It’s a wake-up call like no other. As dawn breaks over Sydney Harbor, silhouetting the ‘sails’ of the Opera House against the pale sunlight, the iconic Manly Ferry glides past my bedroom window at Park Hyatt Sydney and announces its arrival at Circular Quay with a purposeful toot of its horn.
We could, of course, have closed my floor-to-ceiling balcony windows and shut the automatic blackout shades the night before but we would have denied ourselves the absolute joy of waking up to one of the world’s most beautiful panoramas.
With its coveted waterfront location, looking directly out to the Sydney Opera House, Harbor Bridge and city skyline, Park Hyatt Sydney gives an unrivaled luxury hotel experience in the heart of Sydney’s historic Rocks area.
Fresh from a multimillion-dollar rebuild and renovation, which closed the hotel for almost a year in 2011, Park Hyatt Sydney now features three spacious rooftop suites on a new fourth level, and a sophisticated design that strikes the perfect balance between contemporary comfort and urban cool.
Custom-designed lighting, natural tone furnishings, expansive use of glass, and a veritable art gallery of specially commissioned interior pieces all combine to create a stylish residential ambience, extending from the 155 guest rooms to the sleek public spaces, aptly named The Living Room, The Dining Room and The Bar.
|Park Hyatt Sydney’s outdoor terrace, part of the resort’s on-site wedding venue called The Guest House, sits directly across the Opera House.|
The most requested accommodations are the 800-square-foot Opera Deluxe rooms, each with an apartment-style open floor plan, two private balconies, and uninterrupted views of the Opera House. Tip: Opt for the rooms on the third floor, which are a little quieter and have more elevated harbor vistas.
Our top picks are the hotel’s 11 premium suites, especially the three new Rooftop Suites which have a master bedroom, open plan lounge and dining area, a kitchenette, outdoor terrace, and a discreet private entrance on the fourth floor. Note: All rooms and suites offer 24-hour butler service.
The signature two-bedroom Sydney Suite, and one-bedroom Opera and Harbour Suites, offer the best panoramas of the Opera House but all 11 suites have views of the world-famous landmark from various balconies. Contact Director of Sales & Marketing Christine Haddad ([email protected]; 011-612-9256-1860).
The wow factor continues in the waterfront Living Room and adjoining Dining Room where Executive Chef Andrew McKee delivers creative contemporary menus with the Opera House and harbor as side dishes. Tip: Reserve a window table and order his signature Rangers Valley beef brisket served with beetroot, horseradish cream and watercress with a bold Barossa Valley Merlot.
Note: Wine dinner series and the Park Hyatt Masters of Food & Wine program, both hosted quarterly, are highly anticipated events. Contact Food and Beverage Assistant Rayne Feliciano ([email protected]; 011-612-9256-1661).
The new Spa at Park Hyatt has five treatment rooms featuring a unique Australian handmade, natural and organic spa product range called iKOU. Tip: Book a 90-minute iKOU Native Clay & Hot Oil massage, then relax in a private cabana by the rooftop pool. Contact Spa Manager Sally Cawthorne ([email protected]; 011-612-9256-1633).
|The Hotel’s signature restaurant, The Dining Room, occupies the coveted harbor-front position and boasts floor-to-ceiling windows.|
Peak months at Park Hyatt Sydney are October to April. Demand for rooms is especially high during major events such as Ashes Cricket (November to January) and Mardi Gras (February-March), and reservations are recommended up to 12 months ahead for the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks spectacular.
Park Hyatt Melbourne might not have the exceptional waterfront location of its Sydney counterpart but this distinctive Australian duo complements each other well.
With an equally strong residential look and feel, albeit with an Art Deco twist, this dapper hotel has one of the best addresses in Melbourne’s Parliament Square next to the historic St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
Tip: Request a Club Deluxe city view guest room on a higher floor for panoramic views of the skyline plus the benefits of access to the Park Lounge, a calm and stylish retreat on Level 19 serving breakfast, all day refreshments, and evening drinks and canapés. Park Lounge also has a private boardroom and library.
The most spacious of the five suite categories are the Presidential, three Ambassador and two Diplomat Suites, but our top picks are the Terrace Suites, which all have private terraces overlooking St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Contact Director of Sales & Marketing Kate Fowler ([email protected]; 011-613-9224-1291).
Park Hyatt Melbourne is an easy walk, tram or cab ride to the city’s best attractions, shopping hotspots, galleries, parks, bars, cafés, and eateries but make sure you reserve a table at Radii Restaurant & Bar, the hotel’s eye-catching dining room which is set over five levels (011-613-9224-1234).
The Park Club Health & Day Spa has an indoor pool, sauna, gym, outdoor tennis court, and eight private treatment rooms. Tip: Request Akiko Decru for her outstanding facial treatments. Contact Spa Manager Jessica Maher ([email protected]; 011-613-9224-1234).
Note: The Australian Tennis Open (January), Formula One Grand Prix (March), Spring Racing Carnival (November), and New Year’s Eve are peak times for the hotel when advance bookings are recommended.
For more details on Sydney, visit www.sydney.com, and for Melbourne, check out www.visitmelbourne.com. Qantas offers 37 flights a week from the U.S. to Australia, and is the only airline offering A380 service on select non-stop flights from Los Angeles to Sydney and Melbourne.