QT Sydney Is An Art Deco Dazzler

12 February 2015

For close to eight decades, the family-run Gowings department store on Market Street kept Sydneysiders well-dressed from their socks to their suits. Dapper gents could even pop in for a quick short-back-and-sides trim in between their city errands.

Sydney locals are a touch nostalgic about "the old Gowings building", but the past is not lost. The Art Deco facade still stands proud alongside the Heritage-listed State Theatre. Yesterday's suitcases, dress mannequins, tiles and touches from the Gowings' glory days remain present.

 The Directors of Chaos beckon 'come hither'

You'll find these harks of old-world charm in the foyer lounge, behind the auburn-haired 'Director of Chaos' who greets you at the door, or in one of 200 stylishly appointed guest suites, which wouldn't look out of place in a Rocky Horror remake. QT Sydney is a glamorous grown-ups playground. You will definitely want to pack your best party frock to blend with the 'in' crowd here.

If you like brewing freeze-dried coffee in a functional, beige space listening to TV static, you're probably not going to like the QT hotel in Sydney. If you like suspenders, peepholes, red lipstick, a bit of cheek, velvet cushions and espresso martinis, you'll feel right at home.

 An in-room espresso martini making kit

Born of a brand that has defined itself as an eclectic mix of design, art, luxury and style with a touch of quirk, Sydney was the third addition to the QT family, which now boasts six hotels around Australia.

The boutique hotel has done well to retain features of the grand historic shell it inhabits, blending architectural flourishes of Gothic, Art Deco and Italian persuasion.

 The State Theatre and Gowings facade by night

QT has all the mod-cons you require (free wi-fi, Foxtel, fancy toiletries), with an uncanny ability to transport you back to a time when hospitality was a fine art.

The hotel itself is perfect for Sydney visitors in town for fun, looking across to the Queen Victoria Building and within easy walking distance of Darling Harbour and multiple train stations.

 A typically lush QT room

Gatsby-esque glamour can be spotted across the 12 unique room styles, which all embrace a sultry palette of crimson reds, amber oranges and black and white accents. The 'boudoirs' range from a QT King ($460 a night) to a QT State Suite ($1850 a night), increasing in opulence as they do in price.

Most rooms feature a luxurious bath and walk-in showers with dual heads. They are all stuffed full of vintage bric-a-brac hand-sourced from auctions, eBay and thrift stores, as well as quirky mini-bars (less Cadbury, more 'ninjabread' men) and spongy beds that will make soft-mattress lovers purr with delight.

 Summing up a stay at QT Sydney

On Market Street level, the first contact you will have with QT is at Parlour Lane Roasters where espressos are thrown back during the day and wines are swished by night.

The elevator to reception on level one is an event in itself – a sensor determines how many people are in the lift and plays music accordingly. I was treated to a cheeky rendition of Marvin Gaye's "Let's Get It On", whatever that means.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rYWsdYIbUVs[/embed]

The original Gowings barber shop hasn't been done away with –  these days it serves as the setting for the award-winning spaQ. While there's a lot going on in the public domain of QT, there is still space to unwind at the on-site spa where guests are encouraged to order off-menu customisable treatments. Gentlemen can still enjoy a traditional cut-throat shave.

You might prefer to let loose with a libation, in which case Gowings Bar & Grill or Gilt Lounge is your destination. Like other QT hotels, the eating and drinking experience is just as important as catching Zs. The lemon and mint crepes at Gowings Bar & Grill come highly recommended from the a la carte breakfast menu.
 Show time at Gilt Lounge

A night at QT is no ordinary check-in/check-out stay – it's theatre. QT Sydney goes against the grain when it comes to traditional accommodation. QT is a vixen. She's confident and a little saucy behind closed doors. Some may even say she has an attitude. She's a woman after my own heart.

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Fast Facts on QT Sydney

49 Market Street, Sydney NSW

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  • Prices from around $460 a night
  • Quirky gift shop & designer spa
  • Free wi-fi throughout the hotel
  • Onsite wining & dining at three venues
  • Downloadable QT Hotels & Resorts Concierge app
  • 2-minute walk to Town Hall train station

Ashton Rigg

When I'm not at home in Brisbane, you’ll find me wanderlusting around hipster bars, eclectic boutiques and arty nooks. From bagels in Brooklyn to strudel in Salzburg, I believe the best way to experience a destination is by taking a bite! Tweets & 'grams at @AshtonRigg