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Housed in an 1890s building partially destroyed by fire in 1996, Establishment Hotel is full of character and history, impressively juxtaposed with cutting-edge comforts. Think guestrooms with plush velvet sofas set against exposed-brick walls, or the hotel’s breakfast area where you can sit among original 19th-century columns and enjoy a modern continental buffet. But the best thing about the hotel is its location: smack bang in the middle of the CBD, with the city’s top attractions right at the doorstep. What’s not to like? There are just 29 guestrooms and two penthouse suites. All are tastefully furnished with comfortable queen or king beds and spacious sitting areas – a pleasant break from compact (and often claustrophobic) CBD hotel rooms. Make the most of the complimentary wi-fi or enjoy a bath in the gleaming bathroom, complete with Le Labo products. Whether you’re visiting Sydney for business or leisure, Establishment Hotel’s Bridge Lane address means you’re a short walk from wherever you need to be. Sydney Opera House, The Royal Botanic Garden Sydney, Museum of Contemporary Art Australia, Hyde Park and Pitt Street Mall are all close by. One of the best things about staying at Establishment Hotel is the breakfast. Enjoy it in Establishment Garden, under a glass ceiling (it’s a stunning setting on a clear day!), surrounded by columns that are part of the original building. On the second floor of the hotel there’s a fitness room, which is open from 6.30am to 11.00pm. There are also plenty of meeting and event spaces within the Establishment complex – just ask the front desk about them. The lobby is a beautifully designed den with velvet sofas, plush rugs, exposed wooden beams and mirrored walls. Oh, and the baths in the guestrooms are just as delightful. All are oversized and freestanding, giving an instant sense of bliss when you walk in.
There’s a reason Establishment Hotel is widely regarded as one of the best hotels in Sydney. For starters, service is A++ (ELLE’s Editor-in-Chief was overjoyed to find a jar of her not-so-secret obsession Nutella left on the counter for her during a stay once). With a total of 31 rooms, including two penthouses, it’s all about quality not quantity because despite its location in the beating heart of Sydney, it feels like a boutique address.
Rooms are spacious and comfortable, which makes you feel less like you’re at a hotel and more like you’ve just moved into this really fabulous apartment for the weekend. Think: marble bathtubs, plush velvet sofas, exposed brick, sink-into beds and all the techy stuff (iPad, wifi, BOSE sound system) you couldn’t bear to live without even if you are playing make believe.
Smack bang in the beating heart of the CBD, Establishment Hotel is neatly tucked away in a brick lined back alley – a fitting locale to set the modern industrial tone which permeates the space. The sleek lobby, smattered with marble and velvet and the fine art touches throughout elevate Establishment to the elegant end of the industrial spectrum. In true Merivale style a stay here is really a one stop shop – all you could want in the drinking, dining and dancing category – and when you have hit maximum cocktail, they offer a super stylish place to rest your weary head and full belly. From their established favourites in Hemmesphere cocktail lounge, Sushi-e and Establishment Bar and Garden through to newer additions Palmer & Co and Mr Wong, it’s a choose-your-own-adventure scenario, albeit one laced with incredible cocktails, plush decor and an on-point soundtrack no matter which path you choose.
Tucked away on the corner of one of Sydney’s busiest streets (Bridge and George St) is a quiet laneway filled with cafes and restaurants. If it wasn’t for our nights stay here we would’ve easily never seen this secluded gem of the city. Around the corner you will find the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, a stones throw is just about every shop and cafe you will need and about five minutes in the car will get you to Darling harbour. Location is key for those looking for a short itinerary in Sydney and location shines for the Establishment Hotel.
We were blown away by the friendly nature of the staff who happily checked us in. As per usual we were hours early to our check in but upon sharing our plans to visit Bondi for the day we were bombarded with cafes and donut stores to check out when we arrived. Both recommendations we took and both recommendations were fantastic. Upon being shown to our room were given a tour on how to use the in-house iPad, Apple TV for streaming and even the Netflix password. If you want to focus on one aspect they shine on here, it’s the up to date modern technologies in place.
I started my evening as anyone who knows Establishment would, with a cold beer at the ground level bar amongst a sea of suits hoping to drag the weekend a day closer on a cold, wet, Thursday night. Once my better half arrived, we kicked around past Mr Wong to the entrance of the hotel lobby off Bridge Lane. It’s easy to forget just how many prominent bars and restaurants this building houses, only as you wind around the colonial back streets does it remind you that there’s a lot more to Establishment than meets the eye. The lobby is beautifully discreet, hidden behind a door that resembles something from Game of thrones. A warm welcome by the staff and a swift elevator to level 3 has us at the room in a matter of minutes. The hotel offers three room varieties including a Studio, Establishment and Penthouse room. Tonight we would reside in the generous 50m2 Establishment room, which for an inner city hotel is a delightfully spacious room consisting of King Bed, dual sink bathroom and comfortable sitting area.
The Establishment Hotel is a boutique hotel right in the heart of the Sydney CBD. Owned and run by Merivale, you know it’s going to be good, much like most of their food and beverage venues. So how would this cosy night in, going out, look like? Start with checking into the Establishment Hotel and taking a quick shower to freshen up. Head down to the Establishment Bar for a quick beer while you wait for the rest of your friends to arrive. Once the group is ready, head up to Hemmesphere and order from one of the many juicy pre-dinner cocktails. Feeling peckish by this time, no problem, there’s a full Sushi-e menu available. Want something warmer? Just take the elevator down to Mr Wong for some hot dim-sum to line the stomach for the adventures to come. After dinner, enjoy an Old Fashioned or one of Sydney’s best Espresso Martinis at Palmer & Co, just in the basement of the building. Always drink responsibly but since there’s no need to drive home as it’s just an elevator ride away, drink away.
This fashionable hotel in a former warehouse has 31 sleek and contemporary rooms, all with high ceilings and marble or bluestone baths. Interiors are a mix of colonial heritage and modern with two design schemes: one Japanese-influenced with dramatic black-stained wooden floors, the other decorated in bleached oak and muted fabrics. It is part of a small entertainment complex that's a hub for cool Sydney-siders; the Hemmesphere Lounge, and Gin Garden are always busy. Chef Peter Doyle has won plaudits for his innovative take on Modern Australian cuisine at Est restaurant. Featured in the Gold List 2011.
For the business exec who prefers laidback elegance, the Establishment might just be the perfect hotel. With only 31 luxurious guest rooms and two penthouse suites, this boutique hotel is intimate, warm and has an earthy-chic vibe. Once a warehouse, the Establishment is now a sleek gem with hip, trendy restaurants and bars just a stone’s throw away.
It's got a hip image and cool design, but it's the attention to the little things that ranks Establishment among Sydney's stylish hotels. Behind the imposing 1890s facade - once home to Holdsworth, Macpherson & Co, an ironmonger and hardware merchant - guests discover a hotel with a strong personality, from the darkened lobby scented with incense and punctured with shots of colour, to the subtle Japanese design accents in rooms classified as "light" or "dark" (choose the mood to suit the stay). Bathing is a big deal here - the tub sits centre room with an optional privacy screen. Staff are welcoming and happy to explain the high-tech digs or guide guests through the hotel's custom iPad app. The hotel is part of the Merivale group, which has good points (excellent dining and drinking at hand) and bad ones (the party noise - you'll find earplugs tucked into the vanity kits). But likely the most challenging aspect of staying here will be deciding where to dine - should it be hip Cantonese at Mr Wong, premium Japanese at Sushi E or fine dining at Est?
Although it only has 31 rooms, including two penthouse suites, the Establishment’s cool clout far outweighs its capacity. Exceedingly stylish, this place would be perfectly at home in the smarter districts of London or New York.
Sydney’s boutique Establishment Hotel also finds its guests clamouring for the bathroom amenities — all bearing the Le Labo brand. Before the hotel first opened just over a decade ago, Bettina Hemmes (sister of Justin, the mind behind some of Sydney’s hottest bars and hotels) was after a luxury beauty brand that would make guests feel part of something special, while ensuring they don’t forget their experience at the hotel.