When was the last time you hopped in an elevator and headed straight for the Penthouse? That’s right, those two little letters, PH, the button you never thought you’d press in the elevator. At Felix Hotel, Sydney’s newest airport hotel, every single guest gets to press PH. Instead of sequestering away a swanky suite on the top level, Felix Hotel has opened up the entire floor to its guests, with a series of communal spaces that take “lobby bar” to the next level.
Located just before Qantas Drive, and the entrance to the Domestic Terminal, Felix Hotel has turned the hotel on its head. The ground floor houses one tiny desk, with one extremely chirpy staff member, and a series of elevators. That’s it. Guests head all the way up to the Penthouse to check in, grab a drink, a snack, dinner, watch a movie, or sit and enjoy the view.
The elevators open straight onto a mini lounge area – hanging chairs, tasseled rugs, bright blue and pink couches, the cast of Catch Me if You Can wouldn’t be out of place. There’s not a single spot of Felix Hotel that hasn’t been styled top to toe and it’s all decked out in a fab Pan Am vibe. Neon signs, dramatic tiling, exposed concrete and very funky lighting is just the beginning.
Walk past more cheery check in staff to the large open plan Cocktail Bar, 24hr Food Shop and outdoor terrace. Airport hotels are notoriously low-fi, often with very little amenities and facilities, but the Felix has been very clever about providing a lot with little. Yes, you won’t see a full service restaurant or dozens of bar tenders, but the 24hr Food Shop is like stepping into a high end grocer and the bar tender still knows how to mix a very good Gin and Tonic. Grab yourself goodies like vintage cheddar, salami, dips, chips, even pate, and sashimi, along with larger salad and poke bowls, gourmet pies, pastries and even artisan ice cream for whatever type of meal you’re after – nibbles, dinner, dessert, you name it, they’ve got it. Food refreshes in the morning with fresh croissants, bacon and egg rolls, cold press juices, even raw cookies and slices. There are made to order pizzas, and a large selection of half bottles of wine – from French rose to Barossa shiraz. Brown paper bags are on hand if you want to take your haul back to your room, or trays if you want to load up and then head outside to the cleverly located undercover terrace. Complete with electric fireplace and pull down movie screen for open air films screening twice a night, early for the kids, late for the adults.
In keeping with the aeronautical theme, rooms are categorized by classes of air travel. Economy, premium, business and first class, including pet friendly ground floor rooms and rooms for families. Regardless of which “cabin” you’re checked into, each room has all the mod cons, including black out curtains which will help you get through jet lag. There’s also a 24 hour gym on site, if you want to get some oxygen into your lungs, and a self serve laundry, because these guys have worked out exactly what the modern traveller needs. Throw in high speed internet, meeting rooms and parking, and you’ll be looking forward to your night in as much as the travel the next day.
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Lisa was the guest of Felix Hotel