More than 600 rooms: Sydney's new $500m five-star hotel opens

A brand-new, five-star waterfront hotel has opened at Darling Harbour.

The Sofitel Sydney is the first new-build luxury hotel to open in Sydney since before the city hosted the Olympics in 2000.

Developed by Lendlease, owned by hotel magnate Jerry Schwartz, and operated by Accor, the hotel has a prime waterfront location opposite the new International Convention Centre.

In what is now Darling Harbour's tallest building, the Sofitel has a contemporary French design with 590 rooms, including 34 suites.

There are three bars, including the upper-level Champagne Ba, where you can take in harbour views with a glass of vintage cuvee in hand.

Signature restaurant Atelier is also on the site, along with nine meeting spaces and an infinity pool.

The launch follows a spate of recent accommodation openings in the city, some of the 40 new hotels expected to open during the next five years to meet the increasing demand from business travellers and tourists.

Back in December 2016, Sydney welcomed the Hyatt Regency, at present Australia's largest hotel. Formerly the Starwood's Four Points Sheraton, the space was redeveloped to add a new tower and 222 rooms to create the massive 892-room hotel. (Read Traveller's review)

Veriu Hotels plans to open two more establishments in the city by the end of 2018 - three have already opened, in Broadway, Randwick and Camperdown, respectively.

Mantra this year opened a 136-room at Sydney Airport, where Travelodge has also recently launched a new 209-room hotel.

The Sofitel Sydney Darling Harbour officially opens to the public on Friday, October 6.

See also: The best and worst-value destinations for Australians in 2017

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