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A constellation of warmth, peace and shelter in the heart of Sydney

A soft refurbishment of The Darling Hotel revitalises one of Australia’s most extravagant hotels in preparation for the return of luxury travel.

A constellation of warmth, peace and shelter in the heart of Sydney

The Darling Hotel at The Star is Sydney’s only Forbes five-star all-luxury suite hotel and urban resort. The hotel’s signature red thread has become a nationally recognised symbol of opulence. Lockdowns during the Covid-19 pandemic presented an ideal opportunity for the hotel to undergo a soft refurbishment which helped to transform the hotel into a personalised guest experience that places rest and relaxation at the forefront of design.

The $30 million project focused on creating clear divisions between ‘rest’ and ‘play’ areas, developed through careful consideration of client feedback and a genuine dedication to the elevation of guest experiences. Opposing materiality was a clear conceptual motif for the refurbishment, with contrasting textures such as raw and polished finishes adding an intriguing sense of visual complexity to the project.

One outstanding aspect of the refurbishment was the carefully curated selection of furniture. Rather than taking the traditional route of internationally sourced furniture, the team worked collaboratively with Furniture by Design to produce locally sourced, custom designed furniture. Furniture by Design established two prototype suites in collaboration with the team to explore different directions for the project – and the end result is nothing short of enchanting.

“Local manufacture was a key part of our decision-making process,” says Ryu Ogino, Design Manager at The Star. “Prototyping in Furniture by Design factory was extremely helpful because we couldn’t go overseas to check on the design process. The cost was very comparative to international procurement and it was an easy decision to use Furniture by Design locally.”

Harbor views and city vistas in the 171 rooms and suites are now enjoyable from spacious cocoons with a peaceful atmosphere sheltered from the bustle of the city below. More than 1400 Furniture by Design products now reside inside the hotel, including the Casi Chair, Lucy Lounge Chair, custom marble disc base tables, custom designed leather, round and bed-end benches, jellybean shaped custom lounges, and hundreds and thousands of cushions and bolsters!

As a part of this upgrade, over 1,250 pieces of furniture are being donated to vulnerable families and communities who have been affected by recent natural disasters such as the 2022 NSW flood. This is the result of a partnership between The Star and online donation platform GIVIT to encourage national support for Australia’s communities in need.

Learn more about this fascinating project and its wide-reaching implications here with Furniture by Design.

Furniture by Design


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