Star Rating: Brendan Cowell’s Favourite Hotels
Brendan Cowell is a Sydney-born actor, director, screenwriter and notable Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks rugby supporter. Though best known as Tom on the multiple AFI Award winner Love My Way (2005-2007), Cowell’s talents extend way beyond the small screen. He won the Patrick White Playwrights’ Award for his play Bed and has had prominent roles in a broad range of films, from the 2010 war drama Beneath Hill 60 to Peter Helliar’s rom-com I Love You Too. Cowell won rave reviews for his portrayal of Austin in Sydney Theatre Company’s production of Sam Shepard’s True West, directed by Philip Seymour Hoffman. He recently published his first novel, How It Feels. Between stints as a Renaissance man par excellence, we met up with Cowell long enough to record his impressions on some of his favourite hotels.
“The Prince Hotel in Melbourne is a little favourite of mine. I stay there by choice if I can – when I am down south. Located in St Kilda it’s close to all the groovy outlets plus has excellent skin products in the bathroom. I also love the fact that it has a fancy restaurant upstairs, Circa, and a grungy pub, The Prince of Wales, downstairs.Â Everything for everyone.”
“The Tolarno, just up the road from The Prince, is also a Melbourne favourite. The owners are really nice and I always feel comfortable there. Especially when I get the basement rooms and can really stretch out and work as well on the big tables. The front bar has lost a little atmosphere in the renovation but the food is excellent at Mirka and the staff play great tunes and will talk to you when you are on your own so you do not feel like a loser alcoholic.”
“The Cowie Hotel, in Kolaba, Mumbai is a ripper joint. Seriously 3 stars with massive, cold rooms where only a few things work, it’s a good spot to stay when you got a week or so in this excellent city. The staff are in army uniforms for seemingly no reason at all, and there is an elevator with big bar doors that often stops in mid air. The omelet is a highlight though and the chai too. Though tip the bellboys every time as they will not leave your room until this takes place.”
“St Martins Lane Hotel in London is a seriously hectic 5 star joint. The rooms are tiny but quite fun, the restaurant and bar downstairs are energetic and hip, but it’s the nightly lights display on the facade wall that seriously rocks. It’s kind of thrilling to stay at St Martins, if only because it’s right in the middle of the Theatre district, with feeling and life all around you.”
“The Ritz Carlton Central Park in New York City is an obvious choice but man do I have some fond memories of this joint. I stayed on the top floor of the Ritz in the middle of winter and looked out through the curtains at the falling snow as the horse and carts clip-clopped their way in to the park. An exquisite, old-fashioned joint, and who doesn’t appreciate having the entranceway doors opened by men in high hats.”