Just across the Harbour Bridge from Circular Quay, North Sydney is a suburb of high-rise office towers and corporate headquarters. That's not to say it doesn't have its charms –there are plenty of eating and shopping options within a short walk from the hotel. It's only two stops on the train to the central city.
Opened in April 2018, Australia's latest Vibe Hotel still has the polish of a brand new hotel. The reception sits on the ninth floor, which is actually the first floor, while the ground floor is floor number eight. Confused? I was too. The hotel is part of the newly open Northpoint complex, a 44-storey tower including office and retail space.
The 187-room hotel offers a basic, but stylish, lobby with marble floors and walls. There's a gym and an outdoor terrace swimming pool, thankfully heated. It's a nice spot to relax or take a dip, provided you don't mind being visible to the surrounding office workers.
This is my first time staying at a Vibe and, given the price point, I'm impressed. My room features a king-sized bed, lounge chair, small desk, minibar and tea and coffee facilities. It's nothing fancy, but has everything you need.
The bathroom is a good size despite not featuring a bath and the whole place feels modern and, fittingly, brand new. The soft colours of the walls and curtains are offset by the bright headboard and soft furnishings. The Wi-Fi is free but fairly slow. There's the option to pay for a faster connection.
I'm right next to the lift, which is always worrying as it tends to be where other guests loiter and make a lot of noise, but the room is cleverly designed with an L-shaped corridor leading into the bedroom space which effectively blocks the sound from beyond the door.
There's no restaurant at the Vibe, nor is there room service, but the staff advise they will accept deliveries from UberEats, Foodora or Deliveroo at reception.
On the ground floor, catering to the workers from the surrounding offices, is a large food court with plenty of dining options. These are only open during lunch with the exception of Hawker Village, a Singapore-style faux hawker centre with Thai, Malay and Japanese options. You can peruse the menus of each eatery then order dishes from each. The made-to-order fresh roti is a highlight. Several restaurants in the neighbourhood also offer charge-back facilities to the hotel.
A short walk down to the harbour offers splendid views of the bridge and opera house, along with two other famous Sydney icons: Luna Park and Kirribilli House. The fun park feels a little more old school than its Melbourne equivalent, with giant indoor slides, a ferris wheel and classic carnival challenges such as the hammer strength tester and the laughing clowns. It's like a little step back in time.
Kirribilli House, as you might expect, is off-limits to visitors, but the nearby harbour front is worth taking a stroll along.
For the price, Vibe's North Sydney hotel offers everything you could want from a hotel. Clean, functional and comfortable.
Rooms at Vibe Hotel North Sydney start from $134. See vibehotels.com/hotel/north-sydney
Overall quality at the right price.
You'll need to get an Opal card and catch a train if you want to go to the city, though it's only two stops.
The writer stayed as a guest of TFE Hotels.