Winston Aldworth checks into the Ovolo Woolloomooloo, Sydney
Location: We're inside the Finger Wharf, at 6 Cowper Wharf Rd, on the waterfront in Woolloomooloo. This heritage-listed former wharf and passenger terminal juts out into the harbour — it was mainly used for exporting wool and was a departure point for soldiers heading away to both world wars. Today, the far end of it is residential apartments, the street-side end is the Ovolo Woolloomooloo.
Getting there: You're a 14-minute cab ride from Sydney Airport. Or a forever-minutes' ride if the traffic packs in. If you're feeling flash, the Ovolo can arrange pick-up in the hotel's very own Tesla.
Check-in experience: Swift, slick and smart.
Rooms: I was in a Deluxaroo Loft, specifically room 533. The bed is up the stairs, with the loft looking over the tidy apartment below. Also on the floor are suites themed around INXS and AC/DC — if Ovolo management ever adds a Kylie suite, it'll have the holy trinity of Aussie high culture covered. Strewth!
The bed: Big and comfy, just like its occupant.
Bathroom: To use the headline vernacular of the day: "You've been doing No 2s wrong!" Sitting next to the toilet is a footstool, with a card explaining the benefits of proper posture when using the loo: turns out having your feet on a raised footstool is healthier — a stool for better stools, so to speak. How did the stool come to be here? Well, hereditarily famous person Kelly Osbourne once stayed at the Ovolo Woolloomooloo and asked management to arrange for a PROPPR stool to be available in her room. Management sorted it out, then looked into her stools — her foot stools — and decided to put one in the bathroom of every room. Thanks, Kelly!
Toiletries: I scrubbed up well.
Exercise facilities: There's a small gym and a sweet looking swimming pool that, regrettably, I didn't get to grace with my Speedos (the pool, not the gym). Next time I stay, I'll make a point of clearing half an hour in my schedule. And for runners, head for the Royal Botanic Gardens, where a fabulous jog will take you all the way to the Sydney Opera House.
Room with a view? My room looked across to an Australian Navy frigate parked at a neighbouring wharf and the legendary Sydney pie cart Harry's Cafe de Wheels.
What's in the neighbourhood? Across the road there are a couple of classic Aussie boozers selling bad beer in those funny little glasses and showing footy of various descriptions on screens.
Noise: Not a peep.
Food and drink: About midway along the long finger of the atrium in the middle of the wharf, you'll find Alibi, the best vegan restaurant I've ever visited. As noted in a recent review of Ovolo's other Sydney property, the mini bar is free. A friend and I took advantage of it while slurring musical instructions to the Amazon Alexa system. It generally took a few goes for Alexa to understand us. Either the system has become too attuned to Aussie accents, or we were slurring more than we thought.
Wi-Fi: Free and fast.
Perfect for: A stylish and fun stay, with fantastic homely touches.
The bottom line: You're still talking about those stools, aren't you?