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.