The Darling at The Star achieves new International Five Star Standard


The luxury hotel has been recognised by the new global mark of excellence

The Darling at The Star Sydney, the city’s most lovingly-detailed luxury hotel located in Darling Harbour is proud to announce that it recently became one of the first hotels in the world to achieve the new global mark of excellence in luxury hotels, The International Five Star Hotel Standard.

In order to achieve The International Five Star Hotel Standard, every aspect of The Darling’s design and facilities, operations and service was examined in a comprehensive assessment, scrutinised by an international panel of experts from the global hospitality, design and marketing sectors.

Greg Hawkins, Managing Director of The Star said he and the team are incredibly proud of achieving the International Five Star Hotel Standard.

“We are thrilled to be recognised as one of the world’s top luxury accommodation and hospitality industry leaders. In addition to class-leading technology and meticulously adorned suites, the team at The Darling work tirelessly to ensure the highest levels of service.

“We acknowledge that this incredible accolade is as much reflective of the modern and sophisticated features of the hotel, as it is a result of its people’s exceptional customer service,” said Mr Hawkins.

The International Five Star Hotel Standard was introduced by the team behind International Property Awards and The International Hotel Awards (in Association with Rolls-Royce Motor Cars), to raise the bar on quality standards recognised within the global luxury hotel industry. With almost every country in the world having its own system for rating hotels, regional variations and inconsistent standards can be a problem for travellers, who need failsafe accreditation and ratings to help them to make informed decisions on which luxury hotels to trust.

Stuart Shield, President of International Property Media, welcomed The Darling into the elite group of world hotels who have achieved this standard.

“Now that The Darling has achieved The International Five Star Hotel Standard, it joins the most elite hotels in the world that share this mark of excellence and exceptional quality of service.”

The Star to showcase events and integrated resort facilities at ATE 2015

The Star Sydney will showcase its luxurious and flexible accommodation, award-winning chefs and restaurants and world-class facilities at the 2015 Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE); Australia’s largest annual travel and tourism business-to-business event from 21 – 25 June at Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Jayson Heron

Jayson Heron, Director of Sales at The Star will be leading the team at ATE, alongside Jacques Wong, ‎Business Development Manager – International Sales and Biddie Pedruco, Business Development Manager. Jayson and The Star team are excited to share The Star’s flexible and unique offering.

“Being an integrated resort, The Star is Sydney’s ultimate entertainment destination. Offering three hotel towers of five star luxury accommodation, an international designer retail arcade, over 20 bars and restaurants and Sydney’s only casino; there’s endless opportunities for the leisure traveller here at The Star.

“Travelling, whether for business or pleasure can sometimes be a challenging experience so we’ve implemented numerous strategies and technologies to minimise stress and ensure a seamless experience for national and international guests; from The Star’s multilingual trained staff to our recent investment in the new Chinese friendly digital way finding system – everything we do is to ensure a five star experience for our international and domestic guests,” said Mr Heron.

The Star is also home to the state-of-the-art Star Event Centre which was recently recognised as the national winner in the category of Specialty Event Venue at the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) awards gala dinner. Since opening in January 2013, The Star Event Centre has hosted over 250 events, including the ARIA, AACTA and Astra awards, and international talent such as Coldplay, One Direction, Ricky Martin, Seal, Jessica Mauboy and Alicia Keys. The Star Event Centre has also hosted international Taiwanese and Chinese talent including Jonathan Lee, Jeff Chang and Tiger Huang and Ricky Hsiao.

The Star team will also be sharing details of the recently launched penthouse packages during ATE, which are now available at The Darling and include accommodation in one of The Darling’s impressive penthouses overlooking Sydney Harbour, two luxuriously soft bathrobes and slippers, breakfast daily at Sokyo, late checkout, a welcome amenity and express garment pressing daily.

The Darling Penthouse
The Darling Penthouse

The Darling
The Darling Lobby

The Star Event Centre celebrated as Australia’s best specialty event venue

MEAThe Star Event Centre was recognised as the national winner in the category of Specialty Event Venue at the Meetings & Events Australia (MEA) awards gala dinner on Hamilton Island on Tuesday, 26 June.

The significant milestone celebrates two years of event success and is the first national MEA award win for The Star, since the opening of the Event Centre in January 2013.

Richard Howarth, General Manager, Marketing, Sales & Entertainment at The Star commented on the momentous accolade.

“Opening the Event Centre in 2013 was not only a huge challenge in bringing a new space to the market, but it also presented a significant opportunity for the Australian events industry, and one that we are delighted to say was welcomed with open arms by both the industry and the community.

“We are delighted to be recognised in the national MEA awards for our state-of-the-art Event Centre, and thank our fantastic clients, who give us the greatest honour in transforming their vision into reality, and of course our team of dedicated and passionate people who are always willing to go the extra mile to ensure everything is on point,” said Mr Howarth.

Demonstrating the power of specialty event venues, the Event Centre hosted 184 events from July 2013 to September 2014 including the Great Australian Dinner with Rene Redzepi for Good Food Month, the social events as part of Hair Expo 2014 for 5,400 guests, the Victor Chang 20th Anniversary Ball and the Australian Academy Of Cinema & Television Arts (AACTA) Awards in both 2013 and 2014.

Recognising the most prestigious meetings and events accomplishments, the MEA awards honour the achievement of excellence in a range of categories. The Star Event Centre also won the NSW state award for Specialty Event Venue and the NSW state award for Technical and Creative Production – In House AV Services.

The Star hosts the 20th anniversary ASTRA Awards in spectacular style

The Star, Sydney’s premier events and entertainment destination, hosted the widely coveted Australian Subscription Television and Radio Association (ASTRA) Awards on Thursday 12 March; the first in a three year event partnership between the association and The Star.

The awards program kicked off with a nomination event on Tuesday 10 February at The Star Event Centre, prior to the major awards gala which welcomed over 800 guests including American E! News host, Giuliana Rancic who was flown in to host the prestigious awards.

Greg Hawkins, Managing Director of The Star was thrilled to welcome the ASTRA Awards to The Star Event Centre and said he was looking forward to a very rewarding partnership over the next three years.

“We are committed to bolstering Sydney’s reputation as a premier destination for gala events and we know the work of the team behind the Event Centre is on show for the industry and the country to see.

“Our world class technical capabilities combined with our ability to deliver first-class gala events means we make for a great destination to deliver a glittering red carpet and awards celebration.” said Mr Hawkins.

Andrew Maiden, CEO of ASTRA was excited to commence the new partnership with The Star.

“ASTRA is delighted to be partnering with The Star, which was a superb venue to host the largest-ever ASTRA Awards marking subscription television’s 20th anniversary, in which we saw many stars and leaders from the industry brought together for one great night,” said Mr Maiden.

The Star welcomed celebrities and VIPs who walked down the 40 metre red carpet, which was heavily lined with media. Pre and post the awards ceremony, guests were served a range of premium canapés along with a dessert and lolly bar. The event generated a great buzz across social media with 51 million impressions recorded on Twitter and the #ASTRAs trended number one nationally for three hours, making it the most social ASTRAs to date.

The Star’s variety of event spaces catered to the needs of the association, hosting VIP and media functions on-site and offering broadcast capabilities for Foxtel and the media in attendance. After all the formalities, the guests celebrated well into the night at the official after party held on Sky Terrace.

The big winners of the night included the television show Wentworth which won most outstanding Australian drama and lead star Danielle Cormack won most outstanding performance by an actor – female.  Sky News Australia took home the top honour of the night, the coveted Channel of the Year award, and Arena took out the Channel Achievement Award. A new award – the Industry Contribution Award – was presented to Brian Walsh, Foxtel’s Executive Director of Television.

The who’s who of the small screen in attendance included Jennifer Hawkins, Eddie McGuire, Antonia Kidman, Noni Hazlehurst, Don Hany, Real Housewives of Melbourne and the cast of judges from Australia’s Next Top Model. In addition Abby Lee Miller and her cast of dancers from hit series Dance Moms visited from the US.

Case Study: The World Business Forum (WBF)



Being held for the first time in Australia in May 2014, the World Business Forum offered business leaders the opportunity to hear influential minds and legendary CEOs discuss global issues and trends.

The Star Event Centre was selected to be the venue for the inaugural Australian conference, hosting the largest collection of senior executives for an event of its type. The impressive lineup of speakers included the former Director of Marketing of Facebook, Randi Zuckerberg, The Hon. John Howard and Professor Michael Porter of the Harvard Business School.

The Event Centre was at full capacity, set theatre style for the 1,750 attendees plus all four suites on level 5 were in action for VIPs and corporate sponsors. Breakout spaces in the foyer of the Event Centre and on Sky Terrace featured eight sponsor stands of varying sizes and food stations showcasing Australia’s freshest cuisine like QLD Spanner Crab meat and avocado brioche.

Speakers, VIPs and sponsors enjoyed a three course lunch in The Attic in the Event Centre, and at Bistro 80, whilst other guests ventured throughout the property to dine and hold meetings at signature restaurants including Balla, BLACK by ezard and Sokyo and in The Star’s own food court.

Volunteers from a hotel management school were recruited to direct guests internally and externally to the property assisting with traffic flow.

Aware that time is an executive’s most precious commodity, The Star meticulously planned the two-day event for all guests, from the speedy registration process onsite and clear signage, to the prompt catering at all tea breaks and flawless VIP management; a seamless and memorable experience was had by all.

In addition, custom menus were implemented across the property ensuring World Business Forum attendees’ lunch breaks were well timed and afternoon sessions could get underway on schedule.

Impressing all guests, Sydney put on an absolutely stunning couple of days of weather which allowed guests to utilise Sky Terrace for all morning and afternoon tea breaks, avoiding the need for well-established wet weather plans.

The 2014 conference offered accommodation across The Star’s two hotels to delegates. Responding to attendees’ desire to stay on site, for the 2015 conference, The Star has partnered with their client offering a discount code for accommodation at both The Darling and Astral Towers and Residences.

The 2014 World Business Forum was a major success, and has chosen to hold the 2015 conference at the same venue – The Star – for the second consecutive year, 27 – 28 May 2015.

The 2015 conference was another outstanding event that featured a stellar line up of speakers including Lynda Gratton, Professor at the London Business School, Steve Wozniak, the pioneer who co-founded Apple and Ben Bernanke, two-term Chairman of the Federal Reserve System.

“The launch of the World Business Forum Sydney last year was a huge success with 2173 senior-level executives in attendance – Australia’s largest business management event. 

The Star were instrumental in the planning and delivery of the Forum to ensure we exceeded expectations for both executives and sponsors. This was definitely achieved, as 100% of all executives surveyed mentioned that they would return again. 

We look forward to working with the team at The Star again on the World Business Forum Sydney 2015 which will be held on 27th & 28th May. “

Malisa Mlinaric, Sales Director, Business Executive Education Global

Meet The Team: Scott Bayne, Director of Banquets at The Star

scott bayne pic3

It’s our pleasure to introduce Scott Bayne, Director of Banquets at The Star and passionate advocate for service excellence in food and beverage. With more than fifteen years’ experience in the hospitality and entertainment industry, Scott got his big break in Las Vegas in 2004, before moving to Sydney where he joined The Star team in 2012, helping to launch the Event Centre.

Scott is responsible for day-to-day operations including leading The Star’s 150-strong food and beverage team to deliver the best possible service for guests across events including the ARIAs, AACTAs, ASTRAs, Dally M Awards, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, World Business Forum and Hyundai Fan Park.

Connect with Scott on LinkedIn.


What’s On At The Star

Sydney Swans – The Star and the Sydney Swans have announced a renewed partnership, with The Star remaining a Premier Partner and Official Entertainment Venue Partner of the Sydney Swans for the 2015 season.

NSW Rugby League – The Star and NSW Rugby League have announced an exciting three-year partnership that will see The Star become an official partner and home of NSW Rugby League and the NSW VB Blues.

For the second year, The Star will be lighting up for Vivid Sydney, 22 May – 8 June with an expanded footprint of interactive activity to create the Vivid Sydney Game Zone at Pyrmont & The Star as part of the world’s largest festival of light, music and ideas.

The Starlight Foundation Star Ball, on 13 June at The Star Event Centre will raise much needed funds for the Starlight Children’s Foundation and its Wish granting program in NSW via an exciting evening of premium food, wine, live silent auctions, entertainment and dancing.

The Tour de Cure’s Snow Ball is coming soon to The Star Event Centre for an evening of elegance and entertainment, including a performance by Samantha Jade, guest appearance by Mark Beretta, a stunning gourmet menu and auction prizes on offer. Their biggest night ever, the event on 20 June will raise funds to help find a cure for cancer.

The TAKE Kare Gala Ball 2015, produced by the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, is set to be another magnificent event. With a vision to foster responsible drinking culture, save the date for 16 September as more details on the event are to come.