Studios at The Star Sydney, Dark Romance Studio
The Star Sydney complex is a dizzying space drawing 10 million visitors a year. There's the casino of course, restaurants including Italian Balla, the two-hatted Momofuko Seiobo and one-hatted Japanese Sokyo and three hotels; the Astral Tower, Astral Residences and the Darling, which is distanced from the rest of the complex with a separate entrance. Added now to the Astral Residences are Studios at The Star and its three themed suites: Dark Romance, Cyber Punk and 70s Glam. I'm ready to lounge on the golden velvet daybed under the disco ball in 70s Glam but a last-minute room change and I'm checking in to Dark Romance. All by myself.
Check the humdrum of your life next to the potted palm at the door and prepare to be wooed. But where to look first in this lovers' lair of scarlet and ebony hues, parquet floor and art works? A large and modern chandelier of light bulbs hangs over the working fireplace, couch and rug and in a separate room there's a four-poster bed with a length of fabric draped across the top and scattered with gold-flecked cushions. The bathroom is the stuff of dreams with soft charcoal robes, oversized circular bath, double vanities and separate toilet. Behind the shimmering wall of gold tiles is the shower with black tapware. The best course of action is a gin martini from a drinks trolley before sliding into the corner booth to contemplate the scene before me. Is that a ceramic leopard in the corner wearing a black candelabra of candles aglow with a flicker of faux flames? Yes, it is.
It's unlikely but if the romance message needs further amplification guests can add a rose petal bath, chocolate covered strawberries and Colombian red roses (the Colombians traditionally hand the red blooms to lovers) to their stay.
Harvest Buffet is a five food station restaurant for lunch and dinner that includes dim sum, stone-fired pizzas and chocolate fountains. My breakfast is similarly buffet bountiful with pastries, yoghurts and eggs as you like prepared by one of the chefs. For a more intimate dinner experience that evening I head to Japanese restaurant Sokyo. It's packed and pumping. Be sure to book.
I sashay over to the futuristic Cyberpunk suite, that would sleep two, but not before a gathering of friends in the cool space illuminated by graphic lines along the walls and mood lighting. Aside from a separate bedroom with silver curtains and bathroom with metallic walls, four 165-centimetre screens are linked to Xbox controllers facing egg-style chairs and a virtual reality chamber. There's a wet bar, booth seating and a tech butler to assist for up to 25 of your best friends.
A room that has come off the rails of reality and a fun departure from the safe beige of a standard hotel room. Check-in, order room service and let the romance begin. The leopard will grow on you.
Leo Sayer and Dionne Warwick keep me company during my solo stay thanks to the pre-loaded playlist.
Part of the balcony overlooks a building.
Dark Romance costs $888 a night; 70s Glam and Cyberpunk Studio costs from $1500 a night housing guests for a function and two guests for an overnight stay. For gatherings, catering packages cost an additional $85 a person.
Breakfast at Harvest Buffet costs $20 a person.
80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont.
Phone 1800 700 700.
Our rating: 4 out of 5