The 'new' Old Clare Hotel, Sydney: Sydney's newest funky urban hotel

London has them. So does New York. Now, finally, Sydney does too. We're talking about funky neighbourhood hotels, the kind of welcoming, high-design hub that draws as many locals as it does visitors.

Newly opened The Old Clare Hotel ticks all the boxes, with a fitout that highlights the buildings' heritage features in a distinctly modern way. The hotel is housed in two buildings on the old Carlton United Brewery site on Broadway: the guestrooms are tucked into an old administrative building, while a renovated pub houses the reception and the already buzzing bar.

The furnishings are eclectic – think Danish modern armchairs and lamps made of old car jacks by London designer The Rag and Bone Man – but include essential luxuries such as super king-size beds and marble bathrooms.

The hotel, which is part of the Unlisted Collection – other properties can be found in Shanghai, Singapore and London – has its own designer scent, and a cheeky sense of humour. The hotel compendium is marked "Random and Informative Crap".

Perhaps the most remarkable thing about The Old Clare Hotel is its location. The inner city suburb of Chippendale is well away from Sydney's usual tourist haunts, but general manager Timo Bures expects his style-savvy guests will spend time exploring local landmarks such as the White Rabbit Gallery, the Glebe markets and the grunge chic of nearby Newtown.

Another temptation for visitors and locals alike: the three restaurants associated with the hotel, each helmed by a respected chef. Automata and Silvereye have just launched; Kensington Street Social is still to come.

Rooms from $299. See theoldclarehotel.com.au.

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