Where: It’s hip, full of character and has a past. Step through the front gates of the Little Albion Guest House and know you are in for something special.
You will find it in the heart of Surry Hills at 21 Little Albion Street. It’s a great location in the inner Sydney suburb that boasts fabulous restaurants and cafes including Chin Chin, Firedoor and Nomad. It is also just a five-minute walk from Central Station surrounded by trendy pubs, wine bars, coffee cafes and fashion boutiques.
What a history the Little Albion has. It is housed in a beautiful heritage building dating back to 1903 when it was built as a school convent and home to nuns. The property was transformed into a modern boutique hotel last year and what a great job they have done. It still retains its charm but with so many comforts and a style influenced by the 1920s and 1970s.
It was also a 10-room boarding house spread over three levels in what was a dilapidated, dark and neglected building before being transformed into a luxurious bespoke boutique hotel.
The hotel was part of the Marist Brothers precinct on Albion Street that once included the church hall, now a residential building, the convent, now the boutique guesthouse and the church, now an architectural office and co-working space. The Presbytery will be turned into another office space. Architectures Terence Yong and Chris Haughton with interior design by Connie Alessi and Cressida Kennedy did well – it’s welcoming and stylish and you soon feel at home.
Don’t expect a traditional reception – here’s it’s relaxed and no fuss- guests are offered herbal tea as you sign in by amiable hots who are happy to share their local knowledge.
There’s a sunken lounge in the lobby area that opens out to a sunny courtyard filled with plants- perfect for planning your day.
There are 35 guest rooms in different categories ranging from the compact crash pad’ to the luxe Big Albion designer suite with a four-poster bed and television above the bath.
Our classic room has high ceilings, double-glazed windows overlooking Albion Street, a heritage fireplace and small ensuite with fabulous Morrocan tiles and Molten Brown amenities.
The King Bed is so comfortable it’s hard to leave and there’s a water jug that’s refilled daily, T2 tea, coffee machine, Whisk & Pin biscuits and robes and slippers.
Zebras feature in the striking artwork with custom pieces commissioned for the reception.
There’s also a great collection of interesting artwork throughout the hotel and rooms. Love the copies of framed love poetry and novels that line the wall at the dining area.
Some of the hall work art works have been inspired by the owner’s family members.
A pretty north-facing rooftop garden oasis with views over Surry Hills and Sydney city is a great place to relax or enjoy a coffee. The hotel is pet-friendly and there’s a laundry and fast wifi. A team of hosts is on hand around the clock to offer personalised service.
There’s no restaurant as such but in the lounge, you will find a selection of drinks, juices, top-shelf beverages and craft beer. After a cocktail? There’s a stash of lemons, limes and olives if needed.
The bar and gourmet treats work on an honour system so just tick off what you want and it goes on your bill.
A light continental breakfast is included and is available at the lounge including hand made granola, croissants, pastries, bread and preserves, fresh orange juice, quality teas and a machine coffee. Guests are close to lots of good coffee shops so it’s not far to go if you need a caffeine fix. Reuben Hills is a micro-roastery, coffee-wholesaler and cosy cafe on Albion Street.
What to do
The hotel is in a great location- it’s a half hour walk into the city or you can discover the charm of the suburb with its hip shops, cute café, galleries and restaurants.
Suggestions include The Paddington at 380 Oxford Street for lunch and maybe Argentine flavours at Porteno on Holt Street and swish 12-Micron: a restaurant, bar and late-night dessert house run by two-Hat chef, Justin Wise, at Tower 1 on Barangaroo Avenue.
Local bars include Eau de Vie on Darlinghurst Road for creative craft cocktails and stylish decor.
What we loved
It’s the little things that make a big difference at this hotel come guest house and it’s got a wonderful welcoming vibe. It’s a great mix of heritage and contemporary design with heaps of charm.
The Little Albion Guest House is part of the Crystalbrook Collection Boutique Hotels.