Establishment Hotel

Sydney, Australia Book from Book from £159 per night

Uber cool urban enclave filled with elegant guest rooms, intimate bars, private club and designer dining
This place is serious inner sanctum. Only those in the know will find its discreet back lane entrance off Sydney’s bustling George Street in the heart of the city. The Hemmes family are a Sydney hotel institution and man about town, Justin Hemmes, is at the Establishment helm. He counts Nic, Baz and Russell as close friends, owns his own record label and has a penchant for Formula 1. Enough said.

The Establishment is intimate yet funky for folks who like to brag about where they stay. The hotel is a redesign of a former ironmonger warehouse and historical building, George Patterson House; now a 9 storey combination of old façade and contemporary interiors. There are no harbour views as it’s pure inner city, but a 2 minute walk will have you dipping your toe in Sydney Harbour. Surrounded by Sydney’s premier urban tourist attractions - Opera House, Harbour Bridge, Centrepoint, the Rocks - there’s plenty to do by day, while the hotel's 4 bars, speakeasy, sushi, Chinese and fine dining restaurants will keep you entertained before you retire to your luxurious, cutting-edge bedroom for a sound night's sleep.

Highs

  • Sydney’s best restaurants and bars in the same complex; staying here guarantees you a table
  • Classic contemporary-styled rooms which don't stint on comfort, as we found on our 2017 revisit
  • In-room gadgetry includes touch screen telephones that allow you to control lighting, room service, world clocks and concierge with your finger tip
  • Service, service, service
  • Deep baths with full view of the large screen TV; an excellent entertainment system

Lows

  • The office blocks around the hotel mean some windows look into workers at computer terminals (strategically placed transparent blinds minimise this)
  • The entrance is so discreet that it can be hard to find; you may find yourself negotiating a heaving Establishment bar on George Street rather than the soothing back lane foyer
  • Rooms are single glazed and some overlook a busy street, meaning there can be some unwanted noise especially at weekends; though the hotel can provide ear plugs
  • Availability can be an issue

Best time to go

Sydney is a year round city so anytime is a good time. New Year's Eve flaunts harbour fireworks and loads of activity on the water.

Our top tips

Don't miss the 1920s-Prohibition styled Palmer & Co bar in the basement whose signature cocktails are all named for the lyrics of As Time Goes By. Alternatively, head upstairs to lounge in exclusive Hemmesphere, which has an intimate candlelit terrace. Make mine a Lotus Blossom, what's yours?

Great for...

City Style
Foodie
Wedding
  • Boutique Hotel
  • 33
  • Restaurants and bars (open daily)
  • Over 16's welcome
  • Open all year
  • Pool
  • Spa Treatments
  • WiFi
  • Pet Friendly
  • Disabled Access
  • Beach Nearby
  • Off-street Parking
  • Restaurants Nearby
  • Air Conditioning
  • Guest Lounge
  • Terrace
  • Garden
  • Gym
  • Concierge Service
  • DVD players on request
  • PressReader
Room: Dark Establishment Room

Rooms

There are 31 Studio and Establishment Rooms (with added lounging area). Rooms come in a choice of 2 colours.

The Dark Rooms (levels 2 and 3) have warehouse style ceilings, Japanese black wooden floors, and a soft monochrome feel - very New York meets Tokyo. On our 2017 revisit we stayed in one of the Light Rooms (levels 4 and 5) which have carpet instead of wood floors, neutral tones and rendered white ceilings. Pillows are plump, beds are comfy and the overall effect is contemporary calm.

Bathrooms are either marble or bluestone with double vanities, separate bath and shower, Le Labo toiletries, loads of glass and excellent lighting for makeup application, floor to ceiling mirrors.

Go for one of the 2 Penthouse Suites (Studio or Duplex) for more of the same, but on a grander level.

All rooms have premium pure cotton bed linen, a business desk and mini bar, as well as those high-tech touch-screen room controls on the telephone. You also get high speed internet access, an iPad, a seriously impressive sound system, and seductive mints in the well-stocked mini-bar.

Features include:

  • Air conditioning
  • Bathrobes
  • Central heating
  • Coffee tea making
  • Cots Available
  • Hairdryer
  • Internet access
  • IPad
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Movies and music on demand
  • Phone
  • Radio
  • Safe box
  • Slippers
  • Toiletries
  • Tv

Eating

Wining and dining at The Establishment is consistently top-notch. Breakfast is served in the open atrium Establishment Garden Bar which has both buffet and a la carte options (we loved the bean and kale baked eggs).

Upstairs are two premier restaurants. Fine dining classic, 'est', by Sydney dining master, Peter Doyle, has an impressive 2 Chef-hats in the annual Sydney Morning Herald food guide. Expect muted modern design and original heritage ceiling and pillars. The contemporary seasonal Australian menu simply excels, matched by an impressive wine list.

Enjoy a pre-prandial drink in the ultra-exclusive fourth floor cocktail bar and lounge, Hemmesphere (your room card guarantees entry). 1 Chef-hatted Sushi e, arguably the best sushi restaurant in Sydney, is discreetly tucked away behind a screen. It’s Japanese heaven: sit around a white marble bar and sunken sushi kitchen and let the chef create or choose from a menu of delights including snapper and white soy sashimi and kingfish tartare

On the ground floor is popular two-floored Mr Wong Chinese Restaurant, also with 2 Chef-hats, where we feasted on Peking duck and eggplant in a fish fragrant sauce on our 2017 revisit.

Bar snacks are available in the adjacent intimate wine bar Tank Stream Bar, as well as in the stylish brick-vaulted basement bar, Palmer & Co, an homage to 1920s-speakeasies with period photos on the walls.

Features include:

  • Bar
  • Coffee tea making
  • Minibar/fridge
  • Restaurant
  • Restaurants nearby
  • Room service
  • Vegetarian menu
Eating:
Activity:

Activities

  • Climb the Harbour Bridge at Millers Point, not far from the Hotel
  • Walk the Rocks heritage area of Sydney - where the white man first set up camp
  • Take a ferry from Circular Quay (2 minute walk from The Establishment) across the Harbour to Taronga Zoo
  • The iconic Opera House is very close by, as is the Museum of Contemporary Art
  • A 5 minute stroll through the nearby Botanical Gardens will bring you to the Domain area of Sydney and the Art Gallery of New South Wales and the Australian Museum
  • Although it's a ferry or bus ride to the beaches, you can swim at the Boy Charlton pool just the other side of Mrs Macquarie's Chair; or cross the Harbour Bridge by train or bus to swim in the former Olympic and beautiful Art Deco North Sydney Pool, next door to Luna Park
  • From Thursday to Saturday nights, the hotel's bars and cocktail lounges are extremely busy - it is THE place to be seen in Sydney

Activities on site or nearby include:

  • Museums / galleries
  • Nightlife
  • Shopping / markets

Kids

Though children are welcome, the hotel is not particularly suitable for kids and so over 16s are preferred. There are 2 cots and three rollaway beds available, but these are only permitted in Establishment rooms on request. Each room must have at least 1 adult aged 18+ years. Kids of all ages will find something to suit them in the Netflix selection!

Best for:

Teens (over 12)

Family friendly accommodation:

Cots Available

Babysitting:

Babysitting is available at additional cost, 3-hour minimum

Kid Friendly:

Our guests' ratings...

Based on 2 independent reviews from i-escape guests

10/10
Room
10/10
Food
10/10
Service
10/10
Value
10/10
Overall

We liked the discreet yet central location, and appreciated the stellar service. Our Establishment room had space, elegance, and a great bathroom (nice having the tub and shower separate). And we especially enjoyed the excellent restaurant and bar scene, it was great to wander from bar to bar after a top meal at Mr Wong!

10/10,

It's a great hotel, and the service is of a very high standard. Super friendly and helpful. I highly recommend eating at Mr Wong's next door - I believe owned by the same people - the food is fantastic.

10/10,

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Rates for Establishment Hotel