Sydney, Australia

Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour

Rates from (ex tax)$136.96

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AUD197.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

Style

Industrial revelation

Setting

A dawdle from Darling Harbour

Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour in Sydney is a fashionable former wool store decorated with period features, mid-century furniture in bold primaries and young, friendly staff you’re in danger of falling for. The location is ideal – a serene spot near Darling Harbour – and the feel is fun and relaxed.

Smith Extra

Get this when you book through us:

Daily breakfast for two and late check-out (1pm)

Facilities

Photos Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour facilities

Need to know

Rooms

90, including two suites.

Check–Out

11am, but flexible on request. Earliest check-in, 2pm; if you turn up early, the hotel will store luggage until your room is ready.

Rates

Double rooms from $137.34 (AU$179), excluding tax at 10 per cent. Please note the hotel charges an additional service charge of 1.5% per booking on check-out.

Price information

If you haven’t entered any dates, the rate shown is provided directly by the hotel and represents the cheapest double room (including tax) available in the next 21 days.

Prices have been converted from the hotel’s local currency (AUD197.00), via openexchangerates.org, using today’s exchange rate.

More details

Rates include WiFi, minibar drinks, gym access and classes at Snap Fitness and self-service laundry. Rates exclude Continental breakfast (AU$25) a 1.8 per cent credit-card surcharge for Visa and MasterCard payments, 3 per cent for Amex and Diners Club.

Also

Some King Bedrooms are wheelchair-accessible; just ask upon booking. The hotel have a partnership with buzzy, brightly coloured Snap Fitness Pyrmont gym, less than 10 minutes' walk away, if you have a work-out regime to maintain.

At the hotel

Onsite parking (at an extra cost); free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, minibar, slippers and bathrobes.

Our favourite rooms

Natural light spills through the period windows and into the airy Lofts, which have a mezzanine bedroom, exposed brick walls and punchy Australian artworks. Pops of colour – bright yellows, reds and blues – punctuate the understated, stony colour palette. For the best views of Sydney, sprawl out in Stirred, at the top of the building, which has a sociable lounge area and a sun-kissed patio. If you want to pretend that you own the place, book Shaken, which has its own private (and very grand) entrance, primary-coloured furniture, a cocktail bar, a bathroom with an oversized tub and a little outdoor area for in-room breakfasts.

Packing tips

Leave books and iPods at home – each room has an iPad.

Also

The hotels public areas are wheelchair accessible, there's a lift to all floors and some King Bedrooms have been adapted for guests with mobility issues.

Children

If you book a Junior Suite (or higher category room), little Smith(s) can come too: cots are free; extra beds for 12-year-olds and under are AU$50 a night.

Food and Drink

Photos Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour food and drink

Top Table

As close to the bar's breakfast spread as possible: you'll definitely want a second just-baked pastry or dollop of zingy, home-made jam.

Dress Code

Sydney sybarite. Bring a fine knit or cashmere shawl, to honour the hotel’s strong ties to the textiles industry.

Hotel restaurant

There's no restaurant, but guests can graze in the Lo Lounge bar, a laid-back hang-out spot in creams and nudes, with oak beams and exposed-brick walls. Head here for the Continental breakfast spread (AU$25 a guest, each day) of fresh fruit, meat and cheese platters, pastries, breads, yoghurt and juices, snacking throughout the day and sharing platters with drinks in the evening (all prepped by chef Gavin Berrecloth's team). There's a large communal table for group gatherings too. 

Hotel bar

Lo Lounge boasts a respectable selection of Australian wines and beers. The friendly barmen are currently devising a signature cocktail; got any recommendations for what should feature in the 1888? Let them know. 

Last orders

Drinks are served in the lounge between 5pm and 10.30pm (5pm to 9.30pm on Sundays); don't miss the 5pm–7pm happy hour. Breakfast is served between 6.30am and 10am (7am–11am on the weekend); dinner is 6pm–9.30pm.

Room service

In-room dining is on offer between 5pm and 10pm (expect an additional tray charge).

Location

Photos Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour location
Address
Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour
139 Murray Street, Pyrmont
2009
Sydney
Australia

Planes

Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport (www.sydneyairport.com.au) is 11km away (a 20-minute drive). The airport is serviced daily by all major international and Australian carriers.

Trains

If you’re coming by train, Town Hall Station is just 2km away (www.sydneytrains.info). It’s a five-minute drive or a pleasant 15-minute walk from the station to the hotel.

Automobiles

Sydney’s CBD is a seven-minute drive away. Parking spaces (AU$45 a day) must be pre-booked, and you’ll need to collect your permit from reception on arrival, before parking up. 1888 Hotel is just off the Western Distributor Freeway on Murray Street, Pyrmont; the car park is just opposite the hotel.

Worth getting out of bed for

Start with a stroll around what's on your doorstep: Darling Harbour and Cockle Bay. Speaking of cockles, it'd be a darn shame to miss the Sydney Fish Market. Feeling lucky? The Star casino is just minutes away. Take a walk through Sydney’s Botanical Gardens overlooking the Opera House and Harbour Bridge or get up close and personal at the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Pylon Look-out. The ‘Coathanger’ was built in 1924 and was at the time the world’s largest single-span bridge. There are hot shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art, on the waterside at West Circular Quay (the café is perfect for people watching). Sydney's CBD (Central Business District) is bustling with great retail therapy. Hot stores in the area include Australian accessories label Mimco (+61 (0)2 9232 2629), at 320c George Street, beside the ivy complex. Cult label Sass & Bide (+61 (0)2 9232 4393) is at Shop 6, ivy, 320 George Street, right nearby. Alternatively, venture to Paddington where you’ll find the best of the fashion boutiques, arthouse cinemas, hip eateries and cool bars. Glenmore Road hosts the biggest designer boutiques such as Ksubi, Alannah Hill, Kirrily Johnston and Scanlan & Theodore. The (in)famous Bondi Beach may not be Sydney’s prettiest, but it’s definitely worth a peek, especially on Saturday mornings when the Bondi Farmer's Market takes over Bondi Beach Public School.

 

Local restaurants

What else would you eat by the Maritime Wharf but succulent seafood and the freshest of fish? Join discerning locals at Flying Fish (+61 (0)2 9518 6677) on Jones Bay Wharf Pyrmont for long lunches, or pop in for zingy cocktails and sea-inspired nibbles at the restaurant’s Little Fish bar. Where Tokyo meets Sydney, Sokyo (+61 (0)2 9518 6677) at 80 Pyrmont Street offers Japanese dining in a dramatic, liquorice-coloured dining room. Chef Chase Kojima is clearly enjoying himself: his playful menu includes dishes such as maple miso and tuna sashimi with plum jelly. Skip breakfast and/or lunch for the 10-course degustation menu at popular Momofoku Seiobo (+61 (0)2 9777 9000), a wander from the hotel (and the brand’s first outpost outside New York), also at the Star casino on Pyrmont Street. Sit at the bar and watch the chefs in creation mode, and work your way through the menu (the steamed pork buns have amassed a loyal following).

Local bars

Enjoy a glass or two of wine and some pizza or nibbles at Gallon Wine Bar (+61 (0)4 0279 9557), a casual neighbourhood drinking spot that’s just a short walk from the hotel on Harris Street.

Reviews

Photos Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour reviews

Anonymous review

Partied out, sun burned and feet in pain from dancing away for many nights, and I was extremely happy to be checking into Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour. I had been to my friend’s hen party in Cairns and I was in need of some catching up on reality – so where better than while also checking out the world’s first (self-dubbed) ‘Instagram hotel’, in sunny Sydney?

Welcomed warmly by a member of staff, they stepped in to help me with my luggage and I was happily left free to check out the groovy interior. Cool, low, neon-coloured chairs (reminiscent of the many colours of my Mooch character if you’ve ever seen my blog) teamed with exposed reclaimed wooden beams. I defy even the most jaded hotel-hopper not to widen their eyes at this dazzling downstairs space, with its glittering glass lift shaft and lofty atrium. Along with toffee-brown Chesterfields, there’s a tree sprouting from a grassy circle on the concrete floor and even a space for Instagram selfies. Pops of Crayola colour come courtesy of Australian art on walls and covetable pieces of mid-century furniture.

When I arrived I’d been told that my lovely Mr Smith who’d been on a road trip while I was partying with the girls had arrived at Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour an hour before. I was expecting to meet him up in the room, but he’d been told he couldn’t access it until I got there – my guess is they thought he was a cheeky backpacker tagging along. LOL.

Key collected, we were soon glugging fresh lemonade then making a beeline for that Roald-Dahl-story-worthy glass elevator. We only need to head up to the first floor, so the journey was short – it must be fun shooting all the way to the top to absorb the whole warehousey interior. The hotel has a history that it’s clearly proud of: the name references its 1888 birthday, and the building has been undressed to reveal its past: repurposed beams made into tables and chairs, for example, lofty period windows letting in lashings of light and exposed brick walls left as a feature in the unfussy rooms.

We entered our junior suite and everything here felt super fresh: the freestanding bath, the flatscreen TV floating on the wall, and the hipster-friendly minibar packed with irresistible organic and health-conscious treats. An iPad in the room controls the temperature and provides information on services and local attractions, which is always a clever bonus don’t you think? A killer WiFi connection and hi-tech media hubs make you feel like a hotel is a blogger’s best friend. Being able to update my posts whenever I feel the impulse is always an advantage when travelling far from home – as well as being able to check out the hotel’s Instagram account and spy on what other guests are up to.

The bar beckoned next for some chatting, chilling, and exotic cocktail sipping. There’s a great atmosphere here thanks to the hotel attracting cool and quirky folks – really that’s the essence of 1888. When the bar closed at midnight we hit the elevator that Willy Wonka would approve of and head up one story for a relaxing bubble bath. Soon enough were snoozing – the bed was very comfortable – and a much-needed stretch of beauty sleep was had.

The next morning those helpful staff won our hearts again. We fell in love with the team. They’re smiley, proud of their hotel and effortlessly helpful: rushing off to flag down taxis and volunteering the area’s best bits unasked for. Sydney’s world-famous harbour is only a few minutes’ walk from the hotel so we couldn’t resist a stroll around there gawping at that spectacular Opera-House-studded skyline. We also explored other delights of the city including Chinatown – cue me getting lots of cute key chains and stickers to decorate the notebook that’s rarely out of my hand.

The eatery and bar finally lured us back for some simple, nutritious snacking. Breakfast is a grazing affair of cold cuts, cheeses and granola, and the rest of time it’s especially appealing for its irresistible small plates. 1888 is a blogger’s dream, overall hey? It felt like a relaxed getaway while still letting us be immersed in the heart of the city. Delightful staff, and food and drinks worth instagramming and a peaceful room that was chic and comfortable. And best of all, when you see how much it costs it doesn’t have you breaking out in a sweat.

The Guestbook

Whenever you book a stay at a Smith Hotel with us, we’ll invite you to review it when you get back. Read what other Smith members had to say in Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour’s Guestbook below.

We loved

Junior suite extremely comfortable. Free mini bar and treats very generous. Great handy location for Darling Harbour through car park! Staff exceptionally helpful about sightseeing and everything else. Fab quirky place. Great to have the use of Snap gym too. Chat Thai great food and easy 15 min walk. Reasonable Get ferry to Watson Bay for day from Piedmont (up road) and spend day there.

Don’t expect

5 star service -just very friendly casual young staff doing good job. Please can you get the free Happy Hour included? Presently only for those booking direct with hotel

Rating

Stayed on 15 Jan 2017

We loved

Employees: pro active, enthusiastic! Location is very convenient close to city centre and harbour (easy walks).

Don’t expect

Spacy rooms. Rooms are complete, but meant to sleep, not to stay in. And why should you?

Rating

Stayed on 10 Jan 2017

We loved

The friendly staff, the funky room, and Happy Hour was great! Fabulous local eateries, shops go grab a massage if you have time..

Don’t expect

To have nothing to do

Rating

Stayed on 29 Jul 2016

We loved

Loved the wonderful blend of old and new and the quirky look and feel of the place. Location is amazing - convenient to the Darling Bay, shops and restaurants. Loved fridge constantly re-filled with free drinks and the bottle of wine upon check-in. Absolutely yummy breakfasts. And very homey happy hours in the afternoon. Could not find a better home away from home. If you are in Sydney over the weekend, make sure to make it out to the Darling Harbor on Saturday night for the fireworks. They are best viewed from an open terrace over dinner, reservations highly recommended.

Don’t expect

It is an urban hotel and a reclaimed space, so rooms are comfortable but not large and, regretfully, there is no view.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Apr 2016

We loved

Happy hour and free minibar. Fantastic buffet breakfast too. Seibo by momofuku is just around the corner, great tasting emnu with matching wines, theres also a reduced matching option if you've already indulged in the hotel's complimentary happy hour!

Don’t expect

Much space - very bijoux rooms!

Rating

Stayed on 4 Mar 2016

We loved

The funky and welcoming atmosphere from arrival through to the rooms. Beautifully comfortable beds and pillows, great in house menu for breakfast and dinner, warm and welcoming staff. Great design, too. Location was great - an easy walk over the bridge to SYdney CBD and all the shops. Lots of great eateries along the water.

Don’t expect

Oversized rooms.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Mar 2016

We loved

Everything about the hotel, quirky rooms fantastic happy hour, generous free mini bar and perfect location.

Don’t expect

Over the top luxury: think urban chic.

Rating

Stayed on 25 Jan 2016

We loved

The style, the freebies, the bed, the breakfast, and the nearness to the city.

Don’t expect

Heaps of room, total silence, or a pillow menu.

Rating

Stayed on 7 Jan 2016

We loved

Value for money is exceptional, staff are great, rooms are compact but very comfortable and stylish. The free breakfast is absolutely superb, home made granola was the best I've had! Free mini-bar was nice touch, although I didn't really use it much. The hotel had a good location and a partnership with a local gym, so you can work out for free as well.

Rating

Stayed on 28 Dec 2015

We loved

The hotel is exceptional! The staff were friendly and efficient and ready to help with all questions; they made us very welcome. We loved the room, the breakfast and the gathering of people at Happy Hour. Little extras, like the free laundry facility and the free mini bar are great too.

Don’t expect

Our room did not have a view, but we spent all day out sightseeing!

Rating

Stayed on 26 Dec 2015

We loved

The staff were brilliant. Loved all the amazing inclusions – it was incredible value. A real gem of a hotel!

Don’t expect

The most central of locations, but it's still easy to get around the city.

Rating

Stayed on 21 Dec 2015

We loved

Complimentary mini-bar, breakfast, décor, location, location, location!

Don’t expect

Lots of space in rooms, but we knew this when booking.

Rating

Stayed on 24 Nov 2015

We loved

The shower room available on arrival after a long flight, the friendly excellent service and the thoughtful bottle of fizz for our honeymoon.

Don’t expect

A cooked breakfast to be included, although you can pay extra for one; the continental breakfast included in the rate is still excellent.

Rating

Stayed on 18 Nov 2015

We loved

The location, cool interior and friendly staff

Don’t expect

Late check out, wine on arrival or fluffy towels

Rating

Stayed on 31 Oct 2015

We loved

Location. Rooms. And especially the outstanding staff who willingly go the extra.

Don’t expect

A convention hotel

Rating

Stayed on 26 Oct 2015

We loved

The style.

Don’t expect

Your free bottle of wine on arrival, or late checkout.

Rating

Stayed on 9 Oct 2015

We loved

Friendly and efficient staff members, perfect location near darling harbour, spacious and comfortable accommodation, tasty breakfast arrangements, iPad in room very useful with good recommendations for actually activities

Rating

Stayed on 2 Oct 2015

We loved

Location was amazing, very centrally located in the centre of Sydney. Service was amazing, hotel staff were attentive and very helpful.

Don’t expect

Facilities for children - they had a small (but very cool) bar/restaurant but had no way of accommodating children

Rating

Stayed on 14 Sep 2015

We loved

Friendly service Great value extras Nice rooms

Don’t expect

views

Rating

Stayed on 8 Aug 2015

We loved

Free mini bar was useful. Newly refurbished stylish rooms. The upgrade to suite.

Don’t expect

Location was a bit confusing. You have to walk thru a car park to get to darling harbour. Got lost a couple of times. Located quiet end so make sure at dusk there are a couple of people with you.

Rating

Stayed on 3 Aug 2015

We loved

Our stay at the 1888 was enjoyable, but it was somewhat spoiled by the fact that the refurbishment works (which we were informed of AFTER making our booking) were far more intrusive than we expected. We weren't bothered by any building noise as such; but we were disappointed that the stunning open bar area which dominates the hotel's website was pretty much completely boarded up, totally changing the ambience of the main lobby and dining area. That said, our Loft Room was very cosy and inviting - and we look forward to returning, even if just to see the beautiful bar area in all its refurbished glory

Don’t expect

The beautiful bar to be completely boarded up... very disappointing

Rating

Stayed on 25 Jul 2015

We loved

The bed, the bathroom facilities.

Don’t expect

The couch wasn't very comfortable, and the furnishings were a bit sparse and lifeless.

Rating

Stayed on 22 Jul 2015

We loved

The industrial vibe and the good service especially the nice waiter who gave us dessert after the kitchen had closed. Also the gluten free toast and generally yummy healthy breakfast.

Don’t expect

A huge lobby and big bars and restaurants.

Rating

Stayed on 6 Jul 2015

We loved

Proximity to Darling Harbour and the City. The staff!

Don’t expect

Ease of parking.

Rating

Stayed on 25 Jun 2015

We loved

Modern and classy interior, central but quiet location

Don’t expect

a quiet air condition (much too loud for a high rated hotel)

Rating

Stayed on 8 Jun 2015

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