The Darling Hotel – Star City

Written by Aksel Ritenis


One of Sydney’s newest five star hotels, The Darling at The Star, has won world-wide acclaim and numerous awards and accolades.

Located on the edge of Sydney Harbour, The Darling is two-part in its design – having a distinctive inverted glass tower resting on a sandstone podium – and features 171 stylish and spacious rooms, suites and penthouses, an infinity pool (the outdoor swimming pool at The Darling is delicately scented with a blend of white tea and eucalyptus rather than the chlorine smell that one is accustomed to) and 16 room luxury spa.


The ambitious plan to build an iconic hotel required the project team to “work outside the square” in terms of design and construction. The result is an innovative and stunning building that appeals to the most discerning business and leisure travellers who are looking for a unique world-class five-star experience.



The rooms feature “floor-to-ceiling glass” and windows that open. The management of the hotel proudly proclaims that “Once you’ve slept on a Darling bed, you’ll be reluctant to leave it. Every one features a customised 1000 spring mattress, 400 thread count 100% Egyptian cotton bed linen and a goose down comforter. A menu of 12 luxury pillows is offered for your comfort.” This correspondent can confirm that the bed was fabulous and gave a restful night’s sleep!



Glass top business desk with Internet capability, available in both unwired and wired options, 2 telephones, executive chair, mini bar, personal safe (fits a laptop), LED 46″ HD TV, and a Control Four integrated system that allows you to do almost anything – from adjusting your room temperature, to opening your blinds.

The marble bathrooms have ample vanity space with a dual sink, separate WC, rain shower heads with European wand, complemented with Molton Brown amenities (exclusive in Australian hotels, to The Darling).

The Darling is an integral part of the Star Complex and after this $870 million redevelopment The Star has recently been transformed into Sydney’s premium entertainment destination.


It is perhaps inevitable that one might draw parallels with Singapore’s Marina Bay Sands complex, in the sense that it is a successful destination venue, albeit on a much smaller scale and without being quite so grandiose. (Incidentally The Star fits into its landscape in town planning terms superbly well.)

The Star offers award winning chefs and restaurants, (see below) a luxury retail collection, and a world class casino and an extensive suite of penthouses and world-class gaming venues.



In early 2013, The Star opened its new $100 million Events Centre, known as the Sydney Lyric which is designed to host A-list performers from around the world. The state-of-the-art venue is also expected to fill a void in the Sydney conference, convention and banquet market.

It is currently showing the War Horse an award winning and heart-wrenching story of Joey, the beloved horse of a boy called Albert, who is sold to the cavalry at the outbreak of World War I. With life size puppets created by South Africa’s Handspring Puppet Company this is an unforgettable theatrical experience. (Pre-show You can You can enjoy a meal at one of the signature restaurants in the Star complex.)

The Darling Hotel itself is also home to Sokyo, a contemporary Japanese restaurant and bar.

Since its opening in September 2011 (in addition to its construction and design awards) The Star has received over 30 awards for its restaurants!

The Star brings an important and impressive range of restaurants for a “Fine Dining experience in Sydney under one roof. Introducing some of the best masters from home and abroad in residence at The Star David Chang, Stefano Manfredi, Chase Kojima and Teage Ezard.


Restaurants at The Star City are as follows:


Where the buzz of Tokyo meets a Sydney beat.

Chef Chase Kojima is known for his “impeccable union” of traditional craftsmanship with an innovative take on contemporary flavour.

Here You will dine seated to the chilled out sounds of the resident DJ, enjoying dishes such as Binchotan Grilled Castricum Lamb Chops, Maple Miso or Tuna Sashimi with Plum Wine Jelly.

According to their own publicity, “Your server will help to create a personalized “Sokyo Menu” for you and your guests and, of course, the house Sake Sommelier will be on hand for the perfect Sake companion to the entire experience”.


Critically acclaimed chef David Chang and his restaurants have gained world-wide recognition for their innovative take on food and service, while supporting local, sustainable and responsible farmers and food purveyors.

Chang has been called “a chef who went further than any of his peers in wedding serious, sometimes challenging food and an ultra-casual, spontaneous dining ethos in tune with unbound times” (Frank Bruni, former New York Times Restaurant Critic).


Stefan Manfreddi creates “A little piece of Milan with Sydney’s best views”.

Balla is a modern interpretation of the classic Osteria Milanese, with a menu built around the heart of traditional Italian cuisine. The addition of a wood-fired grill to Stefano Manfredi’s Italian kitchen reflects his dedication to delivering truly authentic cuisine. Guests can relax at the Balla Aperitivi Bar for pre-dinner drinks or fast-tracked dining. With its stunning views over Sydney Harbour, the bar is at Balla’s heart.

Manfredi returns to the Sydney dining scene with what he describes as “the most Italian restaurant he has ever done”.

BLACK by Ezard

The chef Teage Ezard was new to Sydney, but is renowned for his bold and boundary-breaking fare at Melbourne’s Ezard (Two Hats) and Gingerboy At BLACK by Ezard. The chef’s trademark Asian cuisine is replaced here by classical inspired food styles influenced by great American grills and contemporary Europe.

The restaurant features signature seafood dishes and grass, grain, wet and dry aged beef specifically sourced for the wood fired grills, broilers and sous vide cooking.

The bar situated within the restaurant is the ideal location to meet for drinks, with an international cellar boasting roughly 770 labels and a great selection of American wines.


The Golden Century

This restaurant captures the essence of Sydney’s famous Golden Century, which has been a popular Sydney “dining institution” and the group’s Chinatown flagship restaurant, by serving its favourite classics and signature dishes.

The Century’s new look plays with the symbolisms of Chinese culinary culture with a refreshing and modern twist. Among the design features, 15 double glazed aquarium tanks line the entrance, emphasising the use of the very best, fresh and live seafood, prepared and served multiple ways by the award winning chefs. The food is matched by their extensive wine list.

Written by Axel Ritenis
The Correspondent was a guest of The Darling.

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Aksel Ritenis

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