Novocastrians are about to see their city as they have never seen it before, from the public rooftop restaurant and bar in the new Kingsley hotel.
The Kingsley, featuring 130 rooms of accommodation across eight floors, has been brought to life from the former Newcastle Council "roundhouse" building. It is the sixth hotel in the Crystalbrook Collection, developed by the Ghassan Aboud Group.
Carl Taranto, manager of the Kingsley, said the hotel will open for business on Wednesday, June 9, a week ahead of schedule.
The hotel's staff of 100 will begin training on May 19.
The hotel's top floor bar, Romberg's, and ground floor coffee cafe, Miss Mary's, will both be open from day one. But the facility's top floor restaurant, Roundhouse, will not be ready until later in June.
The views from the the top floor are breathtaking, featuring uninterrupted views of Newcastle Harbour, Stockton sand dunes, Nobbys Lighthouse and, of course, Civic Park and Tasman Ocean headlands.
Kingsley general manager Carl Taranto moved to Newcastle six months ago with his family to be part of the final preparation of the hotel.
Kingsley marketing manager Grace Redman is a Hunter Valley local.
For Taranto, the sell to outsiders is easy: "Come and stay in a hotel that is part of Newcastle's history and heritage. Come and stay in a unique building that has been such an iconic building in its own right, in the middle of the arts and culture precinct, central to everything Newcastle has to offer."
"I believe once guests walk through the doors, to see how we've transformed the building from what it was to what it is now, it is very, very special. I think guests will see glimpses of that. All of it is culturally connected to the destination. So we can tell a really rich story about where Newcastle has been, and where it's heading."
The property is also cutting edge in these environmentally-sensitive times. It will have 100 per cent waste-free bathrooms, where all amenities are biodegrable or recyclable.
The whole property is plastic free, even the room swipe cards are made of timber.
The building itself has several recycled timber elements. Local trades people were used extensively.
The restaurants will heavily feature local produce (and 50 per cent Hunter Valley wines).
The Roundhouse seats 130 guests. Miss Mary's cafe about 80, including the outdoor terrace overlooking Wheeler Place.
Hunter residents will be offered exclusive 15 per cent discounts at the Kingsley for dining, drinks and rooms.
"We want Novocastrians to feel welcome," Taranto said.
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