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FRESH FACES: Hilton Sydney GM Hayden Hughes

In this Traveltalk exclusive, Hilton Sydney General Manager HAYDEN HUGHES talks about the hotel’s big plans for 2021, the artwork that lines its famous Marble Bar, and the annual event that draws him to outback Queensland.


Where was the last place you travelled and where would you like to go next?

My last trip was to Vietnam on a 7-day motorbike tour from Hanoi to Sapa and back - beautiful country and definitely best experienced on a bike.

Next on my list will be Birdsville for the Big Red Bash, as we will be holidaying at home this year by the looks of it. I have been to this once before and it’s a great experience travelling through the outback, which ends with an open air three day concert in the Simpson Desert! 


Why did you take up this particular role?  

To return to Sydney, a truly world class city, and to take up the legacy of an iconic hotel of Hilton Sydney’s reputation. It was an opportunity I could not resist.


Tell us something people might not know about Hilton Sydney? 

For those who don’t know, the famous Marble Bar at Hilton Sydney is 127 years old (it was originally located in Castlereagh St and relocated to Hilton Sydney in 2005).

Marble Bar is custodian of more than $1.6 million worth of artwork, including fourteen Edwardian paintings by the late Australian artist Julian Ashton.

It’s an incredibly eclectic place to spend time enjoying some of Sydney’s best live music, world class whiskeys, and take in fine art and the culturally enriched history of this city.


The Marble Bar (Image Hilton Sydney)


Tell us one thing that’s coming up at the Hilton that’s got you excited

There’s plenty for me to be excited about in 2021, including the re-launch of Hilton Sydney’s already popular Caffé Cino in our main Lobby after a $250,000 refurbishment.

Also definitely on the list is a chance to showcase our team delivering clean, flexible, safe and socially responsible events using Hilton EventReady with CleanStay protocols, as we welcome event planners and attendees back into our fabulous event spaces.


What makes a great hotel?

It is always the people who serve our guests that make a hotel special, and I can say Hilton Sydney is very lucky to have a great team of hoteliers devoted to delivering exceptional guest experiences to all of our travellers. 


What’s your most memorable travel experience?

It’s hard to go past France and Italy for WOW factor. However, as for a family experience and for the great time my sons had there, our skiing trip to Whistler in Canada with my family would be the highlight.


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Written by: HAYDEN HUGHES as told to MARK HARADA
Published: 11 January 2021

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