Culture

How I Finally Became A Convert To The Complete Indulgence Of A Staycation

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I have a confession to make: I never understood the point of a staycation. I live fairly close to Sydney city and I like my apartment, so why would I fork out the cash just to stay even closer? As I’ve now discovered, the answer is: for plenty of reasons.

On a Friday night — just after lockout laws had changed and I was desperate to get back into the nightlife — I checked into West Hotel Sydney just one street back from the wharves at Circular Quay. The concept here is simple, no muss, no fuss — just with a far nicer decor.

West Hotel Sydney review

The courtyard area.

As part of the Curio Collection by Hilton, the hotel is as sleek as you’d expect. The best part of a stay here — besides being able to head down to the gorgeous courtyard to finish off my work before things were about to get lit — is the complimentary late checkout at midday.

My room is compact, but with all the essentials. The only things missing are a minibar — although there’s just enough room in the fridge for your own bottle of wine — and free wifi, although you can get the latter if you sign up to the Hilton club (which yes, is odd).

One of the hotel rooms, mine looked exactly the same as this.

Besides the sleep in, you’re really paying for the prime location. Now that I’m in my 30s I refuse to travel too far for my fun party times, and I rarely get down to Circular Quay, even though the number of restaurants and clubs here could keep you busy for weeks.

After a relaxed check-in and having finished work at the small desk included in my room, I headed out to meet my friends for our dinner reservation at Grana (you can read my review here, *spoiler* it was incredibly delicious).

West Hotel exterior and reception.

From there we were able to do something I haven’t done in a long time — a bar crawl. Instead of rushing to get ready and out the door for the main event, I was able to take my leisurely time exploring the area and picking which bars and clubs I actually wanted to head into.

Did I make a fool of myself on the dancefloor? Absolutely. Did I have a blast? Hell yes. Did I love being able to walk just a few minutes and crawl back into a large, freshly made bed? More than words.

Since then, plenty of people have told me I’m crazy and that the staycay is all about staying in and having alone time. I totally get that, except I live alone so there is plenty of me-time in my life. For people like me, a staycay is the perfect excuse to get out and explore.

Solander Bar And Restaurant

In the morning, I considered heading down to the hotel restaurant, Solander, to gorge myself on breakfast — I’d seen it next to reception and the decor is all sleek, moody and inviting. But then I had a better thought. What is the main difference from staying in your own home that makes a staycay so luxurious? Breakfast in bed, obviously.

I unashamedly made the call down to room service for an omelette (anyone else obsessed with ordering omelettes from hotel restaurants? Or just me because I suck at cooking?), croissants and a bunch of drinks to revive my hungover body.

Sure, I got up to let the food in, but then you’d better believe I devoured that bad boi in bed with the telly on. By the time I’d finished, I still had a leisurely hour or so to pack up and check out. Perfect weekend, if you ask me.

If you’re not one for planning your own itinerary, however, West Hotel is currently running a ‘#CuriousSydney’ package from $250 a night that includes a tailored itinerary of recommended experiences, based on your interests.

Either way, consider me a convert of the old staycation.


AWOL stayed as a guest of West Hotel Sydney.

(All images: provided by West Hotel Sydney)