You could almost call them Mr and Mrs Newcastle - they love the city. And they could not have been more excited.
Warren and Pam Stewart, of Adamstown, were the first guests to check in to the Crystalbrook Kingsley on Wednesday afternoon on its first day of business.
The 130-room five-star hotel has been redeveloped from the former Newcastle Council administration centre by the Ghassan Aboud Group.
It features a rooftop bar and rooftop restaurant and ground floor cafe as well as a plastic free environment, paperless check-in and keyless room access.
The original building, which was completed 44 years ago, was widely praised for its Modernist architectural design. The redevelopment's lead architect was Barney Collins, of EJE Architecture, in Newcastle.
The Stewarts had walked past the building many times during its renovation, watching it transform, step by step, from brown to white on the exterior, then with the blue-window circular rooftop restaurant and bar and finally, the crowning signature Kingsley signage.
"We would just keep coming past just to see what it looks like," Warren said. "I just thought, 'I'm going to come to this hotel.' I said to Pam, 'one of the first nights, we're gonna book.' "
The Stewarts are born travellers. They've travelled extensively internationally, but the pandemic has made them switch gears. A staycation in Newcastle's first five-star hotel suited them perfectly.
After checking in, they were keen on lunch at Ms Mary, the hotel's ground floor cafe, and had a booking into the top floor bar, Romberg's, for a sunset cocktail at 5.30pm.
"We like hotels," Pam said. "We're not campers. We're not grey nomads."
Only one night this time - "we have four Burmese cats, we need a babysitter," Pam said.
They've already booked a night on June 23, when the Roundhouse restaurant opens at the hotel.
And all of their friends are eager to hear what they think of the hotel.
"So many of our friends knew we were coming, and they are waiting for our review," Pam said. " 'Make sure you take lots of photos', they said."
In a brief statement in the lobby on Wednesday morning, Crystalbrook Kingsley general manager Carl Taranto said "hopefully the people of Newcastle can feel proud of what we've been able to develop."
Newcastle lord mayor Nuatali Nelmes called the opening a "watershed moment, particularly in the city's urban renewal".
Mr Taranto identified his favourite room as 214, a Park Master, with its big windows facing the beautiful green canopy of Civic Park trees across the street.
The room was previously where the general manager's office was located in the building.
The prize room is the Kingsley suite (Room 708). It can be connected to an adjoining room, but is fabulous on its own. It has a custom-made hideaway bar cabinet, large soft suede lounge, top view of the harbour, and the only bathtub in the hotel, situated in a luxurious bath suite.