In September, a new boutique hotel landed in Sydney: 1888, set in the Pyrmont section of Australia's most populated city. Near the 90-room hotel are prime attractions like Darling Harbour, Sydney Fish Market, and Sydney Exhibition and Convention Centre, not to mention bars, shops, and cafés.
The hotel offers one particularly quirky claim to fame: It's billed as the world's first Instagram-themed hotel. A space within the hotel lobby is dedicated to snapping "selfies"—shown to guests via TV screens. For Instagram users with more than 10,000 followers, a free night's stay is offered: simply e-mail the hotel at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, by using the hashtag #1888hotel, and then uploading a photo to Instagram, prospective guests can enter into a drawing for a free night's stay.
Each room boasts a loft-style, urban ambiance, complete with high ceilings, recycled timber, exposed brick walls, and original art by Aussie artists. Free Wi-Fi and in-room iPads allow guests to stay on top of their work or communications with friends and family back home. A walk-in rain shower, as well as MicroCloud bed toppers, assures high-end comfort.
Included in the breakfast buffet and á la carte menu at 1888 Eatery & Bar are locally sourced ingredients with a nod to Australian cuisine, with dishes like porridge or Cumberland sausage alongside potato hash. Evening's "morsels on sourdough bread" include options like pork and pistachio terrine or cured fish tacos, as well as lamb pie and a board of either cured Aussie meats or cheeses.
To tap into the hotel's Instagram-ing fun, a special package called the "1888 Picture Perfect Hotel Package" includes a night for two in a King Deluxe room, all the goods for a "food porn" shot (antipasto plate and two glasses of wine), and breakfast.
Kristine Hansen is a freelance writer based in Milwaukee where she reports on food, wine, and travel topics around the globe for Fodors.com, along with newhotel openings. She also writes for Wine Enthusiast, TIME, Whole Living, and American Way. In 2006, she co-authored The Complete Idiot's Guide to Coffee and Tea (Alpha Books/Penguin). You can follow her on Twitter @kristineahansen or through her web site.
Photo credit: Courtesy of 1888 Hotel