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Ovolo Woolloomooloo Review

Set inside the longest timber-piled wharf in the world and after a multi-million dollar refurbishment, Sally Scott checks in to see what's changed at the wharf.



Arriving at this Sydney hotel, Britney Spears "Baby one more time" blasts through the lobby, the first hint my stay at Ovolo Woolloomooloo isn't going to be a dull experience.

I've stayed at this hotel before, in its previous incarnation BLUE when it was all-nautical luxe and sipped champagne in the Water Bar when it was the more formal W. So I have to say it was with trepidation that I booked Ovolo, wondering what changes have been made to the grand old wharf. Ovolo seems a curiously contemporary choice to revamp this heritage-listed landmark and it's barely recognisable, oozing with fun and whimsy but works.

The exterior has remained unchanged with its blue façade and the restaurant lined wharf gleaming in the sun. Step inside though and it's like a fairy has sprinkled glitter all of this hotel, err but in a good way. It's an assault on the senses, everywhere you look there's some little treasure, flashing light, colourful art piece or touch of whimsy.



Check-in is a dream with efficient and friendly service, which continues for the duration of my stay. Thoughtful staff anticipate my needs and several call me by my first name throughout my stay which is super impressive. Standouts are Kevin the ever-smiling concierge who seems always cheery even when meeting me at the car with an umbrella to fend off the rain. Valet parking is available for the somewhat ouchy price of $40 per day, but hey you're in Sydney.

Arriving in the middle of happy hour, the lobby is a convivial scene with guests lounging about amongst pink flamingos, twinkling fairy lights, playing old-school arcade games and pool, all while enjoying the complimentary beverages and canapés. It's a truly welcoming vibe. The canapés are generous and we munched on a selection including fresh tuna & avocado, cucumber topped with goat's cheese and ricotta cheese with marinated olives. Booze was also generous with a selection of beers, wine, sparkling wine and spirits including Smirnoff Vodka, Gordons Gin, George Dickel Bourbon, J&B Rare Scotch Whiskey and soft drinks.


I'm booked into a Superoo, a spacious and dimly lit room with super comfy king bed and bright green day bed under the window with views of Woolloomooloo and Harbour Bridge glimpses. As you'd expect from a new hotel, technology is forefront with Smart TV, Apple TV, Foxtel Channels, in-room Ipad (which doubles as the compendium), free WiFi and more. The hero of the room is the ultra comfortable cloud-like bed with its fabric headboard depicting varyious retro scenes. These retro prints are also printed on the complimentary tote bag, which comes in handy as you play tourist in Sydney.

The bathroom is brilliant with wall-to-wall modern grey and black tiles, shower over bath, plenty of Biology amenities and fluffy bathrobes and slippers. There is a little ledge over the toilet paper, (for your mobile phone apparently) which is becoming a trend in hotels, what will they think of next?

I sashay out of the hotel, feeling every bit the rockstar and meet friends for dinner. Returning late, I find the most delicious welcome amenity, a chocolate dessert with a thoughtful handwritten note letting me know my midnight snack is in the fridge. Love!


For the uninitiated, the Ovolo concept is an all-inclusive affair, which gives the hotel an indulgent, fun feel, from the daily happy hour, free in-room snacks, free mini bar replenished daily and complimentary breakfast – it's all included in your room rate.

The next night, returning late again after a travel industry event, I am thankful for the complimentary goodies and devour the minibar, some nuts, popcorn and wine become a stand-in dinner. Usually one to shy away from high priced mini-bars I hit the free minibar with abandon!



The complimentary breakfast is very impressive too. Plenty of staff are on hand to attend to your every whim and the buffet is beautifully displayed with everything you'd expect from a continental buffet – fruit, cold meats, cheese, breads, cereals, pastries, juices and coffees with a few quality extras like smoked salmon and a daily hot dish option. Espresso coffees are available to order for an additional charge.

The hero of the hotel has to be the Lo-Lounge, while previously the architecture of the wharf hotel lobby bar was dramatic it was also somewhat cold and soulless. Now, with the Ovolo touch it's a site of pure fun and happiness - pops of pinks, bespoke artwork, cool tunes and cosy corners.


You're spoilt for choice with great restaurants lining the wharf, however we head up the road to Potts Point to Billy Kwong and share dumplings, silken tofu, wallaby and Kylie Kwong's famous duck. The wine list features artisanal and natural wines and we thoroughly enjoyed our Gentle Folk Wines Sauvignon Blanc 2014, which was sensational. The whole experience was amazing and we leave in a little food coma.

Ovolo Woolloomooloo is perfectly positioned between Sydney's Eastern Suburbs and the CBD. It's within easy reach of the city's top attractions and an easy stroll to Art Gallery of NSW and the Royal Botanic Gardens - which has recently unveiled Sydney's newest attraction The Calyx featuring it's the Sweet Addiction exhibition.

Ovolo Woolloomooloo is a feast of the senses! It's for the young or young at heart, with a rock star edge and those who don't mind a side of Britney Spears with their 5 star checkin.

Ovolo Woolloomooloo
6 Cowper Street Wharf, Woolloomooloo NSW 2011
Book Ovolo Woolloomoolloo here.

The writer was a guest of Ovolo Woolloomooloo.

Images: IG @alluxia


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