Taking over the reins of Woolloomooloo’s heritage-listed finger wharf building resides the quirky yet charming 100 room harbourside hotel, Ovolo. Sydney’s lower pocket of Woolloomooloo packs a surplus of history, and that history is featured throughout the hotel in the form of artwork, tributes and architecture. Headquartered in Hong Kong, Ovolo hotels are equally as stylish as they’re eccentric. An appealing blend of vibrant colours and contemporary design showcase a hotel that reflects the rich history of Woolloomooloo.
Read about my experience below.
The hotel itself is situated ideally for many of Sydney’s attractions. Whether it’s a stroll by the Harbour, navigating the lush Botanical Gardens or browsing the bars and restaurants of Potts Point, Ovolo is in close proximity to them all. That being said, there are many hotels with a more central location in Sydney’s CBD. For first timers, Circular Quay is likely the more convenient choice.
The Room – Cityvoo Loft
I was treated to the Cityvoo loft room, a two-storey spacious suite on the top level boasting water and city views. My room housed two bathrooms, a queen bed and ample lounging space making it comfortable for a group setting.
The room decor felt equal parts interesting as it was stimulating, but comfortability never wavered. Striking artwork, diverging colour patterns and a room configuration that complimented the slanted ceiling were just some of the first eye-catchers upon entry. Nice touches included two bath robes with hotel slippers, a smart TV, high quality shower wash and hair products, automatic curtains and block-out blinds and a bluetooth music speaker. After settling in and exploring all corners of Suite 519, my answer to a knock on the door was met with a welcome gift of a slice of red velvet cake and bottle of bubbles on ice, a nice touch and warm introduction to Ovolo. All rooms boast complimentary minibar items that include wine, beer and soft drinks. You’ll also find a bag of snacks and goodies waiting to be opened.
The Cityvoo loft suite manages to fit two bathrooms, a 2-4 person dining table, spacious lounge room that could comfortably sit 6 and a minibar kitchenette bench all in 58 square metres. As a big fan of having a TV watchable from bed, that was another box ticked from my hosts. Two TV’s are always better than one. The views that are unleashed from the automatic blinds reveal the sparkling city lights reflecting off the calm waters of Woolloomooloo marina.
Overall, a generously sized and cosy room designed for two.
Residing in the front third of the historic finger wharf building that first served as Sydney’s fish market in 1910, followed by a prominent wool store and launch pad for war-ready troops – only now does it serve as a 5-star hotel and permanent residences at the Harbour-side end. The building is well-known both domestically and Internationally for being home to Hollywood heavyweight Russell Crowe, where he combined four units on the North end to combine for a palatial 11 bedroom luxury penthouse, believed to be valued at over $40 million.
Location aside, it’s what occupies the building that matters too. Another selling point is the selection of first-class iconic Sydney restaurants that are tucked on the ground floor overlooking the marina of million-dollar yachts. These include modern Asian China Doll (a particular favourite among Sydnersiders), Italian OTTO and multi-locational steakhouse Kingsleys. Navigating the hotel is relatively simple, the vast hallway that stretches through the centre the length of the building is your ‘highway’. Keep your eyes peeled for tributes to the building, ex-soldiers and suburb history dotted throughout the hotel. The heartbeat of the hotel and easiest to find, would be the Alibi Bar. You can’t miss it, not with all the fairy lit trees!
Suit up! Ovolo has excellent corporate spaces and event hosting capacity, often being the first choice for Sydney and international business’ to host conferences and business gatherings of the sort.
Enough about business, lets wind down. I’m making a strong case that Ovolo is flying under the radar for one of the better pools among Sydney hotels. A huge sized pool and spacious jacuzzi providing serene and relaxing energy, open doors slide onto an outdoor cabana area with multiple day beds and sun lounges. Not to mention, a 24-hour state-of-the-art gym accessible via the pool room. The pool and gym area is tucked away in quiet pocket of the hotel, away from the hustle and bustle.
Wine & Dine – Alibi Bar & Dining
The heart and soul of Ovolo Woolloomooloo is the chic-inspired Alibi Bar and Dining. It’s the fairy-lit artificial trees and greenhouse-esque structures that house the bar and generate the buzz an inner-city late night bar should have. On offer is a $95pp set menu with optional addition of $65pp for paired wines. Furthermore, an Àl la carte menu with a selection of starters, mains, desserts and sides that has a strong focus on vegan/vegetarian friendly options. There is an extensive cocktail menu however that doesn’t limit the skilled mixologists, ready to prepare almost anything you throw at them. There is also a pool table and ample seating in the form of in-wall lounges, high-top, regular dining, and bar seating.
I opted for a selection of dishes and a couple of cocktails and made my way back to my room feeling satisfied.
Padron and parmesan croquettes
Focaccia, black garlic, confit tomato and wakame, almond ricotta
Chamomile spaghettini, summer squash, saffron, ricotta
Diamond from Valencia
Summarising what was a pleasant 20 hours at one of Sydney’s premier hotels, I would recommend Ovolo to friends, family and interstate international guests. There are better dining options in the Potts Point vicinity, however the Alibi Bar is the perfect stop for a few cocktails – perhaps before or after lunch at one of the wharf restaurants mentioned previously. All considered, Ovolo is a luxurious stay, offering high-quality comfort, great dining options and a convenient location for some of the best Sydney has to offer.
6 Cowper Wharf Roadway
(02) 9331 9000