Making its debut performance in October 2023, The Capitol Hotel has taken centre stage in Haymarket’s bustling theatre district.
Conveniently located in one of the city’s foremost entertainment hubs, this contemporary and stylish 95-room boutique hotel is a fresh new addition to Sydney’s central business district, making it an ideal choice for out-of-town theatre-goers or a fun city staycation.
Traveller: Andrew Conway
Room: 215, King Room
Address: 730/742 George Street, Haymarket, Sydney 2000
Date of stay: November 2023
Price range: $209 for a Queen Room to $559 for a Junior Family Room
Best for: People who like the idea of staying in an intimate boutique hotel in a lively part of the city
Once home to Belmore Markets, the occasional circus and vaudeville shows, this classic heritage building has undergone a thoughtful design transformation to emerge as a small but dynamic boutique hotel, part of the Independent Collection at EVT. It may look traditional on the outside, but it’s all cool, contemporary chic on the inside.
With the Capitol Theatre as its star attraction neighbour on Campbell Street, the hotel is just steps from the box office with Haymarket’s myriad restaurants, cafes, bars and shops, and the Light Rail stops of Capitol Square and Chinatown, delivering visitors in minutes to Sydney’s best tourist, dining and retail venues. It couldn’t be more central … with Central Station, an easy walk from the hotel.
Within a short walk you can find
The hotel is surrounded by eateries – many of them Asian – and it’s an easy walk to Paddy’s Market, Chinatown, World Square and boho Surry Hills.
Guests enter via sliding glass doors into a cool charcoal-and-white vestibule decorated with a snazzy chandelier, Shakespearian-themed wallpaper and long-drop curtains. It’s reminiscent of entering the foyer of a theatre – where a lift takes you to the level two reception desk.
This is one of the fastest and easiest hotel check-ins I’ve ever done. Once your booking is confirmed, guests receive an email and SMS the day before arrival for check-in online and an arrival QR code. Scan your QR code at one of two self-service kiosks by the reception desk for your room key card(s) and a receipt with your room number and internet access code printed on it, and you’re off to your room. Staff at the reception desk can also assist with your check-in if required.
I’m allocated 215, a King room on level two on the George Street side of the hotel. It’s undoubtedly spacious with a king bed, a work desk and chair and another comfy bedside armchair. There’s a wide-screen TV and a multi-function flat-top cabinet with room to place my suitcase, store valuables in a safe underneath and use the welcome tea and coffee facilities.
I search for a phone, then realise a hi-tech and easy-to-use ‘Intelity’ tablet is on the desk for any in-room requirements. There’s a curious lack of storage space for clothes and shoes, only three oversized round hooks on the wall and just two hangers. It’s barely enough for an overnight stay. There’s a compact but spotlessly clean ensuite bathroom in a crisp black-and-white design. The shower products are by Thankyou, but there are no tissues. A small but glaring omission, so it is best to bring your own.
Bouquets and brickbats
The teal-and-gold colour palette is calming and whimsical touches like the eyelash room number door plates nod to the hotel’s theatre location. My biggest challenge was the continual noise from bustling George Street. Especially the low rumble of the Light Rail each time it passed by, day and night. This section of the building is heritage-listed, so it poses some noise insulation challenges. In fairness to the hotel, all of the windows in this section are triple-glazed. Yet it’s not quite enough to mask the rumble. I stayed on a separate occasion in a queen room on a higher floor and found that room to be whisper-quiet.
The Capitol Kitchen on level two is open for a light buffet breakfast each day. Expect plates stacked with pastries, cold cuts and cheeses, cereals, yoghurt and juices, espresso coffee and tea. In the afternoon and early evening, the stylish dining space morphs into a pleasant pre-theatre experience. At this time of day, the kitchen and bar offer a modern Australian menu of delicious small and sharing plates complemented by beers, cocktails and fine wines.
Dishes to dine for
The warm marinated olives with lemon, rosemary and chilli; hummus with crispy chickpeas, pomegranate, mint and corn chips; and salt-and-pepper squid, chilli, lemon, coriander and chipotle mayo. All washed down with an Aperol Spritz and a glass of Shaw+Smith Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc.
Dine in The Capitol Kitchen or use your ‘Intelity’ tablet for room service. Sign into your favourite streaming (or music) services on the wide-screen TV and indulge in some super-comfortable ‘me time’.
Things to do beyond Haymarket
The best of Sydney is an easy Uber, cab, bus, train, or Light Rail ride away. Notably Hyde Park, Sydney Tower Eye, Pitt Street Mall, Australian Museum, Art Gallery of NSW, Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens and Sydney Harbour Bridge. Not to mention the historic Rocks area and towering Barangaroo district. From Circular Quay, catch a ferry across the harbour to Luna Park, Cockatoo Island, Taronga Zoo and Manly. Or head to Darling Harbour for zoo, waxworks and aquarium attractions.
Guest rooms don’t have minibars, but bottles of water (still and sparkling) are delivered daily, along with tea and coffee supplies.
I wish I could take home
The casual, practical and appropriately relaxed hotel staff uniform – think black t-shirt, pants and signature braces. Will it make me look as young as the 20-something hotel crew? No. Will it make me feel young and cool? Absolutely.
Before booking The Capitol Hotel, Sydney
Join the hotel’s Priority Guest Rewards program for savings on the best rates and in-stay savings and rewards.
With many public transport options around the hotel, I’d suggest leaving your car at home. But if you bring your own wheels, guests can access Capitol Square Parking located directly beneath the hotel for $30 a day.
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