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Ovolo Woolloomooloo, Woolloomooloo

This vowelsome mouthful from Hong Kong-based hotelier Ovolo took up residence in the stately Woolloomooloo Finger Wharf in 2015. The bright and busy hotel is surrounded by moored boats and has views towards the city’s skyscrapers. Inside there’s a high-ceilinged central atrium lined with windows and skirted by walkways that lead to the hotel’s 100 rooms, including two suites called INXS and AC/DC thanks to the owner’s penchant for Aussie rock’n’roll. It’s all brought to life with primary colours and soft finishes by architecture practice Hassell.

The colossal lobby hosts a playful hotchpotch of pastel-hued furniture with tables and seats of every size and shape along with a pool table area. The so-called kissing booths have a retractable blind for privacy.

6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, 2011
+61 (0)2 9331 9000
ovolohotels.com
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The Old Clare Hotel, Chippendale

Since it opened in 2015, this hotel has taken a lead in shaping the once rundown Chippendale neighbourhood. Previously a rowdy pub up front and the headquarters of a local brewery behind, the space has retained its weathered tiles, poster-clad walls and exposed bricks. Sydney architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer deftly converted the two buildings into a thriving 69-room stopover with two attractive bars and two restaurants: Clayton Well’s A1 Canteen and adjoining Asian-influenced joint Automata. 

The rooms are smart and include Triumph & Disaster amenities, bright prints from Sydney designer Eloise Rapp and lamps by The Rag and Bone Man. The best suite is in the wood-panelled former boardroom. Clear sightlines from bed through to shower cubicle are a (potentially) pleasant surprise.

1 Kensington Street, 2008
+61 (0)2 8277 8277
theoldclarehotel.com.au
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QT Bondi, Bondi Beach

Those familiar with QT’s city-centre residence (also highly recommended) will know the hotel group’s offerings are manicured and artsy affairs. This Nic Graham-designed space opened in 2015 complete with 69 large rooms; the outward-facing ones have balconies and inner berths have a view into the central atrium. Public spaces are bright, lined with light oak panelling and colourful accents. Digital art pieces and installations that reference the neighbourhood’s renowned surf culture come courtesy of artist Shaun Gladwell. There’s no restaurant but dinner at Eden Restaurant and other nearby establishments can be charged to your room.

6 Beach Road, 2026
+61 (0)2 8362 3900
qtbondi.com.au
Go back: Sydney

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