Of Paramount Importance: Leila McKinnon tries out Sydney’s most stylish new hotel
It’s the coolest hotel in Sydney right now and Leila McKinnon almost fits in
At Paramount House Hotel, it’s always Friday afternoon; that golden time of the week when meetings are still being held, but the whiff of freedom and cocktails is in the air. Prince’s When Doves Cry pumps through the spacious lobby-cum-cafe at almost party volume and most of the guests are enjoying it with fresh young ears and not at all in a nostalgic-for-my-Walkman kind-of way.
It’s an entrance to lift the spirits and set the tone for at a hotel whose motto — PERMANENT VACATION — is stamped in capital letters into the poured concrete check-in desk:. And you can raise a glass to that with one of the three complimentary drinks on tap: Wildflower Amber Australian Wild Ale, sparkling water, or Ovvio sparkling tea.
It may take some time to get to your room, but only if you’re lame enough to ride the kitsch and colourful pink floral elevator up and down for however long it takes to capture an Instagram-worthy selfie.
The room is like a home away from home, if your home has a lush terrazzo bathroom, a shady terrace, and smells like a walk through cedar woodlands with a handsome man. And forget about Pringles. This minibar is stocked with delicious (and local) LP’s Quality Meats charcuterie, Ocello cheeses, and what looks like a bottled sunset but in reality is even better: the Everleigh Bottling Co. Negroni.
The hotel is in Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills, opposite Longrain and Chin Chin and perfectly placed for the city, Hyde Park and the inner Eastern and Western suburbs. Unfortunately, the only parking is a 10-minute walk away in World Square and while I’ll happily spend that amount of time taking a selfie, it seems like way too long to get to my car.
But why drag yourself out into the world anyway? In house, there’s the critically acclaimed wine bar and restaurant Poly for dinner; the Paramount Coffee Project for breakfast and lunch; the Paramount Recreation Club on the rooftop for complimentary yoga, pilates, and boxing, the Golden Age Cinema and Bar, for amusement; and even Mad Men-style office space if, inconveniently, work does intrude on your permanent vacation.
For too long hotels have been indistinguishable from each other, humdrum. Paramount House, with its Breathe Architecture design, its reimagined urban heritage aesthetic, its glamour, is full of life and character, and encapsulates the very best of Sydney. And it’s competitively priced, particularly compared with traditional hotels boasting far bigger reputations yet much smaller personalities.
PARAMOUNT HOUSE HOTEL
80 Commonwealth Street, Surry Hills
Rooms are named Nook, Loft, Everyday, Sunny and Mack Daddy. Each space has different dimensions and price structures. Priced from $240 per night.