From 225 Australian dollars (about $170 at current exchange rates).
The former headquarters of Paramount Pictures Australia (a subsidiary of the fabled Paramount Pictures Corporation, the Hollywood motion-picture company) was given new life in 2013 when the Paramount Coffee Project and Golden Age Cinema & Bar opened in the 1940 Art Deco building. A co-working space soon followed, and together, these businesses became an au courant local hub. Its reach expanded in April with the 29-room Paramount House Hotel, occupying the attached onetime film-storage warehouse. I arrived at 10 a.m., well before the 3 p.m. check-in time, and navigated a Saturday brunch madhouse at the Coffee Project, all blond wood and polished concrete, to reach the reception desk. My room wasn’t ready, but the hotel emailed me when it was, and I checked in around 1:30. The staff had already deposited my bags into my room.
Surry Hills, a low-slung neighborhood of creative businesses, buzzy cafes and 19th-century terraced houses, has long attracted Sydney’s trendsetters. But until the Paramount House, it didn’t have a destination hotel befitting its wider allure. Hyde Park is a short walk away, as is the Central Business District.
The first level of my loft room was equal parts open bathroom and seating area. A lattice window slid open onto a balcony, making the room feel bigger. Augmenting the effect was a rare sight in a hotel room: three large, thriving plants. Privacy was afforded by the copper chevron screen encasing the upper floors of the building’s exterior. Swank leather chairs sat on a kilim rug covering the wood floor and facing the room’s only TV. In lieu of a closet, a clothes rack hung next to the sink. Upstairs, the bed was made up with sumptuous French linens from the Australian brand Cultiver and framed by sconces too dim for reading, plus power and USB outlets.
The bathroom was a stunner, with generous use of Italian terrazzo tiling, brass accents and a gorgeous wooden bathtub that was nearly impossible to shower in. The curtains clung to me, and the Aesop products sat outside the curtain at bathing level. So I gave up and took a bath. Form won out over function here.
The hotel suggests that guests reserve by 4:30 p.m. to guarantee a spot at its small-plates restaurant, Poly, for the same evening. I did so and was told it was fully booked, but my party of one could squeeze in. When I arrived, there was no reservation for me but they sat me at the bar. I ordered the Paramount cocktail, a great twist on a negroni with lemongrass and Pampelle, a grapefruit liqueur. My food order included flatbread topped with a whipped sesame spread and a salad made with gem cos, a lettuce that was new to me. Both were unusual and delicious. By the time I left, the room was packed with the most beautiful people I saw in Sydney during my four days there.
Room service breakfast from the Coffee Project arrived promptly. Given their coffee’s renown, the sippy cup half-filled with undrinkable brew came as a surprise. (The flat white I ordered in the coffee shop itself was far better.) The rest — sourdough toast, overnight oats and orange juice — was tasty and came in an ingenious stacking contraption that minimized necessary table space.
In place of a gym, guests have free access to classes at the top-floor Paramount Recreation Club. Unfortunately, the schedule was limited during my weekend stay. In a nod to the building’s moviemaking past, the basement cinema shows films in the original Paramount screening room, while its adjacent cocktail bar is a draw in its own right. Wi-Fi was complementary and fast. Turndown service included a bedside carafe of water with mint and an orange slice.
The Bottom Line
At this beauty of a boutique hotel, you’ll feel immediately immersed in the hip Surry Hills scene thanks to the local popularity of its dining and drinking establishments. That same scene might occasionally make you feel crowded out of your own hotel, as well.
Paramount House Hotel, 80 Commonwealth St.; paramounthousehotel.com.
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