Aiden Hotel Darling Harbour
For a long time, many Sydneysiders viewed Pyrmont as a last chance saloon, a place where you could still grab a drink at the casino or the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel long after most of the CBD’s late-trading venues had shuttered for the night. But the opening of an affordable boutique hotel like the Aiden is telling of where the inner-city suburb is headed, not to mention the uptick in quality drinking and dining options outside the casino’s high-end remit.
This 88-room hotel is housed inside a 1930s-built Art Deco corner block, complete with sparkling harbour views and a contemporary design inspired by the surrounding area. Think plush blue velvet bedheads for the water, and a 200-piece light sculpture in the lobby that recalls dappled sunlight through Eucalyptus trees.
Room are compact, though style and comfort abound. In each is a Sleepmaker bed surrounded by locally made furnishings and – from the standard queen suite and above – hand-painted murals of native flora by artist in-residence, Jessica Le Clerc. You’ll also find a Chromecast-enabled TV, a ready-to-fill fridge and premium extras including a Dyson hairdryer. And on the landings, sparkling and still water taps.
Before you hit the neighbourhood for a one-of-a-kind ramen at Umami Dojo or some refined snacks at Bar Clementine, stop in at Wayfarer’s downstairs for a pre-dinner cocktail, wine or beer by local breweries Staves and Batch. It’s also open for breakfast, lunch and evening share plates, which means you’re covered for a bite to eat before CBD exploring or a shopping spree at nearby Harbourside.