The Horizon Club Lounge on Level 30 is now more than 20 percent bigger at 335 square meters (about 3,606 square feet) and commands Australia's best hotel view via 13 meter-high (about 42 feet-high) windows spanning four stories. The 36-story building has unobstructed views of Sydney's two most iconic landmarks, the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House, from its prime position in bustling heritage listed area The Rocks.
The 90 Horizon Club rooms and suites on the hotel's six highest accommodation levels recently reopened, with two new larger rooms created after the removal of one suite. There is now an additional Grand Harbour View room and a Darling Harbour View room plus an upgraded disability accessible room.
The hotel rooms, which were last refurbished in 2006, have a fresh contemporary new design featuring a pale gold and blue décor theme to reflect the vibrant colors of Sydney Harbour, against blonde timber panelled wardrobe doors and furniture and a custom-made embossed cherry blossom wallpaper motif behind the headboard and seating area.
Each premium room has cushioned window seats, a mini-bar, timber dresser with chair and an executive desk with built-in multi-plug international sockets, plus espresso machine, iHome dock, Bluetooth media hub and complimentary WiFi Internet access. Bathrooms have a marble bath and separate shower and new vanities with illuminated mirrors.
Grace Lei Guo, director of Sydney design firm Stack Studio, headed the redesign, having completed several high-profile Shangri-La hotel projects around the world.
The original architect's concept was that of a lighthouse sitting at the head of the harbour foreshore. The Horizon Club lounge acts as the main viewing point from the building and glows like the lamp of a lighthouse.
A stunning brass and crystal LED chandelier by Mark Elliot, principal of Australian designers Point of View, suspends three giant brass rings of 1.5 meters to 3.5 meters (about 5 feet to 11 feet) in diameter and forms a striking centerpiece, weighing more than 600 kilograms (about 1,322 pounds). Its glow can be seen from many points of the Sydney Harbour foreshore, the new light pendant's flickering being the main focal point. The space is well known amongst locals as being the prime location and luxury space for viewing the beauty of the magnificent harbour.
The 90 newly refurbished rooms and suites are among the biggest in the city, ranging from 40 to 60 square meters (about 430 to 645 square feet) and suites from 83 square meters (about 893 square feet). The Royal Suite offers the hotel's most luxurious and impressive accommodation and personal service. At 242 square meters (about 2,604 square feet), it has the hotel's biggest bedroom, a double lounge room, executive study room and dining room with seating for ten next to a kitchenette. Its newly refreshed soft furnishings mean the guest's hotel experience has been elevated to a new level of luxury.
The Presidential Suite commands the highest position of any suite in the hotel and has 170 square meters (about 1,829 square feet) of living space, with one bedroom, separate sitting room, kitchenette and dining room and a refreshed décor with new carpets and upholstery.
The club lounge's expanded dining area now accommodates 123 guests, with an additional 47 seats, and features one of Sydney's only communal tables in a hotel club lounge – a beautiful four-meter-long (about 13-foot-long) marble-topped solid timber centerpiece with a cold well from which guests can help themselves to premium Australian wines and sparkling wines. Hand-painted Australian native flora mural designs decorate the walls.
A new brass telescope is on hand to take in sweeping views of Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Enjoying evening drinks and canapes as the sun sets over this view provides guests with a spectacular experience.
Upgraded boardroom facilities in the club lounge seat ten people and now take in harbour views and offer full AV equipment, including a sophisticated sound system and two giant screens, free Wi-Fi and wired broadband Internet, as well as magazines and newspapers.
The sustainable design includes a 13-meter-long (about 42-foot-long) automatic blinds system; under-stone induction cooktops and scene-setting lighting systems - all of which were designed for energy efficiency and easier, faster operation for the guest.
An enhanced range of privileges exclusive to those who book Horizon Club accommodation include desserts by Executive Pastry Chef Anna Polyviou and house-made butter and honey from the hotel's rooftop beehive.
Additional benefits offered to Horizon Club guests include:
• Private check-in and check-out at the Horizon Club Lounge on Level 30
• Automatic check-out at 4 p.m.
• Light buffet breakfast from 6:30 to 10:30 a.m. daily and until 11 a.m. on weekends
• A selection of non-alcoholic beverages, hot drinks and juices available all day
• Afternoon tea from 2 to 5 p.m. daily
• Evening drinks and canapés from 6 to 8 p.m. daily; lounge access until 9 p.m.
• Newspapers, international magazines, books and board games in the lounge
• Free broadband and wireless internet access
• A designated computer workstation with printing facilities
• Access to a private meeting room seating ten complimentary one-hour use per stay
• A pillow menu
• Personal Horizon Club concierge service, including reservations
• Complimentary pressing of one suit or dress and shoeshine service
Visit website: www.shangri-la.com