It’s been 15 years, but Sydney’s first international new build hotel has finally opened. The location, on prime waterfront territory in the city’s lively Darling Harbour, cleaves close to the Sofitel brand’s formula for opening in buzzy, high-spirited spots, while linking culturally with a French city or region – this time Marseilles.

Occupying all 35 floors of the area’s tallest building, conceived by local architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp to feature triangular accents that represent sails, the interiors of the 590-room hotel are the work of Dreamtime Australia Design and the A+ Design Group.

Here, the Sydney-based designers’ continue to subtly reference the area’s maritime heritage, without slipping into obvious clichés. As such, there are rope motifs which can be found in the carpets; lots of timber accents which represents the city’s wharf history; and sandstone bathrooms, with stand alone soaking tubs, that are perfect for indulging in the far reaching views of Darling Harbour and the city’s sparkling skyline.

The fourth floor outdoor lap pool with skyscraper views is an ideal spot for a pre-dinner drink before heading to Atelier, a French-inspired grill that serves up dishes that combine the flavours of the south of France with local produce, against a background of thrilling wraparound views.