The Old Clare Hotel
- Free WiFi
- Handicap Accessible
- Parking On Site
A stay at The Old Clare Hotel places you in the heart of Chippendale, steps from University of Technology Sydney and close to Darling Harbour. This 5-star hotel is within close proximity of Circular Quay and Sydney Opera House.
Make yourself at home in one of the 62 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars and flat-screen televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and cable programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms have rainfall showerheads and designer toiletries. Conveniences include safes and desks, as well as phones with free local calls.
Spa, Wellness & Premium Amenities
Enjoy recreational amenities such as an outdoor pool and a fitness center. This hotel also features complimentary wireless Internet access and concierge services.
Food & Drink
Grab a bite at one of the hotel’s 3 restaurants, or stay in and take advantage of 24-hour room service. Relax with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge or a poolside bar.
Business & Travel Amenities
Featured amenities include complimentary newspapers in the lobby, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk.
How to Get There
One of Sydney's more innovative and artistic hotels located in an interesting area. The rooms vary with different features and design styles. Unlike others, I prefer the Clare rooms to the split level Abercrombie rooms.
Had a show suite this time thinking the extra space would allow my wife and I to do different activities without disturbing each other; however unlike suites at "normal" hotels, it is just 1 room, not a separate lounge room.
A frustration is the lack of power points at a desk where I would do my work.
Another frustration is the lack of consistency bringing my car up - I had given a time on 2 occasions when I needed the car to meet a commitment but when I turned up at the desk, they hadn't gone to the parking area and I missed one activity because I was 15 minutes late.
I have a lot to say about this hotel, but I will try to keep this brief. Stay elsewhere if you can. Yes, it's trying to be a cool boutique hotel in a cool neighborhood, and yes it succeeds in some ways. Yes, they're trying to make their rooms unique and different, and yes they succeeds in some ways. And for most people coming to stay at The Old Clare, they probably will have an only positive experience.
But for those who don't find themselves in that situation, be warned. We booked a stay through hotels.com for a slightly upgraded Clare Room given we were on our minimoon and wanted a little extra space. The rooms online looked beautiful - high ceilings, sitting area, standalone bathtub.
We got to the hotel early and found there to be zero street parking to offload bags. Called the front desk and asked where to park, and they said "try to find a spot nearby, sometimes there are some open on our street." Should've been our first clue - not unhelpful per se, but not the most helpful. We found a spot and got to the front desk a little early, and they checked us in no problem.
Yet when we got up to our room, we opened the door and found a green carpeted staircase leading up to a long long hallway to a relatively small, cramped, dirty carpeted room with a bathroom a ways away (No one offered to help us bring our bags up even though there is a narrow staircase INSIDE the room). This was not the room we had reserved and paid extra for. We called down to ask if there were any other rooms available, and the front desk said there were none. So we walked around a bit to see if we could make do, but upon looking under the bed and seeing DUST surrounding the foot of the bed, we just couldn't understand how what we got was so different from what we'd paid for.
We went back down to the front desk, where the employee told us to go eat and come back and he'd see what he could do. So we did just that. In the meantime, we'd contacted hotels.com who told us to go chat with the front desk again and they'd handle it.
We got back to the hotel and found a new staff at the front desk, and asked them what our options were. The employee told us they were all booked and because they were a boutique hotel, each of their rooms were different. I explained that we pretty much exclusively stay at boutique hotels and stay at them precisely because they are unique and different, but the reality of our room went far beyond "slight variation" into borderline fraud - the carpeting needed serious TLC, the extra square footage we'd paid for was pretty much a hallway and staircase, the "king size bed" was two twins shoved together, and the room left pretty much everything else to be desired. I said I wanted a new room or a refund so we could go stay elsewhere (I've never before done that in my life but this wasn't going to do). Also, I should mention I've found multiple reviews of people being placed in this EXACT SAME ROOM and complaining of the same things. He said they could not refund us since we'd paid a non-refundable rate ("for a room we did not receive" I argued), but they could move us on our last night to a different room ("Why?" was all I could respond). I then asked for a manager.
Here's where it gets good - the employee said he'd spoken with the manager and the manager said they would not refund us. I asked if I could speak to the manager myself, and he said "I am the manager." So I assume he had a conversation with himself? Never before have I heard a manager explain this in such a ludicrous way. He asked us to take a few minutes and he would see what he could do.
We came back and he offered us two options - pay for one night and get a refund for the other two, or switch rooms to a "lower rate" Abercrombie room for two nights and they might have to switch us our last night. He brought us to the other room and I agreed to stay, and they then graciously figured out a way to keep us in that room all three nights.
All this said - be wary of booking here. You might get a good experience, but you also might not. And while boutique hotels are great for the variation in their physical reality, they definitely should not be different in their experience.
The Abercrombie rooms are amazing - high ceiling, open bathtub, very comfortable bed. Just should not have to jump through hoops and deal with relatively unhelpful staff to get a decent room here.
Last note - the pool. Do not believe the pictures. It's small, there are only 4 loungers, it's in the shade most of the day.
This is the 5th time we have stayed on short trips from New Zealand. We like design and food and this place has both in spades. Cool hotel, lovely rooms - get a Clare room - bar (more public and noisey) rooftop pool and bar and restaurant ( automata seriously cool)