Fading gloriously

DD has been staying in the city for a few nights due to work commitments and he chose the Sir Stamford Circular Quay as his base.

It has been a sentimental visit. We’ve spent a few lovely nights at the hotel over the years and are feeling a little sad about it closing later this year.

The hotel was bought for a whopping $210.5 million last year and will be turned into apartments. That’s a cool $2 million per hotel room and $120.5 million above valuation. Can you imagine what the price tag will be on the apartments?

We like the faded elegance of the hotel. It’s not all shiny and modern, there are chandeliers and grand pianos and china cabinets and giant gilt clocks with cherubs dangling off them.

The hotel was built in 1990 and incorporates the heritage listed former Health Department building on the corner of Albert and Macquarie Streets. Construction will commence in October 2023 to convert it into fancy pads.

The rooms at the hotel already feel apartment sized. DD is staying in one that is larger than some places that I have lived.

The 1990s marble bathroom is definitely bigger than anything I’ve had in any of my homes. I would like to think they could keep the bathrooms during the redevelopment, but I doubt it.

DD’s room also has a little Juliette balcony and the most magnificent harbour view. Those pointy bits in the photo above are the Sydney Opera House.

I went there last night for a bath while DD was at a business dinner, then we hit the town for a cocktail, which felt very extravagant on a Monday night.

However, as nice as it’s been, I’ve decided what I actually need is a spot of sleep tourism, which is apparently the hot new trend in travel. It’s being taken up by weary business people, new parents and older holiday makers eager for shut eye.

Australian accommodation providers are offering them “sleep retreats” and “sleep weekends” with everything from pre-nap massages to ear plugs, eye masks and pillow mists to ensure quality of rest.

A sleep weekend sounds freaking awesome, don’t you reckon?

Instead it’s time for me to get up and head back to the real world.

Farewell Sir Stamford, we will miss your retro glory.

PS: Oddly enough, the Sir Stamford – or the Ritz-Carlton as it was pre-2000 – was the first fancy hotel I ever stayed at. It looked pretty much the same as it does now. I got a free night there – I can’t for the life of me remember why – in a suite that was even more massive than the room I stayed in with DD last night.

It was just after my first boyfriend broke up with me, but I convinced him to come along anyway. Actually, for reasons I also can’t remember, I invited my sister along too and she slept on the sofa in the living room.

There is photographic proof of the stay somewhere, complete with me posing on the bed in a fluffy bathrobe, but I can’t find it for the life of me. All that I could dig out is this pick of my ex reclining by the pool.

Song of the day: Split Enz “Years go by”

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