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Wish We Were Here: QT Sydney

(Photos courtesy of QT Sydney)
If you ever find yourself in the Land Down Under, the QT Sydney is where you want to stay. A stylish blend of the past and present, the boutique hotel sits at the nexis of two of the city's landmark Art Deco buildings—the now defunct Gowings department store and the still-functional State Theatre—both restored to their original grandeur. 


(Photos courtesy of QT Sydney)
"We used the history of the buildings to offset contemporary elements and playful forms," says Australian designer Nic Graham, who built on the existing hardwood floors and clothing display cases with a collection of madcap highlights, from walls covered in found furniture and a digital art collection to an elevator that plays different music depending on who is riding. 

(Photos courtesy of QT Sydney)
The eccentric focus continues in the spa, which resembles nothing so much as a modern, glamorous take on the science lab. Instead of spare white walls and natural accents, spaQ's moody atmosphere comes complete with beakers and apothecary jars; a phrenology bust greets you at the reception desk. For men, the hotel also features an old-school barbershop, where guests can indulge in a traditional cut-throat shave.

(Photos courtesy of QT Sydney)
But it's the 200 guest rooms that truly make the hotel unique. Designer Shelley Indyk created two different concepts: in the Gowings Building, the rooms are sleek and modern, with leather headboards, bright hexagon-themed rugs, and colored-glass shelving; in the State Theatre rooms, wood paneling and tufted benches play up the Deco vibe. "There is moodiness that is potent—an air of mystery before entering the bedrooms," says Indyk. Case in point: A sculpture of a human hand—right where a door knocker would be—holds a card that announces your room number.

(Photos courtesy of QT Sydney)
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