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.


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).


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.


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?
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

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

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Recruitment Genius: Class 1 HGV Driver

    £23000 - £27000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This successful group of compan...

    Day In a Page

    Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

    Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

    Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

    Christmas cocktails to make you merry

    Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

    Paul Scholes column

    It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

    Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
    Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

    Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

    2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas