Home Editor Picks It’s the rule that should be at every hotel

It’s the rule that should be at every hotel

It’s the rule that should be at every hotel


It’s not often you come across a hotel where you really don’t need to step foot outside the lobby’s front door until checkout.

Ample room in your suite? Check. Some of Sydney’s best restaurants and bars on the ground floor? Tick, tick. A pool, spa and gym within footsteps? You got it.

And a welcome surprise … a decked out mini bar (including booze) on the house? Absolutely.

Ovolo Woolloomooloo, sitting on Sydney’s Finger Wharf, overlooks the Botanic Gardens to the north and the city’s skyline to the west.

Built on top of one of the world’s oldest timber wharves, the hotel is surrounded by some of the best restaurants in Sydney — with Otto and Kingsleys at one end and China Doll at the other. And if you venture inside, vegan sensation Alibi Dining sits under welcoming fairy lights (but more on that a little later).

With 100 rooms running down either side of the precinct’s vibrant lobby and spanning across five levels, the hotel is often flooded with five-star guest reviews.

“Perfect location, perfect accommodation and amazing staff” a recent review reads.

“What a great find! Superb hotel, great service, free extras and a healthy restaurant onsite,” another guest added.

“Wow factor at every turn.”

So after a recent two-night jaunt on a gloomy and almost-wintry weekend — how did the stay stack up?

Hotel highlights

There’s a gym and indoor pool available to guests of the hotel (and residents who live within the expansive complex), which is a big win when the weather outside isn’t playing ball.

A portion of the pool area is outside, so if you are in luck and chasing a bit of sun — snag one of the few cabanas available to guests in between swims.

The next big win can be found within each room. Who doesn’t love a late-night minibar raid, and when the booze and other non-alcoholic beverages are free — they go down even better.

The snacks include your standard staples — potato chips, some chocolate, trail mix and a muesli bar. And if that’s not enough, there’s a buffet-style lolly stand in the foyer so you can get a sugar hit at any time of day.

The rooms are quirky and colourful inside with artwork and ample seating for a small group

to enjoy a drink or two while watching the hustle and bustle on the wharf below.

I stayed in the split-level Cityvoo loft suite, meaning the large living area is downstairs and the kingsize bed and bathroom sit upstairs.

The artworks throughout the suite are bright and bold, but the real highlight is the view from the fifth floor across the harbour towards the Botanical Gardens.

Pour a glass of the included Chardonnay and watch the city go by.


One of the biggest ticks (and for me, there were obviously a few) is the hotel’s location. Sitting above restaurants like Otto, Kingsleys, China Doll and also opposite the recently revamped Woolly Bay Hotel means you are always within walking distance of a good feed.

But for me, the absolute highlight (meat eater or not) is the three-course offering at Alibi.

The hotel’s plant-based restaurant had some of the tastiest dishes I have tried in a while, and don’t let the vegetarian element throw you — because you will walk away absolutely stuffed.

We started with the focaccia with black garlic, confit tomato, wakame and ricotta followed by my favourite dish of the evening — the roasted mushrooms swimming in Pedro Ximenez garlic sauce.

Make sure to leave room for the main course — because you will need it.

The salted stuffed cabbage is filled with a spiced ‘beef’ (not really beef) braised in a sweet and sour tomato broth and sprinkled with brown butter pine nuts.

It’s an explosion of flavour and a pretty stunning looking dish on the plate. In fact, given the plant-based nature of Alibi — you could walk away not realising you hadn’t indulged in a single piece of meat.

It’s an absolute must visit whether you’re staying at the hotel, or simply looking for a delicious place to dine.

This journalist stayed at the hotel as a guest of Ovolo Woolloomooloo

Read related topics:Sydney


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