Sydney and its hundreds of suburbs can be confusing for visitors. I remember when I first arrived and was trying to figure out where I wanted to find an apartment, and let me tell you, it was not easy even with a map.
The same goes for when looking for accommodation, because obviously a hotel right in the heart of Sydney city is going to be the prime choice, but it will also be the most expensive, and it just might not be the environment for you.
That’s when suburbs like Surry Hills — also the location of my first apartment in Sydney — become the focus of attention.
Just a week ago, I was given the pleasure of staying in the Surry Hills accommodation, The Cambridge Hotel, for the weekend, and here is a little bit about my experience.
The Cambridge Hotel is located on Riley Street in Surry Hills, just about a block from Oxford Street and a block away from the trendy, packed, and never boring Crown Street — the place where you can eat, drink and shop until you can’t anymore. In fact, Tio’s (a favorite small bar of mine) is just a short walk away.
From the higher levels of this hotel — such as those from my room on level 10 — you get picture perfect views of Sydney city.
To me, the Cambridge really is about location. You can pop into the city, head up to Oxford Street, roam around Darlinghurst — all in a matter of minutes — and you get to go back to your fairly quiet Riley Street to relax the night away.
Surry Hills has Character
Just like all the older terrace houses and small laneway streets, the building for the Cambridge is not the most modern, but it does have character.
Splice in a couple of upgrades and small renovations and you get a little bit of funk mixed in to this older vibe. Just to note: There will be further renovations to the bar and restaurant before reopening them in August.
Small Perks I Really Enjoyed
The mini bar prices were out of this world. Seriously, you couldn’t walk across the street and buy a beer for that cheap. I was tempted… very tempted.
The Porterhouse is just on the corner, and you can hop over to eat one of the biggest and best beef and Guinness pies you will ever have (served up on a giant pile of mash made from oh… 7 potatoes). Better yet is the fact you can call room service and order the pies right up to your room.
The pool may not be a big exercise pool, but they do have one (it’s indoor), and it would be nice to relax in that after an afternoon of walking.
The rotating wall unit that held the TV made it so you could rotate the TV towards the lounge or the bed area with ease. I thought it was handy.
The work nook was equipped with a desk, phone, Internet cable and a space to make it feel more office like.
The Cambridge Final Thoughts
The Cambridge Hotel is a decent Sydney sleep in the surrounds of Surry Hills. While I may have an issue with it being classified as a 4 star accommodation (the scale is always a bit lower in Sydney in my personal opinion), the location and price are what’s going to make the hotel so great for a Sydney getaway. I’d also be interested to see how the bar and restaurant measure up after the renovation later this year.
Just a note: Price-wise, you’re looking at about double the rate of a private room in a local Sydney hostel.
To learn more about rates and availability, visit the official website.
My stay in The Cambridge Hotel was provided free of charge, but the review is my own.