after decades of decay, sydney's harbourside pyrmont neighbourhood has seen a gradual rejuvenation with an accelerated influx of both people and businesses these past few years. many of its historic industrial buildings have been restored and given a new purpose as part of a major redevelopment plan. indicative of this ongoing urban trend is the 1888 hotel, a funky new boutique property that recently opened its doors. the new hotel has an interesting and rather quirky edge to it. conceptualized with a specific photography focus - mind you, its name refers to the year 1888 when eastman kodak company launched with a patent for their very first box and roll cameras - 1888 hotel currently offers a complimentary night to any instagram users with more than 10,000 followers [valid until dec 2014]. in addition to this, each month the guest who has snapped the best instagram picture while staying at the hotel will get a free night’s stay to be claimed at any time. but that's not all, folks.
the hotel further honours the evolution of photography by offering instagram-friendly walking maps of the neighbourhood, a revolving series of instagram images in the mac space at reception, featuring photos taken by guests and a ‘selfie space’ within the property for you to pap yourself. 1888 hotel is housed in a building that dates back to - surprise, surprise - 1888 and was originally used for wool storage. meticulously restored and redesigned, blending the original architecture and many historic elements with modern design, the property now features 90 rooms, including a rooftop apartment. the pads obviously meet all modern standards, featuring amenities such as free wifi, in-room ipads and custom-made bedding. each room is adorned by an original artwork by an australian artist, adding a personal touch. emblematic of 1888 hotel's eclectic urban style is the five-storey, light-filled internal atrium. home to the front desk, an eatery and a bar, this very much is a buzzing meeting place for hotel guests and visitors alike. location: 139 murray street [pyrmont].