HOME AND AWAY
LATEST addition to Accor’s MGallery boutique collection in Australia is the fourstar Harbour Rocks Hotel in Sydney. The colonial property, comprising a main three-storey building and adjoining terraces, dates to the 1880s and has been used as a hospital and a bond store. It’s now smartly refurbished with a contemporary feel that sits well with its heritage foundations of sandstone and convict-laid bricks (many of which are signed). With just 59 guestrooms, it’s a small establishment, and well located within The Rocks precinct at the harbour’s western edge. Not every old building has a ghost but Harbour Rocks reputedly comes with Eric, an original patron of the premises, whose great love, brothel madam Scarlett, contracted tuberculosis and it’s said he died of a broken heart. He’s to be found, perhaps, haunting Eric’s Bar or even the 40-seater basement diner, Scarlett, with its caramel and white decor and groovy drop-lighting, which opens on to the historic Nurses Walk laneway; the food is very good indeed (for dinner, it seems appropriate to start with Sydney rock oysters). Unexpectedly, for such a petite hotel, there’s a lovely courtyard and if you book the rooftop Harbour View Suite, it comes with a generous east-facing entertainment terrace. From $269 a night. More: mgallery.com.