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Little Albion

Little Albion

On entering Little Albion, you’re greeted by a big zebra. Well, not a zebra exactly, but a big splashy mural depicting a couple of zebras. This pretty much sets the tone for the hotel. While it has an unpretentious, easy-going feel (and, in our experience, the front desk staff are extremely helpful — you can even take a shower if your room isn’t ready on arrival), the whole place is also dotted with imaginative details. Climbing the stairs, you might notice that the stairway is strung with portraits of various characters from Sydney’s history (plaques give you their sometimes eye-raising backstories).

Little Albion occupies a heritage building, and you cross a little courtyard strung with lights to enter its small lounge, reception desk, and a space where breakfast is served (said space doubles up as an honesty bar). That’s the sum total of the hotel’s communal areas, giving it a very intimate feel. Room-wise, it has 35 to choose from, from ‘cosy rooms’ (not as small as the name suggests) to a couple of suites. There’s no restaurant, but Sydney’s Surry Hills district is brimming with good cafes and dining spots. 

Our rating: First Class

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Rooms

Rooms range from ‘cosy’ (which has a queen bed, and a very small bathroom) to classic and master (both with a king or twin beds, and bigger bathrooms). There are two suites (which include kitchenettes), the ‘sweet’ and ‘Big Albion’. All rooms have WiFi, tea and coffee facilities (with a particularly good selection of herbal teas), and a flatscreen TV. It almost feels like you’re staying over in an arty friend’s spare room: there are bold prints on the walls, jazzy curtains, and painted feature walls. All rooms are en suite with showers, though bathtubs are sometimes available on request.

Location

The hotel’s main entrance is located down a small laneway, making it feel very tucked-away, although signage is admittedly subtle: taxi and Uber drivers sometimes struggle. The Surry Hills district is a quiet yet buzzy residential quarter full of Victorian character buildings, repurposed warehouses, and good independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. To get to the Town Hall and the CBD proper is a 15- to 20-minute walk.

Food and drink

Breakfast is a classy continental buffet of breads, jams and cheese. The hotel has a little patch of roof garden where you can enjoy your honesty bar drink, should you wish. There’s no restaurant, but a list of recommendations is available at reception: Surry Hills is chock-full of good places to eat, all within a few minutes’ walk.

Families

Sweets can be split into two twin rooms, giving families lots of space. 

Accessibility

There’s an elevator serving all floors, and one wheelchair-accessible room.

Our opinion

If you want a feel of what it’s like to live as a local in Sydney, or are looking for a more design-led alternative to the grande dame hotels of the CBD, Little Albion is a solid choice. 

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