Having lived in Sydney for years before moving to the countryside, and being lucky enough to have some gorgeous and generous friends, I usually stay with friends when I visit the big smoke these days.
Which is why it’s understandable that said friends were a little confused when I invited them to come around to my Darlinghurst pad for a catch up on a Friday night.
No, I hadn’t moved back to the city when no one was looking. Instead I was spending a couple of nights in one of Luxico’s lovely homes.
This Australian company has a list of private homes, country estates and penthouse apartments in Sydney, Melbourne and Byron Bay where they mix concierge service with family homes.
Their properties range from one to seven bedrooms, and from city terraces to rather spectacular waterfront villas, while their Superhosts are on call 24-7 to help arrange transport, share shopping tips, recommend restaurants or even line up a chef to come around and cook in your temporary home.
While I had originally been dreaming of doing a Luxico stay in a part of Sydney I didn’t know so well, it turned out my next city visit was going to be so full of meetings and running around the city that it made perfect sense to stay central.
And so it was that I found myself in my old stomping grounds of Darlinghurst, a short stroll from my Surry Hills home of many years.
An Inner City Luxico Stay at The Darlinghurst
It turns out The Darlinghurst is a three bedroom terrace house that I had walked past thousands of times.
When I first arrived and realised it was one of a group of terraces that I’d always wanted to see inside I was even more excited about my stay.
I knocked on the door and was greeted by my Superhost who invited me in and showed me where everything was and how it all worked.
As it was quite a warm day she’d turned on the ice machine, which was busily making ice for future drinks, although I had to explain to it that the bottle of welcome bubbles in the fridge was definitely the first drink to be enjoyed.
Yes, welcome bubbles. They’re just so welcoming to a gal like me, and I was like a kid with a show bag with the welcome pack that included a yummy muesli for breakfast, some pasta and pasta sauce and snacks of varying degrees of naughtiness, from the healthy cranberry blueberry crunch to the sinfully good caramel popcorn.
After making sure I was all set up my Superhost told me to call her mobile if I had any questions or needed help in any way and left me to my own devices.
I may have been a stone’s throw from one of my favourite old pubs, the Green Park and a short walk from some great small bars like Hinky Dinks but after assessing my situation I decided I was going nowhere.
Inside The Darlinghurst I had a gorgeous claw foot tub to soak in, I had Netflix, pasta, bubbles and caramel popcorn. I was so in for the night.
When it came time to head to bed I discovered how much I’d changed since I’d moved to the countryside. In my inner city living years I’d learned to block out those city sounds, but after falling asleep to silence and waking to the sounds of nothing but birds for so long I found the noise that comes with Darlinghurst life a tad disturbing.
The room I first chose was right above the street and that night a few people decided to have loud, drunken conversations underneath the window. Of course this wouldn’t happen every night, but I’d recommend packing earplugs in case that is one of their favourite spots.
It was also a very hot night, and only the top room in The Darlinghurst has air conditioning. There is a fan on the lower floor which helped keep me cool during my Netflix / caramel popcorn binge but when I lay in bed on the first floor I couldn’t tell if it was the heat or the people outside but sleep wasn’t coming quickly.
Then I remembered I had a three-bedroom house to myself and that I could Goldilocks it and try a new bed.
I nipped up the stairs to the top floor, popped the air conditioner on and discovered not only was it cooler but it was quieter up there. And soon I was in a lovely deep sleep.
The next morning I was smiling as I splashed around in the shower and got ready for the day ahead, and after a marathon day of meetings I was back that evening to play house with a couple of friends.
While The Darlinghurst is the kind of space that could host some serious parties I held back from inviting a big gang of friends out of respect for the neighbours and the house itself.
If you are planning to have more than six people over you do need to get permission from Luxico, so it’s best to talk to them first before booking if you were planning a birthday party or big gathering.
For me having just a few people felt more like having friends over to my home anyway, and by the time I had to leave the next day I was thinking I could be up for Sydney city life again after all.
Well, if I could live in a terrace like The Darlinghurst that is.
Amanda Woods stayed at The Darlinghurst as a guest of Luxico but as usual all opinions remain her own.