What We Love
- Waterfront location in trendy Woolloomooloo Wharf
- Light-filled rooms, including split-level Loft Suites, with ample living space
- The all-business (but still charming) concierge, who can arrange a water taxi or a private boat charter
- The eye-catching black-and-white-striped pool and leafy sundeck
- The full fitness center and upscale cocktail bar, both on-site
What To Know
- Expect business travelers — a fair share of them fashion and PR execs
- No views of the Opera House or Harbor Bridge
- Within easy walking distance of the Central Business District and Circular Quay
- The main corridor can be drafty in the cooler months
- No on-site spa
- Free WiFi
- Parking On Site
- Room Service
The building is a registered landmark, and very little has changed since its construction in 1910. The former wool- and cargo-handling facility has been expertly converted into a luxurious hotel, and they’ve thoughtfully preserved such industrial fixtures as the conveyor belts that were once used for transporting wool bales to market. And the lofty living room–like space that serves as the lobby is set against a red glass wall dotted with portholes and exposed corrugated iron and timber.
Bed & Bath
The guestrooms are arranged along the perimeter of the building and look out onto hardwood decks. Coffee browns and sleek grays meet bright azure accents in the cool decor, and suede chaises are smartly parked next to floor-to-ceiling windows (great perches for lazy afternoon naps). Vintage photographs from the turn of the last century pay tribute to Australia’s maritime heritage. In some rooms original details such as timber beams and colonial-era windows remains intact — and can be blamed, here and there, for an awkwardly shaped niche or a low ceiling.
The hotel’s restaurant, Blue Café, is also home to the Waterbar, a theatrically lit cocktail lounge with plush velvet banquettes. Filling the hotel’s central atrium, the bar is popular with Sydney’s see-and-be-seen set, and the nightclub-style decor (think cube tables and reflective surfaces) makes for an eye-opening contrast to the timber piles and steel trusses elsewhere in the hotel.
In the Area
The Woolloomooloo Wharf complex houses five restaurants, including the award-winning China Doll. But if you’re after something simple yet tasty, try a meat pie from legendary food truck Harry’s Café de Wheels. Camped out in front of the Woolloomooloo naval dock, the popular late night eatery has fed locals and visitors since 1938. Speaking of late night, don’t miss a pint (or two, or three) at one of the area’s salty old pubs. A young and boisterous crowd gathers at the Four in Hand, hidden in the backstreets of Paddington, to watch weekend rugby matches. On a sunny day, nothing beats the Bondi to Bronte walk. The paved track, which runs more than two miles, winds along a dramatic stretch of coastline connecting two city beaches and turns into a temporary art exhibition during Sculpture by the Sea each November. And make sure to visit the fish market for everything from shark to sweet-salty local oysters. The recently refurbished Sydney Seafood School upstairs offers hands-on cooking classes taught by a roster of Australia’s top chefs.
How to Get There
Stayed here about 5 months ago and absolutely loved it. Checked in today for a second visit, expecting the same great experience only to be sadly disappointed.
Last time, we had missed the happy hour drinks and the person at the reception desk set us up at the bar to have a free drink as a replacement (very thoughtful and well appreciated). No such service this time, staff at reception desk too busy chatting/playing games out to pay attention to guests)
Love the free mini bar and loot bag...but this time opened the loot bag and it contained one tiny bag of chips, one chocolate bar and one lollipop...for a room with two people! Really what is even the point?! Those bags of chips are worth like 40 cents...the room is $400 a night...feels like there’s probably funds to include two bags of chips per room! Are we meant to take turns licking the lollipop!?
Finally, last time we had a huge bathroom with a tub...this time we have possibly the worlds smallest bathroom: sink, toilet, shower and then barely any room to swing a cat. I get not all the rooms have tubs but this is disappointingly tiny for the price!
Is the hotel still nice/funky/well located...absolutely! Do I still think it’s the best hotel in Sydney/Australia, no not anymore!
This was an astonishing place to stay. Great, really helpful staff on Reception. We had booked a King Size room but were upgraded to a loft suite when we got there, absolutely huge and lovely. The hotel is amazing, good room, great art, and a brilliant extended lobby area with free evening drinks for guests and a great breakfast. Good restaurants nearby and a reasonable walk across the botanical gardens to the centre. Worth splashing out on the experience of staying there.
Dissappointing, which was very surprising as I know this is not the model they aspire to. I booked a room with two beds as I was travelling with my niece. They called to say there was damaged to the room and offered me a couple of choices of upgrade...one was a king bed with rollaway bed option or the 2nd was a loft with sofa bed option. My niece is an adult so sofabed I thought was a better option. When I went to room, bed not made up...we thought we would wait until later they said...what? When she returned at midnight or while I was trying to sleep was my response...how bout now! I found that answer lacking...but not as lacking as the mattress that was wafer thin. For the price I may as well booked a 3 star property. Plus aircond was definitely not cool..and loft too hot. I raised the issue twice about bedding bring ordinary...staff not really interested. I though Ovolo was meant to be all about the experience...will I stay again...NO!
First time visit to Australia for my Wife's 60th and chose the Ovolo......Wow!
Funky, Quirky, Boutique hotel with larger than normal bedrooms, great comfy beds with supersized pillows and the most up to date electronic gizmos at your fingertips.
Large bathroom with full size bath and shower and lovely shower accessories. Buffet breakfast centred around pastries, fruit, yoghurts and cereals with additional hot food available at an additional cost. Additionally there is a small free laundry to wash and dry your clothes...everythings thought of.
Close enough to Sydney CBD and its famous landmarks, entertainment, shopping and transport hub at Circular Quay. Nearby there are some real quality restaurants (Recommend Booking).
But the whole experience was made perfect by Natalie and her reception team (Ingy, Adam and Cavin) who helped us old timers with great choices for restaurants, attractions and transport. Nothing was too much for them.
Definitely deserves number one spot for customer service alone.
Such a vibrant, youthful and friendly staff.
Oh yes... please put bacon on breakfast menu for us Brits!!!
My boyfriend and I have stayed here about 6 times (and we only live 15 minutes away). This is our staycation location, to get away in our own city and have some time together. The service is incredible, the decor and design is SO COOL, the rooms are always amazing (even the most basic) and to top it off, the (awesome) minibar is FREE. If you book with the hotel directly there is an hour long happy hour every evening - this is a great way to start your evening while playing a game of pool down in the bar area.
So many nice restaurants just outside - down the iconic wooloomooloo Wharf.
Even though Ovolo isnt a budget hotel, the inclusions and the quality of the stay really make the price feel quite reasonable.
Make the most of that mini-bar and happy hour 😉