Home Editor Picks Famous beach spot to get massive facelift

Famous beach spot to get massive facelift

Famous beach spot to get massive facelift


Coogee is home to one of Sydney’s most popular beaches, that offers spectacular views from the headlands at both ends.

It’s the starting point (or end, depending which way you go) of the famous Bondi to Coogee coastal walk, which takes a lazy two hours to complete.

While not as busy as its Bondi Beach neighbour, it offers equally impressive restaurants, bars, rock pools and of course, scenery to satisfy any visitor.

One of its most notable venues is Coogee Bay Hotel, which has hugged the coastline since 1873.

It has become synonymous with the area’s rich history and continues to act as a meeting point for locals and tourists alike.

The corner spot had a facelift four years ago but it’s set to undergo a massive transformation after plans were approved this week for more accommodation, basement parking and an “eat street”.

The new renos mean its famous Selina’s nightclub will sadly be scrapped. However the new dining precinct will be named Selina’s Lane in honour of the club, and will feature 11 cafes and retailers.

Chris Cheung, managing director of the Coogee Bay Hotel and owner of C!NC Hotels, said as a member of the community for the past 30 years, he understands the local environment and believes the plans will better integrate the hotel within the community and reinvigorate the entire site.

“The proposal will enhance the heritage elements of the hotel building, upgrade its

accommodation offering, create a wider range of entertainment, dining options and public

meeting spaces, and create a more family friendly environment,” Mr Cheung said.

During Covid in 2020, the venue quietly underwent a $6 million renovation giving its boutique hotel on the corner of Arden Street and Coogee Bay Road, a boost.

When plans for the latest makeover are complete, it will see a total of 31 hotel rooms in the venue.

Matt Barlow, marketing manager of Coogee Bay Hotel said the 2020 reno has been a huge hit among guests.

“We completely transformed the reception area and the guest rooms in both wings of the hotel,” he told news.com.au.

“Each wing now has its own vibe, beautifully blending our heritage with modern style.”

He said the first wing (Bay Rooms) celebrates the pub’s rock ‘n’ roll history with a beachy twist.

“The second wing (Boutique Rooms) offers a ‘beachside luxe’ experience, focusing on sophistication and comfort with a serene, coastal feel. These updates enhance the overall guest experience, reflecting both our rich past and our stunning seaside location.”

Mr Barlow said since the renos, feedback has been “overwhelmingly positive”.

“The fresh look has attracted a larger audience, drawing both returning visitors and new guests keen to experience our unique blend of history, luxury, and coastal living.”

He said the most popular rooms are the Sunrise Suites, which offer stunning views over Coogee Beach.

“These suites feature their own living areas and balcony access, enhancing the sense of luxury and space. They [also] pay a subtle tribute to our rock ‘n’ roll history and the iconic Selina’s by showcasing exclusive imagery of past performers.”

During the renos, they also opened Marra Bar & Grill, upgraded The Garden, Garden Bar and Arden Lounge.

One of the most popular menu items at Marra is the charcuterie board which includes a selection of Ortiz anchovies, shaved jamón, and De Palma salami — while the biggest comfort food hitters is the wagyu burger, chicken wings and Casarecce pasta.

“The revamp has positively influenced the area by offering a non-generic, more personal boutique option for visitors to Coogee,” Mr Barlow said.

He said it’s also enhanced the appeal of the beachside village, attracting more guests seeking a “unique, quality place to stay”.

As for the Hotel’s recently approved plans, it follows more than four years of design and planning, discussions with stakeholders, community consultation and mediation between the owners of the Coogee Bay Hotel and Randwick City Council.

“Re-casting the Coogee Bay Hotel as a more family friendly place will improve social outcomes, add value to local business, boost the local economy and complement the character of the local area,” Mr Cheung added.

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