As the most populous city in Australia, Sydney naturally also has the most hotel rooms — nearly 44,000, according to one estimate in 2019. But amongst those rooms, there is only a small percentage that fit the criteria of feeling fancy but without the equivalent price tag.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up some of the best hotels in the city with rooms that do just that. From boutique hotels in Surry Hills with rooms for less than $150, to a hidden oasis in the backstreets of Bondi that, though beautiful is still a bargain, these are seven of the best hotels in Sydney that serve aesthetically pleasing while still staying affordable.
202 Elizabeth, Surry Hills
Boutique hotel 202 Elizabeth only opened in February this year. Hidden behind discrete doors on Elizabeth Street, it has 38 rooms across six levels, many with balconies. The hotel is adults-only (16+), pet-friendly, and aims to bring the outdoors in with Australian artists and designers showcased on every corner. Sustainability is key here, with the hotel built from the inside out — mostly built offsite and then lifted into place by cranes. Its room The Surry can often be booked for less than $250 a night.
Little National Hotel, CBD
Steps from Wynyard station, Little National Hotel is all about efficient use of space. All of the hotel’s 230 rooms are compact yet feature efficient spatial planning. Guests have access to a gym with Technogym equipment and a rooftop lounge with bar. The Little National Room can be booked for as little as $228 on weeknights. Become a Little National VIP for free and score discounted rates.
57 Hotel, Surry Hills
57 Hotel on Foveaux Street is a seven-minute walk from Crown Street and was inspired by the infamous New York nightclub Studio 54 — and the 1970s in general. Room types include Twin Shoebox, Mini Disco Double, and, the most spacious among them, Dancing Queen Twin, which accommodates four travellers plus luggage. Its rooms Disco Double, Shoebox Twin, Dancing Queen, The King, and the King Plus are less than $250 on weeknights.
The Baxley, Bondi
The Baxley is a Hamptons-inspired retreat tucked into the backstreets of South Bondi, a 10-minute walk to both Bondi Beach and Tamarama. The hotel has a shared lounge and garden. Rooms are around $135-$200 for weeknight stays and go up to $320 for weekends at the largest room size, Premium Queen Ensuite.
The Hughenden Hotel, Paddington
The Hughenden Hotel in leafy Paddington is housed in a Victorian home, designed in 1878 by Frederick Quaife. Today, the hotel has undergone many a refurb, all while maintaining the building’s old-world glamour. Rooms range from Budget Cosy and Standard Queen to Pet-Friendly Courtyard and The Manor Suite. You can even snap up the Standard King for under $250 a night, provided you’re booking a weeknight.
Hotel Steyne, Manly
Hotel Steyne is a Manly institution, around since 1859. It opened accommodations in 2020, with guests able to take advantage of the restaurant Beach Bar and Bistro, cocktail lounge The Rooftop and, in many rooms, ocean views. Play around with the dates, and you might be able to book Queen Beachfront Ocean View for exactly $250. The room has views of Manly Beach and its famous pines.
William Inglis Hotel – MGallery by Sofitel, Warwick Farm
The William Inglis Hotel is a boutique hotel a 45-minute drive west of the CBD and a five-minute drive from Westfield Liverpool. It was created by the hotel brand MGallery, known for properties that showcase their surroundings. The hotel is also home to Newmarket Restaurant, 1867 Bar Lounge and Heroic Café, as well as Inglis Day Spa. Become an Accor loyalty program member for free and you’ll get 5% off rooms. Even the Deluxe Rooms can be booked for under $250 a night.