Sydney’s Sheraton On the Park Hotel has up to $10,000 worth of diamonds from the French jeweller Boucheron for two Sheraton guests booking a suite November 17-25. Sheraton is the only five-star hotel on Hyde Park in central Sydney. It was named Australasia’s Leading Hotel by the World Travel Wards 2011 and 1012. Suite room rates start from $A599. Highly recommended: the refurbished Ambassador Suite on the 20th floor (pictured above).
To enter the competition, guests merely have to tell the hotel (in 25 words or less): What makes a sparkling stay?
Boucheron is a dynasty of French jewellers established in 1858, known for its free spirited and audacious designs. It has a colourful history of creating opulent gifts bought for high-class courtesans and catering for the extravagant tastes of India’s maharajahs.
The magnificent Maharajah of Patiala, Bhupindar Singh, ruler of the state of Punjab, decamped to a hotel on the Champs-Elysées in 1928 , accompanied a retinue of 40 servants and 20 of his favourite dancing girls. His treasure, on a scale unseen in Europe, was watched over by a dozen Sikh guards dressed in brocaded uniforms and pink turbans. Scenes of astonishment ensued when the prince presented his multitude of precious stones, wrapped simply in fine coloured tissues. First came the white, yellow and blue diamonds, 7,571 in all for a total of 566 carats. The collection of emeralds was the most magnificent ever assembled: 1,432 stones totalling 7,800 carats. These were followed by the sapphires, rubies and rare grey pearls. This unique treasure was later estimated to be worth two billion French Francs in the currency of the day.
The house of Boucheron was asked to create numerous settings, one in particular for a sensational 1,800 carats of emeralds. The designers and jewellers worked for months and created hundreds of pieces.
Alex Simon runs Boucheron in Sydney and his meeting with the jewellers came via his humble $30 wedding ring.
“Back many moons ago, when I got married, like many men, I was not too keen on wearing a wedding ring, “he told Taste for Travel. “My wife felt quite strongly about me wearing one, so I purchased a $30 sterling silver ring – it was quite nice, and that was the ring I got married in. Fast forward a year, and our business started dealing with a lot of jewellers – my wife pulled me aside, and pointed out the embarrassment of trying to deal with jewellers, wearing a $30 ring.
“Well, as with most things she was right. So coming back from Europe that year, I stopped in Hong Kong and spent two days search for a new wedding band.”