Bars and Nightclubs
Sydney CBD, Sydney

Sanctuary Hotel

545 Kent St, Sydney, NSW
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Opened in 2008 and formerly the Don Quixote restaurant for over 40 years, Sanctuary Hotel sits majestically on the corner of Kent and Liverpool St. The space has been completely transformed into a cosmopolitan chic -scene, an intimate hangout where the whole place feels like one big VIP lounge that will be the destination venue of this downtown Sydney precinct.

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What to Expect @ Hotel Sanctuary

Review by Benny Lee

Hotel Sanctuary is adeptly named: it is literally a sanctuary in the middle of Sydney's CBD. Located just off George St and close to Town Hall, it is an ideal location for a bar. It doesn't get too crowded like George St bars yet it's not too out of the way to find for revellers.

What was once the home of the predominantly Asian event 'Funky' on Saturdays, Sanctuary is now a much quieter venue that draws a crowd of all ages from all over Sydney. Most patrons won't spend the entire night here but it isn't necessarily just a pre-drinks destination. Prior to 2008, Sanctuary used to be a restaurant and even now it maintains both a reasonably priced and decent menu. Even when passing by you could easily mistake it for another restaurant in the Spanish Quarter, which adds to the character of the place. No matter what music is playing or what the crowd is like on a certain night it still feels like a lounge or an intimate hangout - a sort of go-to place with a few friends early or late in the night (they close at 3am).

While there are a few bars around the city that offer a similar experience, Sanctuary has a trump card: a daily happy hour that goes from 9:30 until 2 in the morning. Schooners on tap, house wines and spirits are all $4.50. What this means is that whenever the group is wandering around thinking for places to go, Sanctuary would be a safe bet. After all, who can argue with cheap drinks? Sanctuary does have its own sort of charm which I still haven't figured out. The drinks are definitely a huge drawing card for me, and the atmosphere plays its part but I think it comes down to the simple fact that it doesn't try to be something it isn't. You won't find a resident DJ or even a dance floor. When you first enter you'll be greeted with ornate furniture dotting the main room, long tables and stools and, of course, the long bar at the end. As you make your way to the right past the kitchen, you'll find the toilets on your left and a smaller room decorated with chandeliers and more seating, a sort of VIP area with its own bar. Pool tables can also be found here if it takes your fancy.

Personally, I'm a huge fan of Hotel Sanctuary. It's the ideal place to have a few with friends for whatever reason, be it to unwind after work, pre-drinks or drinks whilst waiting for transport early in the morning. Definitely worth checking out.

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