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Friday, 18 October 2013

1888 Hotel Pyrmont, Sydney: REVIEW

Staying at Sydney's new 1888 Hotel - which only opened a few months ago, but is already forging a reputation for being an exceptional home away from home - exceeded every expectation I had about the newly refurbished boutique hotel. I knew it was going to be fabulous (I'd stayed at 'sister hotel' in Melbourne), but this was kinda off-the-radar-amazing in every way.

Part of the impressive 8Hotels portfolio (which includes hotels, apartments, and villas around the world, including Paris) the 1888 Hotel is an arhictect and interior designer's fantastical dream. Stylish and well thought-through finishing touches adorn every corner. More on that to see below.

Before you even enter the property, you are met with the grandness of a heritage facade. Here it is:




The story behind this (I am all about the story, the history, the heritage) is that it was, of course, built in 1888. In its previous incarnations, it was a woolstore, it was used for commercial office space, and it was a carpark station - before it became the hotel it is today. After 12 months of gutting and renovating, it opened in June 2013.

The second you enter the hotel you know you're not staying at a place that needs to adhere to uniform constraints as part of a hotel chain. No, there is nothing cookie-cutter about this place: it's filled-to-the-brim with personality and its own unique character. I mean, there is a Nick Cave portrait on the floor of my room! You just know this place is going to be fabulous:



And yet, it's utterly serious-slash-stylish and streamlined enough to stay here for work those work conferences and short business stays (if you're in charge of booking the hotel for the event, expect to be high-fived on your choice). Even the meeting room for smaller conferences is ultra-cool):





The big and little things made the 1888 Hotel a memorable stay: an iPad in every room, only Australian products stocked in the mini-bar (many are organic and up and coming, quality brands), the bath loofah and quality bath products waiting for you in the massive, old-school-style bathtub, stylish retro bespoke armchairs adding a pop of colour to every room, exposed, iron bark original beams and brick walls, three metre high ceilings, 
huge soundproof period windows, artwork by Australian artists, complimentary WiFi, Smart TVs with media hubs, custom-made bedding with luxury MicroCloud bed toppers and bathrooms with walk-in rain showers - it's all here.

Here are some of the exceptional, gasp-worthy rooms:



1888 'Attic' room
1888 'Attic' room bathroom

The 1888 'Willamson' room
The 1888 'Willamson' room bathroom




More about the hotel: 1888 Hotel is a heritage-listed 90 bedroom boutique hotel, eatery, bar and event space, located in Sydney's inner-city suburb of Pyrmont. 1888 neighbours the Sydney Fish Market, the Sydney Exhibition & Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, The Star, bars, a gazillion dining options, and shopping is a short stroll away. In fact, 1888 is just a few minutes’ walk from Darling Harbour, Cockle Bay, Sydney's CBD and Ultimo.

On the evening of my stay there, my companion and I enjoyed a drink at the hotel bar, before heading out to a dinner at The Century at the newly refurbished The Star (Sydney's casino). A post-dinner drink at Darling Harbour was just the ticket pre-bedtime on those dreamy beds.

What I also love about the location is that you are in the Sydney CBD, but on-the-outskirts-enough that you're not in the thick of the city madness. Also, there is a carpark across the road from the hotel - very convenient to come and go as you need.

And the staff: they seem to all be hand-picked to be exceptional, friendly people. Every single one of them seems to want to work there. In getting to know the hotel, I had loads of conversations with staff - and all are happy and proud to work there, and it shows. I would even go as far as saying the staff at 1888 Hotel is one of its greatest assets.
The foyer area is beautiful. I mean, look at it:

You might find you will spend lots of time there, lingering over breakfast (best buffet breakie... ever. So much variety the high quality... and or drinks in the adjoining eatery area. (If you Instagram all your foodie and drinkie pics, expect them to show up on the hotel MACs in the foyer area immediately - very cool).

The eatery precinct is fantastic, the ambience is cool, and it's a fab place to not only have breakast, but also enjoy cocktails the night before. The food is exceptional (see some of my Instagram photos here and here), the service is consistently excellent, the vibe relaxed and chilled and everything a holiday getaway or mini-break should be. Here is that lovely corner of 1888:








Overall, I simply cannot fault 1888 Hotel - it is flawless, friendly, and a fabulous spot for any kind of stay in Sydney. I'd gladly stay here again. And I have been raving about it to anyone who will listen. It's perfection.
To book or learn more about 1888, click here.
*Thank you to 8 Hotels for the opportunity to stay at 1888 Hotelas their guest.

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