“Striking architect-designed townhouse in the heart of on-trend Darlinghurst, near city sights and in the Eastern Suburbs”
The Medusa embodies this creative, fun spirit to a T. It's a Victorian townhouse given a quirky and daring refit by architect Scott Weston, and the first thing you'll notice are the bold colours. The exterior is shocking scarlet, the hallway has baby-pink anaglypta walls with plaster angels, its carpet is pillarbox red. Bedrooms have waxed walls in bold primaries, while the Miami-style courtyard is in tranquil lavender and primrose. Furnishings are no less stylish: custom-made chaise-longues and 'capsule' kitchenettes in the rooms, a vast paper chandelier in the hall, Medusa motifs throughout. This is your home away from in Australia's most vibrant quarter, and just 10 minutes by taxi from the city centre.
- Great position in trendy Darlinghurst between Oxford Street and Kings Cross - close to sights, shopping, restaurants, bars and people-watching
- Fun and funky rooms with custom-made details and all mod cons, which still looked fresh on our 2017 revisit
- Design concept of seduction and drama which would make Medusa herself turn to stone
- Good transport connections with plentiful buses and taxis, and Kings Cross train station 5 minutes away
- Availability can be a problem, particularly during Mardi Gras
- No bar or restaurant but that's what Darlinghurst is for: a wealth of clubs, eateries, cafes, pubs and gourmet takeaways on your doorstep
- The Deluxe rooms are not spacious
- This is a 24-hour city renowned for its partying, so though most rooms face the tranquil courtyard, you may hear noise at weekends
- The laid-back, youthful vibe is not for everyone, and not suitable for families
Best time to go
Our top tips
- Boutique Hotel
- Basic self-catering + walk to restaurants
- Over 16s welcome
- Open all year
- Spa Treatments
- Pet Friendly
- Disabled Access
- Beach Nearby
- Off-street Parking
- Restaurants Nearby
- Air Conditioning
- Guest Lounge
All rooms are stylish and striking, with a polished beeswax wall and headboard in contrasting colours - cherry red, bitter yellow, olive green, burnt orange, smoky blue. Comfortable double beds are custom-crafted from coloured timbers, with built-in side tables, and 'float' on plinths. There are modular kitchenettes, cupboards and modern lighting, with egg-shaped side lamps and large central pendants. Ensuite bathrooms have opaque glass and white tiles with Aesop toiletries.
Rooms are arranged over 3 floors in the Victorian townhouse and its side extension. The Grand rooms at the front of the townhouse have kingsize beds, windows to the courtyard, vibrant leather chaise-longues, original fireplaces, ceiling mouldings, and larger bathrooms. On our 2017 revisit we stayed in an extremely comfortable Premium Deluxe room, which has queensize bed and chaise-longue, plus shower and tub in the bathroom. The more compact Deluxe rooms also have queensize beds but lack the day bed.
- Air conditioning
- CD player
- Central heating
- Coffee / tea making
- DVD player
- Safe box
Dining out is integral to the Sydney experience; cool-hunters swoop from one establishment to the next according to the prevailing fashion winds. With a bewildering choice of international eateries and watering holes locally, the hotel's design team reasoned there was no need to include an on-site restaurant. Your in-room guide has take-away menus.
Each room has an ingenious kitchenette, a cubist-inspired cupboard of Queensland walnut set on a plinth; it opens to reveal a minibar, sink, tea and coffee making facilities, utensils and a microwave. Within a two-minute walk, there's a supermarket, greengrocer, gourmet delicatessen and grocery for food shopping.
A simple continental breakfast can be served to your room - just ask reception the night before. Over the road is a famous cappuccino strip - a row of coffee houses and cafes (including the Tropicana which spawned the annual short film festival). And most still head to perennially popular Bill's or the more quirky Bunker.
- Coffee / tea making
- Restaurants nearby
- Check out Circular Quay (confusingly not circular at all) for the sensational Opera House - attend a performance, take a tour, or enjoy dinner and drinks
- And the impressive Harbour Bridge - reception can book you on its popular 2-hour climb
- Immerse yourself in the Eastern Suburbs cafe society of Darlinghurst, Paddington and Woollahra on your doorstep: restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping, markets, private art galleries
- Sydney is justly famous for its beaches - Bondi and Tamarama are recommended. Lesser known but charming are the harbour beaches of Redleaf in Double Bay, and Camp Cove near Watsons Bay
- Centennial Park, a 15-minute walk away, is Sydney's largest: picnic, horse ride, cycle or walk
- Book a boat trip around the Harbour; take the ferry to Manly for the quintessential Sydney experience
- Reception can book a day trip to the Blue Mountains
Activities on site or nearby include:
- Boat trips
- Museums / galleries
- Shopping / markets