THE OLD CLARE HOTEL, CHIPPENDALE
By Rhiannon Taylor, May 2016
One thing is immediately clear at The Old Clare Hotel. The owner, Loh Lik Peng adores chairs. Bespoke vintage chairs from his personal collection are scattered throughout every nook and cranny in the restored heritage building. From barber chairs in the foyer to art deco chairs in the rooms, there's no shortage of places to sit.
The newly opened hotel is part of the unique Unlisted Collection; a group of boutique, design and food driven hotels that feature in London, Singapore and Shanghai. Taking residence in Chippendale's run down Old Clare pub, an extensive and rumoured expensive renovation has turned it in to the inner city hotel everyone is buzzing about.
Perhaps the most exciting part about the hotel's city-skirt location is it being in the hub of Kensington Street's burgeoning dining and shopping scene with hot spots such as Spice Alley only a few steps away from Old Clare's front door. Freshly made roti, a perfect laksa and a take-away cup of sago hits the spot on a chilly night out.
With only 62 rooms, each are unique in layout and furnishings. High ceilings let in an abundance of light and some have the option of a bath. All come with a king-sized custom Soft Spot mattresses and depending on which level your room is on, sleep is mostly peaceful.
A cheeky compendium emblazoned "RANDOM CRAP" is informative and has a balanced room service menu. A breakfast order, taken poolside was a little slow with a 40 minute delivery time, but the eggs were done perfectly.
Service takes on a professional European approach which is efficient and to the point. Guests go mostly undisturbed and are left to enjoy the historic building with strong wifi on tap.
Luxury isn't overlooked with bath products by slapstick apothecary Triumph & Disaster. With a heavy fragrance, they're infused with Argan Oil, pepper, cucumber and mint and are OK for an overnight trip.
The biggest drawcard for The Old Clare Hotel is it's stunning rooftop pool. It's perfect for a morning dip and there's a cool bar serving up drinks in the warmer months. It's reminiscent of a Soho House and it's exactly what inner urban Sydney needs.
FEEL: Warehouse chic.
ROOM PICK: All rooms are unique. Connell rooms have no privacy between the room and shower. Some suites are laid with green carpet - hey that might be your thing! You might be after mod or charm, so choose wisely and research before booking.
WIFI: Yes, complimentary.
RATES: Starting from $300 with breakfast packages available from an extra $25 per person.
CHILDREN: Yes - the hotel can provide a cot (free) or a roll away bed at $75 a night. Babysitting can be booked at $30 p/h (48 hours notice).
MINI BAR: Teas by Palais des Thés, artisan chocolates and chips, sodas etc.
I stayed as a guest of The Old Clare Hotel.