Just a block east of the iconic Coca-Cola billboard that stands at the entrance to Kings Cross is the Diamant Hotel. Managed by the hip 8 Hotels brand, this 76-room property—sandwiched between Potts Point and Darlinghurst—is surrounded by top-notch restaurants, funky bars, and notorious nightclubs. No surprise that it attracts an edgy crowd of mostly twenty- and thirtysomethings looking for a central crash pad after a night on the town. But the Diamant is a far cry from the hostels of “the Cross,” and it does welcome a number of business and corporate travelers looking for an alternative stay outside the financial district. The décor is moody, with velvety green headboards, dark mauve curtains, and black leather furniture. A black-and-white fleur-de-lis print in each room complements the monochrome images of the local area shot by Australian photographer Michael Collins. All accommodations are equipped with free Wi-Fi, iPod docking stations, and iPads loaded with maps, restaurant tips, and newspapers.
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Like its big brother in London, Kings Cross has a seedy side. But Sydney’s version is one of the most happening areas in the city, and quickly blends into classier parts of Darlinghurst and Potts Point. This is a great area to eat, drink, shop, and club. Guests can start their day with breakfast at the Darlinghurst outposts of Bills or Bourke Street Bakery, and then head to the Royal Botanic Garden to soak up some sunshine. Kings Cross really comes to life after dark, and that's the time to grab a meal at the quirky Ms.G's before hitting the bars. The cocktails at Eau de Vie are a must, as is a stop at Gelato Messina.
Need to Know
Rooms: 74 rooms, 2 suites; from $154. Check-in: 3 p.m.; check-out: 11 a.m. Dining options: There are no on-site restaurants, but Kings Cross, Potts Point, Woolloomooloo, and Darlinghurst all offer respected dining and drinking establishments. Bills and Bourke Street Bakery are good for breakfast. For dinner, Ms.G's is popular for Asian food, and the Farmhouse Restaurant offers paddock-to-plate cuisine in a cozy dining room. Spa and gym details: While there isn’t an official hotel gym or spa, there’s an attached fitness center that guests can access at no charge, as well as day spas on two floors of the same building.
Who's it best for: Night owls who love to be in the middle of the action. Our favorite rooms: Rooms 602 and 604—both Executive View rooms—offer a glimpse of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, while courtyard accommodations are pet-friendly and come with a dog bed, feeding bowl, and doggie room-service menu. Rooftop drinking: The Kings Cross Hotel across the street is an iconic old pub that has been given a modern makeover. The rooftop is the best place to bask in that red Coca-Cola glow.