Is your travel case cool enough? What filter should you use? They’re the questions you’ll start to ask yourself in Australia’s most Instagramable hotel. Just a few click-clacks of your party shoes away from Darling Harbour is Sydney’s latest designer lodging.
Built in 1888 this former wood shed has been transformed into a designer hotel. The party starts the moment you walk past walls of sliver pebble art. Soaring reclaimed wooden beams and a gleaming glass elevator becomes a moving show piece, zooming guests up and down four floors. Presiding over the stunning atrium is a suspended atom-like metal sphere.
Shadow play lighting on the walls tells us we have reached loft room 403. Set across two floors, it’s flooded with light from enormous sash windows. A neon coloured rug, artwork and teal blue sofa create a playful environment as does the noise survival kit, juice pack (no veggies or fruits killed in the process – it’s for your electrics), mini umbrella and fun tote bags. This is a high tech hotel; you’ll find the contents of your complimentary mini bar may make the Apple TV, iPad master controller of all gadgetry, a little harder to work out.
Staying here recreates the atmosphere of being looked after by a host… ‘Come to the bar we’ll buy you a drink’ (Yes it’s all free between 5-7pm). ‘Would you like a canapé?’ Mmm don’t mind if I do! (free too) Dig into a freshly cooked platter of smoky croquettes, spring rolls, plus a selection or raw healthy snacks and dips. Want to meet new friends? Then join the communal tables or at the bar for hipster bar-banter. After a few drinks, you may be tempted by the smorgasbord of disguises, from moustaches to glasses on sticks and an oversized gilt photo frame, just waiting for you to create your memorable instagram moment. The best go onto their website.
With hundreds of great restaurants on your doorstep, skip over to Sokyo at The Star who will dazzle you as sake sommelier Jean Michel helps you chose from an impressive list; ‘Man Mountain’ Otokoyama perfectly paired with kingfish sashimi and an edible flower seafood garden of snapper usuzukuri followed by Moreton Bay bug tempura and moreish prawn robata skewers.
The Japanese know the place to sit is the sushi bar, watching masters such as Jacob Kwark creating nigri magic; crispy tuna rice, ocean trout with sweet sansho pepper. A glass of Ruinart blanc de blanc completes the night just save room for the Yuzu soufflé.
Within minutes you are snuggled up in your kingsize bed ready to be re-powered for a day of Snap Fitness gym workouts, retail therapy or to soak up our changing city. Take your pick. It’s all on the doorstep of a design hotel with a sense of humour, bags of personality and something remarkable…good old fashioned hospitality.
Goes to show somethings do improve with age.
Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour
139 Murray Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009