After staying in a bunch of hotels around the world, I’ve come to identify this common conundrum: if a hotel has too many bells and whistles, I’m torn about leaving to explore my surroundings for fear of missing out on all the amenities I paid so handsomely for.
Ideally, you want your hotel to be an inspiring place to wake up to in the morning and a fabulous space to retreat to when the world becomes too much — but if you’re located in a city, the hotel shouldn’t be the destination itself.
With a philosophy of ‘smart luxury’, the recently opened Little National Hotel Sydney strikes that perfect balance between providing you every comfort and mod con you require/desire, while clever design encourages you to get out and see the town you’re in. LNH is also affordable despite said design features and primo location.
This hotel is everything you actually need when booking a city stay – luxury and convenience with none of the fuss.
With a hard-to-beat location nestled conveniently next to and above Wynyard station, you’re a stone’s throw from Barangaroo, Martin Place and Circular Quay, but with easy access to Sydney’s other vibrant pockets, like Potts Point.
A simple black sliding door opens to welcome me to the ground level lobby. No touch elevators whisk me up to reception (a greatly appreciated detail), where very lovely members of staff are waiting with a smile. I’m impressed by the self-serve checkout kiosks and the minimal, pared back aesthetic of the decor. Through a door to the right, you’ll find a state-of-the art gym with primo Technogym equipment.
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On the levels above, the 230 guest rooms aren’t big, but they don’t need to be. Bates Smart architects have considered every detail with functionality and spatial planning front of mind, in an understatedly chic package.
The rooms with city views via large feature window give off a Japanese minimalist vibe: compact yet efficient use of space and integrated technology; high-end fittings and fixtures including moody LED lighting; natural toned-timber and clean lines; and no compromises on luxury – your bed and pillows are super king size and your Nespresso machine and T2 Tea are ready to sip. The situation is refined and beautifully restrained.
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In the bathroom, there’s Who Gives A Crap! paper, Aussie-owned Appelles Apothecary & Lab Skin and Hair care products. You can also take a million bathroom selfies thanks to the exceptionally well-lit mirror. The ‘off’ button is on the mirror face, by the way. Thank me later.
Tech wise, the name of the game is keeping it simple yet smart. You’ll find a tablet on the bedhead that gives you access to the Virtual Mini Bar service, bluetooth speakers and hotel information.
That same bedhead is kitted out with a handy ledge hosting the right mix of USB and power points, so scrolling while submerged in your huge, plush bed is an easy feat. There’s also buttons to control the lights, curtains and blinds, which adds that little dash of luxury oomph. I love to see it.
After settling in for a minute, I have the wonderful realisation that there isn’t much else keeping me in my room. I could easily head out to anywhere I want to take in Sydney’s attractions, but where I really have my sights set is the rooftop terrace on Level 11.
I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love a good rooftop and Little National’s is very well done with three distinct and modern areas. The first is a communal workspace called the Library (with free flowing Nespresso, T2 tea and filtered water); the second is the bar and lounge, kitted out with a gorgeous feature fireplace and inviting, deep-burgundy velvet armchairs; and the third is the outdoor timber-decked terrace brimming with plant life and flanked by the cityscape.
There is no restaurant, but bar snacks are available. Instead, in true modern style, LNH encourages guests to have in-hotel dining by ordering via Uber Eats, Deliveroo and Menulog. The staff will bring those meals to you, with crockery and cutlery at your request.
After an evening spent dining out in Sydney, I return to the rooftop with a friend to order cocktails and snacks, which are perfectly balanced. We sit in the lush armchairs of the lounge, chatting as rain pitter patters outside. It’s the perfect finale to an exciting weekend in the city.
If you return to your room and want to keep things flowing, the Virtual Mini Bar is available 24/7. But I opt for donning the velvety LNH robe and linen slippers, diving face-first into the sea of crisp white linen on my beautiful, big bed and watching Netflix via Chromecast on the smart TV embedded on the opposing wall.
This is peak hotel staycation mode, just the way I like it.
Little National Hotel Sydney really does embody its philosophy of offering guests the best of both worlds: smart luxury and high amenity in a super-prime location at an affordable rate, one that allows you to enjoy the reason you book a hotel here in the first place – to enjoy the ‘facilities’ offered by the thriving heart of Sydney.
Rates start at $259 per night.
The author stayed as a guest of Little National hotel.
(Lead Image: The Little National)