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“not great....” 2 of 5 stars
Review of Establishment Hotel

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Establishment Hotel
4.5 of 5 Hotel   |   5 Bridge Lane, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia   |  
Hotel amenities
Ranked #37 of 184 Hotels in Sydney
Belfast
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 11 cities Reviews in 11 cities
18 helpful votes 18 helpful votes
“not great....”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed April 18, 2007

I stayed here with my lovely new husband for 5 nights of our honeymoon. The hotel is in a very handy location however wedged between 2 taller buildings it did get a bit claustrophobic in the room at times with little natural light. The room was fab -very modern. I loved the bath in the middle of the room joining bedroom & bathroom (but i slipped one night when washing my feet in it & nearly broke my arm!) We had heard reports about noise however we were very lucky to get a room on the 5th floor at the opposite end to the gym/bar etc. Unfortunately customer service was greatly lacking and due to this I would not recommend this hotel. Staff were not at all friendly, nor helpful. We had problems when trying to book a taxi one night and also when asking where to eat. The hotel also has a lot of wannabees hanging around it creating quite a pretentious atmosphere. We found the whole stay very impersonal and were very glad to be moving on....

  • Liked — the cookies
  • Disliked — the staff
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Location
    • 1 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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311 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Rating summary
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Sleep Quality
    4 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Value
    4 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
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Edinburgh
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2007

Stayed in one of the black and white rooms - dark wood floors, exposed beams and white walls, for 3 nights in March. One of the best looking rooms we have stayed in for a long time (so much so that my girlfriend had to video the room as soon as we got in it because she loved it so much!) Staff were very friendly and helpful at check-in but almost non existent at breakfast - we went down one morning, helped ourself to the continental offering and no one came to take our order for tea/coffee and hot breakfast - no one in 25 minutes of waiting! The hotel rooms are an add-on to a very trendy bar complex with a huge main bar, a smaller cocktail bar upstairs, two restaurants and a small bar next to hotel check-in (and a nightclub we never tried). All the venues are amazing and full of Sydney's beautiful people, however this leads to a lot of noise outside in the early hours - think they should invest in a bit of sound proofing - both the windows and doors are inadequate for the job so don't stay here unless you want to hear the action as well. Great place to be if you want to feel like one of the cool people but don't come expecting a quite, relaxing time.

  • Liked — The room
  • Disliked — The noise
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Location
    • 4 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
12 hotel reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 2, 2007

The cab dropped us off in the Establishment bar, but staff were helpful guiding us to the hotel entrance. Our room on the fifth floor reminded us of the St Martin’s Lane hotel rooms in London, but better.

The bed is fabulous with lots of pillows, the lighting and decor is very sleek and modern. The appliances are tucked away and the whole place looks and is clean. The bathroom has his and hers sinks, the shower comes straight out of the ceiling and the toilet is situated behind a separate glass door.

From the hotel it’s a five minute walk to the Sydney harbour bridge and the opera house. Next door there is plenty of shopping and you’ll find a large number of great restaurants/bars. I really loved this place and would go back in a heart beat.

Stayed March 2007
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London
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
9 hotel reviews
Reviews in 12 cities Reviews in 12 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2007

Wow...this is what hotel experiences should be like! We stayed here for a week whilst we were in Sydney for our wedding. It truly was a great experience and there is not one thing that I can fault.

You know you are in a great establishment (excuse the terrible pun) when nothing is too much trouble. The staff were brilliant - so accommodating and everything done with a smile. Whether it was finding a parking space for the car or organising a breakfast for 15 including non hotel guests.

The rooms were perfect and of a very good size with enough gadgetry to satisfy the inner geek in all of us! I believe we had one of the best rooms as We had other friends staying at the hotel and our room (31) seemed to be that little bit bigger. I would definitely recommend the dark rooms over the light rooms for that extra edge of style.

Some other reviews have complained of noise but I can honestly say that on the 3rd floor we had no problems with it...also i guess on Friday and Saturday nights we were probably joining in with the revellry. The bars are pretty decent but are probably victims of their own successs come the weekend as they are packed. Much nicer to be able to enjoy them during the week.

All in all I can't recommend this place highly enough...we'll be back for sure.

  • Liked — staff, service and rooms
  • Disliked — nothing
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Contributor
15 reviews 15 reviews
15 hotel reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
21 helpful votes 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 17, 2007

i'm definitely more likely to book a stay with a boutique hotel vs a major chain. i found the establishment hotel one of the better boutiques i've stayed in. i stayed for 2 nights (thursday and friday) by myself (woman in my early 30s) and then moved to another hotel, blue, for 2 other nights, only because i extended my trip and when i did so, the establishment hotel was already overbooked. here are the pros/cons of the hotel, from my experience:

pros:

1. location. the location, which i was somewhat skeptical about, was actually quite convenient and very short and safe walking distance to all the tourist haunts (opera house, harbour bridge, circular quay, shopping, chinatown, botanical gardens) in sydney.

2. rooms. the rooms were surprisingly and pleasantly large, with very nice layout. i stayed on the 3rd floor. the room was large with beautiful wide, dark wood flooring. the bed (i'm assuming it was a queen) was on a platform against one wall. a living area and desk area were also part of the spacious room. the hallway leading to the bathroom was all closets. the bathroom was interesting. split tub and shower, double sinks, and toilet separate as well. the tub had a partition that would either join the bathroom to the rest of the space/living area/bedroom or could be closed to make the bathroom truly a separate space. since i was traveling alone, i left that partition open the entire time, which made the room seem even larger. the phone next to the bed had all sorts of controls on them to change the lighting set-up, room temperature, direct dial to hot sydney restaurants, and all the other good stuff.

3. value. the establishment is a bit pricey for most people, granted. but if you're able and willing to spend around $320 AUS for a room, then this is your place. this included a decently sized room -- maybe twice or more the size of a room in any of the nyc boutique hotels like the hudson, chambers, etc. that also included breakfast, which i only discovered the day i left unfortunately, from anything, it seemed, from their breakfast menu, plus free wired high speed internet in the rooms. they also had a small exercise room with towels and water too. comparing that to the $290 AUS i paid to stay at blue hotel (with $25 AUS for internet access for a 24 hour period and no breakfast), i found the establishment to be a better overall deal and value.

4. food. i thought the food options in the hotel were fab. i didn't get to try sushi e, but did lunch in the bar a few times and got room service, which i found to be good, worth the money, and most importantly, diverse in offering.

5. service. good service, attentive, helpful, etc. they found the random things that i had requested, and were very timely with any requests. professional, helpful, and not at all pretentious.

cons:

1. noise. i read about the noise complaints on this site prior to booking my stay. strangely i didn't hear any of the nightclub noise. what i could hear, though, loudly, was the noise from the hallway. the first night i stayed there, some other people were entertaining others in their room, and i could hear people, word for word, when they spoke in the hallway. same goes, unfortunately, for the noise coming from the room next to mine. i could literally hear my next-door neighbour dial his phone, talk to someone on speakerphone, and could hear and understand every single word said. it was kind of creepy, and i'm fortunate that i discovered this only the morning i was leaving. other noise was street noise -- there was some construction going on near the hotel, and that started early each morning.

2. ambiance. i was double-minded about whether to count this as a pro or a con. the establishment bar downstairs facing george street is a very popular place. because i kept forgetting how to get to the hotel entrance, i constantly walked through the bar to get to the elevator that would take me to my room. on the first night, i literally had to wedge myself between people to get through the room. it was that packed. which is fine, but wasn't the best place for a woman, traveling alone, to be able to have a leisurely drink without getting harrassed. the crowd is definitely mixed. friday night i ventured downstairs for a few cocktails and was simultaneously pawed and ignored at the same time. lots of men in suits, straight from the office, but also an eclectic crowd of international-looking peeps as well. hard to put my finger on it. people were dressed up to go out, which was nice in some ways but also hilarious. the things that people wear! i wasn't used to how dressed up people were coming from san francisco, where it's more hipsters in a lot of places vs the low cut, tight, short, party time clothes that most of the women wore. still, not saying this was a complete con, as i felt the rest of the hotel made up for any annoyance this caused. and i guess i was amused by this, which could make it into a pro as well.

  • Liked — good value, great great rooms
  • Disliked — noisy
  • Stayed March 2007, traveled solo
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
19 hotel reviews
Reviews in 27 cities Reviews in 27 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 4, 2007

The hotel is small and very hard to find but well worth the effort. The service is extraordinary and the staff can't do enough to help you. The personal attention is supurb.The lobby and rooms are elegantly understated. The beds are sensational with luxuriously soft linens. The shower and bath area are a dream come true.

Most of all we loved the location. Although the entrance is in an alley, the hotel is within walking distance to The Rocks district. We arrived after a 14 hour flight and dropped off our luggage and went for a walk. There was so much to do within a few minutes of the hotel.

Breakfast was included and the meal was scrumptous. Lots of healthy choices and a unique atmosphere thats stark and chic at the same time. One word of caution, the restaurant was very expensive and a disappointment. There are so many good choices nearby as an alternative.

Stayed December 2006
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
50 helpful votes 50 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2007

We've stayed in Sydney many times and know how important location which is why we choose the Establishment this time around. In addition, we also planned to dine at the Est. restaurant, arguably the best in Sydney and we'd also been impressed by the hotel bar during a previous weekend in Sydney.

This time around we were travelling with our 15 month old baby boy and we were a little worried, as in our experience boutique hotels are reluctant to cater for small children (if at all... cots ruin the aesthetic?). This was definitely not the case at Establishment and the staff were exceptional in their personal care for us during our stay (it didn't seem forced like at most hotels).

This level of service was consistent throughout all aspects of the hotel. An example of this, was a (hilarious rockstar-like) escort by a helpful security guard through the very busy bar (the longest in Southern Hemisphere) packed with beautiful Sydney-siders to get the lift to the restaurant. Again, once at the Est. restaurant, we were exceptionall treated as well and weren't made to feel like aliens for having our little boy beside us asleep in his buggy despite the calibre of the restaurant/clientele.

As for the room; the little extras and the styling were perfect, the stunning sound system and free internet a very welcome addition. We also had the most thorough turn down service we have ever seen, complete with delicious homemade cookies.

There were a couple of very minor glitches, the bed seemed a little worse for wear (we woke to find ourselves sinking a little in the middle) and there was some noise from other hotel guests (but this is something we felt was beyond the control of hotel staff).

That said, we would still thoroughly recommend this hotel to anyone staying in Sydney looking for something different with an ounce of cool or lust for life.

Superb.

  • Liked — Unique style and service
  • Disliked — Noise
  • Stayed February 2007, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Check in / front desk
    • 4 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Business service (e.g., internet access)
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Establishment Hotel

Address: 5 Bridge Lane, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney
Amenities:
Business Center with Internet Access Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
#34 Luxury Hotel in Sydney
#37 Romantic Hotel in Sydney
#38 Business Hotel in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Hotel Class:4.5 star — Establishment Hotel 4.5*
Number of rooms: 31
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
A luxurious boutique hotel, with a uniquely intimate feel.31 elegantly appointed guest rooms, including two stylish Penthouse suites, access to a private gym and Establishment’s numerous bars and restaurants. Establishment hotel offers world class accommodation for discerning travellers. Located in the middle of Sydney’s CBD, it’s a very short walk to Sydney Harbour, the Opera House and botanical gardens.Voted Best Boutique Hotel Accommodation in Australia by the National Australia Hotel Association in 2006. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Establishment Hotel Sydney

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