Skye Suites Sydney is a brand spanking new Crown Group development that welcomed its first guests in mid-October. It lays claim to being the CBD's "first boutique serviced apartments" and, when in full swing, will offer a mix of 73 studio, one- and two-bedroom suites. For now, 30 apartments are open for business.
Skye Suites occupies seven floors of Crown's Arc Sydney, a new 25-storey multi-residential development designed by Koichi Takada. The structure has carved out a nifty new pedestrian thoroughfare linking Kent, Clarence and King streets, and including historic Skittle Lane. The charactered thoroughfare contains nine new retail premises that are being kitted out for tenants including Ministry of Coffee and Ussi Moniz Da Silva, the young entrepreneur behind Bondi's Upper East Side, who is opening a tapas bar and restaurant called Meu Jardim.
Takada's ice-cave themed lobby is a beguiling, atmospheric space with curved white slats that run across its ceiling and down the walls. The "ice" continues through to a gleaming chamber at the rear, with a mosaic-tiled swimming pool. Riding the glass lift to your suite, you can gaze outwards to Skittle Lane or inwards to the hotel's curved central atrium which is open to the sky unless it rains, when an automated awning glides across the gap.
I'm in room 813, a 51-square-metre studio suite complete with bathroom, European laundry, kitchen/dining zone, living area and balcony. It's a tranquil, generous space decorated in of-the-moment shades of grey. Engineered timber and stone finishes add warmth, and complete the picture of fashionable, understated luxury.
A neat timber screen marks the bedroom zone off from the kitchen, with its induction stovetop, microwave, shapely Delonghi kettle and coffee pod machine, plus requisite cooking and consuming equipment. The mini-bar contents are free if you book online.
An enormous TV screen hangs on one wall of the living area (I like the good "sleep hygiene" approach; no TV near the bed) and includes a Chromecast adaptor so you can stream your own subscription services, as if you were at home.
Room 813 looks out over Kent Street, which can get busy, but when the sliding balcony door is closed, the room is as hushed as a monk's retreat. Every room in the hotel has a balcony.
Skye Suites offers three different mattress types. For want of a point of reference, I choose medium which, come morning, I describe as firm and entirely comfortable. A tablet on a stand beside the bed provides interconnectivity, including communication with reception, access to about a gazillion local and international radio stations, and more.
The bathroom accoutrements are from Kevin Murphy, a brand known for excellent shampoos, and the wardrobe contains useful items including robes, a torch, iron and board, an umbrella and a safe.
Skye Suites has no dining or drinking facilities of its own but hardly needs them. It's surrounded by good coffee, adorable bars and lots of restaurants, with more to come. Try Cross, next door on Kent Street, for breakfast; nearby PS40 or Swinging Cat for drinks; and Bea or Cirrus at Barangaroo for dinner. Everything else Sydney city has to offer – including galleries, theatres, museums and shops – is within easy walking distance, and there's plenty of public transport nearby to get you everywhere else, including the airport.
Skye Suites Sydney is a handsome, superbly located newcomer with spacious, thoughtfully-equipped apartments that will make a comfortable base for both business and leisure travellers.
Skye Suites Sydney, 300 Kent Street, city. Studio rooms from $300 a night; two-bedroom apartments from $550 a night. See skyehotels.com.au/sydney
Koichi Takada's atmospheric lobby and swimming pool, with their novel ice-cave aesthetic.
The in-room coffee and tea are a cut above but then, lurking in the fridge ... UHT milk. Noooooo!
Lissa Christopher stayed as a guest of Skye Suites.