Hotel TOTTO makes a splash in Wollongong

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Wollongong – AKA ‘The Gong’ – has long been a favourite weekend getaway for those out west. And with its beautiful beaches and relaxed atmosphere, it’s easy to see why it remains a go-to summer staycation.

Just an hour-and-a-half drive from Penrith, I recently took a trip down to Wollongong to stay at Hotel TOTTO.

Providing industrial-style, modern accommodation, Hotel TOTTO is located smack bang in the middle of the coastal city.

Walking across the street takes you directly to Wollongong Central, a shopping centre bustling with eateries and high street retailers – perfectly situated for those in desperate need of some retail therapy.

Just down the road is WIN Stadium, which has hosted everything from massive sporting events to music legends like Crowded House.
And, most importantly, the beach is a mere 15-minute walk from your doorstep.

But it’s not just the prime location that makes Hotel TOTTO a must-stay – it’s the high-class hospitality delivered with a friendly smile.

The sophisticated bathrooms at Hotel TOTTO.

From the minute I arrive, I notice the laidback vibe of the hotel. Check-in is an easy process, and with Hotel TOTTO’s self-serve kiosks I don’t have to deal with the queues that sometimes come with checking-in at peak times.

Staff are more than eager to give recommendations on where to go for food and entertainment in Wollongong, and suddenly I have a list of local joints to check out.

Heading up to my room for the weekend, I discovered a bright and cosy space, accented with earthy tones.

Although its minimalistic in styling, the room still comes with all the bells and whistles, including a comfortable bed, air-con, a smart TV and plenty of bathroom amenities to wash help wash off a day at the beach.

Before leaving the hotel to explore Wollongong’s food scene, I headed downstairs to in-house restaurant and bar BASTA Trattoria, to make the most out of happy hour – and I was not disappointed.

The indoor dining space at BASTA Trattoria.

The restaurant provides plenty of space for guests to spread out and enjoy the great selection of cocktails on offer, from the outdoor terrace to the bar-top seating and chic main dining area. Open for breakfast, lunch, dinner and drinks, BASTA Trattoria’s menu is inspired by Mediterranean and Italian flavours.

Venturing out, I walked down to the beach to take in the beautiful sunset, before heading to Steamers Bar and Grill for some delicious fish and chips.

The next morning, after a relaxing sleep-in, it was back to BASTA Trattoria to try out its breakfast menu. Don’t expect a basic continental here – with everything from smoked salmon on sourdough and Belgian waffles to a tasty granola bowl, it felt more like brunch at a very Instagramable café than a hotel dining room.

Then, it was time to head down to the waves, where I spent most of the day diving in and out of the water, reading on the beach and soaking up the sun – truly the best way to refresh after a long week.

Cocktails at BASTA Trattoria.

I often find one of the worst things about heading to the beach is the long drive home in wet swimmers and sand in my hair, but staying at Hotel TOTTO by-passed that problem altogether.

All it took was a short walk and then I was back in my room where I could refresh and relax without stressing about being caught up in traffic.

After a quick pit-stop for ice cream, it was time to head back to the hotel for dinner. Whereas breakfast was more of a laidback dining experience, dinner is where BASTA Trattoria really comes to life.

Featuring amazing live music and a menu to die for, I started off with some house marinated olives and the rosemary and garlic pizzetta – one of the most popular items on the menu I’m told. The mains were the pesto and zucchini orecchiette and prawn and roasted tomato casarecce.

Breakfast at BASTA Trattoria.

There’s no better way to wrap up a long day at the beach than with a solid serving of carbs, and BASTA Trattoria certainly delivered. Both pasta dishes were jam-packed full of flavour and expertly cooked, so kudos to the chefs.

To balance out the savoury, I ordered the vanilla panna cotta and strawberry compote for dessert, which was definitely the right way to end the night.

Despite being relatively new to the scene, Hotel TOTTO has already established a reputation as the ultimate getaway destination for those who want to experience the very best of Wollongong.

And with everything you need within arm’s reach, you’d be hard-pressed to find a hotel that does it better.


The writer stayed as a guest of Hotel TOTTO.

The modern rooms on offer at Hotel TOTTO.
Ellie Busby

Ellie Busby is a news reporter for Western Sydney Publishing Group. A graduate of the University of Hertfordshire and Western Sydney University, she is a journalism Major. Ellie has worked with Universal Media, The Cova Project and for a range of other projects.

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