A Sydney Staycation at the Cambridge Hotel in Surry Hills

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When Seana sent out the call for some help to review an inner city hotel, I couldn’t type ME PLEASE quickly enough! I travel and stay in hotels regularly but Mr 8 and Miss 10 had not experienced the joy of room service. Being a resourceful, multitasking single mum, I scheduled it to coincide with Mother’s Day (sleep in, no cleaning and no cooking – tick, tick and tick!)

Stretching that resourcefulness skill and my small budget further, I hit up Scoopon and Groupon for cheap ideas for meals and activities. I was a little nervous as I hadn’t used the cheap deal sites before but it soon became my inspiration.

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Friday afternoon we drove from our home to the city. I had been assured by our hosts at the Cambridge Hotel that parking would be just $30 for a full 24 hours and would be secure on site.

We arrived with two excited kids in party mode as they hit the disco lifts, decked out in flashing lights. We made our way to our double balcony room with complimentary wifi and choccies. Yum!

The little people were excited to try out the indoor pool on level 2 and spent a good hour in there before I rushed them to the room to get dressed for dinner – my first bargain was a Teppanyaki feast at Kamikaze located at Harbourside Shopping in Darling Harbour.

Cambridge Hotel Sydney staycation-7The view from our room at Cambridge Hotel

We set off, with Mr 8 doing his version of parkour along the city streets. It was a quick stroll to Goulburn Street and through Chinatown before we came to Darling Harbour.

I had to drag the kids away from the awesome Darling Quarter playground and across the way to the restaurant which served up a yummy menu and was very family friendly.

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After ice cream we jumped in a cab to get back ($8) and watched a movie in bed. Mr 8 was keen to order room service – the Cambridge in house kitchen works from 9:30pm. At 9:29pm he was on the phone ordering his bowl of chippies and crashed by 9:45pm.

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Being a tourist in your own town with little people is lots of fun. I handed photo duties over to Miss 10 and we hit the pavement for brekkie. After dodging a couple interesting questions about Adult Book Stores, we were underwhelmed by the service and meals at the Coco Cubano on Oxford Street. Miss 10 decided she’d like to get her ears pierced so we headed off on a mission.

Walking through Hyde Park we spent a good 40 minutes checking out the new sculpture dedicated to indigenous soldiers, and the war memorial. The kids were mesmerised.

We loved walking through the city and checking out the old buildings and inscriptions. Sydney is seeped in awesome history and on the weekends it slows down enough for you to immerse yourself in it.

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I’d booked yum cha at Pier 9 and it would have to be our highlight meal. It’s the best location for a family feast, on King Street Wharf. Eating pork buns outdoors was such a great way to dine. The price was great, too with our meal coming in under $50.

We waddled down to check out Wildlife World and Madame Tussauds! Lots of fun… but the next adventure awaited us at the Powerhouse Museum.

Once kids hit school and organised sport age, all the excursions to cool places like galleries and museums slow down. It had been at least four years since we had visited and the kids spent hours checking out all the exhibitions.

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We were EXHAUSTED when we walked back to the hotel. Mr 8 was asleep by 6pm and Miss 10 and I were happy to do crosswords and watch movies until ordering room service again.

The Courthouse Hotel across the road caters for Cambridge guests until 9:30pm so I order a parmi and Miss 10 chose spag bog. YUM. With our tummies filled and our bodies exhausted, we headed off to the land of zzzzzzzzz….

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It was so lovely to wake up to the city vista’s from the Cambridge on Mothers Day. The kids showered me with their gifts and we packed up our room for the last time. Check out was simple, we were able to put our luggage in the car and stay parked until after 2pm which saved us a lot of hassle and expense.

The streets of Surry Hills were so quiet and leafy. I love Autumn in the city. Lots of gorgeous dropped leaves on the ground, perfect walking temperatures. We hit up some really cool shops on the way to breakfast. The kids loved the Pop Shop (so did I!)

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We passed all the cafes and headed to an old favourite, Sparkle Cupcakery for brekkie. How decedent to have a salted caramel cupcake and latte for Mothers Day breakfast.

The lovely staff gave us a complimentary cupcake for waiting which we regifted to a mum in the playground across the street. It was heartwarming to watch her share her gift with her two very little daughters while my kids played with cute dogs and ran around wildly. Before I knew it it was time to head off on the last adventure!

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We started the 30 minute walk to Darling Harbour when I spied the tram. My little city slickers were keen to have a ride, so we jumped on near Central Station and got off at the Harbourside Shopping Centre.

A quick stop to watch another busker entertaining the crowds and we ran our way around to the wharf near the aquarium to make our final booking – a Jet Boat ride! Brave Mr 8 and Miss 10 squealed and laughed for 30 minutes as we did spin outs and sped around the waters, under the harbour bridge and back again.

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It was time to head home, so we strolled back to the Cambridge to get our car and drive into the ‘burbs. Definitely a mini-break to remember. Thanks Seana and Cambridge Hotel for making my Mothers Day weekend so special.

The Cambridge Hotel

212 Riley Street,

Surry Hills

Tel:  1800 251 901

Check dates and prices at the Cambridge Hotel here.

The 4 star Cambridge has 149 guest rooms and suites. Guests who book direct with the hotel enjoy free wifi and can be assured they will get the best online rate, plus no booking or credit card fees.

Great spot for a Sydney city stay for visitors or staycation for we Sydneysiders.

Thanks Bec for this post. Bec and her children stayed as guests of the Cambridge Hotel. Many thanks to them for their hospitality.

So cool to get out of the suburbs and into the inner city.

Have you ever done a Sydney staycation?

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Posted on: May 28, 2015

3 Comments

  • I love love love this article! So much packed into one weekend. I’ve been keen to do a city staycation for a while but haven’t been able to afford all of the exxy CBD hotels, so we shall give the Cambridge a go. Might also have to pop in to the Pop Shop to pick up a copy of Farts in the Wild!

    • Reply May 29, 2015

      Seana Smith

      Haha great to get into the real inner city – so groovy and so many good places to eat too.

  • What a perfect itinerary for a weekend staycation in Sydney! Surry Hills is a nice location- not too busy but still within walking distance to the attractions!

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