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1888 Hotel Review

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I love technology. I’ve often wondered why hotels haven’t adopted automatic checkin systems like the airports for quick, efficient entry anytime of the day or night. Then I check in to 1888 Hotel and get the friendliest service I’ve had in years and I remember why I value good service.

The denim-clad team, all relaxed and cool in the retro lobby, welcomes me with genuine warmth. Jess is welcoming & efficient and despite someone waiting behind me, she doesn’t rush, making sure I’m familiar with the local area and even marking on the map the best places to get coffee. As I’ve checked in earlier than the allotted time, I leave my luggage & thrust the book I’ve been reading on the plane for safekeeping. Its “Love with a Chance of Drowning” by Torre de Roche and Jess has just downloaded it and we chat about other travel memoirs and make recommendations. What a sheer delight.

I’m out of my comfort zone in Pyrmont, having been an East-sider when I previously lived in Sydney, so I take Jess’ recommendation and head to local café Social Brew. Here I find a brilliant café, with friendly service, free wifi with a great value & healthy menu. Despite many temptations, I order the Pulled Pok, Apple, Shaved fennel and quinoa salad ($14) and it’s perfection.

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1888 Hotel has taken a heritage building and injected it with youthful spirit. The hotel has personality and stands apart from the generic international hotel chains. My room is on the compact side, but is well designed, impeccably clean and simply faultless. With contemporary designed mixed with exposed brickwork & beams, it’s a sleek & stylish look. The most ah-mazing part is the cloud-like beds, you simply won’t want to leave.  Above the bed is a quirky artwork depicting a typewriter, sending me a message I should get writing. It’s all mod cons with the Ipad acting as the compendium and more. It glows all night and I can’t seem to work out how to turn it off, so just flip it over, ta-da problem solved.

The minibar is a creative selection of mostly local produce and great selection of complimentary T2 teas, including the ‘Sleep Tight’, perfect for snuggling in the aforementioned cloud bed.

The bathroom is all clean lines, in a grey and white palate with rain showerhead and Romy amenities including an exfoliating puff!

Breakfast is the only low point, on an outstanding stay. I order the granola from the menu only to watch the waitress go to the buffet, scoop out some granola and yoghurt, plonk it down and announce there is no berry compote. Erm, had you mentioned that earlier, I’d have ordered something else. Coffees are forgotten and we’re asked to move tables to make room for a larger group. It’s all a bit of a disaster and in the end we’re not charged.

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After a day of meetings, I meet a friend around the corner at little wine bar, Gallon. Another delightful Pyrmont discovery! Gallon is named after its colourful history when it was purchased by John Macarthur in 1799 for a gallon of rum. With an extensive wine list and unpretentious style, it’s the kinda place you can really settle in to.

I’m peckish when I return from drinks and order some room service, despite the breakfast debacle. The sides of Broccolini with olive oil, onion jam & fried shallots and Field mushrooms on toast with confit garlic, goat’s cheese & lemon are pure heaven. Ok, you’re back in my good books, solid recovery 1888 Eatery & Bar. Room service is presented on the cutest wooden tray, perfect for eating in bed.

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Waking on Saturday morning to the sound of rain means I can linger longer in the cloud-like bed, drink T2 tea and browse some of my favourite magazines. It’s too rainy to borrow the free bikes in the lobby and I stroll back to Social Brew for their amazing Brekkie Board – grilled olive bread, sliced prosciutto, marinated fetta, herb pesto, avocado, roma tomato and soft boiled egg ($14) with a good strong All-Press Espresso. Total winner!

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Then it’s off meeting friends for the day and a whirl around the New South Wales Art Gallery to see the latest exhibition – The Archibald Prize. If you haven’t made the annual pilgrimage to this exhibition you simply must. I wrote about it here and despite having followed Vincent Fantauzzo on Instagram while he created his masterpiece, seeing it in person is simply breathtaking. We decide to lunch at the gallery café, recently taken over by Matt Moran & Peter Sullivan’s Morsul group. It’s absolutely packed & I’m not a fan of lining up for food, when the duck and pea toasted sandwhich finally arrives it’s not as flavourful as I’d hoped. I believe Morsul have further changes planned once the uber popular Archibald Prize finishes and the team have time to breathe and take stock of their new premises.

I’m disappointed to check out of this exceptional boutique hotel, I can’t recommend it highly enough for someone who doesn’t want a cookie-cutter hotel experience & enjoys exploring the city fringe. Oh and did we mention the free wifi? Just perfect when the hotel is filled with such  Instagram worthy features and style.

While 1888 Hotel might be on trend as the world’s first Instagram Hotel, it retains the most important element - old-fashioned good service that will keep guests coming back for more.

1888 Hotel from $169 per night, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information and bookings.

The writer, Sally Scott was a guest of 1888 Hotel.

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