A weekend at the races; horse lovers.
If the enormous bronze statue of a rearing horse in front of this five-star hotel doesn’t give away the equine styling, then surely the multiple horse portraits in the lobby will do the trick. Part of the $140 million Riverside Stables complex at Warwick Farm Racecourse, The William Inglis is a shrine to all things thoroughbred without being tacky. The décor taps into the best of trackside aesthetics – tweed, dark, polished wood, creamy leather – and the facilities are so extensive, from several dining areas to a spa, gym and even a rooftop pool, that you may find yourself ditching a spot in the stands for a weekend inside.
As close as you can get to Warwick Farm racecourse without taking part in a race. It’s a 40-ish-minute drive from the airport and CBD along the main motorways.
Each room is named for a racing champion – fittingly, the eighth-floor Presidential Suite is known as “Black Caviar” – and you’ll find nods to the particular horse throughout: a framed photo, a winner’s plaque. The Superior King Rooms feature a king bed flush against a custom-made studded-leather headboard, plenty of seating space and a compact, brass-accented bathroom (the vanity is open to the room; the shower and toilet are behind frosted glass). Most offer at least a glimpse of the Kelly-green racetrack or stables from the window.
Food and drink
The main event is the Newmarket Room restaurant on the ground floor which, despite the open layout, offers privacy thanks to several corner booths. The winter menu is a mix of slow-cooked meats, root veggies baked in herbs and homey, comforting desserts such as a sweetly satisfying bread-and-butter pudding. Breakfast is a hot-and-cold buffet situation, with plenty of pastries and made-to-order Will & Co coffee. On the mezzanine level, the intimate 1867 Bar specialises in whiskey – sipped fireside in a wing chair, of course – but also has a house cocktail, wine and beer list. The Chiltern Pool Bar & Deck does nibbles and Heroic Café, in the lobby, serves coffee and cake throughout the day.
For business travellers
If you’re in the racing business, you’ll have access to the cavernous auction space attached to the hotel, which can also cater for up to 1000 people for conferences and events. There are also several meeting rooms within the hotel, which can seat between five and 90 people and come equipped with wi-fi and audio-visual connections.
For wellness travellers
Thanks to the gym’s position on the top floor, you can clock up kilometres on the treadmill with views of the racecourse and stables. The space is small but there’s a solid selection of cardio equipment and weights. The on-site Talisa spa offers all the treatments required for a decadent weekend at the races, including a 4.5-hour Reflexion Ritual that pampers you from top to toe, including an eyelash tint, facial, foot massage and lunch.
The fab factor
Watch the races from a cabana, cocktail in hand, by the heated 1.2-metre-deep rooftop pool at sunset.
Number of rooms: 144
Rates from: $199/night
Parking: Limited on-site parking; arrive early if you’re staying on a race weekend.
Address: 155 Governor Macquarie Drive, Warwick Farm