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Blossom Time: The Shangri-La Refurbishment

With their recent refurbishment of Sydney’s iconic Shangri-La Hotel, Paul McGillick thinks that HASSELL have set a new benchmark.

Blossom Time: The Shangri-La Refurbishment


February 7th, 2012

If location is everything, then Sydney’s Shangri-La hotel has to be right up there with the best. Positioned near the city-end of the Harbour Bridge, the hotel offers sensational views from, the western reaches of the harbour, past the Bridge to the Opera House and beyond to the Heads.



HASSELL set out to optimise the views within a broader strategy to create a contemporary Asian style, using the traditional image of the blossom as a decorative motif.



The result is beautifully restrained and, above all, tasteful palette. Presumably, HASSELL used traditional Chinese and Japanese art as a source. Typically, this uses close, often autumnal, tones with colourful floral highlights. The result is what you expect from a hotel room or suite, but rarely get – namely, an extremely restful, calming atmosphere.


This is luxury sotto voce and more like Thai massage than a full-on physiotherapy session. There is a softness to this décor which makes the guest feel truly welcome, reflecting the Asian tradition of hospitality.

A feature of all the rooms is the window seating, custom-designed by HASSELL. Many hotels have great views, but often don’t provide any way of appreciating them beyond simply standing at the window. HASSELL’s banquettes, however, give guests the opportunity to sit, or even lie, and drink in the splendid views over Sydney Harbour .


Other additions to the 477 refurbished guest rooms and suites include an iHome dock, Bluetooth media hub and other custom-designed furnishings and carpet to match the overall palette. All rooms have sensor lighting to reduce energy consumption and air-conditioning that automatically returns to its standard setting when guests leave the rooms.


Shangri-la Hotel, Sydney

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