Review: historic Sydney hotel

As I’m born and bred in Melbourne, I can be difficult to impress when it comes to Sydney hotels. But even I have to admit the historic Tank Stream Hotel and the unique tour it offers are winners on many levels.

And given that one of the sheer joys of retirement means travelling when you want, a.k.a. avoiding school holidays, this means you can secure seniors’ midweek discounts and deals. So, my recent stay at one of Sydney’s newest hotels ticked a lot of boxes when it came to value, location and history. Here’s our rating on this central Sydney hotel. 

The Tank Stream Hotel
97 Pitt Street, Sydney
8/10 YourLifeChoices rating

Style and character
Part of the St Giles Group, The Tank Stream is a relatively small 4.5 star property with 280 rooms. The lobby has been designed to reinforce and represent the hotel’s location on the historic ‘tank stream’ watercourse which provided much needed fresh water in the earliest days of colonial Australia.

Service and Facilities
My tastefully decorated double room offers a brilliant refuge during my two-day visit. An interesting innovation is the in-room dining, where a bento-box style meal prepared by Le Petit Flot and delivered to your room, includes one main, one side and a glass of wine for $35.

This is in stark contrast to the normally hyper expensive in-room dining charges at other Sydney CBD hotels. The all-inclusive rate includes free tea, coffee and wifi.

The plus factor
But apart from the affordable dining, pleasant décor, central location, and very friendly staff, what else does the Tank Stream offer? Something that is actually, technically unique. This is a word bandied around by many hospitality companies, but Sydney’s Tank Stream Hotel has something that no other hotel can claim. And that’s the Tank Stream Hidden Laneways Tour, led by passionate historian, John Pastor. “What’s the Tank Stream?” you might well ask (I certainly did). It’s the original source of clean water which sustained the first fleeters as they established the colony which grew into the Australia of today.

John’s tour starts in George Street at the entrance to the Strand Arcade. For the next two hours he guides you around Sydney’s most significant historic sites explaining the importance of each one and how they all relate back to this vital stream of underground water.

From the arcade, down back laneways, past ancient pubs, commemorative sites in the Rocks, the tour culminates with a convivial coffee at Le Petit Flot, the Tank Stream’s bistro.

General Manager Klaus Kinateder understands the value of this unique heritage walk and so has negotiated a special deal for all Tank Stream guests.

A few minutes’ walk will see you in Martin Place, Sydney Opera House, Circular Quay, or Barangaroo. Entertainment, fine dining, pubs and the Botanic Gardens are all within easy access.

The hotel has 11 accessible rooms – possibly the highest percentage of any hotel in the Sydney CBD.

Thumbs up
Location and walking tour.

Thumbs down
The relatively small lobby can quickly become crowded.

Value for money
As with many Sydney hotels, this can be high, or low, depending upon what’s on in Sydney at the time. Booking direct and well ahead of your stay can help.

Special rates

15 March 2018: April is shaping up to be a great month to stay in Sydney, with the Tank Stream Hotel announcing a 3-day sale from 24 – 26 March, offering discounts of 20 per cent for stays throughout April – with no blackout periods.


The 20 per cent discount offer applies to stays of three nights or more during April, with rates starting from $199 per room. In addition, guests can take advantage of the Tank Stream’s ‘all-inclusive concept’, which provides free high speed wi-fi, in-room movies, and complimentary non-alcoholic mini bar items.


The combination of the Easter long-weekend and State school holidays during April means that fewer business travellers and conference delegates come to Sydney during the month, freeing up rooms for leisure travellers. Visitors can take advantage of a range of holiday festivals and activities during April including the Royal Easter Show, the Comedy Festival and Anzac Day commemorations.


Bookings need to be direct to the hotel via the website quoting the booking code SNEAKYHOLIDAY. Bookings and further or [email protected]

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