Putting Parramatta on the luxury-hotel map, this newcomer aims high and stands firm on its food credentials.
Australia’s second-oldest city, Parramatta is no mere suburb of Sydney. It’s a fast-growing commercial and cultural hub with plenty to keep food- and heritage-lovers happy – and it’s all within reach of Sydney in 30 minutes by train or an hour’s ferry ride along the Parramatta River. Skye Hotel Suites, opened in August 2017 within the V by Crown luxury residential apartment towers, is Parramatta’s first five-star hotel. The location is gourmet central – next door to Neil Perry’s Burger Project and close to big names such as Jamie’s Italian, Bourke Street Bakery and Gelato Messina. Want to eat like a local? Find amazing Malaysian food at Temasek, head east to Harris Park for great Indian or stay where you are for a Middle Eastern inspired feast at Husk & Vine. Executive chef Stephen Seckold, formerly at Flying Fish, has created a menu that’s both relaxed and on-trend – think oozy burrata, swordfish crudo, smoky flatbread and fire-roasted meats to share. Enjoy dinner teamed with artisan wines – try the CRFT pinot noir from Adelaide Hills – or book in for a hearty a là carte breakfast.
Neutrally styled with black and timber highlights, the suite is well equipped for longer stays with full kitchen and laundry facilities, space to lounge, dine and work, and opening windows on the enclosed balcony. There’s Nespresso coffee and Dilmah Silver Jubilee tea. It’s ideal for those who love the new but the hotel will benefit from a bit of wearing in, as we found when one never-used appliance turned out to be faulty. Framed pictures of old Parramatta are a welcome touch.
Number of rooms, apartments, villas and suites: A total of 72 studios, one- and two-bedroom suites, all with enclosed balconies.
Check in, check out: 2pm and 11am.
Eat and drink: Husk & Vine Kitchen & Bar on the ground floor provides breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks and everything can be ordered to your room. A level-26 cocktail bar operated by the Speakeasy group is gearing up to open by early 2018.
Water in room: One free 350ml bottle per guest.
Mini bar: The “maxi-bar” is a full-size fridge but if you want to find anything more than milk in there you have to pre-order.
Room service: The in-room iPad is a convenient way to order food and drinks and orders are programmed to arrive in 30 minutes (so you can’t order anything in the half-hour before service closes at 10pm). Call anyway – a bottle of wine ordered just before 10pm came within 15 minutes.
TV and movies: Good-looking smart TVs in the lounge and bedroom offer basic Freeview and Foxtel only – BYO movies or hardware to access streaming services.
Bath: Shower only.
Amenities: Mini L’Occitane Mer & Mistral shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotion.
Bathrobe: Monogrammed white robes in all-season waffle-weave cotton.
Pillow menu: None but you can pre-select mattress firmness on each side of bed.
Wellness: Hit the gym 24/7 or access the outdoor spa and pool, plus indoor sauna room, from 7am to 9pm. These facilities are shared with the V apartment residents.
Wi-fi: Free guest access.
Business facilities: Three large meeting rooms on level 1 can be booked separately or combined into one conference-friendly venue.
The concierge test: The “virtual concierge” aka the in-room iPad has limited info on the local area but, hey, it gives you Google.
The housekeeping test: Dental kits requested by phone arrived within a few minutes – these along with replacement toiletries and extra pillows can also be ordered via the iPad.
Parking: 33 guest spaces.
Price: As an opening special, deluxe studio suites start from $195 per night including breakfast at Husk & Vine.
Ask for: A poolside suite on a higher floor to avoid noise from street traffic and any pool revellers.
Our rating: ⭑⭑⭑
SEE ALSO: One Perfect Day in Sydney