Marie Claire reviews PEUGEOT 408 x Ovolo Woolloomooloo

Marie Claire reviews PEUGEOT 408 x Ovolo Woolloomooloo

June 17, 2024: The below is a full extract from an article appearing in Marie Claire


Luxury Stay With A Side Of Road Trip? This Sydney hotel Has You Covered

For a limited time, you can stay, move and explore Sydney in your own time, thanks to this unique hotel and car partnership. No dinky hire cars necessary.


Look, as Sydneysiders, we get it. And we apologise. Our city is a winding, and often confusing maze of twists and turns, with a large network of buses, trains, light rail and soon, metros to navigate. You will hear us brag about the most beautiful places to visit—our beaches, our national parks, our lookouts, our adventure walks and our incredible and diverse cuisine haunts that span the whole 12,368 km² of our borders. Tied up in our pride is also a desire to show visitors these places, we those who come here to experience the best of the city. However, the second someone asks us “How do I get there without a car?”, a darkness falls over us, as we mentally try to carve out an easy route to navigate. It’s doable, but often, it’s a labour of persistence, NSW Transport app navigating and, to be honest, time. If your visit is short and sweet, we empathise. 


Until July 22—Ovolo Hotel Woolloomooloo and PEUGEOT have partnered up to rectify this. The two brands are now offering guests complimentary access to a brand new PEUGEOT 408 GT Fastback Plug-in Hybrid (or PHEV), so you can plan your adventure while you’re here, carve out your own path, do it in your own time and get to know one of the coolest and most stylish new electrified Crossovers to arrive in Australia. Curious, we checked ourselves into the harbourside hotel and took ourselves out in one of these beautiful French Crossover’s to explore Sydney’s greater surrounds, before returning to relax back at our luxury stay.


Ovolo Hotel is located in one of Sydney’s most pristine locations on the historic Finger Wharf in Woolloomooloo. Overlooking Sydney Harbour, it is a ten-minute walk from the Art Gallery of NSW and the Royal Botanical Gardens, and a longer, but lovely stroll to the CBD and Sydney Opera House. Designed with its tongue pressed firmly in its cheek, the property brings the luxury hotel brand’s playful energy to the old building via pockets of light, open space and curious decor designed to enhance a sense of childlike wonder. In the heart of the old building, you’ll find Alibi, Ovolo’s luxury vegan haunt—which if you’re visiting, you must try the shared three-course shared menu with matching wines and make some time for a game of billiards or giant connect four afterwards. 


While automotive partnerships aren’t necessarily all that rare, the one between PEUGEOT and Ovolo is very clever. Like the hotel brand, the French marque also has its roots in curious, pleasing design—which makes the experience a lot more fun. The PEUGEOT 408 GT Fastback Plug-in Hybrid, which will be valeted out to you by the hotel staff, is an alluring thing to behold. It’s family-sized but doesn’t appear too large, incredibly stylish but not conservative, interesting but not garish. It’s very new to the market, so you may turn a few heads, as we certainly did. Being a hybrid, The 408 PHEV  has a WLTP test range of 60km of electric-only driving1, which means you can switch between petrol or electric. So should you find yourself stuck in traffic—as we did venturing north to Bert’s Bar and Brasserie in Newport—it’s incredibly silent and serene.


PEUGEOT’s recent design ethos is rooted in the sensory and the low-slung, sleek and athletic-luxe appeal of the new 408 GT Fastback takes this to a fresh level. It comes with an impressive stack of equipment as standard to suit a wide range of lifestyle needs. Starting at $67,990 (plus on-road costs), this Crossover is one of the most competitive offerings on the market, in terms of kit for cash. By that we mean, where other brands might present you with a confusing and expensive options list, PEUGEOT makes things easy and there’s not a lot of additional boxes to tick.


Think: unique and interesting interior design, luxurious Nappa leather interior, eight and six-way adjustable and heated seats up front and multiple seat massage functions (we recommend trying the cat’s paw and stretch massage programs). Plus, flat-folding rear seats and plenty of storage space makes it handy for beach and picnic adventures, the signature PEUGEOT compact steering wheel (with heating!) elicits a great sense of sportiness and control. There’s also a very cool 3D-effect cockpit, duel zone climate control, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto which make road trips comfortable and fun, plus a personalised interior LED-light colour theme so you can make the car your own.  Importantly—especially if you’re navigating Sydney’s roads for the first time—the 408 GT Fastback also has plenty of safety technology. This includes autonomous emergency braking (with pedestrian and cyclist detection), lane departure warning, driver attention alert that can sense when you’re distracted or fatigued, adaptive cruise control, plenty of cameras and more. Another handy and clever feature, again, for those on unfamiliar roads, is traffic sign detection, which will alert you to the speed limit. Because nobody wants speeding fines on their vacation.


Overall, the idea for the two brands to get together makes a lot of sense and adds to the experience. We wish more hotels would partner with luxury and prestige car companies—particularly ones like this where the car’s beauty and sophistication speak directly to the appeal and allure of the hotel—that cohesiveness is not to be understated. But ultimately, the appeal of this offering is the fact that guests can take the sensory experience of a city stay into the great outdoors, and explore everything a place has to offer with style and freedom front-of-mind. The only downside? That feeling of getting home and missing the plushness of a luxury hotel bed might just extend to the garage. Don’t say we didn’t warn you..