Ever wondered how it would feel like to stay on a wharf? If you happen to be in Sydney, whether it be for holiday or business, why not stay a night or two at the Ovolo Woolloomooloo?
Although the hotel rests in the bowels of an old wharfhouse, the interior decor and overall design of the rooms are anything but old. On the contrary, I was impressed by the clever use of the entire space, and the gorgeous fitting out of the hotel.
Upon stepping into the hotel, I was greeted by a beautiful flight of stairs that led up to the main reception desk. The fairy lights decorating the trees beside the staircase further augmented the overall experience of feeling like a celebrity.
The front desk associate were friendly and efficient, and checked me in within a few minutes. He explained to me the various benefits of staying at the Ovolo Woolloomooloo; such as the free “Happy Hour” (daily from 5.30-6.30pm, with free flow of drinks & canapes), continental buffet breakfast, as well as the facilities and amenities within the hotel.
I loved the corridors of the Ovolo Woolloomooloo, as they overlooked the main reception area and bar/cafe/restaurant.
During my stay, I managed to turn up in time for one “Happy Hour”. I do apologise for the lousy picture below, but the food was actually pretty yummy. I had an apple cider as well, which was decent.
Staying at Ovolo is great because there was free tea, a coffee machine and snacks available 24/7, at the area next to the main reception. The flat white tasted pretty legit, and the sweets and cookies were not too bad either. The apples were crunchy and juicy too!
I stayed in a Deluxaroo King room, which was roomy and extremely comfortable.
The king bed was huge and firm-soft (the kind that was not too hard and yet doesn’t sink all the way in when you lie down), and it was so comfortable that it was difficult to get myself out of bed each morning. The pillows were great, and provided enough support for my neck without being too hard. The ottoman by the window added a nice touch as well, and was perfect for lounging in. It was also my seat of choice when wearing my shoes!
I did not spend a lot of time in my room, as I had to go out for work, but the Apple TV had loads of channels available, and I did catch some Nat Geo whenever I got back to my room for the day. Unfortunately the desk and chair were not too comfortable to do any work in, so I would recommend going down to the cafe/restaurant area near the main reception if you intend to do any work.
Oh yes, a great thing about the Ovolo Woolloomooloo was that the mini-bar items were absolutely FREE, including the alcoholic drinks! They were also replenished daily, so you never have to worry about being thirsty in your room. The apple juice, red wine, cider and fresh milk were great!
There was also a snack pack as a welcome amenity, and it contained some sweets and snacks to munch on-the-go. The tote bag is complimentary, and you are encouraged to tote it home and use it as you wish.
The following amenities were provided in the room:
- Bath towels, bath robes & bathing lotions
- Electric kettle & coffee/tea sachets
- Mini fridge with complementary drinks (replenished daily)
- In-room safe deposit box
- 2x bottled water (replenished daily)
- Apple TV
- In-room iPad
- In-room slippers
- Standing shower
The bathroom was huge to say the least, and it was nearly half the size of the entire room. There was both a standing shower as well as a soaking tub. The room slippers were also very comfortable and of very good quality. They were definitely not the thin, papery types you get at some hotels.
The Lo Lounge houses both the bar as well as the cafe/restaurant where breakfast is served at. The bar is open 24/7, while breakfast is available from 6.30am-10.30am (Mon – Fri), and 7am-11am (Sat, Sun & Public Holidays). Besides the traditional comfy sofas and coffee tables scattered around, there was also a pool table for guests to enjoy, as well as mini arcade machines for the kids (and the young at heart) to play with.
The buffet breakfast had a decent selection of food, and although most were repeated daily, there was always one or two items that were changed on a daily basis, which injected some variety to the buffet. The food was of good quality for a hotel buffet breakfast, and I enjoyed my breakfasts throughout my stay. The only thing missing was an egg station to order freshly cooked eggs.
Fitness Centre & Swimming Pool
The fitness centre was located a short walk away, as it was in another wing. It shares a space with the swimming pool, and in fact, it was just beside the pool. You could literally finish a run, rinse yourself and towel off, before jumping right into the pool for a few cool-down laps!
The fitness centre, though small, was well-equipped, and had 2 treadmills, 2 exercise bikes, 1 elliptical machine, as well as a range of free weights, and a weight machine.
I did not swim during my stay at Ovolo Woolloomooloo, but I thought that keeping the pool indoors was a great idea, so that guests would still be able to use it in the winter season. The jacuzzi added a nice touch as well to the overall pool experience.
There was also a laundry room on the compound (complimentary usage for hotel guests). Fret not if you did not bring your own washing powder/detergent, as you could simply use the washing powder provided by the hotel. There were also dryers provided, which came in mighty handy when trying to dry the clothes after a wash!
I found the Ovolo Woolloomooloo to be an amazing hotel. The design oozed class, and yet also had a whimsical feel about it, especially with the beautiful fairy lights strung around the trees in the hotel reception/restaurant area. The room was very comfortable, and the amenities top-notch. No complaints facilities-wise as well, with a gym, a swimming pool, and even complimentary laundry facilities within the hotel compound. The gym was well-equipped despite being very compact, and yet it did not feel too cramped.
The hotel location was fantastic as well, and staying on a wharf was a cool experience. Nature-lovers would appreciate the fact that the hotel was a short jog/walk away from the Royal Botanic Gardens (and Mrs Macquarie’s Chair, which had very pretty views of the surrounding harbour). Although I was there for business, I would highly recommend Ovolo Woolloomooloo for leisure travelers, and I do hope to return some day.
Ratings out of 10 (10 being the best, 0 being the worst)
Overall Rating: 9.5
Location: 8.5 (beautiful location out on the wharf, and right beside the Royal Botanic Gardens)
Room: 10 (spacious room & bathroom, and the free mini-bar and snacks were awesome)
Facilities: 9 (restaurant, fitness centre & sauna, although minus 1 point for the hotel charging for use)
Staff: 9 (staff were cheerful and proactive)
Breakfast: 8 (loved the fresh and delicious food, with a different variety every day)
6 Cowper Wharf Roadway, Woolloomooloo, Sydney