Song Hotel Sydney
Time Out says
The 1980s hotel formerly known as the Y, has had a makeover – including a wing of nine rooms themed in honour of Australian female trailblazers
There’s a new old kid on the block – the 1980s vintage hotel formerly known as the Y has been renamed and madeover. They’ve added 43 new rooms and dedicated one new wing and nine rooms in honour of Australian celebrities: Sia, Lee-Lin Chin, Nakkiah Lui, Missy Higgins, Tina Arena, Bindi Irwin, Sally Rugg and Deborah Mailman – current female trailblazers in music, journalism, nature conservation, activism and acting.
All chosen because they share the mission and the values of the hotel’s owner, the YWCA NSW, some of these celebs (Bindi Irwin for one) have had an active hand in donating items for the styling of ‘their’ room. Original artwork by women also decorates this wing and some of the public spaces. Guests can scan a barcode to buy these paintings – with a portion of the sale going to the YWCA’s ‘good works’.
LGBTQIA activist Sally Rugg’s ‘love is love’-themed room is rainbow-bright, has beds for three, and directly overlooks Oxford Street. In contrast, Bindi Irwin’s room, with a small jungle of indoor plants in one corner and a view over a courtyard garden, is a surprisingly quiet haven. The giant blown-up photo of a sleeping koala here had a soporific effect on me when I stayed. The styling is thoughtful, as are the supplies, which include a Lush hand and body lotion. A bar fridge (minus a mini bar) awaits your own supplies.
The clientele are a pleasingly diverse lot. They range from weather-beaten bushies to overseas tourists, to party animals planning a night on the town.
If ‘value for money’ and ‘profit for purpose’ resonate with you, this hotel is singing your song. The hotel’s 153 rooms (including hostel-style rooms with shared bathrooms) range in price from $117-$450+ (prices hike for peak periods such as Mardi Gras and New Year’s Eve).
The Song Hotel and its sister hotel in Redfern (also called Song Hotel), are Australia’s only ‘profit for purpose’ hotels, meaning that their profits go to support the YWCA’s programs, such as aiding women and children at risk of violence, and training girls in leadership.
Hungry? The hotel’s restaurant, the Song Kitchen, which is full of cool lighting, concrete and timber surfaces, has also been completely rebuilt and restyled. It acts as a street-side café, a bar, and as a more intimate restaurant serving bistro food under the capable direction of chef Charlotte Gonzales-Poncet, whose French training is reflected in its menu.
Top tip: You’re spoilt for choice for restaurants, bars and entertainment nearby. The innovative dining cultures of Surry Hills and Darlinghurst are a stone’s throw away, while the CBD’s Thainatown and Koreatown are just two blocks west. Burn off any over-indulgences at Cook + Phillip Park Pool, one block north.