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Inside The 1888 Hotel, An Alternative to Sydney's Corporate Hotel Scene

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  Site Where: 139 Murray Street, Sydney, NSW, Australia
May 8, 2014 at 2:41 PM | by | ()

1888 Shakes Things Up With a "Cozy Industrial Vibe"

Focusing on being Instagram-worthy as it does (and handing out free nights if you have 10,000 followers or more), Sydney’s 1888 Hotel better be bringing it in the looks department. We showed you how to get the lobby (or yourself) into the frame, and are following up today with a closer look at how the rest of the hotel measures up.

1888’s Pyrmont location puts you just on the "other" side of Darling Harbour, to the west of Sydney’s CBD. A stroll across the pedestrian bridge will take you into the city’s core in 15 minutes, or you can take the scenic ferry route and sail underneath the Harbour Bridge before you dock at Circular Quay.

Getting to the hotel from the airport is easy enough: hop on the express train to the city’s Central Station and change to the monorail, get off at Convention Centre (you buy the monorail ticket on the train), enter the parking garage and take the lift up to the fourth floor, exit on the other side, and 1888 is right in front of you. The red brick building (formerly a wool-storage facility) certainly looked pretty against the backdrop of bright blue Sydney skies when we arrived.

The lobby is to your right as you walk in, with reception to your left. We liked the cozy-industrial vibe with exposed brick, untreated beams, and mixed furniture, but were most impressed with the staff: the receptionist who checked us in hit just the right note of Ozzie laid-back professional friendliness, offering to ‘prank-call’ us when our room was ready, avoiding the extortionate international dialing charges we would incur otherwise.

Next to the entrance is 1888 Eatery & Bar, which serves breakfast seven days a week; a continental breakfast is AU$21 ($20), with a few a la carte dishes available too. We didn’t get beyond having a coffee and a croissant one morning, but the continental spread looked good.

The cozy-industrial vibe continues in the accommodation, which total 90 rooms and suites. We stayed in a Loft room, which had a bathroom and small sitting room downstairs, as well as a work area with desk. A right-turn staircase (below) takes you up to the loft, which has a king-size bed with second TV. WiFi is free throughout the hotel, and worked reliably throughout our stay. Each room has a tablet with a range of information about the hotel and local area.

The 1888 doesn’t have a gym, but you can use one of the membership passes to the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre nearby, which has a massive gym, as well as the expected multiple pools. We used this twice and were very happy with the set up.

Bathrooms were pretty straightforward, with neutral grey and white tiling, and a good rain shower.

Entry-level rooms are called "Shoebox" (above), but the one we saw – while compact – was much airier than we would have pictured, largely due to the two massive windows that allowed light to flood in. True, with three large suitcases and two people it would have been full, but as a single traveler or if you pack lightly, we could happily see staying in here and save a bit.

The above is an unusual "King Deluxe", which sits on the top floor and comes with floor-to-ceiling windows surrounded by a concrete wall. Light comes in from above. While it’s probably not a room you’d book for weeks on end, hiding away for an overnight or a weekend could be quite cool – the vintage-inspired chairs we loved too.

Upgrade to "The Attic" suite and you get private outdoor space, with views towards Darling Harbour and the southern end of the CBD. The Attic is one of two suites the hotel has; the other is ‘The Williamson’, which has its own street entrance.

Sydney’s hotels tend to be the larger, corporate type (think Westin, Hilton, etc.), so we’re happy to see that 1888 is trying to shake things up – Pyrmont is a great alternative to staying in the CBD, giving a bit more of a local feel, and between the stylish rooms and the friendly service, we enjoyed our stay.

Want to try it out yourself? A Shoebox starts from AU$169 (about $160) a night, going up to AU$239 (about $224) for a Loft.

[Photos: JasonD for HotelChatter]

Archived Comments:


Previously I only managed to view the hotel lobby which kinds of look like a Greek layout. However, with more pictures featured here, I am able to see the industrial approach that this entire concept actually has. At first glance, it feels as though they are trying to portray or wish to give off that New York aura or display a street styled theme. After much thought, then I am able to sense the industrial touch that this Sydney hotel is interpreting. A job well done.