Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 October 2019

Hotel insider: Paramount House Hotel, Sydney

A cosy vibe coupled with intuitive staff make this an inviting option

The old structure blends with modern finishes. Courtesy Sharyn Cairns
The old structure blends with modern finishes. Courtesy Sharyn Cairns

The welcome

As I navigate my way up the slip road toward this boutique establishment, I’m surprised to find there is no official entrance or short-term guest parking bays. I manage to squeeze my car into one of the few metered spaces available across the road and find my own way to the reception desk. Check-in is fairly straightforward, although details regarding parking and luggage retrieval are not immediately forthcoming. With a 15-minute wait before I can relocate my car, I top up the meter and make my own way to my room.

The neighbourhood

Only minutes away by foot from the Sydney Central Business District, the hotel has made its home in the heritage building on Commonwealth Street that was once the headquarters of Paramount Pictures Studio. It is a 20-­minute drive from Sydney Airport and set a few blocks back from George Street and the city’s popular Pitt Street Mall, and is a short taxi ride from the Darling Harbour precinct. The 27-room property is surrounded by Victorian terrace-style buildings and plenty of popular restaurants and cafes, including the much-talked-about local Asian eatery Chin Chin, which opened across the road in the famous Griffith Teas building last year. Central Station is a six-minute walk away.

The room

A room in the the Paramount House Hotel. Courtesy Sharyn Cairns
A room in the the Paramount House Hotel. Courtesy Sharyn Cairns

Of the five room categories available – Nook, Everyday, Sunny, Loft and Mack Daddy – I’m staying in a Loft room. The compact space features a two-storey set-up with a living area downstairs and sleeping quarters on the upper level. Melbourne architects Breathe have done well to allow the historical elements of the structure to blend with more contemporary finishes such as raw brass fixtures and warm earthy styling.

The service

Friendly and mostly intuitive, the team at Paramount House Hotel is small yet accessible. I don’t have much cause to bother them once I’m settled, but know that if I require assistance it’s a phone call away.

The scene

The lobby of the Paramount House Hotel, Sydney. Courtesy Sharyn Cairns
The lobby of the Paramount House Hotel, Sydney. Courtesy Sharyn Cairns

Sophisticated and cool. As I move around the hotel, I can’t help but feel like I’m in the thick of hipsterville. There are all types in the Paramount Coffee Project lobby cafe, sipping on lattes and tapping away on their laptops, while up at the Paramount Recreation Club, it’s fit bodies, yoga mats and green juices all round. The hotel does a good job of marrying the area’s heritage with individualistic appeal.

The food

Poly restaurant, Paramount Coffee House, the Golden Age Cinema bar and the Paramount Recreation Club Kiosk are all independent entities and remain busy over the course of my stay. Poly, a spin-off of the popular cross-city eatery Ester, offers a menu that’s packed with sharing plates, with dishes such as grilled diamond shell clams and Bottarga and Abrolhos scallops starting from A$25 (Dh63) per serving. Paramount Coffee House sits at the heart of property, with plenty of communal tables inside and out, and every type of coffee you could possibly want from A$4.50 a cup. Breakfast is served here (offerings include scrambled eggs on toast, coconut rice pudding and banana and walnut bread, with prices starting at A$7) and in the kiosk adjoining the fitness centre. The menu up there is health-focused, offering breakfast and lunch meals that include chia cups, protein pancakes and Californian tofu burritos from A$9.

Loved

The Golden Age Cinema that shows cult films and the best new releases for A$22. Films are shown in the original private screening room of Paramount Pictures.

Hated

I wasn’t too keen on the two-block walk to the hotel’s allocated car park.

The verdict

A comfortable, cosy choice in the heart of Sydney’s CBD.

The bottomline

Rooms at Paramount House Hotel start from A$250 a night, including Wi-Fi. Parking is an additional A$30 per night.

Updated: September 18, 2019 12:13 PM

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