Need to know
Sixty-two, including four suites.
11am, latest. Earliest check-in, 3pm.
Double rooms from $142.33 (AU$193), excluding tax at 10 per cent.
Rates usually exclude an à la carte breakfast of organic oatmeal, smoked-mackerel and bacon omelettes, or a full English (starting at AU$8).
Used to the same old tired minibar offerings? (We’re looking at you, Pringles and salted peanuts.) You’ll perk up at the stash of thoughtfully sourced in-room treats at the Old Clare, which include: Zozoko chocolates, beef jerky, Byron Bay Cookies, Thomas Chipman crisps, grapefruit fizzy pop and bottled cocktails.
At the hotel
Rooftop pool; two restaurants; bar (plus a pool bar in summer); gym; free WiFi throughout. In rooms: TV, desk, minibar, Triumph & Disaster bath products.
Our favourite rooms
If your ideal city break involves wallowing in a bath, skip the Connell rooms, which have a shower (all the rest have tubs for two). The suites come with plummy heritage features, most notably the brewery HQ’s original boardroom, ceilings, timber panelling – even men’s urinals – in the vast C.U.B. Suite. If you’ve got a soft spot for pigs, book the Mary O’ Suite, named after Mary O’Shea: a local woman who used to maraud around Chippendale seeking slaughterhouse off-cuts for her pigs. (There’s nothing porcine about the suite, though.)
Sydney could do with more rooftop swimming pools. The Old Clare is helping to redress the balance with its lofty lap pool set on timber decking – hot property in summer, thanks to the pool bar and city views.
Come thirsty, in honour of the hotel’s boozy heritage. (It’s safe to assume you won’t need to bring a bottle opener.)
Welcome. Rollaway beds ($75 a night) and cots (free) can be added to rooms (book in advance). Babysitting is $30 an hour; lock it in 48 hours ahead.