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Perfect for combining business and pleasure, the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour allows you to work in supreme comfort during the day while kicking back in indulgent pleasure at night.

A peaceful hush washes over me as I enter the lobby of the Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour, a stark contrast to bustling crowds outside. Nestled in the heart of Sydney’s waterside entertainment and convention hotspot, the five-star hotel provides a convenient and luxurious base for work, play and relaxation.

Its location beside the International Convention Centre Sydney means that no matter whether you arrive by foot, light rail, ferry or car, finding your way here is easy.

My home away from home is the Junior Suite, Club Millésime, complete with an inviting king-size Sofitel MyBed and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the harbor. My spacious abode also features a free-standing bathtub with that jaw-dropping view, a Nespresso machine and indulgent French bathroom amenities – everything I need to ‘Live the French Way’.

Club Exclusives

Feeling the need for refreshment, I head to Club Millésime on level 35. Sofitel’s executive lounge offers an impressive range of dining and beverage options exclusive to Club guests. In addition to a buffet breakfast, Le Goûter (afternoon tea) and Apéro Chic (canapes and pre-dinner drinks) are served daily.

I start the day with a hearty breakfast. Torn between the extensive buffet spread of hot and cold delights and the a la carte menu, I decide on eggs Benedict from the latter. While I wait, I somehow restrain myself and only devour some fresh fruit and yogurt.

After a little pampering at the spa, I get some work done in my room before I head back to the Club in time for Le Goûter. I select a few sweet and savory treats from an impressive variety to accompany my French Earl Grey tea. Settling into a comfy chair by the window facing Sydney Harbour, I savor every tasty morsel.


Sofitel’s executive lounge offers an impressive range of dining and beverage options exclusive to Club guests.

Suitably satiated, I have time for a swim before I return to the Club to sample the Apéro Chic spread. A delicious cocktail, a couple of hot hors d’oeuvres and some cheese, and I’m in heaven. As I slowly sip my refreshing watermelon-based concoction, I overhear some fellow guests talking about fueling up ahead of a concert at the Aware Super Theatre, which is a short walk from the hotel. It explains why this is such a popular time to visit the Club.

It’s hard to resist the intoxicating aroma wafting out of the kitchen, but I feel I’ve done the Club justice for one day.

Time Out

It’s a little rainy outside so I hit the treadmill in the Sofitel Fitness Gym before breakfast. Furnished with Technogym equipment and Peloton Bikes, my workout also takes in the glorious harborside view provided by the floor-to-ceiling windows.

After breakfast, I treat myself to some stress relief. Offering facials and massages in addition to seasonal wellness and body treatments (including those for couples), the Sofitel SPA Darling Harbour has a comprehensive menu, making my decision difficult. I opt for the 60-minute aromatherapy massage, which turns out to be an excellent choice.

I choose a scented oil and spend the next hour in blissful relaxation as the magic touch of my masseuse (French, of course) releases the tension from my body. I leave feeling like I’m floating on a cloud.

Later, as the sun emerges, I visit the hotel’s stunning outdoor infinity pool for a few laps against the backdrop of the Sydney skyline. I reward my efforts with a virgin piña colada from the Le Rivage (the shore) bar and enjoy the serenity as I recline on a sun lounge on the poolside terrace.

Open for Business

In addition to easy access to the ICC Sydney, the Sofitel itself features seven spaces for meetings and events, including the Magnifique Ballroom. At 497 square meters and with an adjacent 200-square-meter pre-function area, this chic room can accommodate large groups. The flexible stage, lighting and screen options also make it perfect for any occasion.

The Byrne Room is the hotel’s newest and second-largest event space at 112 square meters, located in a corner of the building. With a four-meter ceiling and two window walls, the space is bathed in natural light. Three screens and three-phase electric power add to the function room’s versatility.

Wine and Dine

While Club Millésime has an abundant range of food and beverage options, the hotel’s three bars and restaurant are accessible to all guests and provide additional sustenance.

Open daily from 8am, the Esprit Noir Lobby Bar is a great spot to grab a bite and a cup of tea or something a little stronger. I’m almost overwhelmed by the range of local Australian spirits available.

Dummy Copy

There’s nothing more relaxing than lounging by the pool with a drink in hand, so a visit to the Le Rivage Pool Bar is a must. While I enjoy my non-alcoholic refreshment, real cocktails, wine and beer are on offer, as are snacks and more substantial fare.


The hotel’s Atelier by Sofitel restaurant combines French flavors with local Australian produce.

The Champagne Bar, with its cozy booths and spectacular view, is the place to be in the early evening. I manage to secure a coveted table by the window and spend the next 10 minutes in dismay as I peruse the drink menu with its enormous Champagne list and plenty of cocktails, beer, wine and spirits for good measure. In the end, I decide the cocktails are too alluring and treat myself to two incredible creations: On Cloud Nine and Tropical Heat. I’m sorely tempted by the selection of nibbles (caviar or oysters, anyone?), but it’s time for dinner.

The hotel’s Atelier by Sofitel restaurant combines French flavors with local Australian produce. It’s open daily for one of the most expansive buffet breakfasts I’ve ever seen – a continental option is also available for those with smaller appetites – as well as sumptuous dinner. There’s a very good reason it’s been awarded two AGFG Chef Hats by Australian Good Food Guide.

Every mouthful of my meal is a delight, starting with the pan-seared scallop, served with summer vegetable ratatouille. For my main, I order the rich and flavorful duo of 10-day dry aged duck breast and Jones Farm roasted Andean potatoes. I’m full, but there’s always room for dessert, so I opt for the classic French mille-feuille, which has a delicious yuzu caramel twist. Needless to say, I call it a night after all that food.

After Hours

I retire to my room, which has been prepared for a good night’s rest – the bed has been turned down with a calming lavender spray placed on my pillow and my slippers positioned nearby. I also appreciate the chamomile tea thoughtfully presented in a teacup by the kettle.

I decide I need a soothing soak before I retire for the evening, so I savor a cup of tea while the bath fills up. I turn off all the lights and step into the tub, sighing with contentment as the enchanting lights of the city twinkle outside.

By the time I step out, I can barely keep my eyes open. Powerless to resist the allure of my large, soft bed, I call it a night early. As I slide under the covers, sleep takes me to dreamland within minutes.

The next morning, I wake up refreshed, albeit more than a little reluctant to leave and face the reality of returning home.

Every element of my stay has truly embodied the soul of Sofitel’s ethos: ‘Live the French Way’. Consider me a convert.

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