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“Indescribable”

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Establishment Hotel
Ranked #97 of 178 Hotels in Sydney
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed September 7, 2008

The Establishment is even harder to explain than Blue. It is understated and eye-catching at the same time. The jagged bottom of the building is scorched brick up to about 7 feet, and the top is modern glass and metal. It is decorated minimally in light neutral colors. There is incense burning in the lobby. There is an abstract-artsy type metal waterfall in their breakfast room.

My room was understated (in a tasteful way) but high-tech. The telephone doubled as some kind of room control computer. I know this because the porter checked my room temperature and turned on the (highly efficient) vacuum fan by pressing a button on the telephone. Every light in the room was on a dimmer-switch that could be controlled by switches by the door and probably by telephone. Also if I got up in the middle of the night, I could touch the telephone and it would light up so I could find the bathroom.

The bed was very comfortable and there was a huge flat screen TV. Service was outstanding. At my single request at the front desk, they brought up cappuccino and oranges within 5 minutes after my wakeup call, whenever that was. They escorted me to my room whenever I went up, although this may be because my elevator card wasn’t working right. The receptionist called to determine if I needed help getting to dinner on time and came up to my room to help me put on a necklace.

And most people in Sydney already know this: They leave big delicious chocolate and chocolate-chip cookies on your bed every day.

I had been told by Fodorites that there was no view from rooms in the Establishment, but when I entered my room the first time, I asked the porter to open the shades anyway, expecting to see brick walls. I did not see brick walls. What I saw was amazing: the well-lit fifth floor of a full office in busy mode. You see, outside the Establishment building there is a narrow alleyway, and then the next building, which was almost all glass. There were very busy offices in this glass building. I was told they were offices of a bank. The many personnel there paid me no attention although they had to see me, unless they were in a different dimension. I had brought binoculars, and considered using them to read their computer screens and whatever memos they were frantically running around with, but I was afraid I might be arrested.

Highlight: Est restaurant

Est, a restaurant in the Establishment, is locally famous in Sydney, and is frequented mostly for important anniversaries and birthdays. I opted for a fixed five course meal. I had wonton soup – (they didn’t call it this), pate’, the mini Australian lobster they call a bug, a lamb chop served with veggies, and a large cheese platter with quince paste and of course that plate of homemade mini candies and cookies that such restaurants like to bring, just in case you are not completely full. As expected, the food was excellent and nothing unusual happened.

  • Stayed: August 2008, traveled solo
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Thank Daxidel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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355 - 361 of 438 reviews

Reviewed May 15, 2008

My boyfriend and I stayed here 2 nights for my birthday (a Saturday and Sunday night). Next time I would definitely book in on a Friday and Saturday night as not much is open on a Sunday night in Sydney.

The rooms are fantastic. We stayed in an Establishment Room. They have a huge bathroom and the shower was amazing. The bed is really comfy and they even have a little sitting area with a coffee table, a chaise and couple of arm chairs. Room service is good and reasonably priced (although there was a minor stuff up they sent our room service to the wrong room and I had to telephone and find out what happened to it but they fixed it up no problems and didn't charge us for it). I will say the staff are quite young, but very enthusiastic. The only thing I would suggest to the hotel is to update some of their technology, the TVs are pretty dated (cmon guys, flat screens please) and you have to connect to the internet with a cable (no wireless) but at least the internet is complimentary. They were very helpful with printing out or boarding passes for the plane and nothing really was too much trouble.

We didn't eat at the Est. restaurant but we wish we had (and next time definitely will). In fact next time we will book in and not leave the hotel at all, it has everything you need. They really make you feel like a celebrity as you are placed on the list for the club and bars attached to the hotel (especially at Tank where it gets a very long line of people wanting to get in although this is probably one for the under 25s). Hemmesphere was a fantastic bar, very comfortable, classy and has full wait service and even easier you can charge it to your room. For cheaper food, you can't go past the Garden Bar, which is great food at pub grub prices.

The location is great, about halfway between the Pitt Street mall and Circular Quay. Cab drivers did have a bit of an issue finding the place, as it is down an alley with a sneaky door into the hotel itself. Insist the drop you right in front as the street is a bit grotty.

  • Stayed: September 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank Opalnera
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 8, 2008

My husband and I stayed at The Establishment in March 2008 for 1 night. It was our second visit, our first being in February 2005. On both occasions, we absolutely loved the hotel. Special mention must be made to the bathrooms, they are huge and very luxurious with a lovely bath in the middle of the room and an enormous shower at one end with the largest shower head I've ever seen.
The bedrooms are spacious with a great sound system and flat screen TV and the beds are incredibly comfortable. We found the front desk staff and porters really friendly and helpful.
We also visited the bar downstairs and had a cocktail before heading out for dinner, again the staff were really friendly and served up a great cocktail. After returning from dinner we visited Hemmesphere, the cocktail bar at the top of the hotel, again we encountered friendly staff and great cocktails.
The only problem we had during our stay was that we spent so long in the shower we flooded the bathroom slightly which in turn went into the bedroom, not a massive flood but we informed front desk about it when we left who were very apologetic and said they would have it checked out.
I would highly recommend this hotel. It may not have the amazing views that other Sydney hotels have, in fact it doesn't really have any views, but everything else is so perfect and for A$280 per night, it's well worth every cent.

  • Stayed: March 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank LabelleLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 6, 2008

My husband surprised me for my birthday by booking a night's accommodation at the Establishment Hotel. We found the service to be very friendly and thought that the room was spacious, modern and well presented - the way the old building has been refurbished as the hotel is quite impressive. The views were nothing to speak of - straight into the offices across the way and overlooking the rubbish buns of the lane on which the hotel is accessed - but these are easily blocked out. We liked how we could easily access the other parts of the hotel also which made it easy to get to Hemmesphere and Sushi-e where we enjoyed some outstanding cocktails and a fabulous dinner. The only downsides from the experience was the overpriced and overcooked breakfast in the morning (although sitting in the garden bar was very pleasant in the morning) and the clock in the room being one hour slow which meant we were almost late to check-out (lucky we checked the time on our phone).

  • Stayed: April 2008, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank teambloopy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 21, 2008

We stayed at the Establishment for our wedding night and the evening after and were bitterly disappointed. They were informed numerous times that it was our wedding night and they didn't even bother to turn the air-conditioning on, much less do anything special. The water pressure in the bath was so bad that we didn't bother waiting for it to fill and just went to bed. Est. restaurant, pretty much the only reason we were staying here was closed on a Sunday evening, something we were not informed of until after we booked, and the room service menu was very, very poor with a choice of very few bland, American friendly meals. I'd say this was a satisfactory business hotel, although when I travel for business all I ask for is a bath, a movie (there are no movies on demand, just bad blockbusters from the 90's you can request from reception) and a decent room service meal, none of which The Establishment provides. This hotel is boutique only in that it lacks services, and like most Merivale establishments is all about the predictable east-meets-west decor and style over substance. Boring.

Stayed: March 2008
3  Thank peregrination1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 25, 2008

My partner and I took a trip around the world and made Australia our first stop. We considered many hotels in Sydney before selecting The Establishment. Boy did we make the right decision. We knew we would be arriving in Sydney from America around 9AM in the morning. Therefore we booked our hotel room for the night before to ensure we would NOT have to wait for a 3PM check-in. We were initially told there was no record of us requesting a room for the previous night at which point I was prepared to make a lot of noise. Lucikly for them a room was available and simply had to be cleaned. We went to the restaurant to have breakfast as they prepared the room. This was the only snafu during our stay. Beyond this.....everything was sensational.

Our room was simply stunning. We both love the "modern" style and were not disappointed with The Establishment. The room had a very soothing color palate and a very large bathroom. An extra bonus were the Bose speakers and receiver which allowed us to plug in our iPod and have our room filled with music.

The restaurants associated with The Establishment are some of the best in the city. We enjoyed breakfast each morning and on our last night dined at their exquisite sushi restaurant.

The concierge treated us as if we were the only guests in the hotel. They were so, so helpful with arranging tour guides and providing assistance with everything we needed.

If you want a great hotel, great location, great concierge and great restaurants.....then The Establishment is the place for you.

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank AtlGlobeTrotter
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 22, 2008

We've been to Sydney before and decided that for our second trip we didn't need to go for the harbour views, but wanted more of a boutique hotel. The Establishment didn't disappoint.
It is a tad tricky to find, as the taxi driver dropped us at the George Street bar entrance, but we soon found the hotel reception and to be honest it was great to see the bar area - something else!
We arrived really early so couldn't check in until late morning, but the receptionist went out of her way to find us a room as soon as she could, so we could crash after our long trip from the UK. The room was excellent, with an open plan bathroom and bedroom and we weren't aware of noise at all.
During our stay (4 nights) we loved every minuite of it, the staff were more than helpful but also very discreet and you wouldn't need to see anyone if you didn't want. On the first night we had room service and tucked into a rather tasty burger...so can recommend that! We also had booked with Mr and Mrs Smith, so we received a bottle of 'champagne' on arrival....as I'm sure you'll know if you've been to Oz, quite often 'champagne' is actually a local fizzy, dry wine, which is equally lovely!
I had my birthday while we were there, so after a fabulous dinner at Aria down on Circular Quay, we toured all of the various bars including the nightclub, which you can have free access to as a guest of the hotel. It was an amazing club, but with both of us being in our thirties I have to say we felt a bit old! The other bars were much more like it with 'Hemisphere' being the best. It was then excellent just to stagger back to our room.
The location of the hotel is spot on...right around the corner from George Street, so a few minutes one way and you're at Circular Quay, Opera House et al and if you go the other way you're right in the heart of all the shops etc.
So, all in all and fabulous place to stay in Sydney!!!

  • Stayed: December 2007, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank WarwickshirelittleL
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
Phone Number:
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney > Central Business District
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Fitness Center with Gym / Workout Room Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service Suites Wheelchair access Airport Transportation
Hotel Style:
#37 Romantic Hotel in Sydney
#39 Business Hotel in Sydney
#82 Luxury Hotel in Sydney
Price Range: $234 - $831 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:5 star — Establishment Hotel 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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