As one of the world’s great cities, hotel accommodation in Sydney is by no means inexpensive. With regular business trips to the harbour city, it’s a constant battle to find somewhere central that is comfortable, quiet enough to get a decent sleep, and affordable.
The global St Giles group launched the Tank Stream in late 2015. It’s at the northern end of Sydney’s central business district, a block back from George Street and a short walk to Circular Quay. It’s a refurbished building from the 1960s and if you’re a view junkie, you’ll be disappointed; the hotel is surrounded by a lot of very tall office blocks.
I booked through hotels.com which remains my go-to online booking site, as it has a price-match guarantee and I’ve been able to use its loyalty program to good effect, underwriting the cost of much more expensive stays around the world. While the hotel website routinely prices its basic queen atrium rooms in the low A$300s per night, for this trip I was able to secure a room for just A$209 – a bargain for this area of Sydney.
The name relates to an underground water repository which serviced the first Sydney settlement back in the 1800s. Be aware – there’s also a ‘Tank Stream bar’ which is not part of the hotel, but a few streets away.
Where to stay Sydney – the pros
- The location is great if you’re looking for central business district accommodation. It’s an easy walk from Wynyard Station and likewise a short stroll to the Pitt Street mall and other Sydney shopping, as well as Circular Quay and the more touristy areas of the Rocks.
- While it’s on Pitt Street (and very close to the corner of Hunter Street), the atrium rooms are quiet – the only window is to a central airshaft. Many people may find that limiting. As someone who’s dealt with more than her fair share of ambient noise from Sydney streets and traffic, this is a blessing.
- The standard atrium room is pretty small but perfect for a couple of nights for a business traveller, especially a solo one. There are a few cupboards, a small desk area and plenty of power points.
- The bathroom is functional, has decent vanity space, reasonable lighting and a large shower. The quality of the products is very good (especially a particularly nice soap).
- The air-conditioning is easily adjusted, effective and quiet.
- There is a free mini-bar with juices, bottled water and a couple of snack bars.
- Free wi-fi works fine.
Where to stay Sydney – the cons
- The room is pretty small. If you’re travelling as a couple, you might get in each other’s way a fair bit.
- There are no pillow choices – they’re gigantic. If you prefer a flatter pillow be prepared!
- The light switches – they have built in blue lights so you can find them in the dark. In fact, the ones next to the bed are so light it’s hard to sleep if you’re facing them.
- The shower temperature and water pressure were a little temperamental.
Breakfast is available in the hotel’s ground floor cafe, but I didn’t partake. There’s no room service to speak of and if you’re looking for a host of other facilities, this probably isn’t the hotel for you. But if you’re looking for a comfortable and relatively inexpensive base (provided you can find a deal), you could do a lot worse down this end of Sydney.
The Tank Stream
97-99 Pitt Street, Sydney