Rydges Sydney Central: This Surry Hills Hotel Even Has Its Own Cinema

Big and little kids alike love the aquarium in the lobby of Rydges Sydney Central.
Big and little kids alike love the aquarium in the lobby of Rydges Sydney Central.

Not many hotels can claim to have their own cinema, but Rydges Sydney Central does – along with a microbrewery and even a small aquarium. Those are some of the features which give this Surry Hills hotel a quirkiness and a point of difference from your average 4.5-star hotel.

The 51-seat cinema, along with 40 new guest rooms, were added in the most recent renovation of the hotel. Not surprisingly, the cinema has proved to be very popular with corporate bookings and private events such as small film festivals.

And judging by how the microbrewery was packed to the rafters on the Friday night we visited, I’d say the brewery has proved to be wildly popular too.

Reservoir Cinema has proved to be very popular with corporate clients.
Reservoir Cinema has proved to be very popular with corporate clients.

I remember staying at this hotel many years ago when it was The Sebel Surry Hills. It was a classy, comfortable hotel even then. Now under the ownership of leading hotelier Dr Jerry Schwartz, and with the Rydges branding, it has evolved into the sort of hotel which is a little different from the rest.

That’s probably in large part due to the guiding hand of Schwartz, a somewhat unconventional man himself. He apparently likes aquariums and here he has installed one underfoot, in the lobby, where it’s the first thing you notice when you enter. Kids, of course, love it.

The hotel has 309 rooms, all well-appointed with fast, free wifi. Our Superior King Room was amazingly spacious with a small lounge and large desk and a huge adjoining room with full lounge and dining table. The décor was fresh and modern with pops of patchwork colour in the lounge chairs.

Rydges Sydney Central our room IMG_5006-imp
Rydges Sydney Central Lounge IMG_5008-imp
The lounge in our Superior King Room.

Hotel facilities include a state-of-the-art gym and a 15-metre indoor pool with a starry sky. Conveniently attached to the hotel, Sydney Brewery Surry Hills produces small-batch craft beers that you can enjoy on site, along with pub food and laidback vibes.

We dined in Manna Loft, the restaurant located on Level 1 of the hotel. Open for dinner on Friday and Saturday evenings and taking inspiration from its name (meaning ‘food from heaven’), Manna Loft celebrates Australian produce in a relaxed setting. Under the direction of executive chef Kevin Weng, it serves delicious pizzas and fresh, modern dishes leaning to a Mediterranean style.

Rydges Sydney Central Chef IMG_5026-imp
Chef de partie, Jason. Manna Loft serves a delicious pizza!
Rydges Sydney Central Manna Loft Oysters IMG_5017-imp
And we loved the oysters …

One of the great things about this hotel is how close it is to Central Station. Literally just a few minutes’ walk, it is so convenient and easy-peasy, even with luggage. It’s also within walking distance of Chinatown, Capitol Theatre, the Powerhouse Museum and other attractions.

Rydges Sydney Central Pool IMG_5028-imp
The 15-metre indoor pool has a starry sky.

If you go:

Rydges Sydney Central
28 Albion Street,
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Tel: +61 (0)2 9289 0000

With thanks to Rydges Sydney Central for generously hosting us for one night including our beautiful meal at Manna Loft.

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