Quirky. Iconic. Unique. The words that won’t go away. Lazy words that no writer should ever use to describe anything eccentric, seminal and rare. These are the words that better describe the particular elegance of Hotel Harry.
On the corner of heritage and hip (Wentworth and Goulburn Streets) what was originally the Hotel Harry was also once the Macquarie Hotel. The 1912 tiled and stained glass façade doesn’t really reveal too much of the dazzling, bower bird interior.
The location is ideal for any traveller who wants proximity to Sydney’s sights but doesn’t want a CBD Hotel price tag. From here you can walk to Darlinghurst, Kings Cross, Chinatown, Darling Harbour as well as the best of the CBD shopping. On the cusp of the CBD, Darlo and Surry Hills you are at the crossroads of edgy and corporate.
Take the typically European elevator to the two floors of accommodation and you are taken back a hundred years.
Hotel Harry has 20 boutique rooms – each subtly different due to the building’s heritage status. From suites to single rooms you can expect rescued wardrobes, industrial brass tap ware and some with fireplaces. Designed by the much celebrated James Brown and Anna Hewett there is audible ‘WOW’ factor.
Our cozy, somewhat European suite lets a little of the Surry Hills neighbourhood in with an enormous bay window half encircling the deep, claw foot bathtub. The mood is masculine with navy blue carpet and dark finishes. The subway-tiled bathroom is industrial in style, but comfortable. If only there was somewhere to store my toiletries.
In-house amenities are the ‘oh so’ on trend Evo. There’s a Vittoria pod coffee maker and earplugs for when the party downstairs gets a little too merry. Easy to login and free Wi-Fi works well and Choice Hotels has recently launched Free Continental Breakfast across their 270 properties. Hotel Harry is part of Choice’s Ascend Hotel Collection – boutique and historic properties that have that something special.
If you’re not convinced by the location and designer digs maybe Morgan McGlone taking over the Harpoon Harry kitchen will push you over the line. The maverick chef most recently famous for his Belles Hot Chicken stops has worked at Pierre Gagnaire, Paris, DOM in Sao Paulo and was chef de cuisine at the epicenter of low country cooking Husk (Charleston and Nashville).
McGlone has given the formerly Cuban Harpoon Harry menu a total refresh – less Bossa Nova and more square dance. Working side by side with Harriet, his big, black and beautiful one-ton smoker, the Hotel dining room has that unmistakable and tantalising aroma.
Early evening cocktails meant the loaded fries – Kim chi, chicken skins and cheese. The perfect foil to alcohol with just the right amount of spice and cheesy goodness. The Blueberry is an Instagram pretty blend of Beefeater Gin with blueberry and lemon jam. The Rhubarb combines Aperol, rhubarb honey shrub and prosecco.
Late, late dinner was also at the Public Bar with the smoked half BBQ chicken and Carolina slaw a side of Mac and Cheese to share. Juicy, smoky chicken partnered with the traditional, American cheese adorned creamy macaroni. Yum.
Morgan McGlone hasn’t ever met a vegetable or cut of meat that can’t be pickled, cured, smoked, fermented or dried and the proof is in the restaurant’s décor; the dining room sports tall jars of pickled capsicums, celeriac, chilis and more.
Hotel Harry is for those who want more than just a hotel room. Location and facilities lift it above its 4 star rating. The décor, bar and food switch it “up to eleven”.