As five-star hotel offerings proliferate around the world, it can be hard for travellers to discern one from the next, especially as the large umbrella organisations such as Accor, Marriott and IHG offer multiple "brands" in their high-end hotel echelons.
And as Australia's first Kimpton, the 172-room Kimpton Margot Sydney prepares to open (on February 1), its general manager, Bruce Ryde acknowledges, "We've got a job to do to tell our story."
But the Australian hotelier, who has held both corporate and general manager positions across an impressive international career, believes its points of difference will appeal here. "I've stayed in lots and lots of Kimptons around the world and I just know it's a brand Australians are going to love."
The Kimpton story begins with it being the world's original boutique hotel and restaurant company, begun in San Francisco by its namesake, Bill Kimpton in the early 1980s.
Now part of IHG and increasingly global, Kimpton maintains a core value of offering a "ridiculously personal" stay, as Ryde puts it.
That home-away-from-home ethos includes signature touches such as the daily Social Hour with complimentary drinks for guests that is themed differently each time and might include a talk on art or culture. Kimpton is very dog-friendly too, with fluffy beds, grooming and doggie bowls available to entice dog lovers.
Another Kimpton-brand feature is that each property is distinct. To that end, Australia's first inhabits what was the Hotel Primus, the heritage-listed art deco Sydney Water Board building at 339 Pitt Street.
"Every Kimpton has its own personality," says Ryde. "We develop a muse for every hotel, – if your hotel was a person, who would that person be? What would they look like? How old would they be? Is that what they read? What do they like to do? Where do they go?
"This helps us develop this very unique experience in every hotel, but it's kind of all meshed together across the properties with this ridiculously personal experience we offer."
Sydney's muse, Margot, clearly has a thing for cycling – the hotel offers a fleet of Lekkers for guests. Yoga's a priority; the hotel has partnered with Egg of the Universe to provide in-room workouts and the use of mats at no charge. She loves art; the hotel is adorned with a scintillating array. She's got a thing for knick-knacks; guests will find residential-style vignettes of vases, curios and books throughout. And she's into her food.
Sydney icon, Luke Mangan is overseeing food and beverages, from room service to the restaurant, Luke's Kitchen, to the Wilmot bar.
Add in lighting and music programs to set the mood depending on the time of day, a plethora of essentials that guests might have forgotten to bring, from pocket squares to hair straighteners at the ready at concierge, and a determination to get to know its guests, and Kimpton just might set itself apart from the pack.
Rates at Kimpton Margot Sydney start from $350. See kimptonmargotsydney.com