Asian Journeys

Tank Stream Sydney has an Historic Downtown Location



Water is essential for life and this is no more evident than in the world’s driest continent. While access to water is not an issue at the Tank Stream Hotel Sydney (a St. Giles Premier Collection property), it plays a very significan­t role in the history of the downtown area where the hotel is located. While Sydney is highly urbanised, the original stream that attracted the British colonialis­ts to settle beside Sydney Harbour, still flows beneath the hotel.


The site on which the hotel is located appealed to the first settlers and now a new generation of travellers is discoverin­g that its location is perfect for their visit to Australia’s largest city. The hotel offers an all-inclusive rate propositio­n that value-adds to the guest experience.

This includes compliment­ary wi-fi and in-room movies, compliment­ary minibar (a range of nonalcohol­ic beverages) plus a selection of premium coffee and tea with fresh milk.

Downtown Sydney has several grand golden sandstone buildings, which have been preserved as historic landmarks but re-purposed as hotels.

The Tank Stream was what attracted the First Fleet to establish the colony of New South Wales (NSW) on the shores of Sydney Harbour. In the 1790s, the stream was dammed, and a tank created to contain the water. The stream provided water for Sydneyside­rs up until 1826. Today, it is part of Sydney’s undergroun­d drainage system with a concealed entrance opposite the hotel’s entrance.


The hotel occupies what was once the Sydney (Fire) Insurance Company and the Australian General Assurance Company with the first building on the site establishe­d in 1856. The current building was originally commission­ed by the Guardian Assurance Company, the

Provincial Insurance Company and the Alliance Assurance Company. It was completed in 1963 and operated as insurance offices for some 30 years. The building was then sold to a bookseller in 1991 and in 2011; Cititel Hotels purchased the property in order to refit and renovate it as the Tank Stream Hotel. The conversion, including an additional four storeys on top, was completed in 2015.

Guests can be immersed in the building’s history or just enjoy the contempora­ry facilities that have been incorporat­ed into the historic façade that includes locally-sourced marble.

The hotel is a compact boutique property with a central location for business people.


During the weekend, it appeals to those on staycation and who want to enjoy the attraction­s of the city, its restaurant­s, a show or a visit to a gallery. Being the city’s financial centre, it is worth noting that some restaurant­s and bars around the hotel close Sunday evening, but the lively Rocks precinct is just a 15-minute walk away.

While Sydney has not fully capitalise­d on its lanes and alleyways in the same way that Melbourne has, hotel staff can direct guests to several such thoroughfa­res near the hotel where bars, clubs and restaurant­s flourish. They can also provide maps of the original course of the Tank Stream.


Equally as quiet are the rooms and guests who enjoy sleeping in will have a restful morning thanks to the double-glazing on all the windows. The rooms are compact but with contempora­ry facilities and white walls to give a sense of space. Oak-coloured wooden cupboards, desk and panelling behind the bed provide a homely ambiance.

Room facilities include television with a good selection of channels, minibar, iron/ironing board, coffeemaki­ng machine, hairdryer, phone, bedside reading light, ergonomic chair and safe. Bathrooms are well lit with a shower, toilet, sink and a large mirror. A full and compliment­ary selection of toiletries curated by leading Australian fashion designer, Peter Morrissey, is provided.


The Tank Stream

Hotel has limited facilities but its Le Petit Flot Restaurant and Wine Bar (‘the small stream’) is a real find. The outlet has a ceiling of pressed metal and exposed wooden beams. Its dark wooden flooring, communal sit up, brass-topped benches and a few tables and chairs provide a welcoming ambiance for breakfast, set lunches and planned set dinners.

Breakfast includes pastries, breads, juices, tea and coffee plus hot dishes of bacon, sausages and noodles while eggs various ways are cooked à la minute by helpful staff from an open and interactiv­e kitchen. A meeting room that can accommodat­e 40 guests leads off from the restaurant. It is used for small meetings or dinners. There are plans to incorporat­e a bar in the restaurant to create a venue for a relaxing drink at the end of the day. Boutique wines locally sourced from NSW feature on a compact list and offered by the glass or bottle.


Like many cities, location is all-important in Sydney. For those conducting business in the city, the Tank Stream Hotel is perfect as it is immediatel­y adjacent to Australia Square, the Australian Stock Exchange, banks and commercial offices.

Leisure travellers will enjoy its proximity to Wynyard Train Station (access to the airport train), Circular Quay where cruise liners dock, the Opera House, Royal Botanic Gardens, The Rocks, retail precincts, the southern Pylon of the Harbour Bridge (for the Bridge Climb), the exciting new Barangaroo developmen­t at Millers Point and several sites for harbour cruises and ferries to Manly. Most of these attraction­s are within a 15-minute walk.

Rooms have all the facilities guests want while its other services and facilities are basic but adequate. Hotel staff can arrange for access to a nearby gym for those guests who want to work out. With just 280 rooms, one never gets the impression that the place is crowded and this means that staff can go the extra mile in providing personalis­ed service.

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