Nestled among the terrace houses on an upmarket street in Woollahra is this Victorian gem.
Originally the home of Dr Frederick Harrison Quaife, these Victorian walls have lived several different lives as a nurses’ home, a college and dance hall before being converted into a boutique hotel in the early 1990s. It was further refurbished following a recent sale and this multi-wing, two-storey structure is now a blend of old and new – a huge leopard-print rug spreads across the floor, polished antique tables are laid with lace doilies and gilded mirrors hang on the pale pink walls.
The layout of the original house seems to have been maintained so it pays to remember the path to your room: it could be up one staircase, down another and then onto the rooftop terrace.
Though there are only 32 rooms, there’s a range of styles to suit different travellers. As well as the six pet-friendly rooms, which feature a queen-size bed and are suitable for two adults and one fur baby, there are also standard rooms with either a queen or king bed (request your preference); “cosy” rooms designed for short stays; deluxe suites with a king-sized bed, small sitting area and large shower or bathtub; and the manor suite, which has a balcony on the Queen Street side of the hotel. There’s also a family room, which has a small kitchenette and two bedrooms.
Each is furnished simply with old-world touches such as intricate light fittings but with an updated bathroom and crisp white bedcovers. Some rooms are more modern than others.
At the intersection of Oxford and Queen streets in leafy Woollahra, it’s a 40-minute walk or 10-minute drive to Town Hall Station and a five-minute stroll to Paddington’s restaurants and boutiques. More importantly, it’s right across the road from Centennial Park, ideal for walking your furry friend before breakfast.
Breakfast is the main event at The Hughenden. Guests can enjoy a buffet breakfast from 6.30am but the French-styled onsite café, 14 Queen, is also open to the public. It recently launched a refreshed breakfast and lunch menu, including all the Eastern Suburbs essentials: avocado and feta on toast with a sprinkle of rocket, a morning bowl of greens topped with a poached egg and a bagel with cream cheese, capers, salmon and radish. Takeaway coffee and daily pastries are also available from the counter to the left of the hotel entrance.
The in-house bar serves all manner of drinks and a few nibbles, including an antipasto platter and cheese boards. Happy hour is between 5pm and 7pm.
As well as the six pet-friendly rooms, pups are welcome, on their leash, throughout the hotel. There’s an outdoor rooftop terrace and an in-house bar and lounge as well as a conference/function space on the lower level. A car park is available for an extra fee.
There isn’t a dedicated concierge but the front desk team provide a wealth of information about the nearby area, particularly dining options along Oxford and Queen streets.
Book the Manor Suite, a refurbished room once the home’s main bedroom, which features king-size bed, sitting area, fireplace and deep spa bath. Then head downstairs to the lounge, order a glass of champagne and settle into one of the chicly upholstered armchairs.
14 Queen Street, Woollahra