Friday 16 August 2013

The Bed Report 2: Vibe Hotel Sydney Accommodation Review

Last week I attended the Storyology media conference in Sydney.

The venue was in Surry Hills, an easy walk from Sydney's Central Station.

This meant I was able to fly up from Melbourne at 6am, take the ten-minute train journey from SYD to Central, and walk to Reservoir Street in time to grab a coffee from Single Origin and be at the conference centre's doors at 8am.

Then, conference over, I walked five minutes north to my accommodation, the Vibe Hotel Sydney.

I'm fond of Vibe. It's a niche brand of the Toga Group, which also operates Travelodge hotels in Australia, and Adina apartment hotels worldwide.

Vibe is designed to be the opposite of the stuffy conservative business hotel, incorporating decor with a cool retro feel. There's a sense of fun about the design which I appreciate, especially when coming from a mind-bending conference about the future of journalism.

The Vibe Sydney lobby didn't disappoint. Near the colourful chairs and curvy urn-shaped lamps was a Happy Buddha statue, arms upraised in the sheer joy of being alive. Or perhaps, the sheer joy of being ceramic.

Upstairs, my room was a large space with plentiful windows looking down upon the gritty streetscape around Central Station. Chinatown and Darling Harbour are easy walking distance from here, as is Hyde Park.

This part of Sydney is never going to win awards for its lyrical beauty, but there's a energetic hum about its streets which is appealing. Standing at the glass, I could see the traffic below snaking away in the dark at the end of working day, with the brightly lit railway station in the background.

The living room's decor followed Vibe's trademark vaguely '60s retro look. The comfortable sofas were long and lime green with reddish-brown cushions, standing on a dark brown chocolate brown carpet. There were bright prints on the wall, with orange and brown tones.

The benchtop above the mini bar had plenty of space. I was particularly impressed to see the kettle standing right next to a handy power point. This shouldn't really have been so impressive, but it's amazing how many hotels make it awkward to plug in the kettle anywhere convenient and/or safe.

The bedroom was relatively plain but comfortably furnished, its green walls matching the colour of the sofa out in the living room. The shiny black-tiled bathroom had a bath in addition to the shower.

A negative in the bedroom: the pillows were too firm for my liking, a common hotel issue. But a big positive: the bedroom windows blessedly opened to allow in some fresh air.

Because of my conference commitments, I didn't have much time to explore the rest of the hotel. The breakfast room was open and pleasant, and I was informed of the existence of a pool and fitness room somewhere within the premises.

There was also a rooftop terrace, apparently. Next time I stay, I'm checking it out [work commitments permitting].

Just the Facts:
Vibe Hotel Sydney
111 Goulburn St, Sydney NSW 2000, Australia
Phone: 02 8272 3300 (International +61 2 8272 3300)
Rates: From $135 per night

Disclosure time... I received complimentary accommodation at this property. To read previous accommodation reviews, click on The Bed Report label below.

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