Boutique Hotel Review – Aiden Darling Harbour

Aiden boutique hotel

The Aiden boutique hotel Pyrmont gives off a bit of a Brooklyn vibe, looking back at the city skyline over the water. This brand new hotel in an art deco era curvaceous building with schmick black windows carries some Aussie heritage. Built as a grain store then converted into Australian icon Breville HQ, and today remodelled top to bottom as a boutique hotel.

This is a first for Best Western, yes, you heard that right, this hotel however is a very distant experience to a regional motel you may remember – two stories wrapped around a car-park with a kidney shaped pool in one corner. Aiden lifestyle brand is a well-designed, well-appointed and well-located hotel experience. This Aiden is an ‘Art curious’ hotel, with it’s own artist-in-residence, you’ll see Jessica le Clerc’s feature work ‘1788 Blackwattle Bay’ in the lobby and each room has a piece of her art with a hand painted a mural in all the 88 rooms, making every guests’ experience a little unique.

1788 Blackwattle Bay – by Jessica le Clerc – artist in residence

The arrival

The hotel is fully booked and the lobby at 3pm is a whirr of rollerbags. Frequent travellers who prefer the frictionless landing experience can simply check yourself in. Just like a flight, head to the self-check in and in 30 seconds you’ll have your key.

The lobby

General Manager Katharina Enzinger who has worked in high end hotels most of her career, explains the difference with a boutique hotel is the advantage of a smaller team. Yes, less is more in many regards at the Aiden, these hosts know each other more intimately and their guests and that comes through in the experience.

The hotel is also a compact design concept. It has a ‘Japandi’ feel – a mix of Scandinavian functionality with Japanese minimalism. The smallest rooms are very compact spaces, fit for the traveller who is spending most of their time out of the hotel. The mid-sized rooms offer more space to move, while the balcony suites are worthy of a special occasion.

The room 

Room 603 is a balcony suite with spectacular sweeping views of the city, golden at sunset and sparkling at night. A house made cocktail on the balcony as the sinking sun spreads it’s amber light is a total Sydney moment.

City twilight

It’s shiny-new and made very stylish with the sepia hues of the hazel corrugated glass internal doors and bronze fittings. You’ll immediately be impressed with the design, every wall is a usable space, especially the bathroom, there is a logical spot for everything. Kitted out with the latest technology and investment in sound engineering allows guests to have a quiet and customised experience. If you’ve ever been frozen all night or kept awake from industrial level aircon, you will love that you control the temperature, just as you like it.

City View Room

It’s also a sustainable stay with refillable luxe Ritual products and each floor has Moda still and sparkling water on tap in refillable bottles.

The ‘bed dive’, the ultimate test of if we are happy with the room, doesn’t disappoint. It was a little difficult to mount the waist-height king bed, but the land on the dive test felt like it looked, a super soft landing into a zero-partner disturbance mattress. We are going to really appreciate that later together with the blackout blinds for a sleep in.

Luxe king bed

Above the plush velvet bedhead features a hand painted a mural of Australian natives by the artist-in-residence. There is a tray of treats on the bed, the biccies don’t last very long, the neighbourhood guide comes in handy and the Ritual lavender linen spray are all warm touches that contribute to the experience.

Casual dining 

Wayfarers bar and café is a Euro space. Guests are sat around the marble tables and curvaceous plush chairs, sipping coffees and making plans. And it’s licenced so you can order a takeaway nightcap cocktail to sip in bed.


Wayfarers is busiest in the morning with a menu covering breakfast favourites. The ham and cheese croissant with Dijon is savoury and a little zingy. The open egg and smoked bacon sandwich on house-made bread is a satisfying classic.

Open B&E sandwich

The experience

Aiden Pyrmont is a delightful, classy, compact short stay. On the doorstep of the city, the best of the CBD nightlife is accessed via the heritage Pyrmont footbridge.

Pyrmont morning

The investments in the design to create a quiet, comfortable and customisable stay delivered. You will leave feeling well taken care of and well rested. Great experiences do come in well-designed compact packages.

Aiden Hotel
45 Murray St, Pyrmont NSW 2009

About the author

BIO: Meg lives, breathes and invests in leading edge tech and food innovation. Curious about what makes things work and is in pursuit of experiencing the unending trends and invention in cuisines. There’s virtually nothing she won’t eat, drink or some combination that she isn’t open to. With the benefit of having lived abroad Meg has a high bar for authenticity and delights in running a lot of taste tests.


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