- Australia Trip Report: Introduction
- United 777 First Class: San Francisco – Honolulu
- Review: Hyatt Regency Waikiki Beach
- United Club Lounge + United Global First 747 Honolulu – Tokyo
- Thai Airways First Class A380 Tokyo – Bangkok
- Thai Airways Royal First Class Lounge & Spa Bangkok
- Thai Airways First Class 747 Bangkok to Sydney
- Christmas Eve on Darling Harbour
- Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Sydney Opera King Room
- Park Hyatt Sydney: Room Service and Breakfast at The Dining Room
- Sydney Opera House and Manly Beach
- Hotel Review: Hilton Sydney
- Air New Zealand Lounge + United 747 First Class: Sydney – San Francisco
- 6 Observations about Sydney
My trip to Sydney was more about visiting family, but the one thing I absolutely had to do was stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney. The hotel was sold out all week except for December 26, which also happened to be my birthday, so I booked it without hesitation. The only room type available was a Standard King, which was going for well over $1,000 that night. I used just 22,000 points. The Park Hyatt Sydney has since been moved to the newly created Category 7, which requires 30,000 points per night.
The Park Hyatt Sydney has a great location in The Rocks, right underneath the Harbour Bridge. It was close to a variety of great shops and restaurants. I knew the hotel was something special, but this perception was validated when the information agent at Circular Quay train station responded to my request for directions with, “The Park Hyatt? It’s only the best hotel in the city!” Turns out it was a short walk from the station and you could practically see it from the train platform.
Less than 10 minutes later, we were on a quiet tree-lined street with beautiful brick buildings to our left and glimpses of the harbour to the right. The exterior of the Park Hyatt is understated and blends well into the neighborhood. The entrance (or as the fancy pants hotel website describes it, the “Porte-cochere”) is a bit further down the street, right under the Harbour Bridge. Two colorful sculptures sat in front, creating a circular driveway, and behind that was a desk staffed with four cheerful bellmen and parking attendants. They greeted us and one of them walked us inside.
Right through the door is the front desk, where the agent smiled and welcomed us. There is a restaurant, called The Living Room, behind the check-in area where guests were having lunch, which gave the lobby a bit more vibrancy. After looking up my reservation, the agent introduced me to the assistant manager, who would walk me up to my room and check me in. She took my bag and said someone would bring it up shortly.
The assistant manager, Michelle, was friendly and upbeat. As we were walking to the room, she informed me I’d been upgraded to an Opera King Room with “a lovely view,” offered me a choice of Diamond amenities (I went with the 1,000 points) along with late checkout. The late checkout was appreciated and totally unexpected, considering the hotel was fully booked the next night.
The hallway was lit with traces of natural light from the windows facing the street. Every once in a while we’d come across a strange piece of art, like this sculpture of what I think are supposed to be fingers? I would love to be the person who picks out art for hotels. It seems like you can pretty much get away with anything.
In the room, Michelle handed me the keys and had me sign some forms. This was by far the speediest check-in I’ve ever experienced.
Just a few minutes after she left, my luggage was dropped off. My cousin tells me tipping isn’t really part of the culture in Australia, and this hotel had a ton of non-American guests (who aren’t as inclined to tip). Regardless of cultural norms, I always tip the staff everywhere I go.
The Opera King Room was spacious and beautifully decorated. At the time it was going for well over $1,500 per night, so I’d say I got great value out of my points.
The room was sleek, modern, and luxurious in an understated way. I loved the layout, the decor, the view. It was incredibly well executed and beautiful from every angle – a theme that is prevalent throughout the hotel. Two bottles of water were left on the bedside, which was nice because this seems like the type of place where a bottle of water would set you back at least $6.
There was one King bed, a dining table with two chairs, and another chair near the bed. The room was spacious and certainly had everything you’d want out of a suite, let alone a standard room.
Next to the ample closet unit (which spanned the length of the hallway) was a drawer stocked with snacks and drinks. On the table was a bowl of fruit accompanied by a welcome note signed by the general manager. When we left and returned in the evening, the bowl of fruit had been replenished.
There was more storage space in the unit underneath the tv. There was also an adapter, which was convenient, since I left mine at home. Nestled on the table was an iPod docking station with speakers that really packed a punch.
The bathroom had a unique layout. When you walk into the room, there is a very easily missed door to the right that blends into the wood wall and leads into a separate area with a toilet and sink. The toilet is one of those high tech ones with temperature controls and other ridiculous features.
Walk slightly to the left and you’ll find the bathroom, which has two wood sliding doors separating it from the bedroom and hallway. Inside, you’ll find everything you need: The softest bathrobes, plenty of towels, Bergamote 22 amenities, bath salts, and a drawer filled with essentials that other hotels skimp out on in the room, including toothbrushes, a shower cap, sewing kit, and even a razor. The hair dryer was also high quality. Usually hotel room hair dryers are tiny and barely let out any air. I underestimated this one and nearly burned my scalp off.
There is a glass door separating the sink area from the shower and tub. The shower has a bit of an odd layout – it’s situated next to the tub, with nothing sectioning it off – but it looks pretty and functions well.
Out on balcony there are two chairs and a table. The floors are hardwood and there is a glass barrier so as not to obstruct the amazing view of the Opera House.
The only thing that I loved more than the room itself was sitting out on the balcony and people watching. This was probably the only time I was grateful for insomnia. I pretty much sat on that balcony all night and worked on my laptop.
In case you’re wondering, they do eventually turn the lights off at the Opera House (around 2 AM or so), at which point the whole place became pitch black. The only “night light” I had was the giant yacht that pulled up outside the hotel earlier that afternoon and lit up that evening like a Christmas tree. No complaints on my end.
Check back for the next post, where I’ll cover the hotel’s room service, and breakfast at The Dining Room.