We were sad to be leaving the tropical beauty of Queensland but at the same time super excited to be heading to the Sydney to stay at the Park Hyatt! The PH Sydney is spoken about with an almost unanimous flow of praise and adulation, we were really hoping it was well deserved.
First though, we had to board our delayed Tigerair flight. Infamous in Australia. The lowest of the low cost.
The flight was delayed and we had *shock* no lounge access. However the CNS terminal is very bright spacious and clean. I particularly enjoyed the fact that all the signs were in Japanese as well as English.
That reminds me, if you are there go to Sushi Hero, we grabbed 4 large (and delicious) sushi rolls and 2 bottles of water for $20! Given the price and quality of competing F&B offerings, I'm surprised that Sushi Hero isn't the only place left in business at CNS
We were sat in row 1, whilst this was billed as an exit row, there was actually a wall in front of us. Perhaps there was an inch or two of extra space. Certainly not the infinite leg room found on Ryanair or Easyjet.
I was impressed with the cabin crew though. They were polite and conscious of the fact that the flight was running late and people had places to be. They even came around with free trays of water for everybody. I've never seen that on a European LCC.
After a quick and easy ride on the train, we arrived at the absurdly picturesque Circular Quay Station.
The PH Sydney is a brief walk along the waterfront, with amazing views of the harbour.
The Sydney Opera House.
That building under the Harbour Bridge? the Park Hyatt.
We had a fantastic welcome at reception. My Diamond status was immediately recognised and we were told that check-in would be completed in the room.
The man at reception let me know that my request for an Opera House view had been granted. I briefly mentioned that we had recently stayed at the PH Melbourne and that already, based on our initial impression, the PH Sydney was leagues ahead.
He flashed a smiled, looked around in a conspiratorial fashion and leant forward. In a hushed voice he said, "Sir, I stayed there recently and decided to cut my stay short, it was that bad", I told him we'd considered doing the same. "Don't worry Mr Jermyn, we will show you how good a real Park Hyatt is".
Now you may find that unprofessional. However he pitched it just the right way. He had immediately put us at ease and made us look forward to our stay all the more.
A young lady was waiting to show us to our room, taking care to point out the features of the hotel as we walked. We were introduced to the concierge desk, which at this hotel was very helpful, making lunch and dinner reservations without any problems (and always getting us really good tables) as well as reserving a table for us at the Bar in the Ritz-Carlton Hong Kong before we checked out, on the last morning.
The Hallways were as impeccably lit and decorated as the lobby and bar areas.
With every step our anticipation built, until finally our hostess opened the door and let us into the room.
We were initially blinded by the bright daylight but quickly ran over to the window to check out the view.
Phenomenal. Outrageous. Peerless.
Short of the suites in the top right of the map, you couldn't hope for a better direct view of the Opera House.
Having a bath facing the Sydney Opera house, lit up at night, is one of my best hotel memories ever.
Not strictly necessary in a coffee mecca like Australia. Nice for enjoying a coffee on the balcony though.
After spending the first night just hanging out in the room (enjoying highlights such as brushing our teeth whilst watching the Opera House), I headed to the gym whilst K caught up on some beauty sleep.
The gym is small but very clean with well maintained equipment.
For some reason it is expected that guests in luxury hotels do not like to lift weights but I was able to make do with the machines.
Do those things on the top left even count as weights?
What better way to recuperate after the morning workout than the buffet breakfast at "The Dining Room"?
The restaurant is flooded in light in the morning, with a wonderful view of the Opera House and the boats drifting by.
The service was very attentive without being over the top. Once we had ordered our drinks the first morning, the staff would ask us if we wanted a macchiato or an earl grey, rather than just asking if we wanted anything to drink.
The linens cutlery and crockery were very high quality. I love it when the atmosphere in a restaurant is punctuated by that unique sound of silver against China.
As Diamond members we were entitled to anything from the a la carte menu, in addition to the extensive buffet.
To be honest, most of the savoury options could be had from the buffet but that didn't stop me ordering an omelette after spotting one on another diner's table.
They say the test of a truly great chef is his omelette. The chefs at PH Sydney are clearly on top of their game!
Despite staying here in the Autumn, we wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to sit in a hot tub with the Harbour Bridge behind us and the Opera House in front.
The Bridge cast a pretty big shadow for most of the Afternoon.
Periodically though, the sun would shine through the gaps in the bridge, which a flock of swallows particularly enjoyed:
The Park Hyatt Sydney isn't cheap. Even when using 10% discount codes on gift certificates, this hotel isn't even on nodding terms with cheap.
However the Park Hyatt Sydney is worth every penny.
The staff are aware of the fact that they have a hell of a reputation to live up, due in no small part to the hotel's location. They deal with this pressure with charm, competence and a true sense of what hospitality means.
If you can, make sure you come here at least once in your life. If your budget won't permit a stay then consider going for breakfast, just to take in the fantastic view (and those omelettes!).
You won't be disappointed.
Park Hyatt Sydney. Believe the hype.
Of course, the hotel wouldn't be as special were it not for the amazing location. Sydney is probably the city I'd most like to live in. Here are some highlights:
There is a fantastic Brazilian BBQ place - Braza, right by the amazingly named "Chinese Garden of Friendship".