When a Victorian Mansion Becomes a Boutique Hotel
You know, I never really thought that I would be able to set foot in a Victorian Mansion when I visited Australia. But heaven was probably on my side on my birthday month because I was able to spend five delightful nights at The Simpsons of Potts Point. What an excellent start to my 18- day adventure at the Land Down Under!
The Simpsons of Potts Point or Simpsons Hotel is just around eight minutes by foot from Kings Cross Station via Victoria Road Exit. Although the structures along Victoria Road and Challis Avenue are somehow alike, it was easy to find the hotel because it stood out among the rest.
The mansion, previously known as the “Killountan," is protected under a permanent conservation order by the Heritage Council of New South Wales. It was built in 1892 and restored in 1988, but it still maintains its 19th Century ambiance.
The crew of Simpsons Hotel already made a good impression on me weeks before I even arrived. As soon as they had my booking confirmed, Ree, the general manager, sent websites to help me plan my trip to Sydney.
Keith, one of the owners, also made sure that I would know how to get around the hotel days before my flight since Ree was on leave when I checked- in in the property. I thought it was going to be a problem knowing that nobody might be around aside from the housekeeper when I reach the hotel but I was wrong. He made sure that I got every detail I needed and he left me clear instructions on how I will be able to get in.
When I arrived, however, I was taken aback by the glorious scent of the foyer decorated with fresh flowers.
Unlike business hotels, Simpsons Hotel does not exactly have a reception desk. But there is a table in the front hall where I found an envelope addressed to me. It felt like home from the get go. No one was around at all, but I felt relaxed the moment I got in.
I occupied Barbara's Room on the 2nd floor, which was still fragrant by the way. Apparently, there are fresh flowers all throughout the hotel. It was like a dream because I always wanted an attic room and I finally got one- or something similar at least. Of course, since I just came from an eight-hour flight, the comfortable bed was more than inviting. I had to resist the urge to lay down and spend the rest of the day sleeping.
The room was spacious and complete with amenities. I was able to easily spread my suitcase on the floor without having to fix it every time I walk throughout the room. The bathroom was impeccably clean as well. Up to now, I am still amazed by how they maintain the white grout of the tiles spotless over the years. I loved the bar of soap the most among the toiletries. So fragrant and soft on the skin.
After hanging out a bit, I noticed that there was another note for me. I got two bottles of sparkling wine from Keith! The cold drink was already waiting in the mini refrigerator. It was such a sweet gesture, and I felt so spoiled. I am not complaining, though. It was my birthday month after all! The mini bar was also complete with complimentary water, coffee, and tea.
Just as I was beginning to doze off, I heard a knock on the door. It turned out to be one of the housekeepers, Edith. She made sure that I was already inside since they were expecting me to arrive at 2 PM. Proved that they keep track of their guests.
I usually do not hang around hotel lounges for too long, but Simpsons Hotel is too inviting and not spending some time just to sit and relax in the area would be a shame.
In their drawing room, there was a computer free of use, fireplaces, and tons of books about traveling Australia and much more. There were also bottles of complimentary port and sherry. I even scored some snickers bars one time!
Situated in a convenient location in Potts Point, I love the fact that even though Simpsons Hotel is just minutes away from a bus stand and train station, it is also just walking distance to Mrs. Macquarie's Point which means that I was pretty much near everything. If only I were living in this place permanently, I sure would have no excuses to skip jogging. Who can say no to the Sydney Harbor view, anyway?
Breakfast was unlike the usual Filipino breakfast with rice. But I cannot say that Continental breakfast was not filling because it was. They have an excellent selection of cereals, fruits, bread, cheeses, meat, and eggs. They even use French Press to serve their coffee! I really could not help but feel like a bit of a royalty whenever I would eat in The Conservatory every morning.
Keith and Marie would take the time to talk to me and see if they could help to make my stay in Sydney perfect. If I had not discussed my plans with them, I would not even think of going to Watsons Bay. I trusted their recommendation on which places are better to visit (like Manly Beach over Darling Harbor), and I was not disappointed.
Every morning, they would check if I was having a great time. They even knew that I missed breakfast once! It was a lovely feeling, to know that someone was keeping watch even if I was traveling solo.
The property has been under Keith and Marie’s care for over 15 years already. Ree, their General Manager, and Damien, who was in charge of breakfast were both on vacation during my time of visit. And since they were both not around, Keith and Marie were personally looking after the hotel, and it is safe to say that they were great at it!
The structure itself was already an icon on its own. It was not surprising to know that it is a protected property in Sydney. Also, it was hard not to brag about staying here because it looks so elegant and cozy. I even brought my best friend and her boyfriend here, and they thought it looked beautiful, too.
But really, that is not all. The amenities and the building would be nothing if the people I interacted with during my stay were not awesome themselves. The housekeepers were polite. Keith and Marie were like my holiday parents, too. They were so hospitable and helpful that the experience felt more like a homestay rather than a mere hotel booking. It has been almost a month, and I still long for my quiet moments in their drawing room. My experience with The Simpsons Hotel and its people was one for the books. No doubt about that!
The Simpsons of Potts Point
8 Challis Avenue, Potts Point, NSW, Australia
+(612) 9356 2199
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