HARBOUR ROCKS HOTEL
There's very little room in Sydney for respite. The CBD is always bustling. Paddington and Bondi are always hustling. So it's rare to find a hotel gem on the edge of it all that gives fly-in, fly-out guests a moment of zen. Meet the understated Harbour Rocks Hotel.
An unassuming door, on a quiet leafy street in The Rocks, opens to a warm, book filled lobby. Built in 1887, the light filled atrium retains it's original sandstone and brick walls with exposed beams and mod furnishings. It's immediately inviting and feels like home.
Check-in is done via a tiny desk adjoining the lobby bar. With only 59 rooms, the Harbour Rocks Hotel is the ultimate definition of boutique. Staff familiarise themselves with guests quickly and it's the same staff member to check you in, assist with bags and help you order room service.
Each room is unique, with all taking on an industrial, designer vibe. Paired back and simply done, they're a no-fuss space with functionality in mind. Bathooms are large, with shower over bath and Appelles body products (a signature of M Gallery hotels).
A la carte or a continental breakfast is available from hotel's downstairs restaurant, Scarlett. Room service is lightening fast, with smashed avocado toast and porridge served fresh and well balanced.
In the evening the restaurant serves up smaller plates with traditional favourites such as meatballs, gnocchi and polenta. With no green options on the menu, a request was easily filled by the chef with some green beans topped with fried onion flakes. With dishes reasonably priced, it's a solid choice in an otherwise expensive part of Sydney.
The icing on the cake would have to be the addition of the creperie cafe, Suzette. For those afternoon munchies a Parisian style thin crepe hits the spot with chocolate and strawberries.
Walking back in the connecting door from the creperie, a divine fragrance subtly lingers in the lobby. It's the hotel's in-house scent of fig and cassis. It's how one would like their own home to smell. And that's what Harbour Rocks Hotel is; a home away from home.
FEEL: Industrial and seductive.
ROOM PICK: Any room on level 3, for ultimate peace and quiet.
WIFI: Yes if you are an AccorHotels Le Club Member.
RATES: Heritage rooms start from $259 p/n.
IN ROOM: TV, King bed, ironing board/iron.
MINI BAR: Artisinal chocolate, crisps, bottled water.
PERFECT FOR: The overnight guest or a city staycation.