I don’t know who to thank for the revolution in Australian hotels but 1888 is another example of the good things that are happening here.
‘Boutique’ used to mean a) poisonously expensive, b) frilly curtains and bowls of potpourri, or c) uncomfortably small.
These days, thanks to a mysterious force, boutique means interesting, well thought out and intimate.
The interior of 1888 in Pyrmont, Sydney is all Copenhagen cool. The warmth of wood, roughly sanded paint, block colour chairs and sculptural felt light shades. Everything is bespoke and it doesn’t feel pretentious or false. It just feels cosy.
I stayed in a Junior Suite which was the same size as my old apartment in Annandale (and about a million times better). It had a freestanding bathtub that I could almost lie flat in, a selection of T2 teas and one of those crazily high res flatscreens with Foxtel. The bed was a rectangle of heaven in a double-glazed bubble of silence.
Catch the glass elevator through an exposed beam jungle and you land in the bar to banks of modern Chesterfields. For the time being, the bar only does platters of antipasto, cheese and charcuterie at night but, on the plus side, the by-the-glass wine list is loaded up with Australian locals.
Return the following morning and breakfast is a much more substantial affair with fresh muffins, muesli, fresh fruit and toast with cereal, yoghurt and egg options. The tea comes out in a whopping pot with a homey crockery cup. It’s quiet, except for the folksy music. It’s a happy place to wake up.