Single Girl's Hotel Choice in the Rocks

Aug 23rd, 2006, 12:05 PM
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Single Girl's Hotel Choice in the Rocks

Hi! My first post on these boards. I'm off to Australia in September, and will be in Sydney for 4 nights by myself. It's my first non-biz on-my-own trip, so I'm excited but a bit nervous too I'm a 33 year old pretty fun girl, so I'm sure it will be just fine!

I'm trying to decide on a hotel; The Rocks seems to be the right place, and I've read through the recommendations. I'd like to stay in a place with a pub or restaurant attached so that there's an easy place to have dinner if I'm not up for the whole 'evening out by myself' thing. And I'd ideally like to avoid the international chains and stay under $200ish AUD.

So with that setup, what do ya think? The Mercantile Hotel seems like a nice option, as is the Lord Nelson Brewery Hotel. Sebel Pier One Sydney was recommended to me, but is a bit more expensive. Thoughts for a single girl? The Russell seems fun, but no restaurant, if I'm reading correctly. Thanks in advance for your advice!
kjr is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 12:07 PM
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Reading this 'pretty fun girl' sounds a bit saucy. I really meant that I'm pretty fun - not necessarily pretty and fun
kjr is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 04:58 PM
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kjr, I was more focused on the fact that the word "fun" has become not just a noun but an adjective, so I didn't notice (I'm still stuck in the time-warp when "fun-loving" fitted the bill.)

Anyway, for what it's worth I'm not sure that you need an attached restaurant, as you'd only have to walk a few minutes to find an eatery in The Rocks.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Aug 23rd, 2006, 05:05 PM
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The Russell may not have a restaurant, but as Neil points out, it's about a 30-second walk to a very large number of them. When we return to Sydney I intend to stay there, for the mind-boggling location. The Lord Nelson is on the quieter side of the Rocks, and is quite a few more steps from eateries, but still hardly a long trek. We stayed at the Australian Heritage, which may be a bit downmarket for your tastes -- it is a pub -- but the rooms are clean, the lounge is comfy, and the staff is great. And the pub is also a very good restaurant. Personally, I found the absence of bland beige corporate hotel style there to be a great blessing. And you meet more interesting people at breakfast.
fnarf999 is offline  
Aug 24th, 2006, 04:25 AM
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Have you thought about a hostel? Doesn't mean dirty old men in raincoats - just a slightly more down to earth experience. And you are so young!!

Up to you, of course. If the only way you can think about it is in terms of hotels - and if you can't handle a walk or a bus ride, then for sure the Rocks.

But please do consider those places that would be first choice for savvy travellers. You can book a room of your own at Sydney Central or Wake Up. And there you will meet people!!

I find it sort of sad that a 33 year old wants to stay in a mega price hotel. But you are you, and I am me.

I am replying to your post only because there are alteratives - and maybe you haven't come across them.

And I'd be excited too - best of luck.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Aug 24th, 2006, 07:10 AM
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I"ve always been a bit nervous about hostels - maybe because I never did that backpacking across Europe thing, so have no experience with them. Mega priced I'm not looking for but I don't mind spending a bit since it's a holiday.

Question about hostels - I know you can get your own room sometimes, which would honestly be very important, but does that mean you can leave your things there? I'm unclear exactly what the hostel experience entails.

kjr is offline  
Aug 24th, 2006, 12:02 PM
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I loved the Lord Nelson. We stayed there in June and it was great. The fact that it was in the "quieter" part of the Rocks meant we could get some sleep if we had an early morning. And it was only a short walk to the more active part of the Rocks. The restaurant isn't open every night, but the pub has food which I am told is very good from some friends who ate there. The beer is good! I went down one evening by myself because my husband had jet lag (something I don't seem to get) and I didn't feel at all uncomfortable. Lots of couple and groups of friends just hanging out.

The hotel itself is quaint and comfortable. We got there at 7am when they weren't actually open, but there was a woman there to get breakfast for the other guests and she got us checked in and even gave us breakfast on the house! I'd highly recommend staying there!
jcasale is offline  
Aug 24th, 2006, 05:31 PM
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I haven't stayed at the Mercantile, but have been there and not sure how you would go noise wise. I agree with previous post that while Lord Nelson is a bit more of a walk, it is in a lovely spot and I imagine not as noisy.

Hostels in Oz are generally excellent standard, particularly the YHA branded ones. There are 2 in central sydney, both up near central station. if you have your own room, you should have no problems leaving your gear there.

they're also building a new yha in the rocks, but won't be done for this trip of yours.
lancefan is offline  
Aug 24th, 2006, 06:52 PM
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For the sake of orientation, Central Station is at the south end of the central business district (CBD), whereas The Rocks is at the other end. I haven't done the trip for a few years, so others might like to correct me on this, but about 10 minutes by train to Circular Quay station or, depending on traffic, 20 by bus, I would think. The area is convenient to Chinatown, which is a good place to eat, but there isn't much else there to interest a visitor.
Neil_Oz is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 02:58 AM
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I can understand your reticence about staying in a hostel if you never have. But, trust me!!... the best of them are not only great value for money, they are safe, clean and fun. I have often stayed in a dorm and had absolutely no probs with leaving my stuff there - even when there are no personal lockers - and these days there usually are. But if you have a room of your own then there is nothing at all to worry about (though lodge your passport and valuables in the safe just as you would do at a posh hotel).

And I take on board all the comments about the Mercantile and the Lord Nelson. I am a HUGE fan of staying in pubs - but, only you know whether you would be comfortable there.

In many ways staying in a pub where the public areas are seriously public - ie it's a "local" for the clientele - is a far more authentic experience than staying in a "hostel" where the people you will meet will be predominantly from overseas.

I sort of agree with Neil - the two hostels I mentioned are at the very top (south) end of George St near Central stn. Not much close by to interest a tourist - true - but it is only a 20 min walk along the main thoroughfare of the city, and downhill, to the Rocks area and Circular Quay (bridge, Opera House, ferries).

Sydney Central has a kaff and a bar (Scubar) and there are loads of cheap eateries in Chinatown close by. Not restaurants - no frills - easy to walk in as a single female and get a feed.

You could maybe check out some of the hostel websites for comments from previous visitors. (.au ???)

Happy travels.
fuzzylogic is offline  
Aug 25th, 2006, 10:06 AM
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Thanks all for the great feedback I think I'm going to go with the Lord Nelson - good mix of right area, quiet street, and local flavor. Maybe after I get over the hump of traveling by myself for the first time, I'll be up for the hostel experience too I'll make sure to post a review of my trip on my return. Thanks!
kjr is offline  
Aug 27th, 2006, 12:41 PM
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I'm no help on hotels because I stayed with my sister in Woollahra. But, I did spend a couple of days on my own walking around the city and one of those was in the Rocks. I really enjoyed doing a self-guided walking tour through the area. Stop into the visitors center at the corner of Playfair and Argyle Streets, pick up the Colony historical walking tours brochure (very detailed and FREE!), and explore the town from the Customs House to Millers Point. It was a great way for a single girl to see the sights!
Paucie is offline  
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