As I browsed around the website of the Cambridge Hotel, located on the hippest side of one of Sydney’s hippest suburbs, Surry Hills, I could hardly sit still in my seat at work. I had to spread the word – posting the link on Lorenzo’s Facebook page with the caption ‘get excited’. The Cambridge website will lead you to believe that it is a beautifully renovated, boutique hotel, living up to it’s name in a hip part of town. When you step foot in the door, you’ll see it mostly lives up to those expectations.
Reception has friendly staff ready to greet you. I actually couldn’t tell if Sarah at reception already knew who I was or if she was just that nice to everyone. Based on our similar experience at check-out with a different GSA, I’d believe it’s the latter. The staff is just flat out nice, and hospitality is more than just a job description to them.
There isn’t really an excuse to complain about anything when you get a mini-break from your six other housemates and a bed to sleep on with clean, crisp sheets or a view of the city off your balcony. Lorenzo and I snuggled up for a nice Friday night in with some room service and special weekend movies (Bridget Jones’ Diary if you must know)!
Our Saturday was spent traipsing around IKEA as Lorenzo and I just got approved for a new flat at the start of the month and it’s furniture time! Anyone who’s ever been in an IKEA knows how you feel after leaving IKEA… let’s just say that by 6pm I was diving into the bed and again, beyond thankful for control of the remote and some peace and quiet.
However, being smack in the middle of Surry Hills meant that we couldn’t spend another weekend night snuggled into hotel sheets (even if we kinda wanted to). Nope, we rugged up to face the chilly wind and headed the few blocks to Crown Street where we chose an old favorite for dinner, Pizza e Birra. It’s the only place in the city where I get stuck in a cultural time warp, one where I can’t decide if I’m better off speaking English or Italian, and the only place yet that can make Lorenzo truly forget that he’s half a world away from the homeland. After a belly-busting, winter-inspired meal of hearty pastas, pizza and red wine we waddled to the Clock Hotel for a night cap. We almost made it back to the hotel when we passed the corner Irish Pub, The Porterhouse, being a big fan of the Irish (and pubs) we couldn’t pass it up. Besides we knew our crisp, white sheets were waiting just across the street.
We had a weekend full of rest and relaxation, a nice little stay-cation if you will.
As we were checking out, with plans to head up to the famous Sydney café Bill’s, the GSA at the front desk suggested a small café just on the next block called The Goods. He identified it as the one with the flowers in the sign where the name should be. It wasn’t hard to find and after only a few seconds of consideration, we opted to save the inevitable queue at Bill’s for another day. And the decision was was a treat with fresh juice, delicious coffee and tasty breakfast options.
I don’t doubt that if you needed anything during your stay at the Cambridge that the friendly staff would not hesitate to offer you an array of suggestions. Plus, being smack in the middle of one of the best suburbs in the city, you can’t really go wrong. There were at least three or four new restaurants and bars we would have loved to try, but unfortunately we only had two days and five meals, so our hands were tied, we had to pick and choose.
I have no complaints about our stay at the Cambridge, but the only thing I will say is that boutique and modern in the common spaces looked slightly like upscale hostel to me. I like upscale hostels, but maybe not every guest would see it the same way.
Disclaimer: The Cambridge graciously hosted me for the weekend, but all opinions, as always, are my own.