We left Queenstown Airport at 5pm and arrived at Sydney Airport at 8.30pm. A quick, hassle-free departure from Sydney Airport and we were in the heart of the city within 30 minutes. It was 7pm local time - our holiday had started with still a few hours left in the day to unwind.
Check-in experience: Unlike any hotel I had stayed in, this truly was a hip and quirky place. On arrival, we were greeted by one of the "directors of chaos". We were ushered up to the second-floor lobby by one of these friendly, ultra-glam ladies in red, bobbed wig and a sexy, burlesque-style black uniform, complete with fishnet stockings. The more formal reception staff were also accommodating and professional. The lift ride was fun; it has a sensor that detects how many people are on board and plays appropriate songs. We were a couple, so our first experience was a love song - so romantic. Large groups of people experience party songs and solo lift riders listen to songs about being alone.
Location: The hotel is in the heart of the CBD, next to the State Theatre and surrounded by department stores, shops and near two beautiful Victorian-styled arcade shopping centres, the Strand Arcade and Queen Victoria shopping complex. It's an easy 15-minute walk to tourist attractions including Circular Quay, Botanic Gardens and Opera House.
Hotel history: The hotel opened in 2012 and is within the historic former Gowings and State Theatre art deco buildings. The buildings underwent extensive renovations. Gowings was a popular department store, which operated from 1930 to 2006, and the State Theatre is still in business today.
Room: We were welcomed to our room by a 3D hand holding our room number. The luxurious rooms are chic and eclectic. The colour palette, fur rugs, cushions and throws gave warmth and texture. Our room was art-deco themed with glass ornaments, statement lights and modern, comfortable lounge furniture. This theme was influenced by the building's architecture. The minibar had all the essentials, however, it had additional creative offerings such as a DIY martini kit and vintage games.
Price: QT has 198 rooms and only two suites. Prices range from A$290 ($300) for a QT King room up to A$1700 for a luxurious QT State Suite. The State Suites are proper one-bedroom suites. They also have corner suites and junior suites, but these are just slightly larger than the standard rooms.
What's so good about this place? The uniqueness of this hotel experience. Every detail has been considered, from the overall theme of the hotel to the carefully curated styling of every area and room. The hotel is located centrally and had lots of great places to discover nearby.
Toiletries: Malin+Goetz, natural, botanical-based products from New York.
Food and drink: We ate at the hotel's Gowings Bar & Grill, a fine-dining experience of European style dishes. The atmosphere was glamorous and the service great. The menu choices were a little overwhelming, however, we selected well. The spiced duck was a winner and the green tea tiramisu was an intriguing end.
The bed: Large and very comfortable.
A room with a view? The view from our third-level room was nothing to write home about. We looked out on to buildings on the opposite side of Market St, however, we were pleasantly captivated by what was within, so views were disregarded.
Bathroom: The bathroom's deluxe amenities were modern, and black plush robes were provided. A nice change from the stark white robes found in most hotels.
Free Wi-Fi? Yes.
Noise: Some noise from the traffic and hustle and bustle of Market St rose to the third level, only noticeable first thing in the morning or during rush hour. Our room was absolutely soundproof.
Perfect for: This glamorous hotel is for those who love good design and want to have some fun, and is perfect for an indulgent long-weekend escape.
The QT Sydney is at 49 Market Street, Sydney. Phone: +61 2 8262 0000.