While Sydney’s Inner West is an alluring destination for its nightlife, shopping and dining, it doesn’t offer many hotels. The Collectionist in Camperdown goes some way to correcting that lack of choice by giving its guests the option to select one of their uniquely designed rooms.
Close to the action of King Street, Newtown, the Collectionist is an art gallery of hotel rooms – sitting more in the pop art world than old masters – with the added quirk of essentially renting your artwork by the night.
After booking and choosing one of four price points (Bootstrap, Moonshiner, Tinkerer and Artisan), you gain entry to the hotel via a key code that opens the front door. The check-in process involves discovering which rooms in your price range are available (that is, their doors are still open), and choosing the one you like the best.
Playing Goldilocks is the fun part – but from what we saw, even the smaller rooms are well designed; each has its charms. You may have the help of a hotel staffer to show you around and book you in, or you can do it entirely yourself, texting your choice to the hotel admin who will then supply you with a room security code.
The 39 rooms are the brainchildren of seven designers from four design firms, so each is different. We stayed in the neoclassical-styled ‘Rita Velour’ room, which is part of the Artisan category which each have access to a courtyard on the ground floor.
The walls had strong colours (aubergine and orange), touches of marble, a plush velvet couch and two portrait paintings. The ceiling was of unpainted concrete – seemingly unfinished, but it worked wonders for noise reduction. The room was, indeed, very quiet. This room also had a kitchenette, and its private courtyard was decked out with pot plants and outdoor furniture – including a table for four.
Parking is available at a cost of $40 a day, but is in short supply, so booking beforehand is essential. There is no TV in any of the rooms, but there’s WiFi instead.
Our confirmation check-in text invited us to ‘come say hello’ with drinks at a happy hour from 4-8pm in the tiny lobby. Though we rocked up past four, the drinks cabinet was locked and it was only after an awkward interaction with one of the staff that we were poured a glass of riesling (beer from local brewery Young Henry was also on offer).
Luckily, the Collectionist is well placed for a drink in Newtown at any time of day. It’s a short walk to King Street and is very close to public transport, a bottle shop, a supermarket and many cafés.
Time Out tip: It’s only a two-minute walk to Acre Eatery, which has a garden terrace open from 8am daily and lunch and dinner menus in the main restaurant. You’ll also find Camperdown Commons in the same location – an urban farm that has kitchen gardens, Saturday markets and outdoor yoga classes.