A Night In Australia’s Most Expensive Hotel Room: Crown Sydney’s Presidential Villa

John McMahon
John McMahon

I’ve been with Boss Hunting for more than six years now, and I honestly thought there wasn’t much left in the world of luxury that could still take my breath away. A night at Crown Sydney’s Presidential Villa was the exception.

It’s Australia’s most expensive hotel suite at $38,888 per night. The two floors of opulence are perched a staggering 270 metres above the harbour city, on the 88th and 89th floors. It’s the cherry atop Crown’s massive Barangaroo tower and so exclusive that until recently, it was an ‘if you know, you know” scenario.

But come a crispy Sunday evening in winter, Boss Hunting was given unprecedented access to not only see Crown’s penthouse in the flesh – a privilege exclusively reserved for paying guests – but to stay the night.

Crown Sydney Presidential Villa

We were greeted by Kiki, our 24-hour butler, at the separate lobby entrance for the Crown Residences. It was here we were each handed a keycard to access the two lifts that open straight up to the penthouse’s front doors. They are rapid, offering a non-stop street-to-sky shuttle that has your ears popping multiple times during ascent.

It actually baffled me that guests could go from the semi-grounded reality of life down below to heaven in the clouds in less than a minute. The lifts open to a private foyer with the penthouse doors to the right, and a nanny’s quarters to the left. More on that later.

Enter the first floor of the most outrageous hotel lodging to be found on this side of the equator. The vastness of the villa and its double-height ceilings are what immediately slap you in the face. We arrived later in the evening to the dazzle of Sydney’s city lights every which way you looked.

The entry floor of the Presidential Villa has a roster of amenities you’d expect to find in most luxury mansions lining the harbourfront below it. There’s a 10-person dining table, fireplace, expansive lounge area, baby grand piano, 85-inch TV, pool table, a dedicated office area (with a view to rival that of every CEO in the city), the biggest karaoke room you’ve ever seen, as well as multiple day heads, balconies, and a butler’s pantry.

Behind the fully-serviced wrap-around bar is a wine fridge loaded with so much vintage champagne and Penfolds Grange that, if you were thirsty enough, could end up costing you more than the penthouse itself.

A grand staircase connects the two floors, and staff have their own hidden lift so they can discretely move around the villa without having to interrupt the flow of guests. It was at the top of this dramatic staircase that I had to consciously pick up my jaw off the floor, for it to only drop again moments later when I walked into the most outrageous master suite I’d ever seen.

Crown Sydney Presidential Villa

The capaciousness of the bathroom is almost laughable. “Hollywood” is the only way to describe the marble jet bathtub, which is overshadowed by a towering ‘his and hers’ vanity area and a shower that doubles as a steam room, of course.

The master suite itself sits in the western nook of the second floor, and massive floor-to-ceiling windows on either side join at an acute angle at the end of the bed, making you feel as if the bed is overhanging the edge of the building. The flow of the suite continues straight out the door and onto what is surely the highest open-air hotel terrace in Australia.

A wrap-around water feature encircles the al-fresco dining spot, which is a supreme place to perch yourself for breakfast in the morning. The jacuzzi roars to life at the press of a button and boasts space to host all six guests and then some.

Finishing the second floor is the rumpus room, a second bedroom that overlooks the CBD, and a private wellness area laden with more Technogym toys than you’d ever know what to do with. Oh, and let’s not forget the dedicated sauna hiding in the corner.

Naturally, guests should not be expected to venture beyond the sanctuary of their villa for dinner and have the option of ordering directly from Nobu or Silks downstairs. There’s also an exclusive in-room dining menu that is available 24 hours a day, for those late-night club sandwich requests.

Our generous ordering from Nobu was guided by Kiki, who steered us towards the classics which included the famous miso cod and wagyu tacos, washed down by a bottle of 2012 Dom Perignon. Because when you’re in Rome, you may as well lean all the way into it.

As the evening flew by, the karaoke room got its inevitable workout. The sacrificial tunes of choice were lined up on an ultra-large iPad-style screen, before being slaughtered by our entire party. Thank god for the soundproofing.

The karaoke room also doubles as a theatre if you feel like throwing on a big-room classic film. The entire penthouse is hooked up to the same Bluetooth streaming system to ensure the grooves can continue no matter which corner of the villa you find yourself in, even if that may be the terrace jacuzzi.

The fact we checked in after dark made the following morning’s sunrise more spectacular than it already was. The ridiculous extent of the once-in-a-lifetime view was finally revealed when the sun cracked the horizon and stretched as far as the eye could see, in true 360-degree fashion.

Let’s come back to the hidden guest’s quarters for a moment. Entirely separate – but never far away – is a modest suite for two people that’s accessible using the same keycard but discretely tucked away to the left of the lift doors, outside the main villa.

To ensure the primary hosts are pampered in privacy, this spot is designed with nannies or personal assistants in mind. Or, should your overnight entourage require the full six guest spots, four can enjoy the primary rooms in the villa, and the remaining two can take this room. Complete with a mini-bar, TV, surprisingly impressive bathroom and a view that’s just as incredible, it’s by no means a second-best option.

For most people, Crown Sydney’s Presidential Villa is not in any realm of affordability, nor is it even likely on their radars. At well over $40,000 per night – once you’ve tallied up your inevitable room charges – to say it’s for anyone other than the 1% club would be naive.

Having said that, as someone who has now experienced both Crown Sydney’s extravagant penthouse and its more humble offerings many floors below, there’s an undeniable air of splendour that wafts through the entire property, no matter the room category. The Presidential Villa’s detailed treatments, attentive service, breathtaking views, and world-class dining can be unlocked by pretty much anyone across the other 87 floors, be it for a special occasion or a cheeky mid-week getaway.

On that topic, it would be remiss of us not to mention an objectively compelling offer that’s currently running until the end of August. Crown Direct is offering mid-week staycation packages that include a buffet breakfast for two, $350 worth of dining credit, and a bottle of champagne on arrival, for as little as $800.

And of course, if you’re going big – like 820-square-metres big – you can submit your enquiries for the Presidential Villa here.

The Boss Hunting team stayed as guests of Crown Sydney.

John McMahon
John McMahon is a founding member of the Boss Hunting team who honed his craft by managing content across website and social. Now, he's the publication's General Manager and specialises in bringing brands to life on the platform.



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