Paramount House Ho­tel, Syd­ney, NSW Bistro Black­wood, Ade­laide, SA Abode Mur­rum­bat­e­man, NSW Messer, Mel­bourne,Vic

Australian Traveller - - Contents -

IN THE SPACE OF five months, one pocket of Surry Hills re­ceived a ma­jor boost in the her­itage build­ing-turned-cul­tural des­ti­na­tion stakes. In Oc­to­ber last year, the much-an­tic­i­pated restau­rant Chin Chin opened in the iconic Grif­fiths Teas build­ing on Com­mon­wealth Street and in March, Paramount House Ho­tel was launched across the road, in the for­mer head­quar­ters of Paramount Pic­tures and its ad­join­ing film stor­age ware­house. The new bou­tique digs joined the ex­ist­ing com­plex of the Golden Age Cin­ema and Bar, Paramount Cof­fee Project and co-work­ing stu­dio The Of­fice Space. Rooftop work­out/hang­out spot Paramount Recre­ation Club later com­pleted the pic­ture. It’s pitched as a neigh­bour­hood ho­tel, and ex­e­cuted as a one-stop life­style des­ti­na­tion for a par­tic­u­lar kind of de­sign-minded, indie mag­a­zineread­ing, cof­fee bean-con­scious clien­tele. This is ev­i­dent from the mo­ment I ar­rive at the cool and calm atrium-style lobby, which is reached

via the ground-floor cafe and pop­u­lated by plants and pre­req­ui­site Mac users. I’m of­fered a wel­come drink of am­ber sour ale from lo­cal Mar­rickville brew­ery Wild­flower while staff mem­bers – friendly, help­ful and unim­pos­ing – swiftly check me in. There are 27 rooms and two suites in to­tal, and the sec­ond-floor Sunny room I’ve booked – as op­posed to the Every­day, Loft and Mack Daddy op­tions that make up the other three lev­els – proves to be ironic as it’s a day of epic Syd­ney rain. But its sunny dis­po­si­tion com­pen­sates for the in­clement con­di­tions out­side. The wel­come scent of Ae­sop greets me – the room is well-stocked with the brand’s prod­ucts, as well as a host of other lo­cally made goods in­clud­ing cured meats by LP’s Qual­ity Meats, Black Pantry marsh­mal­lows and William Downie pinot noir in the mini-bar. The clev­erly al­lo­cated space (which in­cludes a sep­a­rate shower, toi­let and van­ity area) oc­cu­pies a length of the build­ing that looks onto Com­mon­wealth Street, with plenty of sash win­dows and an al­cove at the far end full of green­ery. Mel­bourne-based ar­chi­tects Breathe have let the bones of the build­ing – such as orig­i­nal brick walls and their patina of old paint – shine through, and out­lined them with stylish, com­ple­men­tary de­tails like raw brass fix­tures and ter­razzo sur­faces. Each ad­di­tional de­tail is sim­i­larly con­sid­ered, from the vide poche de­signed by Syd­ney’s Henry Wil­son and earthy ce­ramic mugs made by Bris­bane stu­dio Com­mons Ceram­ics. At the cen­tre of the room is a daybed topped with a green vel­vet cush­ion, and a large squishy bed dressed with French linens in dusk, in­digo and stripes, and a re­cy­cled wool blan­ket made by Tas­ma­nia’s Sel­jak Brand in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the ho­tel. It’s all very cu­rated, but doesn’t feel over-en­gi­neered. It feels eclec­tic, lived in and art­ful. From here, it’s no ef­fort to nip down­stairs to watch a film at the Golden Age’s art­house cin­ema (which oc­cu­pies the site’s old screen­ing room) and en­joy a night­cap in its ad­join­ing bar; or to have break­fast the next morn­ing at the Paramount Cof­fee Project. I’ll have to re­turn to eat din­ner at Poly, a spin-off of lauded Chip­pen­dale restau­rant Es­ter that was yet to open when I vis­ited. It’s a com­plete vi­sion: a cel­e­bra­tion of all things cre­ative in Syd­ney and Aus­tralia. For those of us look­ing to stay some­where that fast-tracks us to the heart of lo­cal cul­ture in im­pec­ca­ble style, we won’t find a bet­ter op­tion than Paramount House Ho­tel.

CLOCK­WISE FROM TOP LEFT: A glimpse of the Grif­fiths Teas build­ing across the road; The ho­tel com­bines her­itage fea­tures with con­tem­po­rary fin­ishes; Henry Wil­son is one of the many lo­cal tal­ents whose de­signs pop­u­late the ho­tel; Raw brass bath­room fix­tures strike the right tone; With its bold ar­chi­tec­tural fa­cade, the ho­tel is now a lo­cal land­mark .

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