A Vintage Modern Harbourside History Lesson in Sydney
"Do it with passion or not at all." That was the mindset of all those who worked together tirelessly to bring this hip and happening Sydney Hotel to life. Originally built in the early 1900’s, talented historian and designer,...
by Jordan Willner

"Do it with passion or not at all." That was the mindset of all those who worked together tirelessly to bring this hip and happening Sydney Hotel to life. Originally built in the early 1900’s, talented historian and designer, Sibella Court of The Society Inc. took on a big project in 2015 when she stepped in to recreate the swanky space in the historic Rocks district to represent all things past and present. Hotel Palisade boasts outstanding accommodations, an industrial neighborhood-inspired pub, and a fab restaurant by day and snazzy lounge by night.

We were recently given the opportunity to sit down with the fabulous Hotel Palisade team who let us in on everything we had to know about this spectacular space. Everything from the history of the hotel to present day features and amenities were discussed and we feel beyond lucky to have been given the chance to learn about all things Hotel Palisade. We already know that you’ll be dreaming of your next stay or fabulous event at this over-the-top amazing spot once you’ve read what we discovered!

Words + Photography by the Hotel Palisade Team


Must Try: Greg’s Grog Cocktail created by Matthew Fitzgerald, available at the Henry Deane bar ; Photo: Jason Loucas  

How did your team find the property or location?

Our director, Greg Walker was walking in the area with his wife when they saw the empty hotel and peered through the windows. Karen, his wife, mentioned it would be fun to do up and so it began!



Who is the team behind Hotel Palisade?

The team behind Hotel Palisade consists of director and part owner, Greg Walker, his wife and hotel manager, Karen Walker, along with a team of managers including licensee Paulina Soto, operations manager, Dominic Beinke, venue manager, Natalie Ghosn and their capable teams. 

Please tell us a bit about the story and how it was started. The backstory/history :)

The hotel was brought back to life because of one's man vision to see a heritage listed building (unloved) used for what it was intended – a great time and barrels of laughs. If we look back before this, the hotel was originally the tallest building in Sydney *in it's time*,  a place where the first engineers of the Sydney Harbour Bridge stayed, drank and chatted way back when in the early 1900's , around 1915 and finally, the place where many Anzac's drank their farewell beverage before boarding the ships to Gallipoli. ​


Oysters natural, merlot vinegar, eschalot, created by Henry Deane chef, Joel Bennetts, available at HD bar 

There are so many amazing and unique event spaces at the hotel. We really love the pale pink Henry Deane space.

Henry Deane, the zenith of Hotel Palisade, reveals the building’s modern and sophisticated charm. Spread across two floors, the contemporary cocktail lounge provides breathtaking Sydney scenes no matter which way you look. Restaurant by day – book for lunch and enjoy a menu of premium produce designed to share with friendly faces in a relaxed lounge setting on plush settees and comfy couches. 

Cocktail lounge at night – just walk on in and kick back with a drink in hand as you watch the boats cruise below and the city lights dance on the horizon. Enjoy the soothing tunes of local DJs, Henry Deane is open to anyone who wants to visit we just ask that you dress to impress.



Tell us a little bit about the design and concept.

Sibella Court, an Australian designer and historian, had a vision for the revamp of the hotel which was largely influenced by olden-day Sydney rocks area, extremely nautical and original with navy and white tones throughout, and quite a rustic, vtinage-y feel – ALL MIXED TOGETHER! The Public House on ground level is a place where everyone is welcome to gather, eat and drink, no matter the occasion or attire! The hotel is similar, with only 8 rooms we are boutique and personal. Henry Deane, our double-level cocktail bar up top is a little more luxe compared to the public house. We have a more formal dress code in these areas. 


Leather dyed Henry Deane menus filled with lots of yummy things to nibble and munch; Photo credit: Jason Loucas


What do you think makes Hotel Palisade ideal for gatherings,  reunions, group getaways, retreats? 

Whether you are looking for a small and intimate lunch in a private area upstairs, or a room with a balcony with access to harbour views and your own bar, Hotel Palisade's unique and interesting spaces ,  or simply a space in the pub downstairs to meet a larger group and order individually, we have options upon options and our reservations team will work with you to find the best suited space for you and your crew.


Public House – photographed by Nuance Photography

Tell us about the Public House event space pictured above. 

Step back in time as you enter the character filled Public House located at ground level of Hotel Palisade. If you listen closely you might still hear the jeers of the larrikins and ‘wharfies’ coming to drink after a day waiting for ships to dock; or the cries of mothers calling in their little ones after a long day of riding billy carts and playing mock war games on the streets.

Refurbished in mid 2015, the design was inspired by the small trades of eras passed and reflects the industrial roots of the local neighbourhood. As you sit back and satiate your appetite with a quenching beverage and more than satisfying pub feed, take a moment to soak up the rich history to Hotel Palisade and admire the bespoke fixtures and fittings handcrafted by the finest artisan tradespeople.

The Parlour Room is a semi private space at the back of Public House and can be booked out for private gatherings and casual soirees. Please click through to Private Parts if you would like to enquire about hosting an event in this space.



How ridiculously chic is this restored boutique hotel? From light and bright with ocean views, to dark and moody event spaces. You can choose one based on your vibe that day! We especially love the Private Parts event space (pictured above), where you can host a group of friends for any of your small gatherings, exclusive soirees or late night revelries. All group bookings – large and small – can be hosted in one of three spaces. All of which have glorious views of the harbour and are sun-filled. The rooms are super private and are perfect for groups of 10 – 60, with catering and table service available.

Whether you are in search of a exclusive space, or simply hiding from the crowd, these beautifully designed rooms by Australian designer, Sibella Court, are both luxurious and intimate.

Don't forget to spend the night in one of the beautifully designed hotel rooms after celebrating with your best mates in one of the many spaces. Honestly, this hotel is so chic and swanky we don’t believe you need one specific reason to head on over to this Australian hot spot, so just go! Rest cozily in your bed, sip cocktails in the pub, dine on comfy couches in the restaurant and let loose in the lounge.



Credits: Photos:Nuance Photography | Food Created byFood Rascal David O'Brien | Design: Sibella Court

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