Sydney: Pleasure and leisure in Bondi

Justine Tyerman is incredulous as the general manager at QT Bondi describes the hotel’s rather impressive facilities.

“Our hotel has 28 restaurants,” Cian tells me with a straight face.

“And dozens of bars, boutiques, beauty spas, hair salons, yoga studios, gyms and pools.”
I’ve just arrived at the QT Bondi in Sydney and I’m immediately impressed with the funky, modern lobby, the super-friendly team on the front desk and my spacious, light, airy 4th floor room

But I’m bemused at the grandiose claims from the tall Irishman who heads up the establishment.

There just did not seem to be enough room for all these amazing facilities in the compact four-storey hotel half a block from the golden sands of one of the world’s most famous beaches.

“OK, so where are you hiding them all Cian?” I ask the affable fellow.

“Out there,” he gestures expansively with a sweep of his arm. “On our doorstep in Bondi.”
The penny drops and I begin to understand his line of reasoning.

“QT Bondi turns other hotels on their heads – we have 69 rooms, a lobby, reception, 12 staff, and that’s it. Simple, streamlined, personal – a hotel without a whole lot of complicated working parts,” says Cian beaming at me.

“The whole of Bondi is our playground – we’re here to propel guests out the door to explore what Bondi has to offer,” he says.

“The concept takes some guests by surprise but when they get their heads around it, they like the choices and variety. In fact, we often get compliments from guests about the fact we don’t have a restaurant or bar. They say it encourages them to go out, be adventurous and experience a whole range of different places.”

The décor, designed by Nic Graham who is responsible for the vibrant, quirky, arty interiors of a number of Australia’s nine QT Hotels, is radically different and out-there too.

The lobby sets the tone for the whole establishment – giant screens playing surfing and beachy videos; bright, collage-covered walls; tropical plants; neon lights; a QTique which showcases local artworks and products; and reception staff bubbling with joie de vivre and ready to advise on any Bondi-related topic.

“We’re not trying to be the Hyatt here, we’re not a corporate hotel and we don’t do calm and tranquil – we’re a neon explosion, a stylish, up-market, boutique hotel where guests come for leisure and pleasure,” says Cian.

The hotel is always handy so it’s no effort to pop back for a change of clothes, a snooze or a snack. With the kitchenette and laundry, it’s a convenient little home away from home. We could have stayed for weeks.

So how successful is the concept? I ask Cian as I check out a few days later, feeling rested and revitalised.

“The occupancy here is around 83 per cent so we’re busy most of the year but in summer the whole place goes bananas.

“Our main target market is young couples who come here for a good time. And we make sure they do. It’s definitely a successful formula,” he says.

“People come to QT Bondi for the experience. It’s pure leisure and pleasure here. We don’t do boring.”








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