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“Sydneys own Fawlty Towers”
Review of The Russell Hotel

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The Russell Hotel
Ranked #39 of 179 Hotels in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Brisbane, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
“Sydneys own Fawlty Towers”
Reviewed 26 July 2011

I kept looking for Basil or Manuel to carry my bags for me. You do need an open mind when visiting The Russel and if you are to take away the maximum experience you need to realise that it is an old building in an old part of town. They have tried to capitalise on this by keeping the rooms and decor in period but it runs the risk of coming across as just old. Our room was basic with a double bed on suite with a television on a desk, kettle with tea and coffee, clothes iron, telephone and a desk. We did not have aircon but it was winter and an oil heater was provided.
The daily housekeeping was good at keeping things clean and tidy but our seat cussions were stained and the carpets were due replacement. A few water stains on the wall could have been seen to.
Breakfast is in the wine bar below the hotel and is a classic buffet breakfast of cerial, yogurt, croissants, toast, coffee and juice.
The hotels winning appeal however is its location. Wow! And it is for this reason why I would choose to stay there again should I find myself in Sydney. You roll out of bed onto the ferrys, trains, busses and bustelling energy of The Rocks. Sydney is never more accessable than from The Rocks and staying on its doorstep is worth turning a blind eye to the 'quaintness' of the hotel, considering you'll be out enjoying Sydney and only really returning there to sleep.

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
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Helpful?
3 Thank GDay79
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
  • Location
  • Sleep Quality
  • Rooms
  • Service
  • Value
  • Cleanliness
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (278)
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Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level 3 Contributor
19 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed 3 July 2011

We stayed here 4 nights and had a fantastic time. The hotel must be in one the best locations in Sydney, right next to circular quay and in the Rocks area. The rooms are quaint and old fashioned but full of character. We had a cute window seat in our room. There is also a lovely rooftop area with great views where you can relax in the sun. The breakfast was ok. At the time we stayed they were in the process of putting in a lift but it was not operational yet. We didn't mind the stairs and thought it was part of the charm of staying in such an old character filled hotel however those with a lot of luggage or mobility problems will appreciate the lift. Don't stay in this hotel if you like modern, sleek rooms. You will love this hotel if you like hotels with a bit of character.

Room Tip: Don't stay in a room facing the road
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Stayed December 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
1 Thank Nz_shez
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sydney, Australia
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 June 2011

We had a wonderful stay, loved everything about it. The staff were helpful and friendly. The superior room that we stayed in was a generous size with ensuite and an adjoining court yard.The Russell Hotel is a charming, old style, cozy B&B. With Russell wine bar/restaurant downstairs you couldn't ask for more. Pleasant atmosphere, nice wine/beer, great food and excellent service.

  • Stayed June 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank lexia1632
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Warrnambool, Australia
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 2 June 2011

My husband and I recently spent two nights at The Russell and loved everything about the place... it was so nice to experience such friendly... and what l would call "old-fashion country hospitality" in the heart of Sydney. The room was small without private facilities, but this was our choice, based on price.... who needs a big room when we were there to explore The Rocks! Everything was spotlessly clean with delightful homely touches such as fresh flowers in our room and chocolates on the pillows.
The location could not have been more central...right in The Rocks, walking distance to great eating places ...and Circular Quay across the road!! Plus a beautiful Endota Spa right next door.
We'll certainly be back if coming to Sydney again.

  • Stayed May 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Ros094
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Vancouver
Level 4 Contributor
24 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
Reviewed 1 June 2011

We chose the Russell hotel because of its proximity to Circular Quay and the Opera House.
It was perfect!
It is really small, but charming. Each room is different,witih quirky old-fashioned furniture. These are small rooms, with not a lot of modern conveniences, so the closet is an old-fashioned wardrobe. But the bathrooms were brand new and modern, and the shower was excellent.
our deroom did not have an ensuite bathroom, but the hotel provides big fluffy white bathrobes for you to use when going to the bathroom.(You can pay extra and get an en-suite).
There is a new elevator, so you don't have to carry your bags up the stairs any more.
But the best thing is the location.... you are within a stone's throw of Circular Quay, just across a tiny park and beside the Museum of Modern Art. Could not be better.
The hotel is also at the start of the Rocks, so you can stroll out to find a restuarant or pub on the Rocks. Ignore the first few you come across, these are a bit touristy, particularly the cheap pizza joint. Climb a bit further and they are more interesting. A German-style beer garden is good, and we found an ancient pub at the very top of the hill, which proclaims itself as Sydney's oldest, and they served great beer--- try the "3 Sheets" -- and pub food. Also worth a stroll are the cafes near the small harbour, on your way to the Sydney Harbour Bridge. There is a masted sailing ship amongst the cafes....

The downside of this hotel would be the lack of air conditioning, not a problem for us as we don't like aircon, but the quay can be noisy at night, and open windows mean that you do hear some noise at night.
But in the morning you forget about all that as you go downto the breakfast which is included in the price.This is served in a newly re-vamped wine bar on the ground floor.You can look out at the Quay as you enjoy a great breakfast of croissants, fruit, yoghurt, tea or coffee, with a copy of the Sydney Morning Herald. It was so good it was hard to pull oursleves away to start the day.The Wine Bar is a great evening location too.
If you are not dependent on the usual American style of luxury bedrooms, choose the Russell for a really charming experience right in the heart of Sydney.

Room Tip: The staff are ready to advise you about the rooms.
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  • Stayed February 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
1 Thank VancouverStephanie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
alicante
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
38 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 May 2011

The room and bathroom were big but not nice. The breakfast which was included was absolutely below zero. When we came around 09.30 hrs there was nothing left. We will be in Sydney in November again but will not stay in the Russels.

  • Stayed March 2011, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank margreet71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hilton Head Island, SC
Level 6 Contributor
100 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 May 2011

We stayed here on the last night of our 40th Anniversary Australia/New Zealand trip. The staff was exceptional with lots of personal service. The rooms were large, clean and nicely furnished with antiques and reproduction furnishings. Hotel was fantastically located in the historic Rocks district, just a short 3 minute walk from Circular Quay. It is amazing how different the atmosphere is in this area, as opposed to the business district area, a few short blocks away. Would stay here again before going to one of the larger high end chain hotels a few blocks away.

  • Stayed April 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank TravelinMan048
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about The Russell Hotel

Property: The Russell Hotel
Address: The Russell Hotel 143A George St | The Rocks, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney > The Rocks
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant
Hotel Style:
#41 Romantic Hotel in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): £
Hotel Class:3.5 star — The Russell Hotel 3.5*
Number of rooms: 30
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Russell Hotel with just 29 delightfully different rooms is perfectly located for the Sydney visitor seeking a convenient and characterful base from which to explore this exciting city.Sydney is literally on your doorstep at the Russell with Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour and the Museum of Contemporary Art just across the road.The Russell Hotel is a gorgeous bed and breakfast hotel known for its superb location and charm.No two guest rooms are identical at The Russell. The Russell offers a variety of ensuite rooms and very affordable rooms with shared bathroom. The largest rooms overlook George Street whilst guests in search of tranquillity might prefer one of the courtyard rooms or one above Nurses Walk. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
The Russell Hotel Sydney
Russell Hotel Sydney
Russell Sydney

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