Wednesday newsletters always feature a luxury hotel and/or flight review. This month, I publish an Australia special, with the following hotel reviews: Park Hyatt Sydney, Longitude 131° (Uluru), Cicada Lodge (Katherine Gorge), and One&Only Hayman Island (Great Barrier Reef).
Today (December 3, 2014): Review of the Park Hyatt Sydney (Australia).
- Location: Google Maps
- Address: 7 Hickson Rd, The Rocks NSW 2000, Australia
- Hotel websit: Park Hyat Sydney
- Tip: enjoy exclusive VIP amenities when booking via Virtuoso
Seated majestically on one of the world’s most beautiful harbours, Park Hyatt Sydney perfectly personifies contemporary harbourside luxury with its coveted location between the iconic Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge. Reminiscent of an exclusive harbourside residence, the hotel offers intimate surrounds with architecture, art and design that reflect the Australian landscape. Highlights include 155 spacious guestrooms and suites with contemporary interiors and floor-to-ceiling glass doors that open to private balconies; 24-hour butler service; and a day spa with rooftop pool and sundeck.
In this review (more info and photos below my Youtube clip and slide show):
- Pros & things I like
- Cons & things to know
- My verdict
- Tips for future guests & save money
- Best time to visit
- How to get there
PROS & THINGS I LIKE
- The hotel enjoys an unique and breathtaking harbour front location, with stunning views of the Harbour Bridge, the Opera House, and the Downtown Sydney skyline.
- Park Hyatt’s signature minimalist design throughout the hotel (lobby, restaurants, rooms) is very tasteful.
- The 155 rooms and suites, including three rooftop suites, are all residential in style, offering contemporary luxury and harbourside living. Starting at a spacious 40sqm, guest room interiors reflect a natural feel with rich layers of chocolate, cream and beige hues. All rooms come with luxurious new furnishings & fittings, naturally textured fabrics, subtle plush carpets, designer lighting, plush beds and the latest technology.
- Floor-to-ceiling glass doors and spacious private balconies offer unrivalled harbour views from most rooms (except those facing the street and the Harbour Bridge). The most expensive rooms come with frontal views of the Opera House.
- Bathroom amenities are of excellent quality. Le Labo shampoo, conditioner, shower gel, and body lotion are presented in Bergamote 22 fragrances.
- Specially commissioned paintings and artwork by prominent Australian artists are on display throughout the hotel and in the guestrooms, creating an art gallery of unique artefacts.
- Wireless internet is complimentary for all guests.
- The hotel has a small albeit spectacular outdoor rooftop, exclusively for guests staying at the hotel, from where you can gaze at the breathtaking skyline views. It counts 16 sun loungers (with umbrellas) and 3 cabanas (with 6 additional sun loungers), and features a heated pool and lovely jacuzzi. The rooftop features in my top 10 list of the world’s most spectacular hotel rooftops.
- A dedicated 24-hour personal butler service is available to all guest.
- The hotel has a nice, small 24-hour gym.
- The Park Hyatt Sydney has a small but wonderful spa, featuring five private treatment rooms, a relaxation room, steam room, outdoor whirlpool and gymnasium.
- Service is impeccable, attentive and respectful of your privacy, in line with and what you would expect from one of the world’s most luxurious hotel brands.
- There are three options for dining: the Dining Room, Living Room and bar. The Dining Room Restaurant stands out and enjoys spectacular views of both the harbour and Opera House. Food is exquisite, and I would highly recommend at least one dinner here during your stay. In the morning, the Dining Room is the decor of the breakfast, which is served until 11 am; there’s a large selection from a menu (45 AUD) in addition to a beautifully presented buffet (35 AUD), with big glass fridge doors where you can take your fruit and cold cuts.
- Park Hyatt Sydney beats all other luxury hotels in town, given its location, view, and service, as well as updated and modern facilities.
CONS & THINGS TO KNOW
Park Hyatt Sydney is one of the best luxury hotels in Australia, if not the world. I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the hotel, and the whole experience was far beyond my already high expectations. There are just some (minor) issues that you need to know:
- The hotel is very conveniently located for leisure travelers (who will be “wow-ed” by its stunning vistas of Sydney’s major attractions), but it is a little out-of-the-way for business travelers (unless you do not mind a 20 minute walk or short cab drive).
- The hotel enjoys the most spectacular location in Sydney and that comes with a premium price tag: room rate at the Park Hyatt Sydney is about twice the room rate that is charged at the other 5-star hotels in the city.
- Large cruise ships dock at the nearby pier during the day. While some may find this exciting to watch, others may be bothered by the fact that these cruise ships blocks a fair bit of the views towards the city.
- While still modern and fabulous, the rooms on the street side do not come with any views (and are less than desirable IMHO).
- The heated toilet seat in the bathroom was kind of awkward and not my thing.
- When you book a twin room, the room will have two single, rather small beds (and not queen sized beds, like is the case in the USA). Beds are very comfy nevertheless.
- On the rooftop and outside the hotel, you hear the constant shudder of the trains and trucks crossing the bridge. But that should not put you off as this is a minor inconvenience related to the stunning location.
- The rooftop has only 22 sun loungers, so this may pose a problem when the hotel is at full capacity and a lot of hotel guests want to relax in and around the pool at the same though.
- Bathrooms are sleek and functional, but the walk-in shower (next to the tub) has a slippery floor.
- Turn down service is a little awkward: when you are not in the room, housekeeping staff will put on all lights. I am sure this is done to produce a stunning visual effect from the outside (and perhaps lure future visitors), but is not in line with an eco-friendly policy.
- Location: 9/10
- Design: 9/10
- Rooms: 9/10
- Food: 9/10
- Service: 9/10
- Overall experience: exceptional: 9/10
TIPS FOR FUTURE GUESTS & SAVE MONEY
- Save money: read my tips for getting the best deal at a luxury hotel like the Park Hyatt Sydney.
- Save money: enjoy exclusive and complimentary VIP amenities (upgrade on arrival, daily continental breakfast, $100 USD spa credit, early check-in and late check-out) when you book your stay at Park Hyatt Sydney via a Virtuoso travel agent.
- Avoid ending up in a (standard category) room on the wrong side (street) where you will not enjoy a view. Book at least a (view category) room that comes with views of the harbour or Opera House.
- Make use of Hyatt’s best rate guarantee that will discount the cheapest room rate by a further 20%.
- Platinum and Diamond members of Hyatt’s loyalty program, Hyatt Gold Passport, are well treated, with – amongst other benefits – complementary room upgrade (when available), early check-in or late check-out (when available), and complimentary breakfast (Hyatt Diamond). Click here to read my review of the Hyatt Gold Passport program (with pros & cons).
- Read my tips for preparing your trip in time.
BEST TIME TO VISIT
The best times to visit Sydney are late September to early December and late February to April. These months skirt Sydney’s high and low seasons, giving visitors comfortable temperatures and manageable tourist crowds. Because Australia sits in the Southern Hemisphere, Sydney’s warmest weather and peak tourist season occurs from late December to early February, which comes with premium hotel prices but will also give you the best beach weather (although the heat may be unbearable from time to time). Consequently, its low season is May through August.
HOW TO GET THERE
The hotel is located a 30-minute cab ride from Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport (SYD). Check the Wikipedia page of Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport for an updated list of airlines that have direct flights to Sydney.