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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Sydney’s newest, oldest hotel and bar – Morris. Where Italian influences intertwine with Australian Heritage.

Housed within a striking Italian renaissance building, Morris has found new life as an evocative bar and boutique hotel. Following a major and sympathetic restoration project spanning three years, the landmark Hotel Morris will reopen late January 2023. The charming, privately owned property is set to be operated by Accor, a world-leading hospitality group.

Featuring 82 bedrooms and a ground-floor bar, Morris has much to offer guests and locals alike. Located in the heart of the city on Pitt Street, near Central Station, Capital Theatre and World Square, this iconic property originally opened in 1929 and was Australia's tallest hotel for 34 years. It is a rare example of the renowned Inter-War Palazzo style by notable architect, Virgil Dante Cizzio.

Entrusted with the design and branding of this stunning rebuild were four agencies; Reward Group, a leading hospitality refurbishment specialist; conceptualization by Fellow Hospitality; brand development by Squad Ink and interiors by design studio Tom Mark Henry. Taking cues from Cizzio's favoured Italian architectural style and blending it with the historic Australian roots of the building, these intertwined themes are visible throughout Morris. From the design and food to the hospitality, European elegance is melded with Australian character, championing local producers and celebrating the hotel's historic roots.

The building's façade has been carefully restored, leveraging the existing architecture, with unsympathetic changes reversed. The prominent ghost signage on the side of the building has been revived, and the windows on the Pitt Street façade replaced to match the original 1930s steel windows. The restoration project also involved stripping the internal building back to a shell to make room for contemporary hotel accommodations and services.

Walk through the 1930's steel-framed glass entry doors on Pitt Street, and you'll find Bar Morris, the intimate and indulgent 40-seat art deco inspired wine bar. Dark, moody, rich tones of green and burgundy contrast with reflective finishes such as brass metal and tiling to bounce light throughout the space, alongside antique and eclectic lighting features. Textures of velvet and leather for banquet and booth seating, marble bar and tabletops, and stone and natural wood flooring create an elegant but earthy ambience whilst accentuating the building's character. A selection of commissioned and limited-edition art pieces by local artists complement the decadent space. The day-to-night menu focuses on simple, seasonal produce infused with Italian influences. From dawn sip on specialty coffee while devouring baked treats, lunch on deli-style small plates or peruse the wine and cocktail list while feasting on a selection of wholesome and indulgent larger dishes well into the night.

Ascend above and discover the 82 beautifully appointed art deco-style guest rooms. There are five ensuite varieties; Bambina Rooms come with a luxury queen-size bed - perfect for solo travellers or those that just need a place to rest their heads for the night. Piccolo Rooms also come with a luxury queen-size bed - a retreat for the busy traveller or those enjoying a night in the city. The signature Morris Queen Rooms and the signature Morris King Rooms offer a more lavish stay. The Grande King Rooms are the ultimate in indulgence with select rooms featuring large art deco windows. The European-influenced rooms have been designed to provide a restorative space to refresh the mind and soothe the soul. Exuberant golden mustard tones add warmth, whilst custom furniture, brass detailing and bold stone finishes provide a sense of opulence and reference the rich detailing to the exterior of the building and Bar Morris.

Hotel Morris is a unique piece of Sydney's history brought into the present, and thus the future, with the historic restoration coupled with the contemporary redesign. Enter a surprising yet familiar haven within the beautiful heritage hotel, a restorative space to escape the hustle and bustle of the surrounding city.

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The Expeditionist

The Expeditionist
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