There is something enigmatic about a heritage space - an unassuming exterior, in stark contrast to what lies within. What once served as an Educational Department Building, has since transformed into an ultra-indulgent hotel, setting the benchmark in luxury accomodation.
(impressive, for a city better-known for its relaxed persona.)
The essence of the Australian panorama is celebrated in every aspect. In a city obsessed with infusing overseas influence, witnessing a proud and genuine representation of Australia is truly refreshing. Preserving the buildings rich cultural legacy is a delicate balance, particularly when you have a big architectural personality. It’s safe to say, that Capella has done quite the job. In tribute to the land's Indigenous ancestors, eminent Aboriginal artist Judy Watson was commissioned to create a series of powerful works. The pieces serve as a poignant reminder of the importance of preserving and celebrating our cultural heritage.
In terms of size, I feel I need to clarify - when I say Department Building.. I mean a whole city block.. (space is abundant). For reference, the largest suite is a sprawling 230 square-metres. The design itself, is a testament to the meticulous craftsmanship of Bar Studio, who have created a space that exudes sophistication, and a feeling of timelessness. Interior specialist Simone Haag helped breathe life in the space, by striking a harmonious balance between opulence and comfort. The result is a captivating hotel experience, that never feels ‘too much,’ but just enough…
The jewel of Capella can be found adorning the inner courtyard. Behold ‘Meadow’, an ever-transforming flower installation suspended from the ceiling, allowing guests to witness the flowers bloom and unfold as the night plays-on. The interplay of colours, textures, and shapes creates a visual spectacle, paying tribute to the rich tapestry of Australia's native flora.
Brasserie 1930, is the highly anticipated in-house restaurant, led by Brent Savage and Nick Hildebrandt (the culinary masterminds behind Bentley and Monopole). The term ‘brassiere’ is used lightly, as it is infused with an unmistakable Aussie spin. While classic brasserie staples remain, it is the local produce at the helm, with dishes like spanner crab alla chitarra and coal-roasted Murray cod.
Perhaps my favourite part of the hotel is the ‘Living Room.’ Reserved for in-house guests, is this distinctive lounge-space that serves as a core meeting place. It is here, you can foster local connections with your ‘hotel culturist’ (a personal guide to the city, who can help you arrange just about anything). The space also serves as tea room, workspace and pre-dinner slip-in bar. The ‘Living Room’ is a signature Capella experience, you will find within all their hotels.
The grand finale did not disappoint, as it revealed the hotel's world-class wellness offering. The journey of rejuvenation commences with a 20-meter heated indoor and vitality pool, complemented by a fitness centre, yoga platform, and the renowned Auriga Spa. Within this haven, guests can indulge in immersive treatment rooms, unwind in the steam or sauna, and conclude their experience with a truly unique experimental shower.
Capella is a culmination of well-executed experiences that transcend the ordinary.
imagery by Timothy Kaye