Oxford House set out to provide guests with a moment to get away from the business of the city and Paddington’s Oxford Street, where the hotel is located. That was the brief for the boutique hotel, restaurant and pool bar, which opened in September 2022.
“To give charm and surprise without trying too hard, with subtle notes and not speaking too loudly or being overdesigned,” says Paolo Frigenti, Senior Design Director, Public Hospitality Group, the group that owns the hotel and is also behind The Strand Hotel in Sydney CBD.
“It was almost an ‘anti brief’ to pare the property back and reduce the noise to make the space available for anyone to use it exactly how they want.”
As Oxford House was one of Public Group’s first lifestyle properties, it was important that it be an intimate space for two people, yet also cater to large groups and be a space for fun and socialising, says Frigenti.
The hotel is home to 56 rooms and suites, and art is everywhere throughout, curated and placed with an effortless feel.
With Oxford House bang in the renters of Sydney art district, it was important to keep its presentation and culturally correct, says George Gorrow, Creative Producer for Public Group.
“The majority of the works sourced were from artists represented by the team at China Heights Gallery [in Surry Hills],” says Gorrow. “Then I worked that back with pieces I have been collecting over time that suited the concept — again focusing on both emerging and established local artists. Really focusing on the attitude, which is a young and contemporary attitude.”
Gorrow also curated the art featured in the restaurant at the front of the hotel. There, executive chef Tyler Preston (formerly, Chin Chin and Bang Bang) helms the kitchen, serving up modern Australian cuisine to be enjoyed while people-watching through big bay windows that look out onto the busy street.
“We are not trying to compete with other hotels and restaurants, as we basically took a shell of an old building and transformed it, rather than [building] a boutique hotel from scratch,” says Gorrow.
“It’s a very different experience and offering that focuses on the community and neighbourhood, rather than spending most of your stay in the hotel. It’s about art, thought, sculptures, staff and service.”
“Oxford House is a part of the new wave of hotels hitting Australia that encompass lounge, living, restaurant and neighbourhood.”