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).

Life and Style
Steve Shaw shows Kate how to get wet behind the ears and how to align her neck
healthSteven Shaw - the 'Buddha of Breaststroke' - applies Alexander Technique to the watery sport
Arts and Entertainment
The sight of a bucking bronco in the shape of a pink penis was too much for Hollywood actor and gay rights supporter Martin Sheen, prompting him to boycott a scene in the TV series Grace and Frankie
footballShirt then goes on sale on Gumtree
Terry Sue-Patt as Benny in the BBC children’s soap ‘Grange Hill’
voicesGrace Dent on Grange Hill and Terry Sue-Patt
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010
Arts and Entertainment
Twin Peaks stars Joan Chen, Michael Ontkean, Kyle Maclachlan and Piper Laurie
tvName confirmed for third series
Cameron Jerome
footballCanaries beat Boro to gain promotion to the Premier League
Arts and Entertainment
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

    Guru Careers: Events Coordinator / Junior Events Planner

    £24K + Excellent Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an Events Coordinator ...

    Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: Chief Executive Officer

    Salary 42,000: Royal Yachting Association Cymru Wales: The CEO is responsible ...

    Guru Careers: Marketing Manager / Marketing Communications Manager

    £35-40k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Marketing Communicati...

    Ashdown Group: Technical IT Manager - North London - Growing business

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A growing business that has been ope...

    Day In a Page

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine