Sofitel Sydney Wentworth and Qantas Airways team up to launch a historic exhibition in honour of the original Wentworth Hotel
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth and Qantas Airways have teamed up to launch a historic public exhibition to commemorate and conclude the original Wentworth hotel’s year-long 50th anniversary celebration.
Inviting guests to step back in time, the exhibition will run from 14 October until 31 December 2016, and feature a fascinating selection of heritage artefacts and imagery stretching from 1966 when the hotel was originally owned and built by Qantas Airways. In addition, the display will feature a photo exhibition of the iconic Wentworth Hotel, from its first days of construction through to fashion highlights and famous celebrities and royal visits.
To demonstrate its intertwined history, guests of Sofitel Sydney Wentworth are invited to explore the hotel’s beginnings as the Qantas Wentworth Hotel via a display of restored objects and mementos, including a Miniature Hotel Model, which was sent around the world to promote the hotel and convention facilities, a fabulous display of Qantas’ original 1960’s uniforms, and business class lounge.
2016 is a year of reflection for Sofitel Sydney Wentworth with the luxury heritage hotel turning 50. Clive Scott, the first General Manager of Sofitel Sydney Wentworth says: “Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is one of the grand old dames of hotels. It will always have pride of place in Sydney and Australia. It has historical significance as a property and landmark in Sydney. Many people across the world have fond memories in their hearts as a special place to stay”
Craig Reaume, present General Manager of Sofitel Sydney Wentworth adds: “I am proud to be part of the hotel’s history and invite our guests to relive its most iconic moments throughout this public exhibition.”
This free exhibition will be on display in the hotel lobby and on level 3 of the Sofitel Sydney Wentworth located at 61-101 Phillip Street Sydney.
Guests are invited to stay overnight with the hotel’s 50th Anniversary Luxury Leisure Escape.
This luxurious package, priced from $400 per night, is inclusive of:
- Anniversary themed mini High Tea selection upon arrival including Ronnefeldt tea
- Breakfast served in-room every morning
- The luxury of time, with late check-out until 4.00pm
The history of the site of The Wentworth Hotel
In 1800 the site of the first Wentworth Hotel in Lang Street became part of a developing area of the new colony of Sydney called Church Hill. In 1824 three substantial, two storey terrace houses were built in Lang Street. The last terrace, No 3 Church Hill, became the future Wentworth Hotel. William Charles Wentworth and Dr Wardell launched “The Australian” newspaper which was published from No 3 Church Hill in 1833.
In 1854 a boarding residence was operated on the site which became known as Wentworth House. In 1882 Mary Hayes purchased Wentworth House and renamed it the Wentworth House Family Hotel. On Christmas Day in 1888, fire destroyed Wentworth House. In 1901 the lease on the Wentworth Hotel was given to Donald Samuel Maclurcan and remained in the Maclurcan family until 1950.
The Wentworth Ballroom was added and opened in 1920. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII and the Duke of Windsor after abdication, danced in the new ballroom on a number of occasions. By 1925, the hotel was a well-established and popular destination and was expanded to 100 rooms and further expanded in 1940 to 200 rooms.
In 1950 Qantas Empire Airways negotiated a controlling interest in the hotel, thus beginning a new phase in the development of the hotel. In 1961 approval was granted for Qantas to build a new 400 room hotel next to Qantas House in Chifley Square. The new Wentworth Hotel was completed in 1966 and was the first five star hotel in Sydney. In 1982, the hotel was resold and further refurbishments were done. In 2002 AccorHotels began managing the hotel under the Sofitel brand to bring it to what it is today, a luxurious 5-star hotel in the heart of Sydney CBD.