24-Hour Room Service: Diamant, Sydney, Australia

As boutique-hotel interiors go, the Diamant isn't just sober, it's committed to its own 12-step programme. There isn't a single statement-making piece of furniture to be seen, notwithstanding some flirtatious low-level lighting fixtures in the hallways and a particularly shiny lobby. The exterior is equally sober; it could easily be mistaken for a corporation HQ.

All quite surprising, given that this is the latest addition (it opened last year) to the Eight Hotels group, which has a reputation for low-budget, edgy hotels, usually big on lobby flash, if not so big on bedroom floor space. The Diamant, just across the road from sister hotels the Kirketon and the Altamont, has much bigger rooms than Eight regulars will be used to. It's also much more up-to-the-minute (its sisters are about to be radically refurbished), with iPod docking stations and 42in LCD wall-mounted TVs that drive you barmy by playing Sinatra's "Come Fly With Me" every time you turn them on. Could I use some exotic booze, Frank? After 10 plays, yes I could.

Everything at the Diamant is shiny and swish, or wipe-clean-leather plush. The staff are suitably sunshine Sydney-friendly, and after a 23-hour flight, the absence of an all-singing, all-dancing decor may be what you're looking for. It's just that the conservative mink-grey everywhere is a few centimetres to the wrong side of sterile.

One of the nicer elements of the Diamant is the generous outdoor space – courtyard rooms have excellent- sized terraces with garden furniture – in a city where the sun so often shines, this doubles your living space. The Diamant's ground-floor restaurant, Penny's Lane, is even more conformist than its bedrooms (think poshed-up provincial business hotel breakfast room), but again the staff are a delight, the food is well-executed comfort fare, and there's a great list of mainly southern-hemisphere reds and whites. It's a good culinary retreat from the party dregs of Kings Cross, even if you're not a guest.

LOCATION

Diamant Hotel, 14 Kings Cross Road, Potts Point, Sydney (00 61 2 9295 8888; diamant.com.au). Though it's technically Potts Point, this is very much a Kings Cross hotel, just behind the landmark Coca-Cola neon hoarding. Yet the location is as fantastic as it is insalubrious: you can be at the hotel less than 30 minutes after leaving the Qantas baggage carousel and jumping on the CityRail train. Although there's no denying that its King Cross locale is convenient (you can walk comfortably to the business district, to breakfast at the original branch of Bills in Darlinghurst, or to the shops in chic Woolahara), it's also a little on the degenerate side – awash with neon and sketchy bars full of binge-drinking backpackers. Think Times Square, back in the day.

Time from international airport: A taxi from the airport should cost less than A$50 (£22) and take half an hour, while the CityRail from the airport to Kings Cross, changing at Central, takes the same time and costs A$13.40 (£6).

COMFORTABLE?

The brand-new beds and high-quality linen are great, and the bathrooms are perfectly adequate, although the shower heads are slightly too low, long and jut out obtrusively. Although dull, the furniture is very comfy.

Freebies: guests get free use of the excellent Fitness First gym across the road. The Kevin Murphy bathroom products come in handsome, suitably Diamant-greige, plastic-cube bottles.

Keeping in touch: direct-dial phones with voicemail in rooms. Wi-Fi drops out at the far end of the restaurant, and, while fast, isn't free: A$10 (£4.50) for 24 hours.

THE BOTTOM LINE

Doubles from A$400 (£178), room only. Off-peak rates are 35-70 per cent lower.

I'm not paying that: the Kirketon, 220 Darlinghurst Road, Darlinghurst, Sydney (00 61 2 9332 2011; kirketon. com.au) has double rooms from A$220 (£98).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Travel
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer - Junior / Mid Weight

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: To support their continued grow...

    Recruitment Genius: Transportation Contracting Manager

    £33000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A global player and world leade...

    Recruitment Genius: Hotel and Spa Duty Manager

    £18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you are friendly, sociable, ...

    Recruitment Genius: Payroll and Benefits Co-ordinator

    £22300 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This museum group is looking for a Payro...

    Day In a Page

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test