W Sydney at Darling Harbour features iconic curved architecture, ultra-modern interiors and an immersive experience

Staying at any W Hotel is always an exciting experience filled with surprises. The brand’s DNA is to align the design and spirit of the property to the pulse of the city it’s in, and offer that sense of originality and curiosity. W Sydney is one of W Hotel’s newest launches (it opened in October 2023), and resides in the famous Darling Harbour, adjacent to Sydney’s city centre.

Above: The immaculate glass facade of w sydney reflects the sky and water. shot on leica m11.

Just based on its prime location in a tourist hotspot, don’t expect budget prices (the smallest City View Room starts from AUD441/night), but you will get what you pay for — a luxurious stay with the best-in-class service, incredible views to the harbour and city, an impressive selection of restaurants including 2am: dessertbar by Janice Wong (what a great local representation!), and every other hotel facility one would expect like an extensive spa, fully-equipped gym and infinity pool.

Above: The brilliant welcoming entrance at w sydney. shot on leica m11.

Above: light and shadows play against the entrance of w sydney. shot on leica m11.

Above: sofa seating in the lounge. Shot on iphone 15 pro max.

Since its debut, W Sydney’s curved glass facade has become an architectural icon rising over Darling Harbour; its modern, unconventional shape is striking both day and night. When you step inside the 588-room property, your world changes; there’s an obvious maritime influence to the guest rooms (a lot of blue), and you’ll recognise the neon lights and opulent textures throughout the public spaces that the W group is known for. You know and feel this is a W Hotel, but its harbour-side location is clearly reflected in the overall design.

Above: the blue neon-lit escalator that connects the reception floor and btwn restaurant. shot on iphone 15 pro max.

Above: each area of the hotel has its own unique design that makes sense for its purpose and location. This casual spot features original graffiti that is a reference to the city streets of sydney. Shot on iphone 15 pro max.

Above: “pods” at the away spa, where you can get a mani/pedi done, or just spend time alone with a glass of champagne. shot on iphone 15 pro max.

W Sydney has multiple room types and suites to choose from based on the number of people staying together, and of course how much you’re willing to pay. The basic rooms (they are all very plush, not exactly basic) come with their own bar cart, a walk-in wardrobe, and a supersized patchwork shark that will greet you on the bed. Then there’s the Penthouse Suite where you can expect a clientele of royalty, billionaires and celebrities. You can explore the various rooms here.

Above: an example of a wardrobe inside one of the rooms. shot on iphone 15 pro max.

While there are various dining and bar options onsite, you’ll find yourself gearing towards BTWN Restaurant headed up by Chef Chris Dodd, who serves Modern Australian cuisine in a seasonal dinner menu. He tells me that he sources ingredients from within Australia — Sydney city, in particular — with a focus on fresh local produce, and long-term sustainability. His version of a Roast Duck was delicious, and we also recommend the Rib Eye for sharing.

Above: portrait of chef chris dodd at btwn. shot on leica m11.

Above: The bar in w sydney’s “living room”, where the lobby lounge is located. shot on iphone 15 pro max.

Above: i had a margarita at the wet deck, which is another lounge and dining area to hang around in. shot on iphone 15 pro max.

Above: pretty cocktails from the menu at BTWN restaurant. shot on iphone 15 pro max.

Above: portrait of julio, one of the bartenders at w sydney. shot on leica m11.

Our visit to W Sydney was made complete with Vivid Sydney in full swing during our stay. Many of the light exhibitions were showing just doorstep to the hotel, with others just a stone’s throw (5-10 minute walk) away. You can’t get a better hotel location than W Sydney’s right in the heart of Darling Harbour, and when you consider this, the room pricing isn’t so bad after all.

W Sydney is located at 31 wheat road, sydney, nsw 2000, australia. Follow them on instagram @WSYDNEYHOTEL and Visit MARRIOTT.COM for bookings.