Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour

139 Murray St, Pyrmont NSW 2009, Australia

Formerly the 1888 Hotel.
What used to be a wool shed in the middle of a sheep farming area is now a youthful hotel that celebrates the Pyrmont district’s heritage while featuring the full suite of modern amenities. Opened in 2013, the hotel is an extravaganza of wool, which is found in the felted black lampshades attached to old pulleys in the lobby, in the lower wall panels in the hallways, and as carpeting throughout the building. The old Wool Brokers Arms is visible across the street from the heritage rooms on the west side of the hotel. Modern and cheeky touches also abound at this boutique property, known as the world’s first Instagram hotel. There’s an empty “Selfie Frame” hanging amid mismatched furniture in the lobby, and guests with at least 10,000 Instagram followers are offered a free night’s stay. (Mere Instagram mortals have a chance to win, too, by using the hashtag #1888hotel to be entered into a monthly photo contest.) 1888 is also a leader in sustainability; the hotel preserved the building’s original ironbark beams and built desks from recycled floorboards. The minibar is more conscious than usual, too, stocked with Alter Eco chocolates, Charlie’s juices, coconut water, and fresh milk. The best things about 1888 are the little surprises. Even the hotel’s name has a double meaning: 1888 was the year the building was constructed but was also the year that the Kodak camera debuted.

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