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Thursday 28 December 2017

The Darling at The Star, Sydney: HOTEL REVIEW

Staying at The Darling at The Star in Sydney's Darling Harbour ticks ALL the boxes if you're wanting a true Sydney staycation.

If you're a dedicated Sydney-sider, but don't get on a plane much (thank you life and deadlines!) The Darling is truly THE place to go for a five star place to rest your weary Sydney.

More on the Josie's Juice hotel stay, but first, feast your eyes...

The Darling foyer:

And, the penthouse at The Darling:

The Darling is located on the edge of Sydney Harbour, and is one of the first hotels in the world to achieve the global mark of excellence in luxury hotels, The International Five Star Hotel Standard.

We will let that rest with you for a minute.

Five star luxe in your hometown, Sydney people! (Or, if you're a visitor, we have found your Sydney home away from home. You're welcome).

And somehow, The Darling still feels utterly accessible, with staff supremely approachable, and there is such a relaxed vibe throughout, from front desk to porters to room service to... everyone!

A little kit to help you enjoy stay...

Breakfast at Sokyo... it's a must!

Room service - late night nachos! SO good!

With the gorgeous Diane Glasson from The Star, at Sky Bar Terrace:

The Darling has been designed as a stand-alone hotel, with its own arrival experience, and when you arrive from the outside entrance (as opposed to via The Star itself) it truly does feel like you're sliding seductively into the sexy-as hotel precinct, with a masterfully designed foyer which is intended for lolling about and reading the paper and using the fantastic light and the arty props as a perfect foil for your selfies (oh... that's what WE used it for).

And then, the rooms...

I won't lie.

The last time I stayed overnight at The Star was eons ago and those hotel rooms do still exist inside The Star (when it was called Star City) and are lovely and comfy and beautifully appointed. (Plus there are three new bespoke rooms which are themed and beautifully appointed, and a romancer / gamer / 70s aficionado's heaven...)

The Darling, though, is another level.

From the 400 thread Egyptian cotton sheets and hand-picked pillow menu (gosh I love that in high end hotels), to the the holistic day spa and and handpicked furnishings inside, The Darling is aesthetically beautiful and we've got to admit, has you feeling super glam.

The Darling won world-wide acclaim after it was named the Best International New Hotel for Construction and Design at the prestigious International Hotel Awards and was included on the coveted annual list of the best new hotels in the world by Conde Nast Traveller.

Gosh, take a bow The Darling! What an accolade.

The Darling is also the first Sydney hotel to be awarded a prestigious Forbes Five-Star rating. A Forbes Travel Guide Star Rating is the most coveted award in the global luxury travel sector. Properties awarded Five-Stars are considered outstanding and are often iconic with virtually flawless service and facilities.

Knowing this, and knowing this award was bestowed soon after Josie's Juice stayed at The Darling made us feel uber glam and special.

The Darling is two-part in its design. Having a distinctive inverted glass tower resting on a sandstone podium it features 171 of these stylish, spacious rooms, suites and penthouses, an infinity pool, gym and a 13 room luxury spa.

The rooms and suites are perfect only for the Sydney staycation-er, as well as guests visiting for business, as well as the discerning interstate or overseas holidayer, looking for a memorable world-class five-star experience, in one of the most unforgettable cities (and harbour precincts) in the world.


Head to Sokyo, a contemporary Japanese restaurant and bar.

We had a truly delicious breakfast here (after spending a fantastic night at the Skybar Terrace (open during the warmer months and perfect for drinks in the evening before or after dinner, or get substantial food or bar snacks), and some cheeky but delicious room service (pulled pork nachos, SO good, and white table cloth service style, wheeled in).

You simply must try the eggs benedict with hollandaise miso (oh yes, as good as you imagine - see below) from the menu, and indulge in the Japanese style breakfast smorgasbord (think traditional brekkie staples with a Japanese twist, and lotsa matcha), and languish on the banquettes (while deconstructing your big night before in the beautiful beast that is Sydney).

The Sokyo breakfast menu

Founded by Executive Chef, Chase Kojima, Sokyo turns seriously sexy at night, and features more than 80 unique, hand-crafted dishes designed to share. Sokyo has won:

- One Chef’s Hat – The Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide 2017, 2016 &amp

- Australia’s Top 100 Restaurants – Australian Financial Review 2016 &amp

- Two Goblets – Australian Gourmet Traveller Wine List of the Year 2016 &amp

- Chef of the Year: Chase Kojima – Tourism Accommodation Australia Awards for Excellence (NSW) 2015 Chef of the Year: Chase Kojima – Australian Hotel Association 

- National Awards for Excellence 2015 Award of Excellence – Wine Spectator Restaurant 

- Wine List Awards 2015

- Certificate of Excellence – TripAdvisor 2015

So, if you want a place to stay that is central to the fun in Sydney, so you can walk and explore the city centre and its surround, The Darling is your place.

Likewise, if you want a hub where you can do it all, and keep coming back for a refresh and a nap and go back and do more, Josie's Juice cannot think of a venue in Sydney other than The Darling where you can do just that.

See a show at the Lyric Theatre, get dressed up and enjoy dinner at Balla or Black, go jeans style and have a pizza and aperitivo at Pizzaperta (tell chef Donzelli we said hi!), food court it with style at Flying Fish or Gojima, sexy drinks at Black Bar and Grill, or at Cherry (with stunning views across Sydney Harbour and city skyline, or kick back and enjoy live music venue Rock Lily (with one of the largest selections of tequila in Australia!), or put on dancing shoes and go to the in-house nightspot, Marquee, a nightcap at Latitiude (menu + classic beverages), or put on your big girl pants and go eat big at Harvest Buffet.  Or Momofuku Seiōbo (David Chang's first restaurant outside of New York City). Or Asian food heaven at The CenturyThen go to The Darling Spa, revive and do it all again.

Phew, it's all here. Five out of five stars for The Darling!

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