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The Russell Boutique Hotel
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Reviews (968)
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All reviewsshared bathroomrooftop gardencircular quayhard boiled eggsopera houseceiling fanmuseum of contemporary artsitting roomgreat locationrocks arearabbit warrencontinental breakfastcruise terminalbar downstairsno air conditioninggeorge streetyogurt
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797 - 802 of 968 reviews
Reviewed 2 April 2012

This is a fantastic little boutique hotel in Sydneys' Rocks area. The hotel is a renovated original building in the Rocks in Sydney. It is surrounded by restaurants, bars and shops. You are located amongst some of Sydneys' premier tourist sites and everything is nearby.

The hotel itself is a renovated original 1800's building. Some rooms have an ensuite, and some use shared facilities. We had a room with an ensuite, that was massive. The room faced the rear of the building over an area known as the Nurses Walk. It was room number 15. Facing the rear meant no city views, but we only slept there, so that was no problem. The room was furnished with older style furniture, but it was all clean, and fresh.

On the negative side, there was not a lot of free power points. The room had no fridge. The area got a little noisy at night. There was no free internet. There was very little storage space for toiletries in the bathroom.

In defense of the hotel. Old buildings from the era of this building were hardly likely to have been built with modern electronic needs in mind. A small price for such a historic setting in my opinion. The lack of fridge is a little strange, but we got by without one for our 4 day stay. The area is in a restaurant, bar and tourist hub in Sydney, so what do you expect. Get out there and be a part of it! The internet issue is common to most hotels in Australia's large cities. That is just the backward way our hotels operate. As for the bathrooms, they should add more shelving. There was plenty of space.

The hotel has an attached restaurant/wine bar. It is important to note that kids are not allowed in there at night. That was ridiculous given that families travel too. Anyway, that just meant that they never got any added value from our stay. all dinners were taken elsewhere.

The toilet area by the wine bar also leads to a rear entry to another little gem. "The Fortune of War" pub. It claims to be the oldest pub in Sydney, and may just be. They have live bands on the weekend, and it is a great place to have a beer within the walls of a very historical old pub.

Another great feature of the hotel was the roof top garden. This little terrace on the roof offers great photo opportunities, and makes a great place for a BYO drink.

The hotel is very convenient to trains, ferries and buses. You really do not need a car if you are staying here. There is a train from the airport and once there, public transport is readily available.

My four stars are for the charm of the property, the friendly staff and the location. Others may rate it lower, as the hotel is not abundant with services. But for me, it was 4. The inconveniences are not unexpected in such an old building, but the charm is actually in the age of the building, and the local history.

Don't miss the weekend markets, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Fortune of War pub, the Argyle Pub and wondering around the old historical areas of the Rocks. These things are all available within 5 minutes of the hotel.

Room Tip: Make sure you are aware if your room has an ensuite, or if you need to use a shared bathroom.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled with family
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2  Thank Tekweni_Wayne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 March 2012

I loved the location and the history of the place. Room was well appointed and clean. Nice terrace.

But the energy was off and I just did not feel the price was worth it. Aloof service.

We are going back to Sydney and staying elsewhere.

Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
Thank FraserCarrie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 March 2012

Located in The Rocks section of Sydney, The Russell is an ideal location for walking, sightseeing, and catching either the ferries or bus in Sydney. The hotel, built in the 1800's has historic charm and each room is different. Traveling on a budget, we reserved a "shared bath" room and found it to be just fine. The room was small, but they have a lovely sitting room with sofas, comfortable chairs and TV, so we had a very comfortable place to read, play cards, and watch TV -- usually by ourselves. The rooftop garden is also a very nice place to relax when the weather is good. The shared bathrooms are updated and on our floor there were two baths shared by seven rooms. Only once did I have to wait to use the bathroom and then I just went to the next floor -- no big deal. Bathrooms are cleaned several times a day so they always were fresh. They leave the doors to vacant rooms open and encourage guests to give themselves self-guided tours of other rooms. I found many lovely rooms with ensuite bathrooms -- great for those who want to upgrade. Robes, iron and ironing board, and a hot water pot with coffee and tea are provided in each room (instant coffee is typical in hotel rooms in Australia). Breakfast is included and is quite good: hard boiled eggs (still hot), various pastries and bread, fruit, yogurt and granola/cereals, juice and coffee -- what else does one need? Eating out in Australia is very expensive so we figured that The Russell saved us about $25.00/day in food expense. The staff is very friendly and helpful. There is a sign on the Rooftop Garden wall that says, "People arrive here as strangers and leave as friends." Its true.

Room Tip: If you are "noise sensitive" ask for a room away from the Wine Bar side of the building. The Wine Bar does generate voice/music noise at night, but having lived and traveled in a lot of big cities, it did not bother us, but it might bother someone who is from rural environments.
  • Stayed: February 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank happyretiree1968
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 March 2012

We stayed at The Russell for 2 nights prior to taking a cruise, It has so much personality and is located in a great location for walking around the heart of Sydney. We made our reservations several months before arriving so we could be sure to get a room. I was concerned about staying in a room with a shared bath but it was not a problem at all. The bathroom was always free when I needed it, sparkling clean and right across the hall from our bedroom. They were kind enought to store our luggage on the last day until we were ready to get on our ship. Everyone at the desk was extremely helpful. Charlie Lumsden really went out of the way to help us out. It was much appreciated!

  • Stayed: January 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank daytontraveler
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 22 March 2012

I will admit that I am heavily biased to a good location and it's hard to beat this hotel's. But it is a quaint hotel - that means older. Our room was ok in size and the floor squeaked like crazy...but I'd stay here again. It is pricey so it's not a value hotel. Breakfast's were good.

Room Tip: George Street is very busy. Our room was in the middle of the hotel and very quiet.
  • Stayed: March 2012, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank Randalljay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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