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AFTER SEVEN years in construction across two different builders and one global pandemic, perhaps the most anticipated hotel opening of the year came down to one letter, writes Matt Lennon.

Rising ever so gradually from Wheat Road in the Sydney CBD and climbing 30 floors, sandwiched between two directions of the Western Distributor freeway, Marriott International’s new W Sydney marks the return of the lifestyle brand to the New South Wales capital after nearly a decade away.

Sitting within a building known as ‘The Ribbon’, W Sydney is the 70th ‘W’ branded hotel to open around the world and the third in Australia after properties in Brisbane and Melbourne opened in 2018 and 2021 respectively.

Opening proceedings included a DJ pumping out a modern dance soundtrack, plugged into a shiny electric Genesis vehicle, a partnership with W Sydney that provides a fleet of vehicles for VIP pick-ups, staycation loan experiences and guest drive experiences.

Craig Seaward, W Sydney General Manager, says the opening marks a new chapter for the W brand and will be a “game changer” in the Sydney market.

“The market is ready for a hotel like W that brings a new luxury reimagined,” he added.

“W Sydney has extraordinary design, not only in an amazing building but in its artistic interiors.”

Then, with the press of a button replacing a more traditional ribbon cutting, the curtains at the entrance came down to reveal a waratah-coated ‘W’ and a tempting stairway ringed with neon blue leading up to the lobby.

Each W hotel around the world takes on a unique personality by the design of the brand, which is reflected in its interior design and colours.

W Sydney has adopted the Aussie larrikin as its leading characteristic, exuded by a juxtaposing menagerie of colour in its public spaces and no single scheme dominating any one area.

The hotel is home to 588 rooms and suites, from studio rooms up to cozy three-bedroom apartments featuring internal fully kitted-out kitchens with induction cooktops and laundries with washer and dryer.

Bathrooms feature dark marble and tiling, with a half-egg bathtub sitting next to the rain-style shower head.

Forget throw pillows all over the bed too – each room features a soft cushion in the shape of a shark adorning the sleeping quarters.

Undoubtedly the hallmark of W Sydney can be found at The Wet Deck on Level 29, with an infinity-edged pool complete with a jellyfish design on the tiled floor.

From the pool or the adjacent Mediterranean style lounges, guests can enjoy the centrepiece postcard views over Darling Harbour. Inside, a stylish bar popping with colour and crystal artworks complete the relaxed vibe.

By day, this space serves as a relaxed haven where guests can enjoy the 30-metre pool and be served a line-up of colourful beverages and light bites. By night, expect the tunes to be pumping and The Wet Deck to transform into one of Sydney’s most in-demand nightspots.