Inside Ovolo Woolloomooloo, Sydney’s No. 1 Ranked Hotel
— Updated on 14 May 2020

Inside Ovolo Woolloomooloo, Sydney’s No. 1 Ranked Hotel

— Updated on 14 May 2020
John McMahon
John McMahon

What’s young at heart, a bit wild and doesn’t play by the rules? I’m not talking about your loose Aunty after half a dozen ciders at Christmas lunch – I’m referring to Ovolo Woolloomooloo, Sydney’s number one ranked hotel on TripAdvisor at the time of writing.

If you’ve been in this corner of Sydney over the past few years, you’ve probably heard a bit of buzz coming out of the swanky waterfront property that finds itself in a little corner of the suburb from which it takes its name.

For so long now, Sydney has been stagnant with a lack of personality in the hotel space. A breath of fresh air blew through the city this decade, however, which finally offered staycationers and tourists alike some respite from the chain-hotel chokehold.

But with this new wave came fierce competition. The likes of Ovolo and QT quickly asserted their dominance and it soon became a two-horse race up and down the east coast as to who could win the semi-boutique hotel tug-of-war.

Well, with an even 5.0 stars out of 2,116 reviews, Ovolo has won the battle of Sydney. Combining glitz, glamour and a splash of cheekiness with modern designer luxury, the harbourside property offers plenty to write home about.

But what are the secret herbs and spices that you need to sprinkle on a hotel for it to take the cake as the best digs in the city? Usually, I’m overly critical of Aussie hotels (as I stay in a lot every year), but I seriously can’t fault this place.

And it seems that the masses are in agreement with me. Regardless, we spent a Friday evening on-site to uncover Ovolo Woolloomooloo’s recipe for success for ourselves.


Ovolo’s striking aesthetic and quirky design hits its peak at the Woolloomooloo address. The rich history of the wharf combined with a unique and light-filled rework of the interior overwhelms the senses from the moment you walk through the door. As for the rooms – everything from Alexa speaker systems to Apple TVs and cheeky amenities spark a smile from ear to ear the moment you step inside them.


No matter the physical surroundings of a hotel, most guests come away from a property with their opinion based on their interactions with staff. Ovolo have realised this and made staff training a big priority.

They are friendly, courteous, professional, efficient and just do that little bit extra to make you feel welcome. They talk to you like a friend and aren’t too overbearing – expressing a genuine approach to interaction as opposed to being repetitive robots reciting a rehearsed welcome speech upon check-in.


Book a room direct through, on the phone or via their email and you’ll get the best rate offered by Ovolo, 100% guaranteed.

There’s no ifs and buts about it. While I’d always recommend booking directly with a hotel anyway (it’s a generalisation, but all hotels usually give preferential treatment to those who do), the Ovolo brand really takes this seriously and will reward you for it.

If their rate drops even more before you’ve checked-in, they’ll even price match it. Good from them.

Free Food & Booze

What’s the fastest way to achieving #1 on TripAdvisor? Free food. Or, more importantly for Australians, free booze.

In keeping with the theme of loyalty, those who book online also get a complimentary mini-bar. This stash is stacked with a plethora of goodies, a ‘loot bag’ for those Netflix & Chill nights and enough vino and a few David Hasslefroths to get the party started.

Need a little more to wet the whistle? Read on…

Even More Free Food & Booze

If you don’t think the complimentary mini-bar (that’s restocked daily, we might add), will get you loosey-goosey enough, then we’d recommend you check in early. Why?

PSA: There’s a FREE ‘social hour’ EVERY DAY between 5:30 & 6:30 pm.

The drinks and nibbles are on them. Need we say more?

And Free Breakfast

Just when you think it couldn’t get any better, you’ll wake up for breakfast.

Never has getting out of bed been so appealing. The breakfast is on the house and it’s absolutely magical. Wake up to the warm hues of the soft pink breakfast house and pick away at the deluxe continental offering until you feel sick.

If you still haven’t maxed yourself out, you can order off the menu for all your basic bitch breakfast needs including eggs benedict and smashed avo.

Chuck in some super speedy Wi-Fi, 24-hour gym and pool access as well as a self-service laundry for fresh threads, there are few boxes that are left unticked down at Ovolo Woolloomooloo.

You can decide for yourself at

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John McMahon
John McMahon is a founding member of the Boss Hunting team who honed his craft by managing content across website and social. Now, he's the publication's General Manager and specialises in bringing brands to life on the platform.


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