The highly anticipated Crystalbrook Kingsley opening on June 9 in Newcastle's landmark Roundhouse building is a game-changer for Australia's second oldest city.
The city's first five star hotel offers sustainable luxury in 130 elegant rooms and suites housed in the city's former council administrative headquarters, acquired in 2018 for $16 million. It's the sixth property for Crystalbrook Collection, owned by the Ghassan Aboud Group. A seventh Crystalbrook property opens on July 1 in Brisbane (the former Art Series Fantauzzo).
Newcastle-based EJE Architecture and Melbourne's Suede Interior Design were charged with the iconic brutalist building's multi-million-dollar reincarnation, incorporating, where possible, locally sourced upcycled and recycled materials.
Melding with the surrounding City Hall, Civic Theatre and Newcastle Art Gallery, the Kingsley aims to complement architect Frederick Romberg's 1977 brutalist design, Taranto said. "It's withstood earthquakes and is a unique building in its own right so we needed to continue its legacy."
Interiors mimic the building's cylindrical structure while a charcoal and yellow palette inspired by the canary pays homage to the region's coal mining history. In the lobby Ms Mary, a café named after pioneering Newcastle convict Mary Eckford, offers an alfresco terrace overlooking Wheeler Place. Guest rooms meanwhile feature custom AH Beard beds, tablet control centres, STAYCAST by Google and 100 per cent waste free bathrooms (an Australian first).
Undyed wool carpets, furniture crafted from reclaimed timber and sourcing of 80 per cent of produce grown within a three-hour radius are among other sustainability initiatives. The crown jewel however is a striking rooftop restaurant and bar on the ninth floor and a 10 metre bar crafted from Hunter granite in the glamorous Romberg's where you can eyeball the neighbouring clock tower over a martini.
In the adjoining Roundhouse restaurant an olive and Mediterranean theme is inspired by the Hunter Valley's archetypal groves and the hotel owner's own Syrian upbringing. Expansive vistas over Newcastle Harbour to Stockton sand dunes provide an arresting backdrop.
Rooms from $325 a night. See crystalbrookcollection.com/kingsley