139 Murray Street, Pyrmont, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Neighborhood: Darling Harbour
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All those converted monasteries and private-island hotels notwithstanding, much of the hospitality world has been moving away from the cloistered-off, disconnected hotel experience, heading instead toward something a little more open, interactive, even social. And so perhaps 1888 Hotel — where the lobby, restaurant, kitchen and bar all blend together into one soaring, central space, and where guests’ own Instagram photos contribute heavily to the décor — is just a natural progression of the trend. A “selfie space” in the check-in area, a digital mural that rotates through the best, most artfully filtered phone-pics from past guests: while viewed from a certain angle it seems perhaps a bit too enthusiastically of-the-moment, if you just let your guard down and go with it, this place is irresistibly fun.
None of which would matter if all the social-futuristic eccentricities weren’t backed by a comfortable, well-run hotel in a good location. And they are. 1888 sits just on the far side of Darling Harbour, near both the Sydney Fish Market and Convention Center, in Pyrmont. Though it’s a short trip from downtown, the blocks around the hotel have a low-key neighborhood feel, with plenty of good, locals-oriented bars and restaurants.
The rooms start out small — in a charming moment of self-awareness, the entry-level one is called the Shoebox — but they’re well put together, with high ceilings, cloud-like beds and plenty of sunlight. Sound-proofed period windows and desks built from timbers salvaged during renovation serve as reminders of the building’s industrial past, without making it feel too much like you’re sleeping in the 19th-century wool factory that this used to be. At the top of the scale, those shoeboxes turn into spacious, multi-level suites, one with its own private entrance (through a pair of ornate, gigantic blue doors), and one with a private roof terrace. And in every room, the technology skews toward the genuinely useful — not a mess of remotes or mood-guessing avant-garde light shows, but free wi-fi, pre-loaded iPads, and big, smart televisions.
In short, it’s an experience worth sharing — whether with a pair of new friends from the restaurant/kitchen/lobby/bar, or with ten thousand of your closest digital admirers.
- 90 Rooms
- Style: Modern Design
- Atmosphere: Lively
- 16 Guest Reviews
- 1888 Hotel
- 139 Murray Street, Pyrmont
- Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
- Neighborhood: Darling Harbour
Hotel amenities and services
- 24 hour front desk
- Central air conditioning
- Free wi-fi
- Luggage storage
- No pets allowed
- Room service
- Self service parking (charges apply)
- Shopping area nearby
- Wake-up service