Primus, Sydney’s newest luxury rooftop hotel recreates a bygone era

We are getting much better at not judging a book (or bar) by its cover. It’s hip to be hidden. A bar, a restaurant but a hotel? How do you hide that? Perhaps behind a grand entrance that says M.W.S & D Board (Metropolitan Water Sewage and Drainage). That should do it.

It’s a transformation which has created a new architectural icon of Sydney in the way the QVB or GPO wows. Who could have imagined that the Sydney water board HQ in a dreary section of Pitt Street could be such a beauty.

1449736498731The bell boys outside are the only clue, its then up the stairs and turn left. Jaws drop, heads go skyward. Eight rose coloured marble pillars soar 3 floors up reaching the glass art deco atrium streaming daylight into a sumptuous lounge filled with every kind of seating. Cherry velvet chairs, leather readers and dusky pink chaise lounges are set against a backdrop of marble, metal and coloured glass. At the far end is a majestic bar. You could be forgiven for thinking a group of flappers in their beaded head caps and glamorous outfits could burst through the doors. The scale is breathtaking.

13151411_496892933830256_3223652157277406110_nUpstairs Deluxe Suite 418 reveals itself slowly. The oversize doors, high ceilings and dark moody woods blend art deco with contemporary design. The lounge is artfully decorated with paintings, a bar and two sofas. A narrow corridor wraps around the suite into another room dominated by huge kingsize bed and softly curving furniture.  The bathroom is a reminder of a different era  with white and maroon rectangular subway tiles with black taps and fixtures. Luxury touches such as Appelles goodies and the substitution of scratchy waffle bathrobes to a soft fluffy one will have you spellbound.


If this hotel was a sandwich, the excitement would be about the top and the bottom layer of bread rather than the filling. It’s a big call, but this has to be the best rooftop bar and resort swimming pool in Sydney for hotel guests only (NB: make more overseas friends!). The design unfolds as your move around each area; the bar on your left flows onto a range of gazebos and intimate areas to lounge whilst running water cascades to a series architectural pools. The main lap pool is set on an upper level, the perfect watery perch to survey the glamour below.


At night the atrium turns into a sparkling gem thanks to The Wilmot Restaurant led by Chef Ryan Hong (ex Rockpool Bar & Grill, Black by Ezard). The degustation is the way to go showcasing sourcing such as hand caught NSW abalone in a puddle of Arborio rice, dotted with seaweed, radish and turnip. Honey glazed duck breast and a signature salad resembling an exquisitely planted garden. The technique in deserts is undeniable. A passion cake with precision layers and a praline base which wishes you could start the meal all over again.  The wine matching is exciting with bold choices such as German Reichsgraf Riesling through to a 2013 Chateau Bouscasse.

Not every new opening makes a mark on our city, but Primus Hotel Sydney does a rare thing. It’s preserved a part of our history, creating an escape to a bygone era of impeccable service and a bridge to our future.

Primus Hotel Sydney
339 Pitt Street, Sydney 2000
Official website


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