The Old Clare Hotel

1 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008, Australia

The cornerstone of the Kensington Street Precinct, at the heart of the funky Chippendale neighborhood, the Old Clare is the storied pub she used to be and so much more. Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects built a glass-and-steel walkway between the former Clare Hotel and the neighboring Carlton United Brewery building, both dating to the early 20th century, to create a 62-room boutique hotel that simultaneously feels historic and edgy. Original wood panels and brick walls blend seamlessly into spotted gum floors and nude-colored walls, exemplifying the creative reuse that pervades the Chippendale suburb, an inner-city district of galleries and cafés situated at the crossroads of Glebe, Redfern, Surry Hills, Chinatown, and the Central Business District. The design echoes other landmark Sydney restorations by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer such as the Paddington Reservoir Gardens and Carriageworks, an arts complex located just down the road. The Old Clare also brings two more standout restaurants to Chippendale, including the first Australian venture by Michelin-starred British chef Jason Atherton. Whether guests soak in the egg-shaped tub in their loft room, take a sunrise yoga class on the rooftop pool deck, or sip a “Ginny Hendricks,” a watermelon-dill concoction with bitters and Hendrick’s gin, at the midcentury-modern bar, they’ll have a story to tell. The Old Clare is a tale that keeps getting better.

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The Big Splash

Springing to life in a venue that combines what was once a derelict inner-city hotel and pub, the recently opened Old Clare has become an all-in-one stop for nightlife. Behind the original art deco facade, a midcentury-chic bar occupies the pub’s old footprint. Also in the house are three restaurants with serious cred—Kensington Street Social, Silvereye, and Automata—and a glam boutique hotel with a rooftop pool bar.

Clare Room: historic luxury in Chippendale

A stay at The Old Clare Hotel is a chance to experience Sydney‘s most curious new property. Part of Unlisted Collection: hotels, the Clare Room blends modern luxury with eclectic history - the building is the result of an adaptive conversion of two historic buildings.

The rooftop pool at The Old Clare Hotel

The rooftop pool on the hotel’s top floor just opened in November 2015. Quickly becoming a hotspot for locals and guests alike, with exciting programming including exercise classes, poolside facials, and dance parties. Drinks and cuisine serviced by Jason Atherton’s Kensington Street Social.

Collecting Stuff.

I arrived in Australia with a backpack. And when I say just a backpack, it wasn’t even a very big backpack. Yet somehow, through lost and found bins, nightclub dance floors, thrift shops, free piles at hostels/front yards and the occasional looting of vacant apartments within our complex, I have collected a lot of stuff. Somehow a backpack of clothes has exploded to become full wardrobe, a full four drawer dresser, five stuffed shelves and an exploding suitcase. I have stand up mirror, a stereo, a vacuum, a juicer, a lamp, about thirty plates (taken over time from working in restaurants). I have two fake Christmas trees as well as a duffel bag full of decorations, I have a dvd player. I have a basketball, a jump rope, three hair straighteners, a blender, a toaster oven, a kerosene lamp, a tea set. Now you may be dialing the hoarders hotline right now, but before you do, remember this, I arrived with a backpack. Just a backpack. I spent four months living in a car, two months living in a hotel room, one month in a hostel, one month couch surfing, a couple weeks in Bali and a couple weeks living in a van. All with just a backpack. One might think that I would continue on this path of traveling light. Yet, I seem to be getting much more stuff than I am getting rid of. Still, it is an gratifying and freeing sensation to know that if necessary, I could grab my backpack, a toothbrush and my passport and be on my way without concern for any of that stuff.

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