MAKE RESERVATIONS AT THESE LUXURY HOTELS FOR THE ULTIMATE STAR TREATMENT.
A work trip is a very different undertaking from a holiday, and Stage and Screen Travel Services’ National Product Managers Caylee Kavanagh and Emma Hall know exactly what they’re looking for when scouring out the best accommodation for their entertainment and sports industry clients.
“The travel needs of the entertainment industry are fast paced and constantly changing,” says Emma. “There is never a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Whether a news crew needs to be first on the scene or an A-list performer needs a peaceful sanctuary away from the press, Stage and Screen is unique in our ability to deliver bespoke solutions to each and every client.”
Rates are a major consideration, adds Caylee. “Are the hotel rates as competitive as they can be? Do we have all the necessary value-adds that our clients require?”
Facilities are key, too. “A hotel must be a ‘home away from home’ for our clients,” says Emma. “A clean and comfortable room, and a good restaurant and gym can make all the difference when you are so far away from your own creature comforts.”
Discretion is always a priority for the Stage and Screen team too, as many high profile clients need to know their travel plans are kept under wraps. “We only work with hotels that ensure complete confidentiality, whether we book apartment-style accommodation in Sydney or a six-star hotel in Dubai,” says Caylee.
Here are 15 of Australia’s best five-star hotels for working entertainment travellers.
This opulent boutique hotel is made for creative guests. Devoted to design, art and entertainment, the beautifully designed property actually shares a building with Sydney’s State Theatre – which puts you right at the office if you happen to be working on a production there. Located in the centre of the CBD, it’s within easy reach of Sydney’s performance venues and sporting stadiums, with major stores and transport all handy. But it’s the interior spaces that creatives love most; the heritage interiors are filled with objets d’art, fashion-inspired displays, design features, colour and craftsmanship. The flamboyant Gilt Lounge is a popular venue for opening night and movie premier after-parties, and Robert Marchetti’s acclaimed Gowings Bar & Grill satisfies the most discerning palate with its produce-driven fare. No wonder Ben Stiller gave QT the thumbs-up when in town recently.
Park Hyatt Sydney
An established favourite of celebrities visiting the NSW capital (Michael Bublé, Tom Cruise and Elton John are among many who’ve stayed), Sydney’s Park Hyatt underwent a sweeping 60 million dollar renovation four years ago, which cemented its position as one of the country’s foremost luxury properties. Stunning up-close harbour and Opera House views are a drawcard for those keen to experience the postcard vista in privacy, and if you’re working in the iconic venue, this is the best way to enjoy it from the outside, too. The spectacular, 350sqm Sydney Suite attracts big names; Jamie Oliver and Kylie Minogue have both occupied this lavish retreat with two bedrooms, dining for eight, full kitchen, sauna and steam room. An indulgent spa and exquisite catering from the hotel’s Dining Room add up to a perfect stay.
The views at this CBD sensation are jaw dropping, particularly from the 29th floor, 245sqm Australia Suite. And there’s plenty to occupy you inside, with a baby grand piano (handy for writing and rehearsal), full kitchen, office, walk-in closet and capacious outdoor area where fitness-conscious guests have occasionally requested a gym set up. The suite is easily styled to suit the tastes of its resident and the hotel’s accomplished kitchen team is renowned for accommodating various dietary requirements (the hotel has even featured a gluten-free high tea). There are 28 suites and 509 rooms in total, and all feature window seats from which to bask in the views – whether water, Botanic Gardens or city skyline. Up top on the 31st floor, the exclusive Supper Club (you can book out the whole space) boasts a wraparound balcony and 27 Champagnes on the menu.
The Langham Sydney
If Johnny Depp’s dogs had been allowed to stay in Australia they would have been spoiled as royally as their owner at The Langham Sydney. This sumptuous harbourside hotel, recently transformed by a 30 million dollar renovation, is Sydney’s only luxury hotel offering pet-friendly accommodation. A full Pet Room Service Menu features chef-created treats such as the Lassie’s Favourite beef steak with chunky vegetables for dogs and Meow Meow grilled salmon with green beans, quail egg, tuna, potatoes and olives for cats. Don’t worry; humans fare well too, with one of the city’s most indulgent spas, Chuan Spa downstairs, boasting a 20m pool. Features in the lavish Observatory Suite include a dining room for eight with private wine cellar and butler service.
Crown Towers Melbourne
Melbourne’s Crown Complex is rarely without a contingent of visiting high profile guests, largely due to the packed entertainment programme across its venues. It makes sense for artists performing here to stay, and they can do so in splendid style at Crown Towers. The hotel’s Villas on the 30th and 31st floors are a true home-from-home, designed to resemble the ultimate penthouse residence and boasting 130sqm of exclusivity. The massive two-bedroom Tower Suite is another popular option – especially for guests travelling with family. When Crown Casino hosts the Logies, the Australian TV industry’s annual night of nights, the entertainment industry seems to have entirely taken over Crown Towers. Security is watertight and there are plenty of discreet back entrances and exits for strategic paparazzi avoidance.
Park Hyatt Melbourne
A popular option for sports personalities as well as performers in town to play the stadium venues at the nearby Melbourne Cricket Ground (these have included Rod Stewart, Pink and Lady Gaga), the CBD’s Park Hyatt boasts comfortably large rooms for off-duty visitors to relax and spread out. There’s also a gorgeous day spa featuring an indoor aquamarine pool, spa, sauna, gym and private sun deck.
Grand Hyatt Melbourne
A classic property and benchmark for timeless luxury in Melbourne, the Grand Hyatt cocoons its guests in opulence framed by grand entrances and an elegant lobby. The glamour persists in sumptuous rooms with floor to ceiling windows, custom-made beds and marble bathrooms. The two Ambassador suites are perfect for extra pampering, and come with walk-in wardrobes big enough to boast their own postcode. Despite the grandeur, visitors quickly feel at home here. Last year Justin Bieber got so comfortable he skateboarded around the marble-floored lobby.
This fabulously appointed boutique all-suite hotel often serves as a long-term base for visitors attached to projects at Channel Ten, located just along Chapel Street, South Yarra. Themed around the work of beloved Australian artist John Olsen, the property is part of the Art Series group of luxury boutique hotels and is filled with Olsen originals, rare prints and design motifs. The apartment set-up of each suite – they’re fully serviced, with kitchen, lounge area and office facilities and also include free Foxtel, no utility bills and free gym no matter how long you stay – makes an ideal base for touring companies and corporates alike.
Sofitel Brisbane Central
As the name suggests, this hotel is right in the heart of Brisbane, with direct access to Central Railway Station – ideal for seamless transfer of people and equipment. Celebrity guests are partial to pampering in the discreet surrounds of the level three Stephanie’s Spa Retreat and those in search of further indulgence opt for the Opera Suite, with its 28th floor views of the city skyline through 14m-wide gallery windows, a library/study, dining room and deep bath with Hermes ammenities.
The New Inchcolm Hotel
This heritage-listed boutique hotel, in a building dating back to 1880, brings a touch of playful charm to the luxury experience, plus lashings of exquisite design. Although offering a more intimate vibe than larger hotels, there’s no compromising on the finer things and the rooms, suites and loft boast bespoke carpet and gorgeous fittings as well as abundant tech - iPads, docking station, and LED TVs. The two-level Inchcolm Loft is the perfect hideaway for a guest accustomed to amazing spaces, and a stunning base for longer stays.
COMO The Treasury
Perth’s 140-year-old State Buildings form the graceful skeleton for this property regarded by many aficionados as Australia’s best city hotel. Visitors love the sympathetic restoration from Kerry Hill architects, the sybaritic Shambhala Spa, and the rooms’ rainforest showers, heated stone floors and tranquil feel, which allows you to forget you’re right in the city centre.
Crown Metropol Perth
On the banks of the WA capital’s Swan River, a short distance from the airport, Perth Exhibition and Convention Centre, Perth Arena and Subiaco Oval, the Crown Metropol is attached to the Crown complex’s entertainment hub, making it a great base for anyone needing to easily access these venues. Facilities are impressive; the six star Infinity Suites providing 180-degree panoramas and large, private outdoor dining/barbecue areas are an accommodation highlight, and the poolside Enclave retreat’s furnished, private cabanas come with television, minibar and dedicated host – perfect for private VIP parties. ISIKA Spa’s menu of treatments adds extra indulgence.
Hyatt Regency Perth
With a beautiful riverside perch and gentle, relaxing atmosphere combined with easy access to both the CBD and airport, this hotel has welcomed the likes of Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake and ACDC, and is favoured for its combination of style and privacy. A large pool provides exercise and relaxation opportunities.
Sheraton Grand Mirage Resort
The awe-inspiring proportions of this beachside hotel’s grand lobby – one of the biggest you’ll see in this country – scream status. Guests here will be looked after by famously solicitous staff and can unwind in the huge Royal Suite, with 180-degree sea views, walk-in wardrobe and designer, beach-chic furniture. The lagoon pool and resort feel have you believing you’re on an island retreat, when you’re actually up close to all the Gold Coast entertainment venues.
Hyatt Hotel Canberra
Manicured lawns and heritage buildings create an atmosphere of vintage elegance, but the luxury is comprehensively modern at Canberra’s go-to hotel for creative industry visitors. Excellent facilities include the Clubhouse Spa and Fitness Centre, with equipment and expert staff to ensure a traveller’s fitness regime remains uninterrupted; a grass tennis court with floodlights for night use and private coaching available; a 15-metre heated pool, and nearby jogging track.
By Amy Cooper