SYDNEY, Australia

Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour opened its doors, making it the first new-build, international luxury hotel to open in Sydney's Central Business District this millennium. Located opposite the International Convention Centre, the $500 million Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour is expected to play a major role in the ongoing revitalization of the Darling Harbour precinct. The property also heralds a renaissance of new hotel development in Sydney, with over 40 hotels scheduled to open in the next five years to support the city's tourism growth.

"Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour will be the first new-build, five-star hotel the city has seen in more than 15 years and it is going to be a flagship property," said Simon McGrath, COO of AccorHotels Pacific.

The hotel offers 590 guest rooms, including 35 suites, boasting some of the best views in Sydney. All the hotel's guest rooms feature Sofitel beds and floor-to-ceiling windows with views of Darling Harbour and the city. The suites feature an in-bathroom television, double shower heads and luxurious soaking tubs.

The hotel was designed by renowned Sydney architect Richard Francis-Jones from Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp architects. Dreamtime Australia Design and the A+ Design Group all collaborated to create this visually inspiring property which was built by Lend Lease. On arrival, guests will be greeted by the hotel's 35-story glass exterior featuring triangular accents representing sails and a striking red ochre and blue exterior color palette which pays tribute to the indigenous clans of the Eora nation who lived around Tumbalong.

A stylish porte-cochere leads guests inside the building. The hotel's public spaces and guest rooms continue to pay tribute to the maritime location and the industries that formerly occupied the site.

While recognizing the links to the location's history, the hotel's cutting-edge design places it squarely at the center of Darling Harbour's future. Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour will meet sustainability targets as part of a transformed tourism precinct with a six-star green rating. It will also feature extensive external lighting to enhance Darling Harbour at night with 6,000 LED lights providing stunning light displays.

Three sophisticated bars and the stylish signature restaurant, Atelier by Sofitel will anchor the hotel. With its French inspired rotisserie and grill, Atelier by Sofitel on the third floor, is the hotel's restaurant, serving local seasonal produce produced with culinary techniques that highlight Sofitel's heritage.

With nine flexible meeting spaces, including a 450-person Magnifique Ballroom, Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour is also well-positioned to host any style of event, from haute couture fashion shows to gala dinners and large-scale meetings or conferences with a need for state-of-the-art audiovisual technology.