MGallery, Accor’s Collection of distinctive boutique hotels, has added one of Australia’s most historic hotels – the 4½ star Harbour Rocks Hotel in Sydney – to its rapidly growing network.Sydney’s Harbour Rocks Hotel – whose origins date back to the 1880s – has joined Accor’s prestigious MGallery Collection following the completion of a total redesign and refurbishment.
The hotel is the fourth MGallery in Australia, joining The Grand Hotel and Hotel Como in Melbourne and the Fairmont Resort in the NSW Blue Mountains. A fifth, Melbourne’s Hotel Lindrum, will join the brand in December. The MGallery Collection is made up of a group of highly individual and distinctive hotels, each one remarkable for its identity. The hotels in the collection have a striking personality and a special story to tell which guests experience through the hotel’s unique features and characteristics.
The 59-room Harbour Rocks Hotel is located in the heart of Sydney’s historic Rocks district, close to the harbour-front and only a short walk to the city’s central business district. It makes the hotel an ideal base for both leisure and corporate travellers.
Built in 1887 and opened as a hotel in 1989, Harbour Rocks Hotel sits on the grounds of Sydney’s first hospital and has been stripped back to its foundations, exposing its original sandstone and brick walls and its former working cottages. After an extensive renovation programme, the finished result is a striking fusion of raw elegance which blends old and new, featuring European touches throughout.
While satisfying the needs of modern day travellers, many aspects of the hotel reflect the building’s rich heritage, particularly the reverence for the hotel’s resident ghost, Eric.
As the legend goes, Eric was a patron of the premises in the late 1800s and was in love with Scarlett, the Madame of the house. After both declaring their love for one another, Eric had to leave on a three-month voyage overseas, but promised to marry Scarlett upon his return. However, by the time he arrived in Sydney, Scarlett had died of tuberculosis. A heartbroken Eric passed away not long after and to this day, it is said Eric’s spirit lingers in the corridors of the hotel as he longs for his Scarlett. In homage to the tragic lovers the hotel’s bar is named Eric’s and the restaurant is named Scarlett.
One of MGallery signatures is to bring the hotel’s story to life. From the moment a guest walks into the hotel to the experience they have while in its surrounds, guests are immersed in the Harbour Rocks Hotel’s story, For instance, Scarlett restaurant is where guests can experience a Harbour Rocks Pie, a play on a dish settlers enjoyed in the early days of the Sydney colony. On the breakfast menu, freshly made damper rolls are available, which again relate to the hotel’s historical past.