Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney Honours the History of an Iconic CBD Building

Photo Credit: Radisson

In an architectural style reminiscent of New York City’s famous Flatiron Building, 27 O’Connell Street in the heart of Sydney’s CBD is a stunning heritage-listed building with a rich history that dates back to 1856.  Over the years it’s served Sydney’s corporates well, from once being home to the iconic Fairfax newspaper empire to then the Bank of New South Wales, now known as Westpac.  Today, whilst the exterior looks not dissimilar to when it was first built, it’s been entirely modernised on the interior and now caters to business travelers and vacationers alike as the stylish five-star boutique Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney.

Opening in the year 2000, the guestrooms were designed to complement the period building, in a contemporary but elegant style that has endured.  As explained by the hotel’s general manager, Peter Tudehope, “Being charged as custodians of a building that has contributed to our city’s historical past, is not something the Radisson Blu Plaza takes lightly.  Whilst the hotel has undergone further refurbishments over the years, we have ensured architectural features both on the exterior and interior have been preserved and retained.”

The original building started life as three storeys with a basement, it was designed in an Italianate style by Sydney architects Goold & Hillings, before a second building was constructed in the early 1920’s using local Bondi sandstone and rock from Bowral, both materials adding character to the façade still seen today.  Between 1913 and 1955, building heights within Sydney’s CBD were restricted so as to limit the upward growth of the city.  Whilst diminutive in comparison to modern skyscrapers, the building was raised to nine storeys and a cupola was added to the roof, a clever design element often employed by architects of the time to add an illusion of height to city buildings. 

“What would no doubt have been a challenge at the time, construction of the building was completed in three stages and this was purely so as not to interrupt production of the Fairfax publications,” said Peter.  “Just prior to the opening of the hotel in 2000, further work was conducted with the cupola an architectural detail now recognised across the city and weighing some 920 tonnes being raised 3.9 metres to its current level.  With the city having risen up around the building, it was important to maintain the aesthetic balance and three additional levels were incorporated.”

Location, location

Located in Sydney’s CBD, Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel offers easy access to major transport links, the city’s CBD businesses, tourist attractions, and shopping precincts, making it an ideal accommodation choice or conference and meeting venue for business travellers.  The hotel is easily accessible via Wynyard train station or a 20-minute taxi ride from Sydney airport.

“Following two years of restricted travel due to the pandemic, the demand for conferences and events is picking up,” said Peter.  “Employers are now looking for alternative ways to reconnect employees with present and potential customers.  Hotels located in the CBD are in a prime location to take advantage of this, particularly as the City of Sydney and NSW government is encouraging businesses to return to the CBD.”

Business and social meetings

Fairfax press operated from 27 O’Connell Street just shy of 100 years with the last edition of the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper published on site in 1955.  The original offices of Sir Warwick and Sir James Fairfax on the mezzanine level were thoughtfully restored and are now used as meeting rooms.  Surrounded by Australia’s top corporate organisations, the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney provides an ideal setting for professional meetings or social gatherings. The elegant facilities feature upscale decor and the latest innovation in technology services, including audio visual tools and on-site catering from their excellent restaurants. The Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney can enhance any soiree or seminar with one of their exclusive meeting packages, which offer a customised blend of refreshment options and room configurations. With more than 500 square meters of modern event space, they can easily host a stately board meeting or a celebration with up to 200 guests.

 A connected hotel experience

For a first-class experience, the Radisson Blu Plaza Hotel Sydney offers 338 rooms and 26 suites with boutique-style charm and modern amenities like free Wi-Fi. After client meetings in Sydney’s CBD, guests can unwind in a Business Class room and enjoy exclusive access to the Business Class lounge.

All guestrooms offer an en-suite bathroom with marble vanity, separate shower and extra deep tub, plus additional amenities including pillow menu, iPhone charging pad, gourmet mini bar, 24-hour room service, tea and coffee making facilities, iron and ironing board and in-room safe

Business travellers looking to extend their stay for pleasure can upgrade to a one-bedroom spa suite with features like an extra-deep jetted tub in the marble bathroom. For added convenience, adjoining and accessible rooms are available upon request, and a rollaway bed can be added for a fee. Also on offer is a health club and spa, including a 15-metre heated indoor lap pool, steam room and gymnasium.

Award-winning dining

The original public hall featuring stunning ceiling heights on Hunter Street was redesigned to house the Fax Bar.  For business travellers looking to unwind after a day of travel, entertaining clients, or chatting with colleagues, the stylish surroundings provide the perfect setting to enjoy a drink. More than just a spot for a nightcap after performances at the Sydney Opera House, it’s also a great place to enjoy a casual lunch, a business dinner, or an elegant high tea. The Lady Fairfax Room with expansive city views through the stunning floor to ceiling Georgian-style windows hosts breakfasts each morning as well as serves as a function space for conferences, private meals, and cocktail events after noon, and the Bentley Restaurant & Bar, known for its innovative dishes and eclectic selection of wines, is the perfect place to enjoy a lunch or dinner.

Leave a Reply