After reading the TripAdvisor reviews of The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel, I booked a room with ensuite over a year in advance. It would be the second Sydney hotel we stayed at during our vacation and I wanted to try someplace unique and fun, without sacrificing cleanliness and comfort.
From some of the reviewers' photos, I wasn't quite sure what I'd find, but I was pleasantly surprised. The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel not only met my expectations regarding cleanliness and comfort, but I found the entire establishment and experience sincerely charming.
We stayed in Room 304 on the hotel's top floor. It was a corner room with a view of the city, including the Sydney Observatory, Sydney Tower and Darling Harbour. A skylight provided extra natural light and the decor was simple, but tasteful. As a bonus, there were convenient amenities, such as a minifridge, electric kettle, a selection of teas, in-room safe, fax machine, and an iron and ironing board. We found the room comfortably spacious for two people (and their luggage).
The bathroom was very clean and nice, with granite countertop, space for toiletries, and more natural light through a frosted window overlooking a courtyard (though the window latch needed fixing to stay latched). The tub/shower was very high-walled and raised, so one needs to be careful exiting -- it's quite an unexpected drop and I almost fell!
The complimentary breakfast, served in a designated area of the brasserie, is better than the average continental breakfast. While there is a limited menu of cereal, toast, fruit, juice, coffee and/or tea, guests may order (for a charge) a cooked breakfast. What makes even their complimentary breakfast better is that you have friendly table service for your fruit, your choice of toast and topping, and hot beverage order. Because of this extra attention, I got to try Vegemite (hey, I'm a tourist!) and a "flat white;" one of these was much better than the other... All told, the breakfast can be as filling or light as you choose.
What makes The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel unique and fun is the historic pub, of course! A smaller English-style pub, the bar is lively and oftentimes crowded, yet it closes at 11 p.m. so noise wasn't a problem during our stay. Our first night we snagged a table and enjoyed our meal so much that we dined there a total of four times during our three-night stay! (We highly recommend the beef pie and the steak sandwich.) Additionally, the bar brews their own beer, so you have your choice of five mainstays and one seasonal brew.
The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel wound up being the favorite of all the lodgings we experienced while in Australia. It exceeded expectations on every level, without a trace of pretention.
I will note, however, that this establishment is better suited for the independent traveller -- and one that can go up and down the stairs WITH their luggage since there is no lift/elevator. The bar is on the ground (1st) level, the brasserie is on the 1st (2nd) floor, reception is on the 2nd (3rd) floor and rooms are on the 2nd and 3rd floors (3rd and 4th). If you expect the Ritz, you will be disappointed. If it's comfort and charm in a convenient, yet quieter location in The Rocks, then The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel will fit the bill.
And speaking of the bill... a special note about their customer service. A couple of days after returning home, I noticed the charge posted to my credit card was charged for twice the amount authorized. I immediately emailed and phoned The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel. As it was Saturday there, the person who could help me was out of the office until Monday. On Monday, I received an email reply, requesting additional details about the charge; on their end it appeared the charge was accurate. The correspondence was friendly and within two days the overcharge was refunded. I appreciated how easily this one important snag was handled, without additional aggravation.
The next time I visit Sydney, I will DEFINTELY try to stay at The Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel again.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Sydneys Oldest Continually Licensed Hotel and Microbrewery. Brewers of fine natural ales, purveyors of delicious pub and restaurant fare and boutique accommodation. Established 1841. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel
- Lord Nelson Brewery Sydney