Review: Crown Sydney - an urban luxury resort on the harbour

Crown Sydney has burst onto the city’s luxury scene with a delectable mix of fine dining and elegant living.

Overall Rating

By Matt Lennon, May 4 2022
Crown Sydney - an urban luxury resort on the harbour
Country

Australia

City

Sydney

Hotel

Crown Sydney

Rating

5 Star

Room

Deluxe King Room

Notes
The Good
  • Spacious and uncrowded rooms
  • Luxurious outdoor pool with brilliant harbour views
The Bad
  • No dedicated work desk limits in-room dining space
  • Restaurants are hit and miss in value for money terms
X-Factor
  • Stunning views from all corners
Location
Rooms
Meals
Overall

Introduction

Dominant in Melbourne and Perth, Crown Resorts has long held dreams of a fortress in Sydney as a recreation and entertainment hotspot attracting both the A-list and infrequent indulgers.

And after a decade in planning, the revolving doors began turning in late 2019, welcoming guests to a haven of social satiation in the harbourfront enclave of Barangaroo.

The $2.2 billion, 270-metre tall Crown Towers Sydney is an epic superstructure soaring into the sky. Within the glass walls are 350 ultra-modern luxury hotel rooms, eight restaurants and bars, a lagoon-style swimming pool and the SkyDeck observation attraction at its 83rd floor apex.

Crown Sydney's luxurious lobby.
Crown Sydney's luxurious lobby.

Executive Traveller ventured inside for a taste of what Crown Sydney has to offer.

Location & Impressions

Formerly a freight container terminal, Barangaroo has been completely revitalised in a major urban renewal spawning several office towers, restaurants, boutique retail and attractions.

Crown Sydney sits among these, positioned waterside at 1 Barangaroo Avenue – a gentle stroll to the vibrancy of Darling Harbour.

The Sky Deck at Crown Sydney takes you to new heights
The Sky Deck at Crown Sydney takes you to new heights

For a view higher than the birds’ eye, secure some free tickets from Crown’s Concierge to the Sky Deck on the 83rd floor. Six tours run each day where you can spend 30 minutes on the open-air balcony and indoor viewing area, taking in vistas over much of Sydney Harbour, Darling Harbour and the rest of the city.

Room

Crown Sydney sees 350 hotel rooms occupying the lower 25 floors and a further 50-plus levels of residential apartments.

When you enter the lobby, cast your eyes up to admire the signature Oculus crystal-clad LED chandelier emerging from the ceiling. After dark, this piece comes alive with a modest light show bathing the area in an eerily beautiful blue hue.

Our Deluxe King Room on the 19th floor.
Our Deluxe King Room on the 19th floor.

We’re checking into a Deluxe King Room on Level 19. The abundance of space is immediately evident as we’re drawn to the window, which makes up the entire outer wall. This room measures 55 square metres and it's easily one of the largest main category rooms available in Sydney.

King Deluxe Rooms include a dining table that doubles as your desk.
King Deluxe Rooms include a dining table that doubles as your desk.

A modest coffee table is all that stands in a very uncluttered space, with a small dining table and curved couch on opposing walls.

The marble-laden bathroom is equally impressive and features a standalone tub and separate shower chamber.

The bathroom features a large shower, standalone bath and a futuristic toilet.
The bathroom features a large shower, standalone bath and a futuristic toilet.

An adjacent cubicle houses a futuristic toilet which opens automatically on sensing your presence.

Among the 349 rooms at Crown Sydney, your selection includes similar layouts with views instead of the Opera House and the western harbour. For a separate living space from the bedroom, consider an upgrade to the Executive Harbour Bridge Suite which at a palatial 85 square metres, features a four-person dining setting and powder room.

Work

Crown Sydney ticks many boxes for those looking for a luxurious harbourside hotel, but if you need to get some work done during your stay, space is limited.

Deluxe King rooms lack a dedicated desk, meaning the dining table must suffice as a quasi-workstation. While the chair is comfortable and there are power outlets at your side, there’s little space for papers beyond the coffee table, which might force you to use the bed instead.

With so much space available, a desk wouldn't have hurt.
With so much space available, a desk wouldn't have hurt.

If you absolutely need a desk, consider upgrading to an Executive Harbour Bridge Suite, which includes a traditional workspace.

As an alternative, the ground floor TWR Bar doubles as a day lounge open to the public.

TWR Bar features indoor and covered outdoor seating with a harbour view.
TWR Bar features indoor and covered outdoor seating with a harbour view.

If you're able to work amid the ambient activity of this spot, make sure you're ready to clock off before sunset when TWR transforms into an energetic cocktail bar with piano entertainment.

Eat

The eight culinary offerings at Crown Sydney run close to the literal definition of fine dining, but that doesn’t mean they’re guaranteed to float everybody’s boat.

Leading the charge is Nobu Sydney, a world-famous name in luxury Japanese fusion. Part-owned by legendary Hollywood actor, Robert De Niro, dining at Nobu is an experience as much as a meal with delicate degustation fare. Situated within Nobu is Yoshii's Omakase, a tiny 10-seat Japanese fusion eatery serving up creative takes on traditional sushi.

Nobu Sydney is the acclaimed Japanese chef's third restaurant in Australia
Nobu Sydney is the acclaimed Japanese chef's third restaurant in Australia

Maintaining the Michelin-star trend is Oncore by Clare Smyth, a Northern Irish culinary mastermind with three to her name, who now presents Sydney with a sustainability-driven menu.

Mediterranean flavours can be found at a’Mare, a classic Italian eatery on the ground floor. Purveying traditional Puglian recipes with locally sourced ingredients, dishes are lovingly prepared and flavoursome, with our favourite being the perfectly roasted spatchcock chicken, marinated in a devilish chilli and capsicum glaze. The Gnocco Fritto crumbed pizza ball is another bite-sized hit for the taste buds.

Entrees at A'Mare are small but packed with flavour.
Entrees at A'Mare are small but packed with flavour.

Nearby, the traditionally-minded Woodcut presents fresh seafood and red meats cooked with wood, charcoal, and steam across five open kitchens. While the wood grill wafts an exhilarating aroma, the sparing serve of Margra lamb left us wanting, so consider an extra side in case your main leaves you a little short of full.

Woodcut invites a curious peek to watch the preparation.
Woodcut invites a curious peek to watch the preparation.

Breakfast each day is available at the expansive Epicurean restaurant, which showcases all of the popular breakfast staples, but perhaps the closest thing you’ll find to casual dining is the room service menu.

A colourful and tasty breakfast buffet awaits at Epicurean.
A colourful and tasty breakfast buffet awaits at Epicurean.

Using the in-room iPad, a selection of burgers, sandwiches, soups, salads, Asian favourites and desserts from a variety of kitchens can be delivered to your door.

Relax

A centrepiece of Crown Sydney is its infinity swimming pool on Level 5. Beautifully designed with a cascading fountain edge, this hedonistic lagoon offers partially submerged sun-kissed tables and cabanas which can be reserved as your own private chancel.

Crown's elevated lagoon pool is one of Sydney's finest.
Crown's elevated lagoon pool is one of Sydney's finest.

To break a sweat, Level 6 features the Crown fitness centre complete with an eclectically coloured tennis court.

Alternatively, the Crown Spa is a sanctuary designed to iron out sore muscles and leave you feeling new with an extensive menu of spa and beauty treatments. Before your makeover, there are two Aqua Retreats (one each for men and women) with power showers, vitality spa, a steam room and sauna. Access is included with treatments of one-hour or longer or can be purchased individually.

The Vitality Pool at Crown Spa.
The Vitality Pool at Crown Spa.

Back in your room, the iPad provides access to hundreds of magazines and newspapers from around the world in multiple languages through PressReader.

The Verdict

Barely a year old, Crown Sydney delivers hit-and-miss dining, world-class pampering and vast hotel rooms and suites.

The property is designed in such a way that you don’t need to leave, but if you’d prefer to explore your surroundings further, pack some comfortable walking shoes.

Expect this new Sydney showpiece to square up properly in Sydney as an all-round entertainment sanctum worthy of your attention.

Matt Lennon stayed as a guest of Crown Resorts.

24 Jun 2020

Total posts 31

I have stayed in a 2 bedroom villa (about $3k per night) and it is lavish and well appointed and I could live there forever.

The restaurants are a little hit n miss with my verdict on Woodcut and Silks being just average to good though I was very impressed by the Epicurean buffet dinner on Good Friday with lobster tails and moreton bay bugs but to be honest, so much food on offer, I had no chance of trying everything. I loved the Cirq Bar too with great views and atmosphere which is a definite.

My only concern though this is a 5 star (if not 6 star) hotel, is the price of things here. At Woodcut, a bottle of Wynns Black Label Cabernet which would cost about $35 in a bottle shop was closer to $135 from memory. a $100 mark up even for Crown is a bit steep.

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

13 Jan 2014

Total posts 114

3-400% on wine is pretty standard for Sydney.

This place needs to fix its service to continue to command the prices it wants. Just have to read the reviews on trip advisor to see what I mean. 

Oncore is well worth it if you can get a table. 

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

24 Jan 2018

Total posts 569

Yes, the TWR Bar has a lovely vista (but no better then neighbors farther along Wulugul Walk).  But $18.50 for the house standard G&T - that came as quite a surprise.  Service was all smiles and very polite, but terribly sloooooooow.  And that was at 3:00pm on a Wednesday!

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

30 Mar 2018

Total posts 23

It’s very underwhelming all restaurants with exception of Nobu are average, all round service is not where it should be.

AT
AT

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

14 Sep 2012

Total posts 368

You hear it time and time and time again, exactly the same feedback about the service, hit and mostly misses.


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