Juliette Sivertsen explores Little National, a stylish, sleek city hotel in the heart of Sydney
Location: Clarence St, right next to Wynyard station.
Style: Smart, affordable luxury with clever design in a prime location.
Perfect for: Business trips or a foodie escape exploring the city's waterfront dining precinct, Barangaroo.
First impressions: Little National has a discreet entrance that my taxi driver nearly missed. The ground floor has a tiny concierge area with a ceiling of greenery, jazzy lighting and chilled music. From there, guests take a lift up to Reception, which is a large, contemporary space with sizeable artworks, a lounge area and a desk with iPads lined up next to Eftpos machines for those who wish to check in/out electronically. However the staff at the main reception desk were beautifully enthusiastic to see me - a Kiwi traveller - after only having Aussie guests since opening in September 2020.
Even the elevator system is slick - a swipe of the key card prompts a touch screen revealing which floors you have access to, and which of the four lifts you need to take to get to your destination.
Rooms: The rooms are compact but chic, contemporary in design and well-lit with timber furnishings and white linen. The jewel of each room might just have to be the cosy bed nook and the custom-made Arms of Morpheus Super King Bed nestled up to the window. I kid you not when I say it was like sleeping on a kingdom of marshmallows. In fact, those who fall in love with the bed can even buy their own version through a link on the hotel website.
On the 9th floor, my window looked out west to a collection of tall buildings rather than any landmarks or waterfront setting, but was beautiful for enjoying the evening sunset colours.
Everything you need is at the tip of your fingers, including buttons to electronically draw the black-out blinds and curtains and a variety of different lighting settings. There's even a curated Little National Spotify playlist which you can play through the room's bluetooth speakers from your phone. Make sure you slip into the luxurious bathrobe while reading the Little National Editorial in-house newspaper.
Bathroom: Slim but well lit, with a large mirror that has a separate backlight. The shower is reasonably sized with a rainhead option; wash up with Appelles Apothecary & Lab hair and body products.
Food and drink: The rooftop bar is the place to hang out especially on a sunny afternoon or balmy evening or head into the cosy lounge on cooler nights. There's no hotel restaurant on site, but you can order some snacks, including the traditional Aussie cuisine, the Jaffle (a toastie), from the bar. There are myriad great Sydney eateries for breakfast, lunch and dinner just a hop, skip and a jump away. If you really want to stay in, you can order Uber Eats to the hotel and have it delivered to your room.
In-room, guests are given a T2 tea selection and a sleepy tea to help drift off at night, or Nespresso pods and a machine to get the day started. There's a virtual minibar service that can be used via the iPad above the bed, which offers a range of alcoholic beverages, snacks and other refreshments.
Facilities: Wi-Fi is included and there are several plugs, USB ports and reading lights. A smart TV is mounted on the wall above the foot of the bed and the rooms have Chromecast.
Next to the rooftop bar, you'll find a modern working/study area with plenty of desk space, charging ports and complimentary Nespresso.
The gym is open 24/7 and is a spacious Technogym with all the latest fitness equipment. The DOMA Wellness app connects to all the Technogym equipment so you can track your sessions and results.
In the neighbourhood: Wynyard Station is right next door, which means getting to and from the hotel via public transport is easy. By foot, you're a five-minute walk from the newly-opened Barangaroo precinct, which has transformed the western waterfront of Sydney's CBD. Once a disused container wharf, it is now a lively precinct with waterfront dining, bars, shopping, beautiful walks and a restored reserve rich in Aboriginal cultural history.
The Rocks and Circular Quay is only a 10-minute walk away, as well as the Pitt St Mall and Queen Victoria Building shopping mall.
Family friendly: Little National rooms only sleep up to two people, so this is the place for adults-only or solo getaways.
Accessibility:There are no steps leading up to the hotel and there are elevators to the floors with a clear travel path. Select rooms are larger and have an accessible bathroom including a roll-in shower, and extra space around the bed.
Sustainability: The slippers are "Seedling Sole" - natural, plant-based and biodegradable. The hotel encourages guests to reuse towels and uses Who Gives A Crap toilet paper, which helps support improved sanitation and toilet facilities in developing countries.
Details:From AU$219 per night, littlenationalhotel.com.au