
Consider yourself a gourmand?
After all that unwinding, you’ll soon enough be ready to dine. Our pick is executive chef and founder Chase Kojima’s Sokyo, a one-hatted contemporary Japanese restaurant that embodies the simplicity and elegance of Japanese cooking. The menu gives cause to salivate: diners can sample the ponzu-glazed duck alongside locally-sourced sashimi and then there’s sea urchin for the adventurous. The restaurant does breakfast too – one matcha green tea lamington with red bean paste and compressed watermelon has our eye.
If you’re looking for something more casual and no-less fabulous, try Kojima’s recently opened bun-less burger joint, Gojima. The sushi burgers are filled with cooked meats as well as raw seafood and served betwixt two cakes of uncooked ramen. “It took a long time to figure out how to get it right with the rice and the flavours,” Kojima admits. For what it matters, we’re sold.
Peruse the pillow menu
With The Darling situated next to The Star, you’re certainly never short for distraction. But when you grow weary of the world-class gym and 25-metre heated pool, retire to your bespoke, art déco room and finally get down to the arduous task of ordering from the pillow menu – will it be latex, microfibre or down-filled tonight? What will your head most enjoy as your body is swaddled in 400-thread Egyptian cotton?
So very ’grammable
If you’ve got a passion for design, know that The Darling itself is an award-winning piece of architecture, claiming the Best New Hotel Construction and Design at the International Hotel Awards 2012-13. From the outside to the in, The Darling exudes a modern chic consistent with the finest hotels around the world – just the sort of glamour to really drive that ’gram envy.