Hotel Centennial: Your Sophisticated Local

Overlooking the Centennial Parklands in Woollahra, the Hotel Centennial is as established a fixture as any you will find in Sydney and as iconic a sight as the parklands themselves. It’s a dining room and public house where the services are contemporary but the décor, style and architecture aren’t just vintage, but authentically and authoritatively so.

Getting more beautiful with age

Having learned from past mistakes, the Hotel Centennial has been undoing some rather poorly-received refurbishments to let its true character shine once again and thankfully so. Immediately, the grand entranceway and the hundred-year-old profile of the historic building catch the eye, only helped by a lush display of bright orchids in the entrance that make it the perfect balance between the suburban area it inhabits and the natural landscape it borders. Further inside is no less lush, either.

The model of the boutique setting

There looks to be a lot of inspiration from boutique hotels in the way the restaurant has been designed. Not only does everything look expensive and make the establishment feel more expensive, but it sets a scene like very few venues do, nowadays. Overlooking the sleek, refined granite-topped tables and quality seats of the bar are gun-metal blue walls and cabinets of books, urns, and carefully placed lighting. It feels like you’re eating and drinking in the home of a power-player, offering sophistication and prestige but relaxation at the same time.

Setting the scene

The Oxford Bar, reskinned and relaunched, is the centre of the location’s appeal and the greatest embodiment of that classic yet stylish look. A vast, well-accomplished looking library area, a grand piano in the music room, and a fireplace focal point make it that idyllic public house that’s becoming a rarer find nowadays. It’s not just in look that it helps you sink in, either. Plush upholstered seats, coming in both leather and velvet, make it all too easy to want to your close your eyes by that fire.

Keeping it fresh

However, the Hotel Centennial doesn’t make the mistake of wading too far into the mists of time. The public house maintains the trappings of the centuries of experience earned, but with sleek cleanliness and classy lighting you’ll find in only the most high-end of contemporary bars. It’s well-lit and spacious, with simple and elegant French doors serving as the partitions between different zones that help to create a warm atmosphere to go with the warm hues of deep browns, rich reds, and mossy, calming greens. The high-table is the embodiment of that friendly spirit, a raised table just separated enough but close enough to the bar to give the feeling that you’re eating in your own dining room, best enjoyed with an open smile and plenty of friends.

It’s a very fine line to make the right call with an older establishment. A line that the Hotel Centennial once perilously crossed. Since then, however, it has found the exact sweet spot, knowing that people want the authenticity, warmth, and vintage appeal that come with such a prestigious venue, but just enough life and sleekness to keep it relevant.


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Copyright © Hotel Centennial 2014

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