The Strand Hotel: A French twist on a Sydney classic

The Strand Hotel has turned a nearly century-old pub in Sydney’s inner-city suburb of Darlinghurst into a slice of Parisian elegance.

A place where revellers once downed pints of tap beer has gone sleek at the hands of designer and co-founder of cult denim label Ksubi, George Garrow, who describes it as a dirty martini; classic, with a twist. One step inside and you’ll feel all the warmth of drinking one.

There are dark-panelled walls and winding staircases leading to a hallway adorned with works by Australian photographers, and a cosy lounge and library where you’ll want to while away the day.

Stylish, cosy living spaces at The Strand provide the perfect place to sip a cocktail
Stylish, cosy living spaces provide the perfect place to sip a cocktail © The Strand

Traveller: Kirstie Bedford
Room: Four
Address: 99 William St, Darlinghurst, Sydney
Date: November 2022
Price range: $200 to $359 per night
Best for: Anyone looking for a weekend city escape


The corner of William and Crown Streets in the bustling inner-city suburb of Darlinghurst, just a short stroll to the central city and all the iconic Sydney sights.

Claim to fame

From an age-old pub to a place with Parisian flair, this boutique abode will have you thinking you’ve just stepped straight off the cobbled streets of a Paris laneway.

Dine on French-inspired cuisine at the Bistro and sleep in plush white linen beds with rattan bed heads in rooms with dark floorboards and black and white furnishings.

The French-inspired all-day bistro at The Strand
The French-inspired all-day bistro © The Strand

The showstopper

Head upstairs to the partially covered The Strand Rooftop where come dusk lights glisten from the Sydney skyline. Try bites like the rock oysters on ice and ‘French kiss’ Belvedere vodka Oscietra caviar.

Oysters at The Strand Rooftop

The room

One step inside my corner room and I want to throw on the custom-made bathrobe and slippers and curl up in the bay window and simply watch the world go by.

There are 17 rooms with five different styles, from a cosy sleeper for one to a suite with a sun-drenched balcony. Each has a Nespresso machine, Grown Alchemist products and access to the cosy lounge where you can have a twilight aperitif from the honour bar.

Sink into your plush bed and you may just never want to leave.

Light and bright is the design mantra at The Strand Hotel.
Light and bright is the design mantra inside the rooms © The Strand

Staying in

The rooftop bar is the place to be. Try the French ginger mule and thyme and basil daiquiri paired with tuna tartare and fried shallot with sesame crackers; corn and gruyere croquettes and fried chicken with pickles and hot sauce.

If you want to escape the crowds, head to the hidden library and sink into the sofa with an Aperol spritz from the honour bar.

On the ground floor, The Strand Bistro serves a modern laidback interpretation of French cuisine using seasonal Australian produce. Think spoons of beluga caviar alongside steak frites and duck leg pie.

Sip from an impressive line-up of French and Australian wines, aperitifs, cocktails and beers and a 49-strong whisky list.

Decadent dishes await at The Strand Bistro
Decadent dishes await at The Strand Bistro © The Strand

Stepping out

The CBD and all of Sydney’s most popular sights are all just a short walk away. Hyde Park, the Royal Botanic garden and waterfront restaurants on the sparkling harbour.

Before booking

Research what room type best suits you and ask about the room location. Being an historic building means soundproofing isn’t its strong point. Although a cocktail or two at the rooftop bar and you won’t hear a thing.

If only

I had more time to soak up the vibes on the rooftop and take in those twinkling lights.

I wish I could take home

The library…

V&T expert rating

8 out of 10.

Where to find The Strand Hotel

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