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
The decor of the Ovolo Woolloomooloo was totally our thing. Industrial with a hint of chic flowing through it.
Unfortunately once the novelty of the impressive visuals wore off there isn’t much to recommend.
Construction was occurring in the main area near the bar and finding our way to the breakfast area or bar was often difficult.
We booked the Tesla pick up which was at the higher rate. That higher rate carried on for the remainder nights despite a quick internet review saying the rooms were available at over $150per night cheaper for the standard option. A quick quote on the Tesla trip was around $100. When we questioned paying every night for the single Tesla trip the staff became abrupt and weren’t open to discussion. The only response was “That’s the rate you booked”
My recommendation, if you’re staying multiple nights and you want this experience, would be to book the first night Tesla option and then make a second booking for your remaining nights at the standard room rate. Convoluted, I know, but will save you a significant amount of money as there is no extra benefit. I expect this to be challenged but the research is there.
Rooms were arty but let a lot of light in so limited sleep ins. There are block out blinds but these sit off the wall.
There are a number of benefits when booking direct but our plans didn’t line up with what was on offer so if we came back a Wotif booking would be a better option.
Stayed overnight for our wedding anniversary and it didn't disappoint. Everything from the great breakfast, complimentary mini bar, and them bringing a vase to our room for my flowers. Highly recommend booking direct via their website for additional perks. Swimming pool and gym are also top notch.
An excellent choice for a good hotel right next to the botanical garden. Service is good and the converted pier is quite impressive. Rooms are contemporary with a twist. Many good restaurants around the corner on the pier itself.
I travel all across the Australian and I see many hotels but I found this hotel is best in all. It has big swimming pool and garden also. The food is very tasty and delicious. So visit this hotel and I also suggest that you go for couples.
We had vegan high tea at the Alibi Bar at the Ovolo - absolutely delicious - I couldn't believe it was vegan! My friend eats only gluten free and they were able to accommodate with very little compromise to the menu. Good selection of teas (and it's unlimited). My only complaint about the good is that they don't have scones! It was a little tricky to find however - make sure you type in Ovolo Hotel into Google maps and not Alibi Bar!