“Boutique but friendly beachfront hotel in the laid-back suburb of Coogee, just 15 minutes from Sydney airport”
Architect Virginia Kerridge has done a great job combining cool whites with bold splashes of colour, and contemporary restraint with the grandeur of the original structure. The rooms vary in size but all feel spacious; those on the ground floor retain their high Victorian ceilings. Smallest are the Standard Queen Rooms and largest is the Premier Ocean View Room which has its own sitting area and grand sea views.
A Japanese influence is apparent in the monochromatic decor, screens and sliding cedar doors. Beds are covered with dazzling white linen, dark charcoal counterpanes and double pillows; bedside Eileen Gray tables have sleek metal lamps. You get beige curtains, dove grey sofas, a small dose of art (2 black and white photographs in our room) and warm grey-mocha rugs on pine or jarra-wood floorboards. Bathrooms are bijou but perfectly conceived: expect custom-made stainless steel suites with a walk-in drench shower, blue mosaic tiled walls, and an organic range of Clay toiletries from Byron Bay.
We loved the Ocean View Rooms, on the ground floor by the entrance, which have stunning sea views and a small sun-trap balcony. King Rooms, also on the ground floor, enjoy original ceiling mouldings and high ceilings. Upstairs, the Balcony Room has its own balcony and sliding wood lattice door.
All rooms have a compact beech wood kitchenette with microwave, tea and coffee making facilities and stainless steel sink. Other practical items include an ironing board and iron, telephone, radio, satellite TV, CD and DVD players.
Breakfast is taken communally around the large custom-made dining table in the Tasmanian oak kitchen, or outside in the courtyard. It's a lazy, sociable affair which can last all morning. You'll find fellow guests reading the complimentary newspapers, tapping away at their laptop, and making plans for the day. The architect, Virginia Kerridge, designed the galley kitchen, with its folding doors and clean lines, to be simple and stylish. The 2 long dining tables, next to the wide glass sliding doors onto the courtyard, are laid with condiments; there's a large fridge full of supplies and a variety of breads on the sideboard; and you're free to bring your own favourite items too. So help yourself and make toast, coffee, cereal, freshly-squeezed orange juice or whatever takes your fancy in the mornings. Both the reception area and kitchen are tucked away at night by customised cedar folding doors.
Sydney is justly renowned for its wealth of excellent restaurants and eateries - food is fashion here. Coogee Beach has dozens of likeable cafes and cuisine of every stripe. For restaurants with designer interiors and design-conscious customers you may need to go further afield - check out Paddington, Darlinghurst and Bondi. Local recommendations include A Fish Called Coogee, Bar Zura, and Jack & Jills.
You can also stay in and rustle up dinner in your room's kitchenette. There is a microwave, a fridge, a kettle, and a basic set of cutlery, the hotel will also let your borrow items from their kitchen.
Dive welcomes children over 8 years old. Kids will love the beach and its facilities opposite. None of the rooms are able to accommodate extra beds.
Children (4-12 years), Teens (over 12)
Babysitting available by arrangement
Rooms have a kitchenette, and there's a communal kitchen area for breakfasts.
There is a relatively busy road in front of the hotel and though the property is on a raised walkway and the front door is too heavy for small kids to open, parents should be aware of excited children rushing out towards the beach.