The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

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.

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