Sydney pub scions Laundy Hotels have unveiled the new look of the Woolly Bay Hotel in Sydney’s east, including the addition of the rooftop bar and restaurant, Arturo’s.

Set across from Woolloomooloo Wharf, the Woolly Bay Hotel has had a comprehensive $14 million upgrade befitting of its location. As part of the renovation a new Mediterranean restaurant and rooftop, Arturo’s, has been added to the hotel.

“We’re thrilled to introduce Sydneysiders and international visitors to the all-new Woolly Bay Hotel. Our family has taken great pleasure in restoring and rejuvenating one of the harbour’s grandest venues,” said Laundy Hotels founder, Arthur Laundy.

The mammoth project was overseen by Laundy Hotel creative director Justine Laundy, her husband and project manager Nick Tindall, and design firm Luchetti Krelle.

“It’s been very fulfilling to steer a project with such a rich and colourful history as the Woolly Bay Hotel, redesigning and reimagining those spaces for a contemporary patron,” stated Justine Laundy.

“Our hope was to create spaces to be enjoyed all day long, with our food and drinks menu to complement, like being in the Mediterranean.”

The ground-floor public bar has taken cues from a comfy at-home lounge experience, with a new central fireplace anchoring the space. It also boasts floor-to-ceiling French doors opening onto Cowper Wharf Roadway and overlooking the waterfront. A discreet sports bar and back room emblazoned with photographic memorabilia doubles as a TAB gaming hub. 

The new public bar

“Throughout the design we’ve tried to incorporate the venue’s unique waterfront position. Details include blue mosaic tiles, a rippled granite and pebble-grey hand sponged paintwork, all resembling the shoreline, as do myriad terrazzo and swirling granite selections,” stated Luchetti Krelle principal, Rachel Luchetti.

On the first floor, the new Arturo’s restaurant seats 100 people for casual dining. Executive chef Jamie Gannon and head chef Adam Hotel have created a Mediterranean-style menu that celebrates Australian produce, including dishes like Kingfish Crudo, lemon oil, cucumber and peas; Lobster Roll, chives and smoked salmon pearls; and an 800g Bistecca Fiorentina served with salsa verde.

The second floor is the Arturo’s Rooftop, a glass-encased structure overlooking the city skyline and the Art Gallery of New South Wales. Its design features a canopy of latticed bamboo, shimmering mosaic tile table-tops, camel-coloured accents and quartzite pavers. Small plates are on offer, as well as a cocktail list centred around martinis.

Arturo’s Restaurant.

Acquisitions and new builds

In other news for Laundy Hotels, the group recently acquired Hunts Hotel Liverpool in Sydney’s south-west. The mammoth venue sits on a 2.14ha sit, with nearby entry to both the M5 and M7 motorways.

Hunts Hotel Liverpool features 140 guest rooms and apartments together with a restaurant, lounge and bar, generously sized conference and meeting spaces, and various outdoor amenities including swimming pool and tennis courts.

There is also potential to further develop the site, as under the current ‘B6 – Enterprise Corridor’ zoning permitted uses include shop-top housing, commercial, business, entertainment, and warehousing (STCA).

Before the sale, JLL’s Ben McDonald said of the property: “We anticipate significant depth of interest from a wide-ranging investor set, including hoteliers given the potential to apply for a Hotel Licence with up to 30 gaming machines and noting the record setting sale of the Crossroads Hotel for $150m directly across the street.”

Meanwhile, Laundy Hotels is also enjoying a successful opening of its greenfields build, the Plough & Ale in Calderwood. The Illawarra region pub had a soft opening in August, but has found a lot of success with the new community in the area immediately.

You can read more about Plough & Ale in the October issue of Australian Hotelier, below.

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