Bars and Nightclubs
Sydney CBD, Sydney

Arthouse Hotel

275 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW
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The ArtHouse Hotel is a name synonymous with art, music and entertainment. The building itself, dating back to 1836 was formerly The School of Arts Building and has been elegantly refurbished to reflect the splendour of the past juxtaposed against functional design principles of the present, and creates a vibrant and energetic venue that reflects the cosmopolitan and cultural society that its location in Sydney demands.

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The Arthouse Hotel Review


Review By Kelly Teng

When you hear the name "Arthouse Hotel", the last thing that you would think of is a bar or nightclub...but this is exactly what the Arthouse is. With three levels for three different purposes, this location is the perfect spot to unwind after a long day, or dance into the long nights.

I arrived at the Arthouse being prepared for a cheap-looking, Star Bar-esque bar, and was instead greeted by a stylish wooden hall that had artwork lining the walls and plenty of places to sit and just chill out. The ambience provided me with a relaxing atmosphere, but I was even more relaxed when I realised that on Level 2 the Attic Bar was waiting for me to go up and dance.

The Arthouse Hotel is made up of three levels: the downstairs bar, the restaurant and lounge on the first floor, and the Attic Bar on the second. Having these three levels means that everyone's needs can be catered for: in fact, I'm convinced that it's possible to have dinner, after work drinks, and a night of clubbing all in this place. The bottom two levels are generally tamer though, so if the Attic Bar is hired out for someone's party then it might be better to find yourself another club for the night.

When you are in the Arthouse Hotel, it feels as though you have just entered someone's mansion. The hardwood floors give the area a warm feel, while the fake fire torches add a sense of coziness to the place. It almost feels like this is the best place for an intimate catch up with friends, or a date. On the ground floor, the music is not the key feature; rather, it provides even more ambience to the location by setting a bit of background music for conversation. In the Attic Bar though, the music pumps out and is definitely made for dancing and craziness.

Drinks are standard price, although it's always refreshing that if you want a nice cocktail you can look at the menu downstairs while if you want cheap drinks the Attic will take care of you. The bathrooms are the Arthouse's one downfall, though: I wasn't aware of any bathrooms in the place, and the only ones that I could find were in the Galeries Victoria. It's not too big a problem for a good night out, but nevertheless is still a pain.

Overall, the funky atmosphere and the decor is the main reason I would return to the Arthouse. It can be great for a night out, but the best part is that anyone you take there will immediately go "cool! I love the feeling I get here." And also...there are free postcards, and free stuff is always awesome.


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A Second Review of The Arthouse

Review by Julius Ruaya

My latest venture took me to the Arthouse Hotel. It's a graceful sandstone building that definitely stands out among the more modern buildings on Sydney's Pitt Street. The first thing I noticed was the sheer size of the main bar as I walked in. I found an empty table and sat down to take in the atmosphere once inside.

Whoever built the Arthouse took notes from the Palace of Versailles' designers. The main bar space has a tall ceiling and I'm surrounded by tall columns that run around the room. It feels very spacious and I start to relax. The owners have chosen a mix of earthy green and red and golden brown to paint the room. Long swathes of white and yellow cloth hang from the ceiling. It's as if I walked off Pitt Street in Sydney into a room inside a palace.

Experience has taught me that bar's a decor has a big affect on how you feel there. Once I got over the initial shock of the Arthouse's size, I felt drawn in and forgot that Pitt Street and the rest of Sydney existed. The colours aren't loud, in fact they're quite soothing. Music played from speakers on the wall and it filled the bar but it wasn't intrusive. I liked visiting the Arthouse and I didn't want to leave.

I visited on a weeknight so the Arthouse wasn't packed. A few people sat at tables and you could freely move around the bar space. A lot of the people I saw at the Arthouse were professionals in their early 20s to late 30s. All of them city workers who were still in their business clothes. I didn't feel any elitist vibe from them or the Arthouse itself, everyone was there for a good time.

Hands down, I would recommend the Arthouse Hotel on decor and atmosphere alone. The high ceiling and calming decor are what makes the place, and the Arthouse certainly stands out in amongst the other more modern bars and clubs in the area.


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A Third Review of The Arthouse

Review by Gemma McDonald

The Arthouse Hotel is the kind of place that will transport you back in time, as ancient Roman décor clashes with an assortment of contemporary art that is sure to blow your mind - so long as you're not there for lunch on a weekday.

Unfortunately, this venue does not lend itself to sobriety. When I recently visited during the day, it became quite clear that alcohol and flashing lights had considerably embellished what had seemed like a whimsical setting on my last visit. I am still trying to decide whether or not this is a bad thing.

However, with the lights down low and a few drinks in your system, you will find the place has a tendency to transform into a stunning contemporary art space surrounded by an ancient Roman paradise.

At the time of my visit, the hotel was featuring a series of stunning, masquerade themed paintings that lined every wall on the ground floor. The work was by Susan L’Estrange, who is one of the many local artists that apply each month for the chance to have their work exhibited around the hotel. Amongst this ever-changing showcase, Leonardo di Vinci’s ‘Vitruvian Man’ (a naked guy doing star jumps inside a circle) is permanently suspended above the Verge Bar.

Besides having three different bars and a restaurant, The Arthouse Hotel is host to a number of events, from Dr Sketchy's life drawing classes to live Jazz nights, making sure you’ll never run out of things to do. By day, this place becomes a businessman’s hotspot, where regulars come for meetings and lunchtime drinks.

New age alternative music and '90s rock is often playing in the background of the Verge Bar, but if you enjoy the offensively loud you will need to head upstairs to the Attic Bar where the action happens. The food is average and for the price it costs, your stomach may leave feeling slightly deceived, while on the other hand, drink prices are standard and get cheaper with deals throughout the week.

One of my favourite things about The Arthouse Hotel is that they facilitate my firm belief that contemporary art is best enjoyed, and often best understood, when under the influence of alcohol.

All in all, my experience at the place brought me to quite a simple conclusion: do not come during the day if you’d like to fulfill any expectations that you have developed from its many raving, overwhelmingly satisfied customers. You will be disappointed. However, if you like the idea of becoming one of the many raving, overwhelmingly satisfied customers, visit after pre-drinks on a Saturday night. Your mind will be blown.

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