Aiden Sydney Darling harbour is an exciting new boutique hotel built for travellers and inspired by the people, produce and past of its local neighbourhood. Compact in nature yet curious in character this 88 room hotel has been thoughtfully crafted to deliver everything you need for a wonderful short city stay.
Aiden calls home to a beautifully remodelled 1930s Art Deco building in Sydney’s harbourside village of Pyrmont. The original bricks, features and framework remain, with interiors drawing on tones and textures from surrounding areas. From the Sydney Harbour blue of plush velvet bedheads, to the fluted glass inspired by the shapes of Pyrmont Bridge, Aiden Sydney has been meticulously designed down to the very last detail. Albeit on the cosy side, each room features beautiful locally-made furnishings, exquisite Sleepmaker beds and vibrant artwork of native flora hand-painted by artist in residence, Jessica Le Clerc. Guests booked in one of the base Exhibitionist Mural View rooms will find exclusive views of an otherwise hidden 25-metre tall evergreen mural of lush subtropical rainforest.
The hotel has been created by well-travelled Sydneysider Nicolas Chen, with Pyrmont local Michael Sharp as General Manager. The design focuses on the essentials for a comfortable stay that leaves nothing to be desired.
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Aiden Sydney Location
Based just outside the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s central business district, Aiden rubs shoulders with countless attractions, dining, entertainment and shopping precincts. Venues surrounding Darling Harbour can be found right on the doorstep, with other popular areas within walking distance.
Hotel staff are all local experts who are full of recommendations from the perfect place for dinner to the best spots to get your dose of retail therapy.
Arriving At Aiden Sydney
Hotel check-in and check-out can be completed using clever self-serve machines that spit out a room card and booking receipt. Staff are also on hand to take care of check-in for weary travellers ready for a good night’s sleep.
The Room: The Urban Planner Deluxe King
Aiden’s mid-tier Deluxe King room isn’t for the claustrophobic type, with just 18 square metres to move about. While it sounds tiny on paper, a clever layout and large window at the far end of the room combine to ease size limitations.
On entry, a small bench provided enough storage space for various tech accessories and would be suitable as a workstation. Although, I found it easier to write from the comfort of bed, where space is found to fan out various documents while working.
A Nespresso coffee machine and kettle were provided, along with coffee pods and tea by Melbourne brand Love Tea. Below, a mini-fridge would normally come stocked with items for purchase, but like many hotels these days, Aiden’s minibar is available by calling reception. Just outside the lifts on each floor guests have access to still and sparkling water by Moda, with two glass bottles provided for each room.
The centrepiece of the room is a painted botanic mural behind the bed, which is bursting with life and celebrates the original inhabitants of the area. Each mural is unique to the room, being hand-painted by the brilliant Jessica Le Clerc. I love the point of difference with Aiden painting beautiful artwork straight on the wall, rather than hanging the same boring print in each room.
The bed is just as stunning and was nearly as good as sleeping on a cloud.
At the end of the bed, there is a large smart TV, with built-in Chromecast for easy streaming from your mobile device. Lighting and temperature controls are straightforward, with push-button light switches an OCD favourite.
On one side of the bed is hanging space and storage for a medium-sized suitcase. There’s also a steamer in each room, with irons and ironing boards found tucked away in a hallway cupboard on each floor. Aden has made clever use of available space without cutting amenities.
The bathroom was well-proportioned in terms of room size, and featured a beautiful rain shower and luxurious Ritual bathroom amenities. My only criticism here is the lack of useful storage for any toiletries. Other than that, it’s a practical space that provides everything you need, and nothing you don’t.
The black-out blinds are also great, providing a perfect seal for a good night’s sleep. Daytime views from my room saw Sydney’s National Maritime Museum and Pyrmont bridge which spans the beautiful Darling Harbour. A window seat and small drinks table provide a cosy space to watch the people, boats and cars navigate their way around the harbour.
Wayfarer’s Bar & Cafe
Located on the ground floor, Wayfarer’s Bar & Cafe serves as a cafe by day and wine bar by night. Here travellers will find a selection of delicious, wholesome food fit to fuel their adventures.
Wayfarer’s is also a great place to chill out before turning in for the night. Select a drop from the all-Australian wine and beer list, admirable spirit selection or enjoy one of Aiden Sydney’s three signature mixes concocted in collaboration with local SYP. Select from Old Fashioned, Firecracker Margarita and I Heart Negroni, each crafted using homegrown ingredients and locally-distilled spirits. Unfortunately, full dinner meals are not offered.
In the morning Aiden Sydney offers an à la carte breakfast for guests, including barista drinks, cold-pressed juice and organic tea. Alternatively, breakfast can be purchased from the menu.
As a sign of the world we live in, both chefs had been struck with the spicy cough during my visit. This meant it was up to Aiden’s General Manager, Michael Sharp, to organise my choice of an open bacon and egg sandwich. While it’s fair to say my breakfast differs from what’s regularly served, I thoroughly enjoyed the meal. In fact, it was so good that Micheal might have missed his calling as a chef!
Summing Up: Aiden Sydney Darling Harbour
The newly built Aiden hotel in Sydney’s Darling Harbour is perfect for a short getaway. Rooms are appropriately appointed and suitable for both solo travel and couples. I found my room to include everything I needed for a short stay, but the space may become tight for travel longer than a few nights.
Tom stayed as a guest of Aiden Sydney Darling Harbour.