From the crisp cotton sheets on your super comfy bed to the freshly baked bread for breakfast in Wayfarer’s, Aiden Darling Harbour’s Operations Manager, Katharina Enzinger oversees every aspect of the guest experience, even the things you don’t see.
You may already know that our boutique hotel has been designed for travellers by travellers, but did you know it’s also run day-to-day by travellers too?
An experience-seeker at heart, our multilingual Operations Manager Katharina has lived, travelled and worked all over the world, from holidays to Mexico and India, to hotel jobs in the UK, Abu Dhabi and her homeland of Austria.
She brings her wanderlust and worldliness to the hotel, where you’ll find her helping guests with local travel suggestions and bookings, or perhaps tending to the hotel’s budding herb garden.
Read on to uncover more about your host.
What type of traveller are you?
I love travelling on my own. It’s the ultimate freedom and makes me more attentive to my surroundings. Sharing a special experience with someone else can also be truly rewarding! My favourite travel companion is my sister. We’ve created some amazing memories together.
Where was the last place you took a holiday?
The last trip I took was to Barcelona. Such a beautiful, vibrant city. I found a little rooftop bar with a bartender who looked just like Bradley Cooper (and he knew it). I managed to get a glass of wine on the house from him!
What’s your fondest travel memory?
That would have to be Tulum, Mexico in the early 2000s. After spending a night on the beach in hammocks we were the first up to visit the Mayan ruins. This was a time pre-iPhone and selfies, where we just basked in the magic of it all. It was a day I will never forget.
What’s your favourite way to get around?
Walking is the best way to take in your surroundings, especially when exploring a new place. For longer distances, I love taking a train. A few years back, I had the chance to take the prestigious Venice-Simplon Orient Express from Venice to London and it was truly magnificent! It was a little different to the seven-hour train ride in Rajasthan, India, surrounded by locals, and making friends with an elderly couple who didn’t speak English and kept feeding me bananas dipped in spices. But both were amazing nonetheless.
What’s the one thing you always pack for any trip?
I always have a little travel notebook with me so I can remember everything that happens, big and small. As a lover of lists and notes and diaries, I feel like it’s only real if it’s written down.
What’s top of your bucket list?
Now that I’m back in Australia (I first came here in 2014, and returned in early 2021 after three years in the UK), I really want to get to know every corner of this continent. A long road trip with no set plans is at the top of my bucket list.
What’s the first thing you look for in a hotel room when you travel?
Light switches. Not being able to adjust the light to a cosy, comfortable setting is a dealbreaker for me. I will move around furniture and lamps if necessary.
How many languages can you speak?
German is my first language but I’ve been speaking English as my main language for many years. I do get by in French and Spanish but I’ve found the language of a smile and some hand gestures seems to be universal.
Tell us something most people wouldn’t know about you?
Most people don’t know that I’m also a fitness instructor. I’m passionate about health and fitness and this is reflected in my lifestyle. I’ve also been vegan for seven years. If you love vegan or vegetarian food, be sure to ask me for local cafe and restaurant recommendations!
What do you love about Sydney?
I must say I love the weather (if that’s what you call winter, I definitely won’t complain!). I also love the eclectic architecture, the mix of old and new and the Art Deco (hello, Aiden Darling Harbour!). I’m not sure if I will ever get tired of admiring the harbour and Sydney Opera House – what a beauty!
Best way to spend a sunny day?
Ideally, out and about on a long walk by the water. I really like Pyrmont’s Waterfront Park. It has some really interesting outdoor public art installations.
And what about a rainy one?
At home, watching movies, reading a book or doing a puzzle, my newest guilty pleasure. A rainy day is a lovely excuse to be lazy without feeling bad about it.
What’s your beverage of choice?
Coffee until 5pm. After that, red wine. My favourite is an Austrian Cuvée which is hard to come by here but I am slowly starting to uncover some great Australian reds.
What’s your go-to for breakfast?
Also coffee. If I go all out my go-to is a granola with almond milk and frozen fruit or a warm pastry from Wayfarer’s Bar & Cafe.
Do you have any whacky guest stories to share?
Gosh, there are so many. From naked guests sleepwalking to the man who ordered a $100 meal for his dog at a two Michelin Star restaurant or having to wake up Formula One’s Lewis Hamilton who apparently isn’t a morning person.
Where will we find you on a typical day in the hotel?
You will likely find me in the lobby, chatting with guests, or perhaps tending the herb and veggie patch on one of the hotel’s balconies.
What’s your insider’s tip about getting the most out of a stay at Aiden Darling Harbour?
Please don’t hesitate to chat with us. Let us know what you’d like to do, explore, experience and we will help with our insider knowledge of the area and Sydney. Oh and treat yourself by booking one of our Superior King Balcony Rooms, you will love the view and private balcony.
What three emojis best describe you?
What three emojis best describe Aiden Darling Harbour?
If you have any other questions for Katharina, drop her a line: firstname.lastname@example.org