Review: Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport extends a warm welcome to the weary traveller

The hotels surrounding Sydney Airport see plenty of last-minute bookings and regular full-houses, so there’s no doubt that Mantra’s new addition to the area will be a hit. Airport hotels aren’t the most exciting stays in any city (although you do find the occasional stunner), but they are the most convenient for weary travelers who may need to catch a super early flight the next morning, or have had their plans thrown-off by a cancellation or extended delay. Smart operators take advantage of this, leaning on comfort and convenience rather than “full service” pizzazz, offering a warm and welcoming stay to at least try and help people relax a bit more. Through this lens, Mantra Sydney Hotel is an essential addition to the area, an eight-storey, 136-room building that sits right next to the long-standing 199-room Ibis Budget Sydney Airport hotel.

Check-in is quick and painless, although the lack of guests cluttering up the lobby was likely due to the fact that my stay was on the very second night of the hotel’s first week open to the public. The lobby is clean, functional and simple, with most of the seating located next to the pub-style bar and bistro-style restaurant. There’s a clear attempt at cultivating an all-night atmosphere here, adapting to the unconventional hours of travellers, particularly with the bar which is plain but cosy, with cushioned seating opposite.

The hotel’s bistro-style restaurant, integrated with the lobby.

Design is minimal and sharp throughout the hotel, spilling into simple but adequate guest rooms which rightfully place the entire focus on the bed, a pure white king size contrasting nicely against smart pops of pine. Mantra’s beds are comfortable and supportive, bathed in natural light during the day from large glass windows which overlook the industrial-like surrounds of the airport. The supreme pillows (infinity also available) are especially soft and cloud-like with a feathery texture guests are able to sink straight into after or before a flight. Two portraits are affixed above the bed, displaying vintage aircraft for a little bit of character.

The bathroom is small and functional, with most of the space taken up by a very generous shower.

A large plasma is positioned opposite the bed, bigger in size than one would expect from an airport hotel. To save space there’s a small area to sit as the bench underneath the TV that extends out towards the window to provide a little work bench, positioned nearby two sockets though lacking any connectivity beyond that.

A dedicated space for luggage sits above cupboards with the bare necessities featured in most hotels, including a kettle and tea bags, and there’s no mini-bar to speak of; a modern trimming that could present as an oversight to some guests, especially as Mantra’s hotel restaurant would definitely benefit from a wider selection.

Prawns at Mantra’s bistro-style restaurant.

As it stands, the hotels food and beverage offerings are modest and simple, with a pub-styled menu, albeit one with a small but well-appointed wine menu with affordable, quality drops from Australia and Europe. Food wise you’ve got the likes of beer battered flat head for $18, prawn linguine for $22, and eggplant parma for $18. There’s a beef burger, a chicken burger, and an enormous club sandwich, although the latter is a logistical nightmare with the bread much to hard to just pick up and down with two hands – best use your cutlery for that one.

Attractive architecture makes the building stand out in the precinct, which is about a 10-15 minute walk from Terminals 2 and 3, quick and easy for those with a domestic flight to catch the next morning. There’s also a shuttle straight to the airport, priced at $7 each way.

Mantra is well-positioned for quick ventures into the city should guests want to venture outside of the airport precinct. Instead of catching an overpriced train from the airport, just get a 20 minute bus to Eastergardens shopping centre, which has plenty of dining and shopping options. Sydney Airport isn’t the best when it comes to pre-gate dining, and with Mantra’s restaurant sliding more towards the average end, the access to a larger shopping and dining precinct is necessary.

As airport hotels are best used as overnight options, Mantra ticks all the necessary boxes for an airport hotel but doesn’t extend beyond that. The rooms are clean and comfortable, the shower is especially valuable, and guests are given all the necessary convenience that comes with an airport hotel, including live departure/arrival updates. While the food offering could use a bit of work, across all times of day, those who only care about getting a good nights sleep need not worry about not getting their money’s worth.

Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport is currently offering an opening special of $159 per night in a Studio King room including 1GB of internet access daily, a welcome drink voucher on arrival and room upgrade (subject to availability).

Mantra Hotel at Sydney Airport

Address: 3 Ross Smith Ave, Mascot NSW 2020
Contact: (02) 8398 0700
Website: www.mantrahotels.com‎

Feature image supplied

The writer stayed in a Studio King Airport View as a guest of Mantra Group.