It has long been Nella Todaro’s dream to bring to life a luxury space that combines the best of both hair and beauty treatments in a high-end environment and ‘it just felt right’ when she stumbled across the corner location of her new salon, Trumps Alto Ego, with its character and high lofty ceilings in the heart of the Rocks.

“It has always been my desire to have a hair and beauty wellness centre and to be able to give clients a total experience with the best of both hair and beauty services in a truly sumptuous environment,” said salon owner Nella.

Nella’s penchant for European design and the luxuries in life has long been a trademark; after 30 years in the CBD with both hair and beauty salons, she has achieved her aspiration to create the best of both worlds for her high-rolling CBD clientele.

“I’ve picked up ideas and inspiration in my travels for a long time and they’ve been stored in my memory – I’ve always known what I wanted and I’ve finally got it. Touches like the gold on the top of buildings in France, Baroque architecture in Italy and colours from Moroccan tiles in Sicily are all incorporated into the salon,” said Nella.

“The decor and design brings a real richness to the salon experience and my slogan ‘La Beaute de l’or which means ‘the beauty of gold’ is reflected throughout the salon.”

The large 120 square metre space has a dramatic presence on Harrington Street with a backlit onyx front desk setting the mood for luxury and prestige.

A consistent quality of materials and design is echoed throughout the salon from hand-made marble benches and basins, fully flat hair spa chairs, to the pressed metal white doors with Swarovski crystal handles and decadent chandeliers.

The salon’s entrance features a laid-back consultation and make up area which moves onto four well-spaced cutting chairs surrounded by glass clad side-tables and French flirtation. Two built-in pedicure stations with gold leather cushions and mosaic tiling effortless blend into the salon’s luxe environment.

At the back of the salon is a decadent and discrete basin area screened by black high-gloss Arabic print doors and soft brown-glass lighting to create a mood of deep relaxation.

Nella chose the top of the line Takara Belmont full-flat Yume chairs as she believes they not only give her salon a luxury point of difference but they are the epitome of pampering for the most indulgent hair and scalp treatments.

Integrated and zoned sound-systems, air-conditioning and the high-ceilings and multiple floor levels all contribute to the salon’s seamless sense of luxury but such discerning taste didn’t come without challenges and as Nella admits there are always plenty of setbacks along the way when designing such a large space.

“Getting council approval to do what I wanted in a heritage listed building was one of the biggest challenges to start with. It took many months and a lot of negotiations,” Nella explained.

“We had to account for every detail including the height of a step down to the last centimetre which can be a very stressful process. It took a bit longer than I expected to finish but the result is well worth the wait,” she said.

No matter what treatment is chosen all guests can receive complimentary use of the salon’s steam room to unwind and open the pores before a skin treatment or opt for a complete Spa Jet experience.

Nella chose L’Oreal Professionnel and Kerastase for the hair salon not only for the brands’ reputation for quality but to give the salon a point of difference to her Redken concept salon just moments away on George Street.

“A lot of discerning CBD clientele and tourists ask for Kerastase and we wanted to create a distinct difference between Alto ego and the bustling George-street fronted Redken salon,” Nella said. “It feels very different to George Street even though we are only one street away, it is more historic, has a stronger sense of culture and an exotic vibe that you don’t always get on a busy main street.

“It is very visible and accessible yet it feels so secluded. That was what I really wanted to achieve”.

Trumps Alto Ego
117 Harrington street, The Rocks
Call (02) 9252 1800 or visit