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Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour
Ranked #3 of 175 Hotels in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Level Contributor
202 reviews
57 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 245 helpful votes
“Location, location, location”
Reviewed 26 January 2014

We booked this hotel for 9 nights over New Year before it was even open. We got a great deal by pre paying, non refundable, non changeable etc and took a risk. We were not disappointed.

The taxi driver found it very easily from the airport. We were greeted by 2 very nice receptionists 'Jess' and 'Jess'. We arrived extremely early and our room was not ready but they said they would get our room ready ASAP and offered to telephone our mobile as soon as it was ready. They gave us loads of helpful information on the local area, and maps, and were excellent throughout our stay.

For location it was perfect for us without paying for views of the harbour. We used the water bus quite a bit to get around and the stop is only a 10 min walk away. Darling harbour is less than a 5 min walk. At Darling Harbour you have shopping, restaurants, cinema, free fireworks every Saturday, Madame Tussauds, Wildlife Zoo, and much, much more. There are good convenience stores locally if you fancy a snack or soft drink without using the mini bar.

We loved the interior of the hotel, the old with the new, the 'warehouse' type look. It works really well.

We had a loft room which is a lounge and bathroom on the entrance level, and a bedroom upstairs. Good things about our room: Comfortable bed, nice sofa area, large TVs, free use of one of their IPads in your room, free Wi-Fi, nice shower and toiletries.

Things we personally did not like: No room in the bedroom for anything so clothes etc all kept down a level. Downstairs area slightly compact so with 2 large suitcases and 10 days worth of stuff, it became a squeeze for space. The walls are a little too thin for us light sleepers, or our room neighbours were extremely loud, but you could here them talking and watching TV.

You also get free use of a local gym and swimming pool. Ask reception for full details and make use of it.

Overall a lovely stay and if we go back to Sydney I would stay there again for the location and receptionist friendliness

  • Stayed December 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank PassportUK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel1888, General Manager at Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour, responded to this review, 28 January 2014
Dear PassportUK

Wow - you guys were so busy, I am glad you had fun in this beautiful city. Thank you for your kind comments, I am very fortunate to have a great team working with me here.

Some people love our loft rooms but I understand why a room on one level could fit your requirements perfectly - next time you may like to choose a King Deluxe, a Junior Suite or The Attic - an amazing space with a private terrace on the roof!

We hope that you do make it back to Sydney because we would love to see you again.

Warm regards,

Andrew Adams-Smith
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (479)
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English first
Hong Kong, China
Level Contributor
40 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed 26 January 2014 via mobile

Thanks trip advisor for the recommendation ranked no 1 and 1888 didn't disappoint. From the moment you check in to the concierge waving you goodbye you can't ask for friendlier quality service.

I stayed for 2 nights over the Australia Day weekend from Hong Kong. I was upgraded to a Queen size bedroom and was checked in straight away despite being 4 hours early.

The room was a descent size for a solo traveller and very clean with a spacious bathroom and newly renovated fittings. My room faced the street and it was quiet in the evening with very little traffic.

Bed was a little soft but with good back support. There was a large HD Samsung TV but I couldn't switch it on because the battery was flat in the remote control. The room has an iPad and one USB Dock for electronic devices. A universal plug can be borrowed with a A$20 deposit.

Bathroom had body wash, body lotion, shampoo and conditioner.
No toothpaste/toothbrush or hair dryer but there was an iron.

I breakfasted in the morning and there was a choice between buffet and a la carte and unlike most hotel food the cafe was just as good as any cafe you'll find in the city.

I had also bought an item online and it was not able to be shipped from Australia so I had it courier to the hotel and the hotel was willing to keep it for me for a whole month until my stay to pick it up.

I would stay at 1888 again. It's location is convenient and could be a home away from home. It's about a 15 minutes walk from Pyrmont to the city centre and 10 minute walk to Darling Harbour.

Thanks you to the 1888 staff for a great stay!

Stayed January 2014, travelled solo
Helpful?
Thank kikimitemite
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel1888, General Manager at Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour, responded to this review, 28 January 2014
Dear kikimitemite

Thank you for such a great review and thank you for visiting us!

Your kind comments have already been shared with the amazing team and your suggestions have got me thinking on how we can be even better next time you stay.

When you do come back I'll make sure I show you where we discreetly place the hair drier!

Warm regards,

Andrew Adams-Smith
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Manchester, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
95 reviews
61 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 129 helpful votes
Reviewed 25 January 2014

We stayed here for a week during a month long tour of Australia.

The hotel looks great online, the reviews are generally excellent so we arrived with much anticipation. Having stayed for a week, I'm not entirely sure how this new property has reached the top spot on Trip Advisor in a city well known for its many amazing hotels.

To me, it's all style with little substance and this is maybe a result of us staying longer than many other reviewers - so any deficiencies are greatly enhanced. You stay for one night and you rush in and out and it's great - stay for a week and it highlights any aspects that aren't up to scratch.

Check in was relatively painless and the staff in matching denim shirts at reception offered an insight into the overall style of the place. They looked good, were friendly enough and initial impressions were great.

The work carried out to transform this former wool mill into a boutique hotel is without question, impressive. They have converted this sprawling building very well and the designers and architects should be applauded for the sympathetic approach to retaining much of the character of this establishment.

Our room was large, spacious and stylish. The design, layout and use of space was good and the bathroom was very nice. The bath was huge although the shower pressure was poor. The hotel itself was quiet most of the time and we weren't awoken by road noise despite being at the front of the property.

The bed was comfortable however no hotel should ever state that it is a kind size bed if it isn't. We had an expensive junior king suite but the bed was simply two singles shoved together with a king mattress on top. That doesn't make it a king bed, it makes it a king mattress with a large uncomfortable ridge down the middle. Not good enough and not what we paid for.

The room cleanliness was good to start with - on arrival the room was spotlessly clean. However, over the course of our stay the quality of the room servicing deteriorated. A new bottle of shampoo, a quick flush of the toilet and plumping up the pillows is certainly not to the level of hotels of this standard.

We had other issues too I'm afraid.

The in-room telephone didn't work at all throughout our stay and despite numerous discussions with reception staff it was never fixed. Each day we were told that it was in hand and that it would be fixed that day but it never was. Not the end of the world, but had there had been a fire, we'd have been stuck. Or each time there was something missing or wrong, we had to take the elevator down three floors to get it sorted. Again, not the end of the world but the issues we faced meant that this was starting to get annoying.

Here's a great example... each time we had a coffee in the room, the cup was taken away and wasn't replaced so whenever we wanted a brew, we had to go back downstairs to get a fresh clean cup. Then each day, milk, tea bags and coffee weren't replenished so we had to go down and collect these too. Repetitive and inconvenient? Yes! Totally avoidable? Absolutely.

Like so many others we too experienced a fire alarm that awoke us and the length of time that it took to resolve was, in our experience, much longer than normal and we weren't really kept up to date with what was going on.

Overall, we found the young staff appeared to be either too inexperienced within the hospitality industry or lacked genuine interest in hotel guests. Staring down at a computer screen and mumbling "hi" without making eye contact as guests enter or leave the building isn't engaging and made us think that they were "too cool" for that.

For a hotel of this class we were surprised that there was no in-room dining, despite an open plan modern kitchen, it appeared that all you could get was a quick snack to take away in the morning and a cheese board in the evening. No room service was very unusual.

As other reviewers have stated the in room iPad is a nice touch however it lacked depth in hotel details and the functionality of the pre-loaded, locked app meant that we didn't use it. I don't think we were missing much but it's another example of style over substance.

Location - the hotel is only 5-10 mins walk from all that Darling Harbour has to offer with lots of bars and restaurants very close by. There are a couple of small supermarkets just a few steps away and it is easy to get a taxi outside. However please note that as it is a new hotel, none of the many taxis we got back to the hotel knew of it or it's location so we had to direct them each time.

Would we return? I doubt it. There is undoubtedly better in this amazing city - both those we've stayed in and those we're yet to experience - and for the money we spent here we feel that it could have been better spent. It isn't about cost, it's about value and we felt overall that we didn't get good enough value for money.

Boasting about having an Instagram account doesn't make your hotel cool... and perhaps if the great effort put into maintaining a social media presence was put into genuinely caring that guests were happy, standards were kept up and attention to detail improved, only then you'd have a stunning hotel that matched the unique building in which it is housed.

As it is, 1888 Hotel leans more towards cold and soulless and aimed towards the overnight fashionistas who are impressed by iPads and sharing selfies.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank danieltjames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel1888, General Manager at Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour, responded to this review, 29 January 2014
Dear Daniel,

Thank you for your well written review and also replying to my direct message to you which helped me investigate your points. I appreciated your considered comments and I am very sorry that your stay with us did not meet your expectations.

I acknowledge the time you spent writing your review and will also respond in full.

We are very fortunate with our location, on the door step of Darling Harbour and only minutes' walk to the CBD. We have both strong support from corporate and leisure guests. School holidays ended today so since mid December we haven't welcomed many corporate guests. Our guests over this period tend to be International travellers on holiday who stay with us on average nearly four nights.

The beds are made specifically for us and due to their popularity we are replacing beds in our other properties with this type of bed. All our Junior Suites have king beds. When you look at the base of a king bed (commercial or domestic) in Australia you will see the base is in two equal parts. These parts could look like single bed bases but in our case they are not. The king bed base is made this way in Australia for ease of transportation and movement.

Your experience of housekeeping was unacceptable, the Executive Housekeeper and I have discussed the points you raise but as General Manager I accept full responsibility.

The fire alarm that you experienced during your stay was activated by another guest. We follow strict procedures, regulations and laws to ensure the safety of our guests and staff. This is our highest priority. The fire brigade attend every alarm within minutes and on arrival take control of the situation, our behaviour is dictated by them.

The vast majority of our guests rave about the 1888 team and say they are engaged and genuine. I am disappointed that this was not your experience.

Our in room dining menu is available for breakfast and in the evening from 5pm until 11pm, the menu can be found on the iPad and room service menu in your room.

I appreciated your comments and know that they were written with good intent to help other travellers and myself, for this I thank you.

Warm regards,
Andrew Adams-Smith
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Newcastle, Australia
2 reviews
Reviewed 25 January 2014

This hotel delivers everything you could want from a hotel. It is strategically placed for public transport with fast n easy access to Darling Harbour, Casino, Central, Chinatown, Entertainment Centre. There are two supermarkets within 2 blocks. The rooms have all the expected inclusions and extra. Our Loft room had 2 large screen tv's. A complimentary iPad - media centre. Full black out curtain and 2 air conditioners. Everything is spotless and well maintained. The decor throughout is unique but comfortable and inviting. The staff are perhaps the best of all. They are friendly and helpful, providing maps and advising out of towners. I don't know a better place to stay in Sydney.

Room Tip: We had a loft room with a king size bed on the higher level. If you have problems climbing stairs y...
See more room tips
  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Sonya M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel1888, General Manager at Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour, responded to this review, 26 January 2014
Dear Sonya,

Wow, what a great review, thank you.

You cover off so many of the unique features about the property and your tip about the loft rooms was very thoughtful.

Your comment that made me most proud was about the staff - they have read your kind words and I am fortunate to have such a great team.

I agree, I don't a better place to stay in Sydney either!

Warm regards,
Andrew Adams-Smith
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2014 via mobile

We booked hotel 1888 and for the money you pay go somewhere else when you can get a better sleep.

To me the most important part of a hotel is the ability to get a good nights sleep, that didn't happen here. Booked a king bed and got 2 single beds pushed together. Seriously? $300 per night and cant even get a proper bed. Whats more the ipad compendium wouldn't turn off. Pressed the off button like a million times at 2am when the blue light glare woke me up, just gave up and flipped the stupid thing over.

Finally opening up the window revealed a very lovely concrete wall a metre away from the window. The perfect Sydney view right?

So take your money to hotel with proper beds and a harbour view.

Stayed November 2013, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
3 Thank lucidwayn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel1888, General Manager at Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour, responded to this review, 29 January 2014
Dear Lucidwayn,

I was very surprised and saddened to read your review, I am also saddened that I have not yet seen a response to the message I sent to you directly. I had hoped to gain a better understanding of your comments.

I agree with you that it is imperative to have a great nights sleep in a hotel. As can be seen from many of our other reviews, guests love our beds. They love them so much they want to buy them and we have started replacing the beds in our other properties with these beds. Australian king bed ensembles (both domestic and commercial) are made with two equal sized bases, they are manufactured this way for ease of transportation and movement.

We are in a stunningly refurbished Heritage listed converted wool store. We have no buildings directly adjacent to any of our windows so I am still unsure as to the concrete wall to which you refer.

We have a great product, a great team and we are strive to always provide genuine and intuitive service.

Lucidwayn, I truly am very sorry that you did not love your experience with us.

Warm regards,
Andrew Adams-Smith
General Manager
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
canberra
Level Contributor
14 reviews
4 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
Reviewed 24 January 2014

A lovely motel, walking distance to darling harbour, star casino, car parking.. great location.
fabulously friendly staff.. the room was a tiny bit small but the comfy bed made it worth while.
Would highly recommend to couples, business people or just a friendly place to stay.. the bar area was very relaxing happy hour was impressive and the safe were all very helpful and friendly.

  • Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank janetsmob
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel1888, General Manager at Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour, responded to this review, 26 January 2014
Dear Janetsmob,

Thank you for taking the time to write such a kind review.

You are correct, 1888 Hotel is perfect for guests on a leisure or business trip and we have a variety of room styles so our they can choose the right one for their visit.

I am pleased that you enjoyed happy hour (between 5pm-7pm), it certainly creates a great vibe.

Next time you are in Sydney we look forward to seeing you.

Warm regards,
Andrew Adams-Smith
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Canberra
Level Contributor
158 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 78 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 January 2014 via mobile

An excellent spot to stay in Sydney. Easy access by public transport, exceptionally clean, comfortable and a lovely cafe/bar downstairs. Walking distance from the city and just a little bit hipster. The electric jug actually fits under the tap in the basin showing a bit of common sense.

Stayed January 2014, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
Thank Lun2Travel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Hotel1888, General Manager at Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour, responded to this review, 26 January 2014
Dear Lun2Travel,

Reading you comment made me laugh, it is so important to get the basics right. I'm glad that at 1888 Hotel we got the basics right, like the kettle fitting under the tap!

Thank you for your lovely comments about this stunning property and we look forward to seeing you again.

Warm regards,
Andrew Adams-Smith
Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour

Property: Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour
Address: 139 Murray Street | Pyrmont, Sydney, New South Wales 2009, Australia (Formerly 1888 Hotel Darling Harbour)
Phone Number:
Region: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney > Central Business District , City West
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Breakfast Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 175 Hotels in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): ££
Hotel Class:4 star — Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour 4*
Number of rooms: 90
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Steeped in history, Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour was tastefully restored and thoughtfully designed with shutter-happy Instagrammers in mind, providing photo opportunities around every corner so captivating that you really need #nofilter. Originally constructed as a wool store and factory in 1888, the building still bears the original signage of its birth year, visible from the busy streets of Pyrmont. A heritage listed 90-bedroom boutique hotel as well as bar & event space, Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour brings together Sydney's old world charm and contemporary design with Ovolo's service culture to offer a truly mind-blowing experience in modern hospitality. The collection of rooms each boast 3-metre high ceilings, exposed brick walls, original ironbark beams, concealed uplighting, huge sound proofed period windows, recycled timber work stations, bespoke furniture and feature walls in each room flaunting the colourfully commissioned pieces by celebrated local artist, Jasper Knight. Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour is located in Sydney's inner-city suburb of Pyrmont, neighbouring Darling Harbour, Sydney CBD, Sydney Fish Market, Sydney Exhibition & Convention Centre, The Star, a wide selection of must-go bars & dining options, and the very best boutique shopping this side of the Southern Hemisphere. But really, who needs to go anywhere when your room rate already includes everything? Continental breakfast*, Wi-Fi, mini bar, self-service laundry, happy hour*, 24 hour gym access? - Yep, all free. ... more   less 
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