Ten years ago, when you planned on travelling in luxury, there’d be a handful of important names you’d hit up very first: Ritz-Carlton, Shangri-La, Park Hyatt – these hotel chains and ones like it standardised luxury worldwide, for these who could afford it. But that is all altering.
It is not about just a brand name any longer. Luxury in hotels is now just as probably to imply bespoke, thoughtfully created, fascinating. Certain, they’ll nonetheless expense you an arm and a leg for a a single-evening keep, but the practical experience is utterly special, usually conceptual, and normally memorable.
More than the subsequent handful of weeks, we’re going to appear at the new common of luxury travel, beginning in hotels and filtering via to our properties.
Very first up? Ovolo Woolloomooloo in Sydney – a idea hotel exactly where art, style and style collide.
Interior designer Tim Leveson shares his experiences going to Ovolo for the very first time.
Even though the Ovolo brand umbrellas eight initially created hotels across Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and Hong Kong, Ovolo Woolloomooloo is the company’s flagship Aussie hotel – and its style quirks absolutely appears to bask in the postcard-great position.
“You practically really feel like you are on an ocean liner – seeking out more than these stunning mega-yachts in the heart of Sydney,” Tim says.
Its 100 eclectically styled, ultra comfy rooms all appear out more than Sydney’s renowned harbour, but a fast trip downstairs can challenge a comprehensive adjust of scenery.
“It’s practically nightclub-meets-pavilion-meets-pinball parlour you can sit and have a drink, surrounded by neon lights and Galactica games!” It is a planet away from the serenity of the upstairs bedrooms with their pristine water views.
Guests will note additional contrast with the building’s external frontage. A defining piece of architecture for the now cosmopolitan suburb, its bones date back to 1912.
Thoughtfully reimagined by architecture firm Hassell Studio and designer Matt Sheargold, only a bold lick of teal paint provides away a sense of mystery about what lies beyond the heritage facade. The centuries-old windows are rather little, but step inside, and you will really feel something but boxed in.
“You’ve got a 5-storey timber creating which is more than 100 years old, and practically seems to float on water,” Tim says. “So the grand scale of the entry when you stroll in is not what you’d anticipate.”
The entry homes a void of about 20m-tall, which is practically empty. A lot of other hotels would fill up that space with far more rooms, but at Ovolo, rooms travel up on either side, when the downstairs central entryway remains a soaring, echoic space.
“It’s not what you’d anticipate at all they’ve practically turned the creating inside-out on itself.”
Inside the building’s original exposed wooden beams and timber floors play good with ultra modern finishes and artworks – a juxtaposition that “just works”, in Tim’s personal words.
“You’ve got all the mod cons such as a totally functioning cocktail bar, but they’ve kept the integrity of the age of the creating,” he says.
“You can really feel the history of the creating beneath your feet, and just consider the hustle and bustle of it as a functioning port.”
The bedrooms sit up in the ceiling, studded with contemporary art and decorative pieces. “It’s practically like they’ve dropped these ultra contemporary interiors into a historic space,” Tim says. But the final results, maybe owing to the boldness of their execution, are something but jarring.
What struck Tim quickly about the hotel was the sheer scale and diversity of its art collection.
“The stunning artwork everywhere tends to make it really feel like you are in a gallery,” Tim says.
“Being an art lover, I definitely loved how fascinating the art was at Ovolo. It wasn’t just a certain style it wasn’t just higher-finish modern it was a stunning, eclectic mix.”
A character you need to have to know
So several hotels and properties do not rather get the blending of old and new appropriate. At Ovolo, the space’s confident sense of character manages to defy these odds.
The owner, Girish Jhunjhnuwala, a Negroni-enthusiast and devotee of ’80s music, is the thoughts behind the hotel’s ‘Rockstar Suites’, which spend homage to his beloved rock legends of the era. The INXS area, for instance, heroes a neon fireplace – which may well sound tacky, but in truth, adds a great lightness and sense of enjoyable to your keep, Tim causes.
“You definitely get a really feel for what the owner loves – you have got ’80s music coming at you from all distinctive directions and you quickly get a really feel for what his vision of a fantastic space was.”
It is a feeling you will not get from a premium hotel chain, no matter how luxurious that feeling you are in a space that is undoubtedly owned and believed up by somebody else. It is a clear vision, that breaks away from cookie-cutter moulds in just about every way achievable.
Girish worked with designers to build a space he would want to keep in, and it shows. We’d appreciate to meet the man, simply because his vision reflects that type of magnetic character that is normally an uplifting presence. Unpredictable, playful and a tiny bit cheeky, Ovolo promises guests a correct vacation from monotony.
“You could have a lot of enjoyable right here,” Tim finishes. “It’s practically scary how significantly enjoyable you could have right here!”
All photos by Caroline McCredie.
Rockstar Suites at Ovolo get started at $1,499AUD a evening. Book your keep right here.