With elegant Art Deco interiors, award-winning design, urban-chic rooms and suites, a buzzing lobby and great restaurant, the Kimpton Margot Sydney is a stylish and very welcome addition to the CBD.
This is the hotel we have been begging Sydney to open for years. Somewhere that breaks away from the mediocrity of post-modern steel-and-glass towers. Somewhere a bit different, fun and stylish, with sympathetically preserved heritage features, distinctively designed rooms and a bar and restaurant you would choose to frequent whether you were a guest or not.
The large lobby hall was full of life when we arrived and playing great music as the weekly Motown Mondays event was getting underway. The 1930s-style Wilmot Bar was serving up Clarified Negronis (with saffron-infused gin) and Pink Elephants (with elderflower liqueur and yuzu), while Luke’s Kitchen was preparing delicious delights for a busy evening ahead.
The staff at the marble front desk were fast, friendly and efficient. They invited us for evening drinks with the management team, a lovely free daily event that has been ditched by many other hotels but makes guests feel welcome and appreciated.
Look and feel
The Kimpton Margot Sydney is the boutique Kimpton brand’s first property in Australia. It inhabits a 1939, heritage-listed building that was once home to the city’s Metropolitan Water Sewerage and Drainage Board, hence the ‘M.W.S. & D.’ letters over the Pitt Street entrance.
The terrazzo floors and rust-pink marble columns help give the lobby its unique look. At the far end is the Wilmot Bar, an elegant example of Art Deco’s Ocean Liner style, with a tiered bar-front and gracefully curved ends, looking like it has been transplanted from a 1930s cruise ship.
The sofas, armchairs, carpets and brass-stemmed ‘tree’ lights have turned the lobby into a very inviting living room. Couples can catch up with friends in the open areas or hide away in more private seats flanked by tall Deco screens.
Look up and you’ll catch a glimpse of the David Bailey-style, black-and-white photographs gazing down from the mezzanine.
The heritage continues beyond the lobby. In fact, there’s an entire Heritage Floor (6th floor), which used to house the medical branch and staff dining room of the M.W.S. & D., and still boasts the original tiled walls. Another nod to heritage is the industrial-chic, tiled-wall bathroom design in rooms on all floors and (in some rooms and suites) corrugated glass panels that create a privacy screen between bedroom and bathroom.
The hotel also has a 24hr gym, a yoga space and a large rooftop area with pool, which is soon to undergo a refurbishment.
Best room for two
We stayed in a 1 King Bed Suite which was at the far end of the main corridor on the Heritage Floor. It gave us a real sense of place and a good idea of the attention to detail that must have gone into refurbishing this old building.
The suite was a great size at 58sqm but thankfully the designers had not filled the whole place with furniture. The sitting area had a coffee table, writing desk, Art Deco-inspired artworks and lamps, and two very comfy sofas with black-and-white tartan cushions.
The suite’s bathroom was the scene-stealer for us: big, for one thing, but also very urban and industrial in its design. The walls were lined with tiles offset by matt black towel rails, taps and showerhead.
If you fancy one of the spacious Signature Suites, download the Suites brochure here but if space is not an issue for you, pick one of the entry-level King Bed Essential Room (33sqm) – similar in design and equally charming but without a bathtub. Whatever room or suite you pick, you’ll get free wifi, a Nespresso coffee machine, a smart TV with Chromecast streaming and a curated playlist with Bluetooth speakers.
Food and drink
Over deliciously different and saffron-scented Clarified Negronis at the Wilmot Bar later that evening we drank in the marvellous Art Deco interiors before gliding over to Luke’s Kitchen for one of the best hotel restaurant meals we have had for a long time.
Our maître’d Ant (all the way from Dallas, Texas) was the perfect host, giving good tips on both food and drink. The Kingfish Sashimi was a supremely well-balanced dish, a riot of flavour but with no one taste out-shining the other. Clearly a lot of thought had gone into it. We also had the Tempura Zucchini Flowers and the Peking Duck Pancakes (both starters designed to share). Oh, and – full disclosure – a very large bowl of Truffle & Parmesan Fries. Food heaven.
The quality of the food didn’t come as a huge surprise because while we are not chef-obsessed foodies we can’t escape the fact that every Luke Mangan restaurant we’ve eaten in – right back to Salt in Darlinghurst in 2000 – has been excellent. There’s something powerful yet un-showy about his food; it’s refined, clever and confident but not pretentious.
Breakfast next morning was also a delight. The Roast Field Mushroom with silverbeet, pine nuts and fetta, and the Corn and Zucchini fritters with avocado and tomato salsa were two very good veggie ways to start the day.
Luke has also introduced a completely vegan menu and a bottomless brunch with your choice of either free-flowing cocktails or Veuve Clicquot.
Couples will love
Treating the grand, buzzing Art Deco lobby hall as if it was their million-dollar living room, in which to sip delicious Clarified Negronis at Wilmot Bar and dine at Luke’s Kitchen. Also, lounging by the rooftop pool, luxuriating in a bathtub (premium rooms and suites only) and curling up in bed with a nightcap.
Book via the hotel website https://www.kimptonmargotsydney.com/ or call +61 (0) 2 8027 8000.