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“Funky, Old Style Hotel in Great Location”
Review of The Russell Hotel

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The Russell Hotel
Ranked #47 of 179 Hotels in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 30 May 2014

Although I had lived in Sydney many years ago, my wife had not been to Australia, and I wanted to find a funky, authentically old fashioned hotel near the harbor. That meant looking in The Rocks. Other reviews for this property were favorable and we stayed here for three nights before sailing on a cruise from the (very) nearby cruise terminal. A word of warning: we gave the taxi driver the address on our way in from the airport, but he could not find it. We arrived at night, found the right block of George Street, but there was no #143A visible. We stopped the cab. I got out and walked up a wide pedestrian pathway and there it was - an entrance on the side of the building with a canopy bearing the hotel's name. There was no doorman, as such, but a member of the staff helped us with our (many) bags - and took no tip! Talk about funky - once inside the main entrance, you had to go up a short flight of stairs, or in a small elevator, to reception. We had a room on the top floor, facing the street, with private bath. It was my impression that a majority of the rooms share a bath and we would not have booked here if that was required. Each floor is laid out in a square, around an open central airway, and there are a sequence of steps leading to slightly higher or lower levels. Odd, but rather charming nonetheless. Unlike all modern hotels, the windows actually opened and there was also air conditioning with manual controls - plus a ceiling fan in the bedroom. There was a small sitting room with hot plate and television. The room was clean and comfortable. A special word of thanks to the front office staff who were all very friendly, knowledgeable, and very helpful. The restaurant for the hotel is a pub, with a separate George Street entrance, which can be reached by a set of steep stairs (or elevator) from the reception lobby. A continental breakfast (included) is served here every morning. The small roof top garden terrace has a lovely view of the Harbor Bridge and is a pleasant place to sit with a glass of wine, weather permitting. The location in The Rocks is simply terrific. Walking distance to everything - good restaurants, shops of all kinds (including globally recognized high end brands), a pharmacy, banks, etc. Nothing in Australia is inexpensive and The Russell is no exception. At A$275 per night, I would guess it was a better deal than the Four Seasons, located just a block away. If you want a sleek, modern hotel and all that comes with it, The Russell is not for you. If you would like to experience what staying in a Sydney hotel was like in the 1920's and 1930's, this is just the ticket. If and when we return, we will stay here again. Highly recommended for those that want to venture off the beaten track and get a glimpse of the Australia of yesteryear.

Room Tip: Book a higher floor, facing George Street. A private bath is worth the money.
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  • Stayed: April 2014, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank wpdame3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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622 - 628 of 935 reviews

Reviewed 29 May 2014 via mobile

I'm in my room as I write this. I wanted a change from the corporate hotels which are all rather similar. This is a lovely hotel with rooms like your bedroom at home. Staff are very friendly. Shower is hot and powerful. It is a very short walk to circular quay. I like it and would def stay here again.

Stayed: May 2014, travelled solo
2  Thank Anita866
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

Absolutely a most splendid location at The Rocks. Hotel has a renovated and refurbished history. Breakfast room overlooking Nurses Walk laneway, breakfast is included in the rate. Sitting room with balcony overlooking George Street, a rooftop garden overlooking the street with view of The Harbour Bridge. Building has a lift and many stairs. A real rabbit warren with so much character, never seen a hotel quite like this one. Downstairs bar with all-day food service. Quick easy access to Circular Quay, trains, buses, cruise ship terminal.

Room Tip: No fridges or microwaves in rooms.
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled with family
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2  Thank Suzanne F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 May 2014

We arrived in Sydney on a cruise liner which docked at Central Quay just a two minute walk from the hotel very convenient and no taxi required. The standard room with bathroom was a little cramped but as we were only staying three days and were not intending to spend much time in the room it met our needs. The room was tastefully decorated with the usual facilities but basic. As for the location it could not have been better. Just a few minutes walk to the bridge and the opera house and actually on George Street so all the shops are right on your doorstep. A word of warning to anyone who has mobility issues, there is a lift but you need to walk up a slight hill the reach the main hotel door and there are stairs within the maze of passages that serve some rooms which are on floors not served by the lift. Breakfast was served in the bar of the Fortune of War downstairs it was good but a bit basic.

Room Tip: Go for the best room you can afford. We had a look at two unoccupied rooms which were beautiful and...
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  • Stayed: December 2013, travelled as a couple
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Thank Dave W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 May 2014

All are very genuine and very helpful for all our Tour, Travel and Trourism related queries. Hotel rooms are excellent, staff very generous,polite and helpful at any given point of time. Loved to come back.

Room Tip: rooms are clean
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  • Stayed: July 2013, travelled with friends
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1  Thank mary_cumm
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

We stayed at the Russell as we were attending a function on the Harbour. It was very convenient, easy parking. The room was small and the bed was only a double, which didn't really suit us. There was no air conditioning which would be a problem in summer but didn't worry us as it was late autumn.

Breakfast was nice, the staff were very helpful and pleasant. The overall atmosphere was good. We will definitely use the Russell again but will ask for a bigger bed.

Room Tip: Ask for a queen bed and a bathroom and, depending on the time of year, see if they have any aircondi...
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  • Stayed: May 2014, travelled on business
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Review collected in partnership with this hotel
Thank Jill R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 May 2014

If your use to staying at the Hilton, need a gym, pool, television, then the Russel is not for you. If however you like character, charm and being right in the rocks, then the Russels got you covered. The Location is fanstastic. We got the train from the airport to Circular Quay and walked to 2 minutes to the hotel.

We booked a standard room, and though it was small, it had everything we needed; comfy bed, tastefully decorated, tea and coffee making facilities, robes, no telly- but your in the rocks, so get amongst it! We had a shared bathroom that was across the hall, which was immaculate, and I didnt see another person ever use it.

We used the roof top bar every afternoon for drinks which was nice.

Breakfast was good, continental; toast, crossiants, cereals, fruit, yogurt and boiled eggs etc.

We also had drinks at the Fortune of War downstairs, which allowed us to charge drinks up to our room(beware!) and had a great atmosphere.

We will be back for sure :)

  • Stayed: October 2013, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank sunnymum11
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

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: £86 - £281 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2.5 star — The Russell Hotel 2.5*
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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