Coolest hotels in Sydney for a memorable city trip

From choosing your own room, sleeping in a warehouse and airport-style check-in, we've found the coolest hotels in Sydney for a fun city break.

Sydneysiders may fret about their city losing its mantle of the coolest city in Australia—is Melbourne with its cold-drip coffee and moustache-twirling hipsters cooler, or has tropical Brisbane leap-frogged them both, cane toad style?

However, one thing Sydney has no need to worry about is a shortage of cool places to stay, swelled by many of the latest openings in the harbour city. From pick-your-own hotel rooms to sleeping in a repurposed warehouse, choose your own definition of cool from amongst this round-up.

Boutique Sydney hotel with one-of-a-kind rooms


The Collectionist is a hotel designed for individualists. First of all, it’s not located in one of the main hotel precincts of Sydney, instead, it’s set in Camperdown, close to Sydney University and just minutes from Newtown’s King Street.

The cool centre of Sydney, King Street is lined with countless restaurants and hip boutiques, plus is conveniently located just outside of the dreaded Sydney lockout zone, meaning you can kick on bar-hopping all night long. And even better, the rooms inside of The Collectionist are one-of-a-kind, with no two the same.

When you check in at The Collectionist, you’ll be offered a welcome drink along with a tour of the rooms currently available in your selected room size. With seven designers and 13 artists behind the 39 rooms in the hotel, each is unique in its own way, from the luxurious textures of the Ash Room to the peonies sprayed across the walls of the Panda Sinclair Room, to the bold red stripes and circus kitsch of the Bennie Hasheesh Room.

What the rooms do have in common are modern and sleek bathrooms, a handy kitchenette including fridge and Nespresso coffee machine, plus daringly no TVs—you need to make your own entertainment!

The Collectionist


Luxe apartments at Bondi Beach in Sydney


For your next Sydney sojourn forget about staying in the city and instead head to Bondi Beach for the year-round beach vibes of QT Bondi. Located just across the road from the famous stretch of sand, the hotel features a mixture of studios and apartments, with touches such as kitchenettes and washing machines that will make you wish for permanent relocation to these seaside digs. The vibe is refined yet laid back, with pale tones inviting you to relax and enjoy the Sydney sunshine.

Not that you necessarily want to only relax when staying at the QT Bondi. Downstairs, you’re greeted with one of the coolest hotel foyers I’ve ever seen, thanks to renowned Australian artist Shaun Gladwell. Having shot to fame with his videos of skateboards and the like, his still photographs lend the hotel a street-vibe touch and deliver an oomph of energy to start your day’s adventure.

Naturally, the reception staff can make sure you’re up-to-date with the latest places to hang out locally. Although there’s always the classic options of taking a dip at Icebergs (then enjoying a cocktail or lazy lunch in the restaurant above) or heading out for a run on the Bondi to Coogee Coastal Walk.

QT Bondi

Top rated
9.1 Excellent (1269 reviews)

Warehouse chic meets five-star perks on Sydney Harbour


New York warehouse chic meets Sydney Harbour in the latest incarnation of Woolloomooloo’s historic Finger Wharf. Stepping into the expansive central lobby of Ovolo Woolloomooloo, the skeleton of metal beams hints at the building’s industrial past, while the sleek Lo Lounge social area hints at the five-star perks available to guests. From the all-day nibbles and refreshments in the lounge to the free mini-bar in the equally spacious guest rooms and suites.

Tucked away into a cove of the harbour, it’s possible to pass a luxurious weekend here without ever setting foot into the city proper. Just metres away are the delights of the Royal Botanic Gardens, the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the hip Andrew (Boy) Charlton Pool. But there are also many impressive facilities right on-site, including no shortage of dining options right on the wharf.

Lined up along the wharf are a selection of Sydney’s favourite restaurants, including Otto, Manta and an outpost of Kingsleys. But stay inside the hotel for a different experience, at Alibi, Ovolo’s plant-based restaurant and bar. A first for an Australian hotel, choose between the many sharing plates or put your faith in the eight-course tasting menu. It’s vegetarian (and largely gluten-free) cuisine for the modern world.

Ovolo Woolloomooloo

Top rated
9.4 Excellent (2175 reviews)

Bold jewel-like luxury


The latest luxury hotel opening in Sydney’s Central Business District, the West Sydney Curio Collection by Hilton, is located on Sussex Street, near the soaring new skyscrapers of the Barangaroo precinct. Its jewel-like exterior hints at the rich cornucopia of treasures to be found inside, just like those uncovered in Sydney’s early days by the Swedish naturalist, Daniel Solander.

The on-site restaurant is named after Solander himself, with a menu that explores the unique botanical richness of Sydney. Featured ingredients include acacia seeds and banksia nectar (both used in the house-made bread), as well as kangaroo, wallaby, bush tomato, paperbark, Illawarra plums and macadamia nuts. Alternatively, relax inside the open-air jungle-style atrium and sip a botanical-inspired cocktail.

The jewel-like colours of the public spaces (the emerald blue velvet loveseats in the restaurant are a stand-out) continue into the private rooms, with a palette of blues, greens and greys. Between the marble touches and the high-tech inclusions (49-inch HD smart TVs, built-in Bluetooth speakers and capsule coffee machines), no luxury has been spared.

West Hotel Sydney, Curio Collection By Hilton

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (1670 reviews)

Industrial boutique chic on the edge of the city


It’s harder to pick what’s the cooler aspect of The Old Clare Hotel—its location or the building itself. Built in a fusion between the formerly-grungy Clare Hotel and the administration building of the old Carlton & United Breweries, the architects knew when to revamp and when to let the original bones of the building shine through, such as in the retro Clare Bar or the individual features of the rooms on offer.

Though, the range of rooms and suites do have in common vintage designer furniture, dual bathroom vanities and one-of-a-kind Rag and Bone man lamps. And completely new is the rooftop swimming pool, a hidden oasis in the city, and occasionally home to yoga classes.

Step out into the surrounding laneways, in the Central Park precinct on the edge of the Sydney CBD, and there’s no shortage of dining options to choose from or art to inspire. Within the Old Clare, itself is fine-dining Automata, offering an ever-changing five-course dinner menu, plus the newer Barzaari Chippendale, with Eastern Mediterranean cuisine designed for sharing.

Alternatively, just a few steps away is the popular Spice Alley, an ode to the classic hawker stalls of Asia, where you can choose between Malaysian, Thai, Japanese and Chinese. Or for those with a sweeter tooth head to Koi Dessert Bar, which features a dessert-only tasting menu, “Wonderland”. For a stimulating afternoon head through Central Park to White Rabbit Gallery. One of the world’s most significant collections of contemporary Chinese art, don’t forget to make a stop at the on-site teahouse.

The Old Clare Hotel

Top rated
9.2 Excellent (432 reviews)

Far from your usual airport hotel


Citadines Connect Sydney Airport is far from your usual airport hotel. It may be located in Mascot with views of the airport, perfect for a stay before an early-morning flight, but that’s where the similarities end.

With its decor giving a nod to the kitsch of the golden age of air travel, even the rooms are cheekily classified into Economy, Premium Economy, Business and, of course, First Class. Though unlike inside a plane, most of the “cabins” are spacious Premium Economy options with king-sized beds.

Upon arrival, take advantage of self-check-in, just like in the airport, or head up to the reception in the Penthouse on the top floor, with vistas of planes landing on the runways below. The inclusions are many and varied. For starters, there’s a sky lounge in the Penthouse, designed for digital nomads(cocktails optional of course).

A 24-hour food shop offers a wide variety of light meals, gourmet snacks and beverages, perfect following a late-night arrival or before an early-morning departure, all of which is chargeable to your room with a swipe of your card. Felix even offers the only hotel rooftop cinema in Sydney, as part of its rooftop terrace. It’s the perfect airport hotel even when you don’t even have a flight.

Citadines Connect Sydney Airport

Top rated
9.0 Excellent (2040 reviews)