Sydney. Known for its famous Opera House, the Harbour Bridge and beautiful city beaches. Maybe a little less know as a hotspot for start-ups and aspiring entrepreneurs from all around Australia.
However, some research even puts Sydney in front of other big hubs worldwide for having the right ecosystem for start-ups and with places like the Fishburners coworking space and gazillion of meet-ups around entrepreneurial subjects, it slowly gets a bit easier to believe that too.
But not only coworking spaces, meet-ups and creative workshops are pushing entrepreneurs forward. There are some new ideas out there in this part of the world too! One of those ideas comes from Ovolo Hotels, a lifestyle brand that originated in Hong Kong and now has three hotels in Melbourne and Sydney.
First Live-In Coworking Space in Sydney
Girish Jhunjhnuwala, a lifelong entrepreneur is challenging the industry with a modern concept. He has understood that work is changing and so are workspaces and the demands of entrepreneurs, freelancers as well as modern travellers in general.
With new technologies, changing business models and an increasing amount of people working location independent, the idea of the so-called Mojo Nomad programme was sparked. The goal is to bring entrepreneurs and like-minded pioneers of all stages together for inspiration, networking and social events with the goal to combine live, work and play in one place where everything is taken care of for you.
And seriously, does your room size even matter if there is no Internet? Everyone wants free wifi, no matter if you are a leisure traveller, remote worker, digital nomad or whatever else you call yourself!
So I got to try this out, looking into all the corners of this boutique hotel from a digital nomad perspective and see if this could really qualify as the first live-in coworking space in Sydney. I sure liked the idea since the beginning.
The lifestyle concept of the Ovolo hotels are simple yet very appealing. And who doesn’t like amazing interior design?
Walking into the Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour, which is located only a stone’s throw away from Darling Harbour with its’ many waterfront restaurants, bars and shopping mall, will certainly leave you surprised. Not only because the staff is so friendly upon checking you in while handing you caramel lollies in the process and introducing themselves with their first name but the charming design of the boutique hotel which greets you with warmness. The first impression surely impressed!
The wow-effect will most likely hit you again when you enter your room. Ranging from the smallest room for solo travellers to the ‘Stirred Suite’ with panoramic city views, I stayed in one of the room categories somewhere in-between, a spacious King Deluxe room. Welcome to room 421!
First things first: the room was very spacious and the king bed was not only huge but super comfy. I was happy to find the free wifi connecting effortlessly to all my devices and even better, connect to the Apple TV instantly which hangs on the white, black and yellow eye-catching comic book style wall individually designed by Australian artist Jasper Knight.
There is also an iPad in every room which controls the air-con and gives tips on what to do, see and eat nearby. Pretty chill to browse in the Internet too if you arrive without a laptop.
The room decor is super cool with plenty of natural light and a lush green pot plant garden just outside. Perfect conditions for all the Instagram addicted people out there, myself included.
I fell in love with the dashes of colour from the bright yellow floor lamp and carpet in contrast to the deep blue cosy sofa and snapped away. Oh and did I mention the industrial light bulbs next to the bed?
Rain shower on! And who doesn’t like a good old walk-in shower with lovely smelling natural products from Biology Skincare while looking out into the garden of pot plants.
So very ‘grammable too!
It’s All about the Free Stuff
Ovolo also offers a lot of complementaries like free continental breakfast and free all day coffee and nibbles.
One of the highlights is certainly the free happy hour (which actually last two hours) from 5 to 7pm every day when drinks and canapés are served in the Lo Lounge, the social lobby area to hang out and relax downstairs.
Another perk I found in the room is the free mini bar which offers some beer, wine and a couple of soft drinks. As well as some crisps and chocolates to go along, including my beloved Tim Tams. There were a few other goodies I found besides the snacks, like a power bank. Something I cannot live without!
Internet and Coworking
As Monday morning hit I needed to get onto some work so I checked my mails in bed. Not too bad of a start to the week. The Internet at Ovolo proofed to be decent and stable.
I then set up shop at the recycled timber work station in my room which was large enough to fit my laptop and other devices comfortably and plug into power right next to it. There was some sticky notes paper and pens which came in handy.
You can also hold unlimited local calls from your room, which is good to know, because many times in another country I would only book a data package for my phone thinking that if I have calls they are mostly over Skype, Whatsapp or Facebook but I guess sometimes it’s just better to have a real phone connection wise.
I later got comfy in the big chairs of the Lo Lounge downstairs where I continued to work and watch people check in and out.
By the way, Ovolo has flexible checkout so you don’t have to worry about leaving your room on the dot.
The Ultimate Opportunity for Start up Entrepreneurs
From checkin to checkout, I had a great time with attentive staff and most of all I felt it was a good atmosphere to mix work and play. If you too want to stay at this amazing lifestyle hotel, well then, this is your ultimate opportunity! If you are a digital nomad and start up entrepreneur looking to take your business (idea) to another level, the Global Mojo Nomad Search is officially on!
Launched by Ovolo Hotels, Mojo Nomad is an initiativ offering an all-inclusive live-in coworking space environment designed to enable entrepreneurs starting out with everything they need to get their business off the ground. Therefore, Ovolo Hotels are offering exclusive weekly and monthly rates at their hotels in Sydney and Hong Kong.
Because as an entrepreneur you are busy and you got other stuff to worry about, everything is taken care of like unlimited access to free daily breakfast, super speed Wi-Fi, high bandwidth internet, 24 hour gym, self-laundry, all day snacks, drinks and coffee as well as communal work spaces.
On top of that, Ovolo is frequently arranging networking events and exclusive parties for nomads to network, learn and grow with their business and this way creating the ultimate environment of inspiration and space for experimentation and imagination for business success in one place.
Participate to Win
To celebrate the launch of the project, Ovolo Hotels is holding The Global Mojo Nomad Search competition, with the prize including an all-inclusive month-long living and workspace environment in Hong Kong or Sydney, including flights, accommodation and one-on-one mentoring with Ovolo founder Girish Jhunjhnuwala.
So if your are an entrepreneur and business founder, young-at-heart and ready to explore new, uncharted markets, this is your chance to win the ultimate opportunity!
All you need to do is upload a 60-second video outlining your business idea before 28 February 2016. After that the best ten will be chosen to pitch their idea to Ovolo’s senior management. Simply visit the website to participate. Good luck!
Here’s some video inspiration from nomads staying at Ovolo already.
This blog post was brought to you in collaboration with Ovolo 1888 Darling Harbour. All views and experiences are as always my own.