The Park Hyatt Sydney is having its grand reopening this coming Tuesday March 20th, 2012. The hotel was closed for about 11 months and started to accept guests again early February 2012. As is the case with hotel renovations most of the time, the reopening was delayed by months.
Not sure what is going on with the Hyatt Diamond status and international Hyatt properties. I have had a string of bad luck with properties lately when it comes to upgrades and the Diamond treatment. I have had bad stays at the Park Hyatt hotels in both Shanghai and Abu Dhabi. I did have a fabulous stay at the Park Hyatt Maldives in August last year and at the Hyatt Capital Gate (Abu Dhabi) in December. Again, I was not too satisfied with my stay at the Park Hyatt Sydney.
The hotel is located on the opposite side on the Sydney Cove from the world famous Sydney Opera House. Quite a few of the rooms do have a sort of a view of the Opera House from the outside balconies. You may have to dangle yourself a bit though.
The area of the rocks, where this hotel is located, is rather touristy. There are often cruise ships parked on the terminal, right in front of the hotel, like last Friday when I checked in. The boats normally don’t stay for long, however, and it is nice to see them slowly leaving the harbor.
You can take a taxi from the airport. This is probably the best choice if you have more than a carry on. I was traveling very lightly as I had left most of my stuff to a hotel in Melbourne. I just took the train from the airport to the Circular Quay station. I managed to hit the morning rush hour and had to stand the entire journey. From the Circular Quay station it is maybe a five minute walk to the hotel.
I had a morning flight out of Melbourne and arrived to hotel just after 9AM. I didn’t expect them to have a room/suite available for me immediately, and I was prepared to type away for few hours. They said that the room they had allocated for me was not occupied, but they would need to send housekeeping there to check it. That was fine with me.
When I inquired about an upgrade to the Opera or City King Deluxe, both are 75 square meters and rather large for a room, I was first told that they are not available. I opened Hyatt.com that showed that they were still selling at least Opera King Deluxe for the night. After the front desk clerk had typed away for a while, he came back and told that they only had one available for the night and that he couldn’t give that to me as an upgrade.
Park Hyatt Sydney is known to play games when it comes to the Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond member best room benefit. I probably should have called the Diamond desk in the United States at this point to get them to intervene on my behalf, but quite frankly I was tired and just wanted to have a nap.
The preparing of the room took for two hours, but I was able to use this time productively by working on some stuff. Unfortunately they couldn’t get me logged in to the hotels wireless network in the lobby bar area. There were authentication problems. The wireless access code that the hotel gave me and later when I tried to log in using my room number and last name, were not valid at this location. Luckily, I was able to just tether through my cell phone. The wireless internet worked just fine in the room.
There is something wrong with the location of the check in desk. I had really hard time hearing what they were saying to me as there was an awful lot of noise coming from the nearby road. I think that they should install some acoustic panels to deal with this issue.
You can probably get the best idea of the room by watching the video and looking at the photos.
As it is often case with the newly renovated/built hotels, the bathrooms are oversized by sacrificing part of the living space. Personally I would prefer larger bedroom/living room set up. You can also keep the “door” open between the bedroom and the bathroom to make the room feel more spacious that it really is.
The toilet is in bit weird location because it is right when you come in to the room. It is not in the bathroom.
The minibar at this location was stunning. I really liked the layout and the content of it.
The kitchen table that is moonlighting as a work desk was fine. It was somewhat difficult to work on it, however. One thing I couldn’t understand was that the phones don’t have any kind of extension cord. You cannot practically move the phone at all. I was trying to make a call while working on the “desk” but it was not possible. I had to move either next to the bed or to area next to the the TV to make a call.
Trying to operate the lights was also a difficult task. They should have an instructional booklet to show how to dim the lights. I like good design. It should never, however, be form over function as was most definitely in this case.
Not sure what was the deal with that Sharp TV. I would have expected a park Hyatt to have something in the lines of Sony or LG.
Unlike some international Park Hyatt hotels where the Diamond amenity can be as little as two apples, the Park Hyatt Sydney had a nice bottle of red wine and a small fruit plate. I always appreciate a hand written note that they had.
Fitness Center / Pool
As I was in the third floor, the fitness center and the entrance to the pool were both only few doors down the hall. The fitness center had brand new LifeFitness machines. I had never seen these new treadmills anywhere else. The fitness center feels bit cramped, but considering the size of the hotel and the clientele, I am sure that it is empty most of the time.
You can access the pool on the rooftop through the fitness center. There are some sun chairs around the pool. Not sure why anybody would spend time by the pool, however. All the people who are either walking in the bridge or doing the world famous bridge walk, can directly see to the pool area.
I was trying to find a quiet place in the dining room where I could have had the breakfast on Saturday morning, but unfortunately it was impossible. I was seated next to a family whose toddler was rather noisy at times.
There is a small “buffet” but most of the items you need to order off the menu. Not sure why they bother with that buffet at all. There were only some bakery items and cereal/fruits. My breakfast was otherwise good, but I didn’t like the smoothie that I ordered. There was way too much banana in it.
Overall, the food and the service were both good. I just didn’t like the dining room atmosphere that felt too busy.
On Saturday morning I received a phone call at 11:56AM to find out if I need help with my bags or transportation. It was obvious that they just wanted to know my departure time. I told them that I would leave by 4PM, which is guaranteed late checkout time for Diamond members.
Before I had managed to leave the hotel, I also received an email from Hyatt thanking me for my stay and welcoming me back to the hotel.
At the front desk I inquired why the reservation for Sunday was still showing up, although I had told them to cancel it on Friday. For some reason the Hyatt’s website had been acting up again (not really a surprise) and didn’t allow me to do it. I guess that they must have forgotten to do it, as I received the cancellation email when they were checking me out.
Price / Using Points
I don’t normally comment the price of the hotels where I am staying at, or whether someone should use points or pay. I do think that at 795 AUD per night, during the weekend, paying for this using cash doesn’t make any sense. This hotel goes for 22K Hyatt Gold Passport points per night. It actually can make sense to buy the Gold Passport points especially if Hyatt is running a promotion, and use them to pay for the room.
This is a nice Hyatt hotel, but not sure if I ever need to return. I have been to this property few times before, and I have never really though too much about it. It is nice if you are visiting Sydney for the first time to have the view of the Opera House, but I would rather choose a better location with service over the view.
I am not too convinced about the quality of the refurbishment that they made. There were already huge stains (water?) on some carpets on the public area. Also, I kept hearing doors slamming very loudly. I am sure that they could do something about them.