Step back in Time with Sofitel Sydney Wentworth
Sofitel Sydney Wentworth celebrates 53 years since opening as the city’s first 5-star hotel in 1966. Sofitel Sydney Wentworth marks this impressive milestone, reflects back on our beginnings and invites guests to embark on the historic journey of the Wentworth Hotel.
Australia’s first international hotel, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth was built in 1966 and elegantly blends its French traditions with the hotel's significance as the largest single brick structure in the southern hemisphere, with 15 storeys curving gently around an elevated garden courtyard.
Notable dates in our history:
In 1800, the site of the first Wentworth Hotel on Lang Street became part of a developing area of the new colony of Sydney called Church Hill.
In 1824, three substantial, two-storey terrace houses were built on Lang Street. The last terrace, No 3 Church Hill, became the future Wentworth Hotel
William Charles Wentworth and Dr. Wardell launched "The Australian" newspaper, which was published from No 3 Church Hill in 1833.
In 1854, a boarding residence was operated on the site, which became known as Wentworth House.
In 1882, Mary Hayes purchased Wentworth House and renamed it the Wentworth House Family Hotel.
On Christmas Day in 1888, fire destroyed Wentworth House.
In 1901, the lease on the Wentworth Hotel was given to Donald Samuel Maclurcan and remained in the Maclurcan family until 1950.
The Wentworth Ballroom was added and opened in 1920. The Prince of Wales, later King Edward VIII and the Duke of Windsor after abdication, danced in the new ballroom on a number of occasions.
By 1925, the hotel was a well-established and popular destination and was expanded to 100 rooms and further expanded in 1940 to 200 rooms.
In 1950, Qantas Empire Airways negotiated a controlling interest in the hotel, thus beginning a new phase in the development of the hotel.
In 1961, approval was granted for Qantas to build a new 400-room hotel next to Qantas House in Chifley Square.
The new Wentworth Hotel was completed in 1966 and became the first 5-star hotel in Sydney.
In 1982, the hotel was resold and further refurbishments were done.
In 2002, Accor Hotels became the new operators of the hotel. Sofitel, as part of the Accor group, manages the day-to-day operations of the Wentworth.
Since opening, the Wentworth Hotel has hosted many international dignitaries and celebrities, such as Queen Elizabeth II and the Duke of Edinburgh. Other visitors have been Prince Charles and Princess Diana, numerous film and sports stars as well as the first men on the moon.