Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour Review: Is The Hotel More Than Its Perfect Location?
— 7 November 2022

Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour Review: Is The Hotel More Than Its Perfect Location?

— 7 November 2022
Chris Singh
Chris Singh

It’s been 10 years since Quay Grand Suites Sydney was rebranded as a Pullman, and the occasion has been marked with a swift refurbishment that has breathed new life into the stalwart harbourside hotel. Has it done much to reposition it as one of the best hotels in Sydney? Keep reading for our full Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour review.

Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour Review – Table Of Contents

  1. Location
  2. Design & Features
  3. Rooms
  4. Food & Drink
  5. Service
  6. Verdict & Value


View from Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour

Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour’s location is enviable. I would imagine some of the biggest hotel brands in the world would throw plenty of cash at such a building, situated on the eastern side of the Circular Quay horseshoe. Multi-million dollar apartments sit to the side of the hotel, so this is really the only affordable way one could spend a few nights so close to the Sydney Opera House.

The only other option in the immediate area is the grand old Sir Stamford, which was recently purchased for $210 million with plans to turn it into some more luxury apartments. Once that happens, the Pullman will be the only hotel with the iconic Sydney Opera House on its doorstep – catnip for tourists.

The Pullman is a great place to base yourself if you’re after a staycation in the thick of Circular Quay. Although that “thick” is less appealing than you’d hope. The strip leading up to Sydney Opera House has always been a bit of a flavourless tourist trap, and this is unlikely to change anytime soon. But if you want some reasonable quality then the new Quay Quarter Lanes precinct is a stone’s throw. As is the Gateway Shopping Centre, which has a Messina, Chat Thai and Salt Meat Cheese.

Other than hospitality, the Royal Botanic Gardens and Museum of Contemporary Art are easy walks, as is The Rocks with all its underrated boutiques and just about all forms of transport you could ask for – ferry, lightrail, bus and trains from Sydney Circular Quay Station. You really can’t go wrong as far as convenience goes, whether you need to head into Sydney Central Business District or hang around East Circular Quay. It’s an amazing location.

Design & Features

A suite at Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour

While Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour’s bragworthy location should satisfy, anyone with even a fleeting fascination for hotel design wouldn’t be quite as impressed. While a recent refurbishment by Mel Porter Design has given the guest rooms a cleaner look, the same can’t be said for the common areas – there’s zero personality.

The lobby, accessible from Macquarie Street, lacks style and isn’t afforded much space at all. It’s very much function over any decorative approach, saving most of the show for Q Dining and Hyde Hacienda. Though neither are very impressive when it comes to visual appeal, they help pull up Pullman’s personality somewhat.

Regardless, Pullman is not a hotel that seems overly concerned with anything but providing great, spacious accommodation in a very convenient part of Sydney. And there’s nothing inherently wrong with that approach. It’s a five-star, but you won’t get the amenities to match like a luxury spa (you can get in-room treatments) or anything bigger than a just-the-necessities fitness centre right by a mid-sized heated indoor pool.


The bed at Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour

70 apartment style-suites are all uniform throughout. The only major difference is that some have views of the Botanic Gardens and others have views of the harbour. The price discrepancy between the two would be about $100, so unless you’re on a tight budget it’s worth forking out a bit more for those water views.

That’s because waking up so close to the harbour is invigorating, even for a jaded local like me. The only other hotel that can claim such direct views spilling out onto Circular Quay is Park Hyatt Sydney – considerably more expensive.

My one-bedroom suite served just fine for a few nights. The smallest suite you’d get is still a generous 75-square-metres, while the largest would be 100-square-metres. Between that, you’ve got plenty of living space, evenly split between a fully-equipped kitchenette, a serviceable bathroom with a spa bath and both a bedroom and a large lounge area that flow nicely into each other around a curved wall.

The beds are comfortable. Not the best sleep I’ve ever had, but as soon that light starts pouring in and the sun strikes Circular Quay, that view is perfect to wake up to.

Practical touches aside, each suite also comes with a fairly big and private balcony, although given the shape of the building some have an obscured view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. A triangular shape means you’d have to peer your head out from the balcony to see the bridge.

Food & Drink

Q Dining is a good option on this side of Circular Quay. And that’s not just by default. While just about every other surrounding restaurant is absolutely not worth the time, Q Dining navigates the tourist area quite nicely. It’s just about the only kitchen you’d find locals dining at with standouts like Queensland red snapper butternut pumpkin tortellini.

No bold takes on the menu; just a reliable lick of Modern Australian, and it certainly helps that there’s nowhere else worth eating at in the immediate area unless you’ve got the cash for Aria Sydney and Bennelong.

Hyde Hacienda is a different beast and I’d guess the hotel’s primary money-maker. You’ll find locals spilling around the narrow space, scrambling for window seats to take in the view.

As you could tell from the name, the food and drink here are themed on South American flavours, centred mostly around a list of 12 signature cocktails. But also fresh local produce worked into dishes like Byron Bay Berkshire pork skewers and Grilled Clarence River octopus skewers. The best thing here is a crispy pork belly burger as far as food goes, although most would come here just for the energetic and social atmosphere.


I couldn’t comment on the service from the hotel itself beyond the polite and efficient check-in. Q Dining’s wait staff are similarly quick and attentive but not obtrusive.

Service is much slower and more scattered at Hyde Hacienda. I was left waiting for a table for longer than I would have liked, simply because the staff were busy running around the place. That’s due to how busy it gets, of course, but ideally you’d want someone on the door at all times – whether it’s for a sit-down dining restaurant or a buzzy social bar.

Verdict & Value

My one-bedroom harbour view suite would generally cost around $550 per night. Switch that to a garden view suite and you’re looking at around $450 a night. Double those figures if you want two bedrooms.

For a hotel that operates quite efficiently and has that kind of location, there’s quite a bit of value there. I wouldn’t justify it for a solo staycation, but for families or a date that’s not bad at all.

Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour

Address: 61 Macquarie St, Sydney NSW 2000
Contact: (02) 9256 4000
Hotel Loyalty Program: Accor Plus

Rates start from $450 per night.

Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour – Frequently Asked Questions

How much is a night at Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour?

Nightly rates at Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour start from $450 for a Garden View suite.

Where is Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour located?

Pullman Quay Grand Sydney Harbour is conveniently located on the path leading up the Sydney Opera House, known as East Circular Quay.

When is Hyde Hacienda in Sydney open?

Hyde Hacienda is open seven days a week. On Monday through Saturday, the Hyde Hacienda is open until 11:30 pm and on Sunday Hyde Hacienda is open until 9 pm.

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Chris Singh
Chris is a freelance Travel, Food, and Technology writer. He has had work published by The AU Review, Junkee Media and Australian Traveller Media and holds tertiary qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.


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