From the moment you enter Sydney’s new Capitol Hotel, one thing stands out: the finer details.
It starts from the very moment you enter the Capitol’s subtle yet elegant doors located next to its namesake, the Capitol Theatre. With its reception located upstairs, a staff member cheerfully guides you to the lifts – an experience that could have felt cold if wasn’t for the smiling greeting.
Talking of smiling greetings, if you’re lucky enough, you may be checked in by Front Office Manager Shaishav, whose knowledge of the surrounding area is strong – so make sure you ask for a couple of recommendations.
Check-in can also be done electronically via easy-to-use screens in the foyer – allowing an added touch of ease and convenience, especially around peak check-in times.
Before we proceed, a history lesson: The Capitol officially re-opened in October, which means everything here feels new and fresh.
There’s 95 completely transformed rooms across 11 accommodation styles, for solo travellers through to rooms catering to up to seven guests.
I’m a big fan of any venue that delivers a nod to its past, and The Capitol certainly does that. Its design has been influenced by the hotel building’s unique history – once serving as the Belmore Markets, a circus and a hippodrome.
The hotel’s location next to Sydney’s Capitol Theatre also plays a significant role in the design, with carefully curated arched wallpaper and a large curtain feature on the ground floor entrance, drawing on an ambience reminiscent of entering the theatre.
A carefully selected colour palette consisting of teal, gold, sage, and red was chosen to evoke moments of theatre, while creating a warm and inviting atmosphere for guests. Each floor has been assigned one of the four distinct colours, complemented by matching artwork.
Now, moving on to the experience of a weekend at the Capitol.
After the ease of check-in, we headed to the room for a little relaxation – and discover a New York-style hotel room; small in nature but boasting all you’d need for a stay in a city that will have you out of the room more than in it.
Some of the unique design elements and the aforementioned finer details feature in the rooms themselves – such as the curved mirrors and bespoke furniture.
Using a tablet, you can order room service or get yourself acquainted with the hotel’s facilities – a move forward from the traditional paper compendiums you often find in hotel rooms.
Before heading out for the night, we ventured down to the Capitol Kitchen. Rather than deliver a full service restaurant in a location dominated by an array of food and beverage options, the Capitol has opted for a light bites menu – perfect too if you’re headed for a show next door and are time conscious.
The lounge menu is available from Midday until 9pm and highlights include the four-cheese arancini, truffle parmesan fries and the Diavolo pizza.
Topped off with a delicious margarita, this is the perfect beginning to a night – and I’d highly recommend kicking your evening off here before checking out what’s happening around town.
Venturing out, your options are endless – a short stroll down to Darling Square and its ever-growing list of restaurants, a show at the Capitol Theatre or just lapping up the eclectic food markets that are in good supply. We head just up the road to Blancho, an unassuming small bar in Thomas Street with an extensive range of whiskies and Asian inspired cocktails.
The desire of this country music-loving writer to check out Jolene’s – at the end other end of the CBD – was easily fulfilled thanks to the Light Rail stop being so close to the hotel, but it’s also a quicker walk than you think, and no matter what your purpose for being in the Sydney CBD, The Capitol is far from being in an inconvenient location.
The next morning, we returned to The Capitol Kitchen for a delightful continental breakfast. Far more than a bowl of corn flakes, however, there’s plenty here to get you started for the day – including a delicious ham and cheese croissant, wrapped in Capitol Hotel branding; again, the finer details.
The Capitol Hotel has positioned itself as a hotel you can fall in love with and return time and time again as your base for any Sydney staycation or event. General Manager Brad Worker and his team, including the designers, have thrown themselves into delivering an above and beyond experience.
The Hotel is big enough to deliver on all your modern expectations of a city-based location, but small enough to make you feel like it’s a cosy getaway a million miles away from the hustle and bustle that’s waiting outside.
It’s a true gem.
Troy Dodds is the Weekender’s Managing Editor and Breaking News Reporter. He has more than 20 years experience as a journalist, working with some of Australia’s leading media organisations. In 2023, he was named Editor of the Year at the Mumbrella Publish Awards.