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.
- 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