Kerrie and Mike Stephenson

More than a view out the window, or the flash cocktail that you have in the bar or even the king size bed – hotels are about stories.

By Benjamen Judd

They can be stories of discoveries, about laughter and sometimes even about loss. But a lot of the time they’re about love. 

It was a story about love that we were lucky enough to share in with two guests –Kerrie and Mike Stephenson – when they recently stayed with us. 

As luck – or fate – would have it, Kerrie and Mike were no strangers to the Pitt Street Hotel when they arrived at the Primus Hotel Sydney for a weekend getaway. Although it may look a little different to how they remembered it… 

Kerrie and Mike met while working at the original Sydney Water Board. As a surprise to Mike, Kerrie organised a romantic stay to celebrate their anniversary at the reincarnated space that originally brought them together. 

The pair was gracious enough to talk to us of their experiences – both at the Water Board and their stay at Primus Hotel Sydney. 

How did you and your husband both originally meet? 

I worked on the sixth floor and Mike worked on the fifth floor. It was organised by one of the guys I worked with who was a mate of Mike’s. 

Rumour has it you wore the same dress to the hotel you did on your first date? 

Yes! I still have the John and Merivale dress I wore on our first date, which was at the Dixon Restaurant and then the movies. The name of the movie was Klute.

 

Did this give your husband a clue as to what to expect? 

No, I kept it a secret until we started walking up Bathurst Street. Mike happened to say are you taking me back to the Water Board. I pretended not to hear and kept walking. So he was very surprised to see the old building had changed into a hotel. 

What was your first impression upon walking in and seeing the renovated Water Board spaces? 

Very impressed. It has been finished with great detail in keeping with it’s Art Deco era of design. We had a beautiful room with a luxury bathroom. 

What were some of the biggest differences to the original space? 

The stairs which I ran down after finishing work were glassed in for emergency purposes. But the best feature was to retain the existing marble finishes. An open foyer with the glass brick skylight in the original light well above it were original features and desks covered the front area during the 1970’s. 

The memorabilia on the mezzanine was a nice touch but before our era of working there. The seventh floor (now the sixth floor) was the medical and water testing area where showers were used after playing sport. The roof where basketball was played now has a great pool and bar area. We would never have got any work done if they were there in the old days! 

What was the original Water Board building like? Do you have any stories about the space? 

It was a very social place to work with lots of parties going on every weekend. The Water Board was a great training ground to establish your career; they were very thorough in training their staff. Sport was always popular – football, cricket, basketball, netball and volleyball. Basketball was played on the roof and at the YMCA across the road – a basketball was once thrown accidentally over the cyclone wire fence on the roof luckily missing anyone below eight floors down! 

Was it a peculiar experience to come to a place you once worked to spend the night in celebration?

Yes, we were treated like royalty by the staff and we had a delicious dinner and breakfast. 

It brought back a lot of memories of the fun times when we first went out. We were both quite emotional about our nostalgic return to where our relationship began. Many other couples met and married from employment at the Water Board.

 

 

You may also be interested in

And the winner is…The Primus Hotel Sydney

While quality service is its own reward, it’s still wonderful to have your efforts recognised by industry experts.

The World Luxury Hotel Awards was established in 2006 and for...

Artful Events at the Primus Hotel Sydney

Whether you’re looking to throw a birthday bash that everyone will remember, an extravagant dinner for a fundraiser or an end of year cocktail function for the office – the Primus ...

Heritage Tours at the Primus Hotel Sydney

The Primus Hotel Sydney is proud of the long and varied history that came before it was transformed into one of Sydney’s premium Five Star hotels.

A heritage building that was,...

2017 Tourism Accommodation Awards

Primus Hotel Sydney takes the jewel of the crown at last night’s 2017 TAA NSW Awards for Excellence, being awarded ‘Redeveloped Hotel of the Year’ at the gala dinner attended by...

Luxury Hotel Awards 2017

Great service is its own reward, and it’s something that The Primus Hotel Sydney prides itself on.

So it is with an incredibly sense of pride that we share our nomination in the...

Primus Hotel Sydney celebrates one year of operation

Can you believe it? One whole year.

A lot can happen in the first year and a lot has!

The stunning revival of a heritage listed space formally known as the headquarters of the...

The strange and wonderful history of level 7

By Benjamen Judd  

Primus Hotel Sydney is rich with history, but our rooftop pool area and bar probably takes the cake for having one of the most fascinating backstories.   

...
Introducing…

By Benjamen Judd

When Primus Hotel Sydney opened at the end of December in 2015, it also reopened doors into one of the city’s most historically rich and decadent heritage...