With almost a Mediterranean like climate, glorious harbour and beaches, not to mention iconic landmarks and skyscrapers. There is plenty to do and explore in Sydney. Like any other major cities in the world, Sydney is home to many fantastic hotels. During our recent trip here, we stayed at the Ovolo Hotel Woolloomoloo.
Ovolo Hotel Woolloomoloo is part of a chain of upscale hotels and serviced apartments based in Hong Kong. The 5-star Ovolo Hotel Woolloomoloo is located on the Finger Wharf in the suburb of Woolloomoloo. The hotel occupies the south section of the wharf and cohabitates with other residential apartments and restaurants which occupies the rest of the wharf.
We booked the hotel through booking.com as we are a frequent traveller. We decided to stay in this hotel as we liked the rooms and the interior of the hotel. The hotel also seems to be close to the city.
We arrived at the hotel at 9 am and stored our luggage at the reception. We were told that they will ring us as there may be a chance of checking in early. To be honest, we are hoping to be able to check in early as that was part of the perks of being a booking.com frequent traveller. But, we never received a phone call and proceeded to spend the day in the city until its time to check in at 3 pm. Upon arriving, we were told that our room is not ready. We were only able to check in at 3.30 pm.
Our first impression of the hotel is, it’s beautifully done. The boutique style decoration against the historical backdrop of the wharf is definitely something different. The lounge area offers plenty of seats and couches for you to relax and unwind after a long day. The lounge area does not only offer good seating, there is a bar, a pool table, a couple of Pac-man style video games for the kids and plenty of books and magazines for you to flick through while drinking your cocktails
If you booked directly through the hotel, you can enjoy special perks such as free breakfast, free happy hour and free minibar. As opposed to booking through other accommodation websites. We didn’t know about this, but when we checked in, the lady at the reception told us that we are entitled to the complimentary facilities.
We only found out that this was not the case when we were turned away at breakfast because “we booked through booking.com” instead of booking through their own website, hence weren’t entitled to similar perks. That was a little embarrassing for us as we wished the reception team would have done their due diligence a bit better and spare their guests the embarrassment. After all, we are here for a pleasant stay, not being told to move out of breakfast line because we didn’t book through them.
We could have just paid $A35 per person per day for breakfast at the hotel, but why do that when Sydney has so many great breakfast joints! Where we can order what we want instead of eating what was given.
The hotel shares its facility with the residential apartment within the wharf. It has a large lap pool, a hot tub and a 24/7 gym. The pool area is a nice place to hang out, with a few outdoor cabanas for you to lie on and soak up the sun. In our case, Sydney decided to rain and be super cold the weekend we were there, so no sun soaking for us. The hotel also offers a complimentary self-service laundry facility, which is helpful if you didn’t pack much.
We stayed at the Deluxaroo – Deluxe Loft. The room is spacious and very well furnished. The bedroom is located on the mezzanine and equipped with a comfortable king bed. The couches downstairs can easily accommodate 5 to 6 people and the living room is huge.
The bathroom, while does not have a bathtub, is spacious with good toiletries. There is also an additional toilet downstairs. The room is equipped with the latest gadgets such as state of the art Bose speaker, Amazon Echo and a tablet.
The best part about this room is the beautiful windows with a partial view overlooking the marina – absolutely stunning
The turndown service was also great. The room was thoroughly cleaned, however, the staff kept removing our robes and not replacing it. This results in us having to request replacements from the reception daily.
The minibar was provided to guests for free. So if you like your wine and beer, this would be a perk. The complimentary lolly pack was only provided once during our stay.
Unfortunately for us, the occupant who stayed next to us is a room service fan. We would walk out of our room and come back for the day with plates of half eaten food in front of our door. On day 2 where we stayed in, the smell of the food was starting to get a little annoying. It took 3 phone calls and 4 hours before the area in front of our room to be cleared.
That said, this is perhaps a one-off occasion. We cannot imagine a hotel who takes so much pride in the presentations and attention to details would be so blasé and complacent with issues so small yet are capable of ruining one paying customer’s good time here. Perhaps if this happens to you, be more persistent than 3 phone calls.
Located 15 minutes walk to the closest train station, 10 minutes walk to the Royal Botanical Garden and 20 minutes to Kings Cross. If you are not much of a walker, there is a taxi rank and a free bus stop in front of the hotel.
There are a few waterfront restaurants, service station and convenience stores close to the hotel. While the hotel is not necessarily at the centre of Sydney, it is not completely isolated. If you happen to drive, the hotel offers a valet service at $A60 per day. If you do not want to pay that much, do what other driving Sydneysiders do – off-street parking. You can park your car off the street for free after 6 pm and before 8 am.
We paid $A295 per night for our room for 3 nights stay. In our opinion, it is expensive for what you get. For the same price, you could secure a stay at the Shangri La Sydney near Circular Quay at a harbour facing room. For less, an Executive Club Room at the Hyatt Regency Darling Harbour (at the time of booking).
With the number of things to do in Sydney, unless you are spending a lot of time in your hotel rooms, you only ever need a place to sleep and rest for a short amount of time before you go out exploring again. So, you may not need something so big and spacious.
Things To Do Around the Hotel
Amenities Around the Hotel
Shell Service Station
24 Hour Convenience Store
Train Station (Martin Place & Kings Cross)
The Ovolo Hotel is great for someone who wants a luxurious boutique hotel with cute spots to take Instagram photos. We enjoyed our stay at the Ovolo. However, we feel that there is plenty more value for money 5-star accommodations within Sydney central which are closer to the action with far better facilities. This hotel would be perfect for people who are looking to rest and have a staycation in the room.
That said, if we ever want to stay at an instagrammable hotel again, this will definitely be our top pick.