Review: The Vulcan Hotel, Sydney

Sydney is an interesting combination of old and new, and has done a better job than Auckland of protecting its heritage buildings. Whereas Auckland’s property developers have ripped down the Victorian buildings and replaced them with buildings of their era, Sydney has managed to repurpose their buildings, retaining the character and original flavour of their neighbourhoods

One such building is the Vulcan Hotel in Ultimo, Sydney. This unassuming building near the University of Technology Sydney was built in 1894 and has been renovated in contemporary and executive styles.


We’re given room 308, and we have a choice of the Victorian staircase or the more modern lift. We elect to take the lift when we’re moving luggage, and the stairs when we’re unencumbered. The room itself is compact (18 sqm), fitting the queen sized bed with ease, but there’s not a whole heap of room after that.

Our room is on the corner overlooking the street, but the street noise is only ever a dull rumble as there are two windows side by side which do a very good job of cancelling the noise.

They’ve done a good job of arranging things with the space they’ve got – the TV and mini bar are tucked away in a nook, and the desk sits snugly beside the bed. They’ve saved space by putting the ironing board and iron out in the hallway with a little note to remind guests to replace it when they’re finished.

The bathroom is roomy and tiled in white. A super powerful shower above the bath delivers an awesome clean, while my one regret about staying is that we never get the time to try out the Jacuzzi jets in the bath. Next time!


The hotel is built in a rung around a central courtyard which they’ve decorated with palms and wicker furniture, which makes the space welcoming and a nice spot to enjoy a drink. The beady eye of a surveillance camera keeps an eye on the left luggage locker, and there is a cubby with assorted pamphlets and brochures on tours and walks that you can do.


I surprise Ange and get the Paleo breakfast. We’d been talking about the eggs with some combination of additions – tomato, mushroom, bacon – and after I order she does some quick maths and indicates that I’m smart and that the Paleo represents good value because it includes everything I was going to get plus cauliflower fritters for the same price. I admit I hadn’t done the math and had just lucked out. I do ask them to hold the kale though. Ugh!

Ange gets the eggs and mushrooms and we wash it all down with a couple of juices.

Pros and Cons


  • Good sound proofing
  • Great shower
  • Staff very friendly and accommodating


  • Air con was noisy

Would I Go Back?

Definitely – the location is great for the University and for Darling Harbor. We wandered into Chinatown for dinner and it was a pleasant stroll there and back. The staff were friendly and the food good.