The Kirketon Boutique Hotel in Darlinghurst, Sydney, was one of the first stylish hotels to pop up in the neighborhood. I returned after many years and the hotel hasn’t changed much: You get a compact room with stylish (if aging) decor in a great location. The service has become friendlier and the prices are great value in an expensive city, making this a convenient and affordable, if not glamorous stay!
Location: The Kirketon is located in Darlinghurst, a 10 minute walk from the Kings Cross metro station and about 45 minutes from the airport by train, a little less by taxi. Via the trains, you have access to the Eastern Beaches as well as downtown. There are lots of restaurants and coffee shops around Darlinghurst, making it a fun place to stay with more of a neighborhood feel than a touristy feeling! There are also convenience stores, bottle shops and a large grocery store nearby, so you’ll find anything you need.
Service: The Kirketon is a boutique hotel with limited service, so don’t expect bell boys or a concierge here. But staff is very friendly and helpful. They had me checked in quickly and assigned a quiet room to my preference. They also helped out with a local USB adaptor – I had forgotten mine! Check out was just as quick and easy. Housekeeping was thorough and responsive, each day making my room up quickly when requested. I’m perfectly fine with independent hotels, running with minimal staff, if it is as well done as at the Kirketon!
Room: I had reserved a standard room and that’s what I got. The rooms are very compact, with little room for much more than the queen-size bed. It was fine for me traveling solo, but might be a tight fit for two people with big luggage. There are two night stands next to the bed, a small desk under the window and a small stool by the door. The TV is wall mounted, high up, to not intrude.
My room (as many others) is facing the next building with little space in between, making the room a little dark and the view rather out rather sad. I
t makes up for it with the decor, with a large mirror as the bed headboard and a full-length mirror with a metal frame next to the door.
You get a walk-in closet with a safe, small fridge and coffee/tea facilities.
The bathroom is narrow with a shower with curtain on one side, the toilet in the center and the sink next to the window.
The design was pretty leading edge when I stayed here the first time many years ago, but now is showing its age. While the rooms are maintained well and are clean, the bathroom tiles show their age and so do the carpets. The decor could also use some sprucing up.
The free WiFi internet is much more up to date – with an average speed of 14.8Mbps its very fast and reliable, allowing you to work, make calls or stream video anytime.
Restaurant & Amenities: The Kirketon relies on the neighborhood to provide what you need – there is an independent restaurant on the premises, and plenty more within 5 minutes walking distance. There is no gym or pool, but several fitness centers are in walking distance, as well as a large public pool.
Bottomline: The Kirketon Boutique Hotel offers a nice room in a good neighborhood at a very reasonable price ($111/night during my stay). The compact standard rooms work fine for solo travelers or couples who don’t mind cozy and are more stylish than the chain hotels in the neighborhood. It doesn’t offer the latest design or hotel amenities, but it’s great value and I wouldn’t mind staying again!