Sunday, 21 June 2020

Hotel Review: Paramount House Hotel, Sydney.

When I lived in Sydney I was super lucky to work in Surry Hills. It’s one of the trendiest suburbs in Sydney with a wide-variety of bars and cafes, and those quintessential Sydney terraced houses set on leafy tree-lined streets (even to this day I still miss my old Sydney terraced house). The call of the Kookaburra fills the air through the day, Gelato Messina scoop out double-scoops of their homemade gelato, and by night the bars and restaurants are filled and buzzing with people and big fluffy Flying Foxes hang upside down from the trees.

Almost every street in the suburb has a hot new bar on it, but the one thing the suburb has been missing, is a luxury hotel. The only hotels in Surry Hills until recently have been hotels attached to pubs, which, to put it nicely, aren’t particularly ‘nice’. But in 2018 Paramount House Hotel opened with 29 rooms and suites, finally giving visitors a luxury property in Sydney’s coolest neighbourhood. When I visited Sydney back in February I decided to check it out and see what it was like! 

Paramount House Hotel Sydney Review


The luxury hotel is housed within the former headquarters of Paramount Pictures Sydney and has retained much of its original brickwork and industrial-chic features. To get to the hotel lobby you enter through the Paramount Coffee Project cafe – which serves up a classic Aussie breakfast worth checking out – and walk past a large luscious tree and into a polished concrete space flooded with natural light from the over-head glass. The staff are friendly and the check-in process is quick and easy. If breakfast is included in your room rate, you’re given a small coin which you need to look after and hand to the Paramount Coffee Project staff when you go to pay.



I turned the key to my Loft room and when the door opened was astounded by the unique design of the interior. I entered immediately into the bathroom, with a private toilet behind a door to the right, and the sink space immediately ahead of me under the staircase. Past the toilet is an open bath space made from beautiful Italian terrazzo tiles, but no privacy screen – not great if you’re staying with a parent/sibling or a friend.

Paramount House Hotel in Surry Hills Sydney hotel review


The bath is a rectangular wooden box made of native blackbutt; a nice idea, but frankly a little impractical – it’s impossible to lay back and relax, you sort of have to just sit there with your knees up under your chin like so...

Paramount House Hotel in Surry Hills Sydney hotel review
Aesop bath toiletries
Paramount House Hotel in Surry Hills Sydney hotel review


Gorgeous Aesop bath products are provided, and rather than a closet, there’s a hanging rail under the stairs, which, although fine for male guests, is slightly inconvenient for anyone with dresses longer than knee-length as the space under the rail isn’t long enough for either midi or long dresses – the bottoms of my dresses covered the mini-bar snacks.

Paramount House Hotel in Surry Hills Sydney hotel review


Past the bath-space is a cosy living area with a comfy relaxed couch, which I loved lazing on after my impractical and slightly uncomfortable bath, and a door leading onto a balcony with table and chairs. Upstairs is a mezzanine bedroom, with beautiful coloured linen bedding, and a wooden tree-trunk bedside table with power outlets directly above (thank goodness!).

Paramount House Hotel in Surry Hills Sydney hotel review
Paramount House Hotel in Surry Hills Sydney hotel review
Paramount House Hotel in Surry Hills Sydney hotel review


When I returned to my room later that evening I was pleased to find a glass bottle filled with fresh lemon and orange water – I poured it into the glass provided and my face creased into a pained expression as I tossed it around my mouth. It was sparkling water. An unusual choice when surely it’s fairly common knowledge that many people can’t stand sparkling water? I mean, have the staff at Paramount not seen the amount of memes around this issue! Sparkling water aside, I had a blissful sleep and loved the space of the Loft room with the living room and balcony.

There are plenty of food and drink options both within Paramount House and in the local area. Paramount Coffee Project is perfect for a relaxed breakfast and lunch (I really enjoyed my banana bread breakky!), while the in-house restaurant, Poly, is an intimate space, and a spin-off of famed Sydney restaurant, Ester. Downstairs is a cocktail bar, and mere minutes away there are my old favourites; Chin Chin, Tio’s, Rosie Campbell’s, The Clock, and The Winery.

Banana bread breakfast at Paramount Coffee Project in Surry Hills, Sydney

There’s no swimming pool or gym at Paramount, but there is a cinema on the lower floor in the original Paramount Pictures screening room and a rooftop health club, Paramount Recreation Club, which provides regular classes and health juices from the kiosk.

There’s no denying the fact that Paramount House Hotel is beautifully designed and a welcome independent addition to Surry Hills and the Sydney hotel scene, but the basic expectation of a private bathroom and sufficient wardrobe space left me feeling slightly disappointed. It very much felt like a case of design over functionality created by designers who weren’t fully aware of guests’ needs or pet peeves.

Despite its shortcomings, Paramount House has a lot going for it, and I think it probably appeals more to a trendier crowd who are looking for something unique. If you’re looking for a more ‘local’ experience of Sydney, book a stay and use it as an opportunity to explore the city’s coolest neighbourhood.

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*This review was originally written for and posted on AGLAIA Magazine.


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