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“Memorable And Good Value Stay”

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Castlereagh Boutique Hotel
Ranked #88 of 179 Hotels in Sydney
Adelaide, Australia
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Memorable And Good Value Stay”
Reviewed August 29, 2013

The Google Map view of the front of the hotel taken in 2009 gives a not-so-nice impression of the hotel, which obviously had a makeover and changes to shop fronts since then. It now bears the name ‘Castlereagh Boutique Hotel’ instead of ‘Masonic Club’. Historically, it was a Masonic building constructed in early 1920’s and functioned as such until a new Masonic Club was built further down the road in recent years. It is still owned by the Masons but I hear a big hotel chain is going to buy it. Masons and members of the club can still get a discount when staying here. The hotel is conveniently situated for all the major sights you would visit in Sydney – Hyde Park, Sydney Tower, Botanical Garden, Government House, Museum, Queen Victoria Building, old and new shopping centres, Darling Harbour, The Rocks and Opera House. They are all within walking distance, with a few only a street or two away, including bus and train stops. It is well served by the St James’ Park and Town Hall train stations which are less than 5 mins walk away in opposite directions. Getting to and from the domestic or international airport is a cinch for less than A$16 and around 20 mins travel. Trains run every 10-15 mins. Usually, the train runs directly from St James’ Park to the airport but currently, one need to change at Central Station due to track works. Apart from an additional 10 mins, it was not a problem with changing platforms for me as it was on the other side of the same platform. This may not be the case for other days or times of the day. Lifts are available at all stations if you are burdened with heavy or multiple cases. For a dollar or two less, you can book a coach from the hotel to the airport but it will take a couple of hours more of your time, which may be better spent at an iconic site.

Castlereagh Hotel is a 10 storey high building with sandstone frontage and Art Deco architecture and entering the lobby sends you back to a time of old world charm. The rooms start from the 6th floor upwards. The furnishings, carpeting and interior decorations form the look and ambience of the period and are in very good condition. Look out for antique chairs with carvings of duck or goose forming the arms. Also an old telephone on a small display table that looks like an ancient Greek musical instrument. Sepia prints of old Sydney line the walls of corridors and rooms. One could spend half a day looking at these photographs and review the growth of early 20th Century Sydney. The most amazing room in the hotel is the heritage-listed Cello’s Grand Dining Room on the 4th floor which was faithfully restored to its former glory. I can visualise gorgeously dressed women and formally attired gentlemen having high tea at tables with starched, white table cloths and plates of crustless cucumber sandwiches and pots of tea, and musicians providing soft music from the balcony. A cello now sits up there. High tea is available on Wednesday to Friday in there if you wish to have that experience, with live piano and jazz on the Friday. Dinner is also available. There is another dining area on the 2nd floor which I did not have the opportunity to use. Looking through glass panes of the locked door, it looked nice too.

As this is a narrow building that stretches backwards, only rooms on the front (and maybe in the back) of the building have views of the streets. The rest look out to blank concrete walls of adjacent buildings. The standard double room I had was the right size for one person, and probably a bit less spacious for 2. It accommodated a double wooden bed, carved side tables with drawers on both sides of the bed, a small table and 2 ornate chairs and a TV/minibar fridge cabinet with a large flat screen TV. All the Australian free-to-air digital channels were available. I don’t remember seeing paid channels like Foxtel on offer. Tea and coffee were complimentary. The bed and pillows were comfortable to lie on. A large mirror with ornate frame hangs on the wall. The built-in wardrobe had space and a stand for a luggage bag and a safe, which may require a key and payment from the reception desk. Two spare pillows, a wool blanket and about 6 hangers were kept here. I did not see an iron or ironing board but the website mentions a guest laundry service. I did not need to use an iron so did not check it out. The bathroom was narrow with a glass-screened shower. The towels were white, thick, clean and fluffy with hair drier, soap, shampoo and conditioner available. The shower head was the largest I have ever seen with a super flow of water! It took several minutes for the hot water to come through the sink tap, but it was quite instantaneous for the shower. I couldn’t think why there is a difference apart from them being serviced by different hot water systems. The whole room and bathroom were clean and there were lots of power points. The lighting in the room was a bit dim but can be supplemented by the brighter bathroom light. The room temperature can be adjusted to your liking by a wall-mounted controller. The room I had on the 8th floor was very quiet and I did not hear any noise from the busy streets even with the window ajar. The noise isn’t apparent in the lounge/lobby either. There were road/pavement works right in front of the hotel whilst I was there.

The people at reception and dining areas were helpful, friendly and courteous. They were of different nationalities and age range. I was always addressed by name and in a formal manner. Room service for meals is available up to a certain time and the cost of the food is reasonable – similar pricing to a mid-range restaurant. For example, a curry and rice was $19. The selections are adequate as room service menu goes. If you should miss the time line, there are several different types of food restaurants/cafes within a block. Breakfast is in the Grand Dining room and costs $15. Not much more than you would pay in a café (I saw one a few doors away for $12). But you get to eat all you can and in rather elegant surroundings. You need to pay for a voucher at the reception beforehand. A good selection of self-serving cereals, hot food, fresh fruits, fruit juices, breads, tea and coffee are on offer. The chef will cater to your special requirements to a certain extent – eg poached eggs instead of scrambled eggs. Complimentary newspapers are on hand if you are used to reading at the breakfast table. There is a large bar and sitting area in the lounge which is open to the public, as are the other dining facilities. Again, there are opening and closing times. During my weekend stay, I didn’t see many hotel or public clients about the hotel. Left luggage is available for free and there is an ATM machine in the lobby. There is no on-site or street parking. Paid parking is available close by.

From their website, normal rate is $169/night regardless of day of week until mid-October. After that, high season rates apply and it increases to $280/night. I had a discounted rate, booking through a hotel booking agency and stayed for 2 nights. This has been the best hotel I have stayed in for the price that I paid. Considering what I have to pay for other bland and uninteresting accommodation in Sydney or other cities in the world, this has been a great value-for-money boutique hotel. The architectural and historical aspects of the hotel are definitely worth a stay. Apart from the view out of the window (I was out all day anyway and it is beyond the control of the hotel) I only have positives to say about this hotel or the people working there. It has such beautiful and interesting décor that I spent quite some time photographing them. Check out the hotel’s website for a gallery of pictures of the hotel and interior, although a standard double room is not featured. This hotel will now be my choice whenever I go to Sydney again in the off season, and I have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone who wants to visit Sydney.

Sydney had spring-like weather on the 3 days I was there, which pleased me no end and made it a fantastic, memorable stay all round.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank Peter C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Cambridge, United Kingdom
Level 6 Contributor
158 reviews
36 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 66 helpful votes
Reviewed August 27, 2013

Such a treat to walk into, the public rooms are so nicely decorated and in keeping with the character of the building. As mentioned by everyone else, the bedrooms are small and very dark, however everything was clean and functioned well.

  • Stayed July 2013, traveled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank CareFree5
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York, NY
Level 4 Contributor
42 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
Reviewed August 26, 2013

My stay of 3 nights this winter at the Castlereagh Boutique Hotel and it was a pleasant stay. I loved the location - steps away from Prada and the Victoria Mall and close by to major sites. My room was small, suitable for 1 person only to be comfortable. It was well equipped, clean, my bed was very comfortable, refrigerator, coffee maker, flat screen TV, phone, shower - all worked well. Bathroom was very small but clean. I had perfect night sleep since my room was very quiet. Reception desk very attentive - even greeted me by my last name when I asked for my key.
I would not recommend this hotel for longer stays, specially for families or people that stay longer in the room as there was no window / view or a balcony. Suited my purpose of winter nights to sleep and wake up early for my day tours. Price was great and a good value hotel in Sydney.

  • Stayed August 2013, traveled solo
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank planetravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed August 8, 2013

First the pros - the hotel is in a perfect location in the centre of town (the CBD), the rooms are very clean and the staff friendly and helpful. The rooms are amongst the cheapest in the CBD and the 1920's Masonic building is of great character.

Now the cons. Yes, the rooms are small (there is hardly room for two people to move around the bed), and the lighting is dingy (why are so many hotel rooms like this?). It would help enormously if the walls were painted white instead of the dark yellow colour. Thankfully the rooms don't feel too claustrophobic due to the very tall ceilings and the size of the rooms was no great problem for us.

The killer for us though was the noise that makes it very difficult to get a consistent nights sleep. There is still building work happening next door, although this should be finishing soon as the builders appeared to be putting the finishing touches to outdoor eating areas in the open air plaza beside the hotel. At the time of staying though (early August 2013) building work was taking place between about 7am and 10pm - this included Saturday and Sunday. Due to the hotel windows being single glazed and poorly fitting, noise of power tools and "beep-beep" of reversing vehicles was clearly audible in the room. Of concern after the work is completed, however, is the fact that there appear to be several bars and cafes opening in this plaza soon. I would imagine that on a Friday night with all the bars thronged with city workers and the noise echoing around the plaza it will sound pretty noisy in the hotel rooms.

Even worse however is the plumbing. The room seemed to have a water pump just above the ceiling that would operate whenever anyone else used a tap - starting with a droning noise and then closing off with a loud "kerchunk". Earplugs weren't enough to prevent this noise from preventing sleep or waking us up. There are several of these pumps in the hotel, so changing rooms doesn't necessarily fix the issue. As people are showering or using taps at all times of the evening and night, this noise was intermittent for the whole time we were in the room, but is frequent enough that it formed a sort of "water torture" effect, waking us up every 20 minutes or so. Saturday night is particularly bad as people are coming back to their rooms at all times in the early hours and using their bathrooms. After three nights in the hotel, I was extremely irritable due to lack of sleep.

At the end of the day, the core thing that I need from a hotel is a reasonable nights sleep so that I can function the next day. Castlereagh Boutique Hotel is an epic fail on this score and thus rates a "Terrible". We certainly won't be staying their again.

Room Tip: We stayed in Room 1017 - so avoid this room due to the water pump noise. Also, the rooms on the sout...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank BudgieMan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers are raving about these Sydney hotels

London, United Kingdom
Level 4 Contributor
36 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
Reviewed July 31, 2013

This hotel was a good price, great location in CBD and easy walking distance to pretty much everything, the staff were friendly and room service I though was very good. However, the building site next door woke me in the early hours on my first morning with all the banging and crashing which was not pleasing! I was moved the next day to the other side of the building but the air con system was noisy here so again not perfect but was ok. Once the construction is done I'm sure it will be perfect! Best check.

Room Tip: Check to see if the construction work next door has finished or not first
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  • Stayed February 2013, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank DavisG
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 3 Contributor
12 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed July 26, 2013 via mobile

The hotel was within walking distance of the two harbours and most of the attractions. The free bus route takes you to the next street along so again, very easy to access. The room was relatively dark as previous reviews, painted a mustard colour. It was clean except for some drip marks and stains on the wall behind the basket bin. Our only complaint was that there was a constructions right next door and the noise would wake us up very early in the morning. We changed rooms which solved the problem.

Stayed February 2013, traveled with family
Helpful?
Thank Lizzie S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Melbourne, Australia
Level 5 Contributor
70 reviews
13 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 22 helpful votes
Reviewed July 21, 2013

Overall a great little gem in the heart of Sydney, perfect location handy to all trains and buses and easy walk to CBD, Darling Harbour and Circular Quay.

Rooms are small, but very clean, tidy and full service. (Awesome giant shower head ;-)
Limited room service and the lounge and dining room run limited hours, but the location means it easy to get a mela or a drink at any time of the day or night.

Very reasonable rates (book early to find specials).

Stayed July 2013, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank BillD01
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Castlereagh Boutique Hotel

Property: Castlereagh Boutique Hotel
Address: 169 Castlereagh St, Sydney, New South Wales 2000, Australia
Location: Australia > New South Wales > Sydney > Central Business District
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free High Speed Internet ( WiFi ) Restaurant Room Service
Hotel Style:
#77 Luxury Hotel in Sydney
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$
Hotel Class:4 star — Castlereagh Boutique Hotel 4*
Number of rooms: 82
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Castlereagh Boutique Hotel is an elegantly restored, heritage-listed property ideally located in the heart of Sydney's commercial, retail and entertainment centre. The Castlereagh Boutique Hotel has a variety of public bars and dining areas to suit the needs of casual visitors and hotel guests. No stay at the Castlereagh would be complete without dining in the splendor of Cello's Restaurant, our Grand Dining Room, one of the last of its kind. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Castlereagh Boutique Sydney

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