As nice as luxury hotel rooms are, they often lack some of the primary comforts of home: a big sofa to stretch out on after a long day; a laundry to get your washing done in without paying through the nose, and somewhere to prepare your own healthy food rather than relying on the hotel restaurant. Adina's Apartment Hotel has all of the above -- and the kitchen sink.
Location & Impressions
The Adina is located in Crown St, Surry Hills, between Foveaux and Albion St. It's a 10-15 minute walk to Central Railway Station, which makes it convenient for getting around Sydney, since Central is connected to every line, and it's a 20 minute walk into the CBD of Sydney -- or a couple of minutes in a cab or bus.
Not being slam-bang in the CBD means it is surrounded by a range of great, inexpensive and trendy eateries, which explains why the hotel doesn't have a restaurant -- there's just no need. For Melbournites, Surry Hills is a bit like Richmond or Fitzroy in Melbourne -- just a stone's throw from the city, and very cosmopolitan, despite being a little on the concretey side.
I stayed in a one bedroom apartment, but was amazed at how roomy it was given it is a hotel, not a residential apartment. It has a medium sized loungeroom, a kitchen, a nicely sized bedroom, a bathroom and a laundry-in-a-cupboard with a vented dryer, so you can do your laundry free of charge (though the convenience sachet of laundry soap costs $4.50).
The loungeroom has -- in my view -- the holy grail of hotel accommodation for the business traveller; a huge sofa for stretching out on. There's also a medium-sized LCD TV and a split system air conditioner.
In the bedroom, there's a very comfortable bed with good quality bedlinen, another LCD TV (!!) and another split-system air conditioner. Both rooms have a balcony with a sliding door. The kitchen has a full-sized fridge for you to store your own food in, and all the basic cooking implements -- pots, pans, utensils and crockery -- you'd need to cook a meal.
Naturally, you wouldn't want to be too ambitious with your cooking -- there's only one of each utensil -- but it was an impressive range nonetheless. All the amenities you'd expect are also present in the room; a safe big enough to hold a 15" laptop, an ironing board and iron, a good sized wardrobe with hangers for clothes, and so on.
Pricing for the room is surprisingly good given the facilities -- although the rack rate is $500, a one bedroom apartment is being advertised at the moment for $121 - $220 depending on the day of week. That's less than many inner-city hotels charge for a pokey shoebox of a room.
Working in the hotel is comfortable; in the loungeroom there's a proper dining table, not just a poky desk (though there's no ergonomic desk-chair, if that's important to you), and of course the huge L-shaped sofa.
Behind the lobby, there's a small but pleasant lounge area with nice mood lighting, somewhat reminiscent of some the British Airways Lounge in San Francisco. It's meant to make you feel homely -- if you had a very funky home.
Unfortunately, like most hotels, the in-room broadband is a bit of a rip-off, at $12.50 for one hour, $24.95 per day, or $59.95 for three days. One upside is that you can tick a box during the sign-up to allow two devices to be connected using the same plan, so you could have a laptop and a smartphone connected for the same price, for example. At these sorts of prices, a much smarter move would be to visit the Australia Post office at Baptist St (10 minutes walk) and buy a prepaid mobile broadband modem for $79 - $99 which will provide a month's access to the net via a mobile network.
There's no restaurant in the hotel, but a well-known cafe called Bills is on the ground floor, and you can arrange to have food delivered to your room and charged to your hotel account. That being said, when we called Bills and asked what menu items were quick to prepare, the curt response from the man who answered the phone was that it all depended, and he needed to get back to other customers.
So we walked down the street and chanced upon The Crown St Grocer -- an amazing gourmet grocery store that also has pasta, sandwiches and salads. There's no shortage of other great eateries around the hotel too -- and everything in Surry Hills and the Sydney CBD is only a few minutes' cab ride away.
Of course, if you're travelling for more than a day or two, restaurant food can become rich quickly and you might hanker after your own, healthier food -- which is where the well-equipped kitchen in the apartment comes into it. It has everything you'd expect in a normal apartment kitchen including a dishwasher.
Relaxing in this hotel is pretty easy, with the choice of huge sofa, comfortable bed, or armchair in the room for reading. There's also a gym, sauna, spa and outdoor swimming pool -- I didn't try them out as I was only there for one night, but the pool looked nice in passing.