Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Sydney City Harbour Deluxe and City View Rooms

by on March 5, 2014 · 12 comments

in Australia, Hotel Reviews, Hyatt

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So far in my series on my trip to Australia with TPG Managing Editor Eric, I’ve covered how I used miles to book my award ticket, my flight from LAX-MEL in United GlobalFirst, the day I spent wine-tasting out in the Yarra Valley, a restaurant review roundup of all the fantastic places we ate in the city, my review of the Westin Melbourne, my review on the Hamiliton Island Reef View Hotel, flying Jetstar to Hamilton Island and on Virgin Australia from Hamilton Island to Sydney. On the end of my Australia adventure, I visited Sydney for the very first time, and decided to stay at the Park Hyatt. Stay tuned for more Sydney activities!

Park Hyatt Sydney exterior.

Park Hyatt Sydney nestled below Sydney Harbour Bridge.

For my first trip to Sydney, I really wanted to be in a central location so I could explore some of Sydney’s top sites and be close to my friends who live all over the city, so I chose the Park Hyatt Sydney. The hotel is in Hyatt’s new top tier, Category 7, and is in a perfect location for tourism – the historic The Rocks district. It was recently renovated and has incredible guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling glass windows that open onto private balconies overlooking the Rocks and Sydney Harbour (well, some rooms).

The stats: I used 110,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points (booked pre devaluation) for a five-night stay, so I was able to get the room for 22,000 points per night, and post-devaluation, the now Category 7 hotel requires 30,000 miles for an award night. So by booking pre-devaluation, I was able to save 40,000 points for the five nights (the equivalent of the Sapphire Preferred‘s sign-up bonus). The cost of the hotel per night was $775 AUD, or $693, so my per-point valuation was 3.15 cents per point.

I started my stay in a Standard room, but when I got to my room and checked everything out, the view of a tree wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, so I spoke with a manager about seeing if there was a nicer room available. As I am a Hyatt Diamond member, Gold Passport promises me the best room available upon my arrival, but it never hurts to ask if there is anything better just in case. However, the desk agent told me that there was unfortunately nothing else available.

The view of this lovely tree from my first room.

The view of this lovely tree from my first room.

I wasn’t thrilled, but I wasn’t going to give up! I spent one night in the first room, and the next day I asked about getting a different room again, and a manager gave me another room with a partial view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, but it had less windows and no balcony, so I politely declined.

This room was much smaller and without a balcony.

This room was much smaller and without a balcony.

However, lo and behold a few hours later, she called me back and said a cancellation had taken and I was moved to a beautiful City Harbour Deluxe room, which had a beautiful view of the Central Business District and then to my left the Sydney Opera House – what a difference from my original “tree view” room.

View from the City Harbour Deluxe room at Park Hyatt Sydney.

View from the City Harbour Deluxe room at Park Hyatt Sydney.

The room was comfortable for the most part, and quite spacious at about 800 square feet. Obviously, the balcony with the view was one of the best things about the room. The linens and bed were nice – same as my original room, but the overall layout was much nicer in this room, with more room by the closets and bathroom and a ton of natural light from the windows.

The great view from my balcony in the City Harbour Deluxe room.

The great view from my balcony in the City Harbour Deluxe room.

The bathroom is separated from the bedroom by two sliding doors coming from either side of the room. It had dual vanities and an Toto toilet (with a self-warming seat) in the WC. The glassed-in bath and shower suite was spacious and ornate, and had both wall-mounted and rainfall shower heads as well as a separate deep soaking tub. The sinks and the bathtub were marble, and flooring was made out of the local cream-colored Sydney sandstone.

The soaking tub in the bathroom.

The soaking tub in the bathroom.

I was a little annoyed because I had wanted to try out the spa, but they were booked solid for three days straight. I had hurt my back recently during a workout and was really hoping for a massage, but unfortunately they weren’t able to accommodate me during my stay due to the small size of the spa – they only have 5 treatment rooms.

The simply-named restaurant options are The Dining Room, The Living Room and The Bar. The Living Room is more of a casual lounge that overlooks the harbor, and the Dining Room is the main dining outlet, where I was able to enjoy breakfast daily as a Diamond Member. The breakfast buffet was small but nice, with the continental option priced out at $35 AUD ($30 USD) and the hot buffet addition at $45 AUD ($37 USD).

View from the Dining Room restaurant.

View from the Dining Room restaurant.

Instead I just opted for an a la carte option of coffee, orange juice and an omelette with vintage cheddar, tomatoes, mushrooms and spinach, which was hearty and delicious.

My omelette for breakfast.

My omelette for breakfast.

I also went there one day for lunch, hoping for a quick sandwich or salad before I headed out for the day, but realized too late that they only have a prix-fixe menu option. The food was quite good, but pricey and only for a leisurely sit down. You can choose a one, two or three-course option paired with wine, but I just opted for the one-course for $39 and passed on the wine-tasting since it was right before my Sydney Bridge Climb tour and you get breathalyzed beforehand and I had a friend who had a bloody mary at brunch and was barred from the activity that day!

My lunch at the Dining Room.

My steak at the Dining Room. A little too fancy for a quick bite!

The hotel also has a rooftop pool, however it is smaller than I had expected and even though they told me the pool was serviced at the front desk, no one came to take any orders or anything during the time I spent there. There was also a strange “emergency evacuation” that happened during my stay, apparently something happened with pool chemicals, and all the guests needed to evacuate for about an hour and there was a distinct smell of the chlorine throughout the hotel for a couple hours.

The rooftop pool.

The rooftop pool.

I had also hoped to take advantage of the concierge service a bit more to help plan some activities and excurions, but every time I called, it just rang and rang. I also left messages and was never contacted back. I was finally able to have the concierge book a boat rental, but I had to go down there and speak to him in person. Once I was down there,  the service was helpful but it was difficult to get a hold of the concierge and I didn’t love that I had to go down in person to figure it out.

Last Diamond Hurrah
This was my last stay as a Hyatt Diamond – I let it my top-tier elite status go this year to focus on Starwood 75-night Platinum status instead, and to be able to stay at more unique/pet-friendly/rental home properties last year. Overall, even though I wasn’t blown away by the service and elite recognition here, I still think the value was incredible considering the breakfast benefit was worth $100 daily (for two people) and the stay would have cost me nearly $4,000 in the Harbour View room, so I can’t complain. Even at 30,000 points a night at current rates, the property is a great way to use your free nights from the Hyatt Visa or transferring in your Chase Ultimate Rewards points from the Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus or Ink Bold.

I had a great first visit to Australia and fell in love with Sydney. Can’t wait to return!

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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  • Joe

    Thanks. Staying here two nights in July with the free Chase certificates. Hoping I get the opera view.

  • djkosta

    Hey, are you still in Sydney? I’m from Miami and currently here on a work and holiday visa! I’ve been traveling the world for the past 3+ years thanks to miles and tips learned from your site!

  • mrsnarbonne

    We stayed at the Park Hyatt this past Dec on the Chase free nights and UR points. We had probably the “worst” view looking at the tree and the little park just by the bridge – we could see the bridge climbers at the start of their journey. We didn’t ask for an upgrade as we were traveling with 2 small kids. No Toto toilet in our bathroom, but it was spacious and well-appointed. Being the most expensive hotel I’ve ever stayed in (rates were $1000/nt during the time we were there), I was underwhelmed by the service. Staff members were friendly (there was a pool attendant, although he was super busy and could’ve had another person manning the area) and the concierge quickly took care of requests when asked, but he had a recurring issue with the lights that wasn’t fixed and no one ever addressed us by name. It didn’t feel very personal. The location was definitely awesome though – one of the reasons we traveled to SYD was to meet up with my parents, who were finishing up a cruise, so really perfect. Nice hotel, but I wasn’t blown away by the service/hospitality.

  • Joe

    Rates have really come down with the My Elite rate … the two nights I’m using the free certificates for are just over $500 now (though for the “fake” park king room).

  • Tom

    I stayed at the Park Hyatt this past January using four free nights on two Hyatt cards, we were there for Australia Day. It was fantastic and the service was the best I ever had anywhere in the world. We got there early to check in and the room was not ready so they asked us to have a sit in the bar and enjoy a glass of wine on them! Nice, especially given we were 4 hours early to check in. Anyway the room was ready in less than an hour and we went in. We asked for an upgrade to an Opera View room but they could only give us City View for the first nights then Opera view the next two. Opera view is very special to see it from your balcony day and night.
    They told us they would move the bags and to come down at a certain time to get the keys to the opera view room and again the room wasn’t quite ready. Back to the bar for another free glass of wine and the room was ready in less than an hour.
    We were also there for an anniversary and guess what, they sent a nice bottle of champagne to the room, which we drank at the pool (which was serviced nicely when we were there). The champagne was $150.
    Then we went to dinner one night and they gave us a nice desert complimentary. Each time we went past the front desk someone would come out from behind the desk to ask us our plans, give us a bottle of water and ask if we needed directions or anything else. It was top notch and the place was full for the holiday. addressed us by name from day one.
    We still talk about this place. I sent a note to the GM afterwards, one of the only times I have ever done that, it was that good. We spent about $100 on dinner as there was a special deal fro Australia Day. All in all the best $100 I ever spent for what we got in return during those four days.

  • joeypore

    Booked 5 nights here later in the year with 110k Hyatt points as you did. I’m super pumped!! Thinking about doing the diamond challenge as mill be staying at a lot of Hyatt’s around this time. Matched with some cheap runs in Vegas, and I think I’ll get diamond for my stay here!! Would love to get a suite upgrade at this property.

  • twohotpotatoes

    We stayed there twice on our honeymoon (December 2012) using Hyatt Night Certificates that we purchased at $310 per night – it doesn’t look like they offer this anymore though?
    We were given a deluxe harbour view room, and we loved the room and location. We sat out on our patio almost every night enjoying the sunset (and champagne, of course), and I went for a run around the harbour every morning. Gorgeous setting.
    We had some issues with the pool as well. The hot tub was luke warm at best, and the pool service was completely lacking. It’s funny, we also had an emergency in the middle of the night where the fire alarm malfunctioned and everyone had to exit the hotel.
    I thought the food was spectacular, although crazy expensive. I would definitely return again, although I’m not sure I’d ever pay the full hotel room price. It was a bargain at $310, but not sure about $800 a night.

  • wwittman

    so did you hit Cafe Sydney?

    I hope so!

  • Ariana

    My experience with elite recognition was a bit different. I stayed there in December and got upgraded to an Opera view room. They also proactively offered me late-checkout. All of this was surprising, considering the hotel was sold out that week. Overall, a lovely place to stay.

  • mwwalk

    I stayed here for one night as part of my travel across Australia in Dec 2013. Also stayed at the Park Hyatt Melbourne but the rest of the trip was in hostels.

    I used 22,000 points per night to book into whatever room, which was going for 1000AUD per night. I emailed the hotel and asked if it was possible for me to pay the difference between a Opera House View room and my room to get upgraded. The difference was ~100AUD and I had a great view from the third floor.

  • Cory

    I tend to feel that luxury is wasted on me. I don’t appreciate it (Nor do I need it) like some others. I stayed at the Park Hyatt Sydney a week or 2 before you did, and my general opinion was that you pay a lot for location, not necessarily the hotel itself. As you said, I thought the rooftop pool area was just OK. The rooms were comfortable, I slept like a baby, but that’s true of many other Hyatts I’ve stayed in. Aside from the view, I actually found the location a bit inconvenient for me relative to other options closer to some sites, closer to the public transportation, etc. I am glad I stayed there, I had heard about the Park Hyatt Sydney as one of the great hotels in the world. It just didn’t live up to what I expected.

  • hansmast

    1. Vegas stays don’t count for Diamond Challenge.
    2. You can’t pay the extra points for a suite redemption and Diamond Suite Awards don’t work on paid rates, because the suites are all huge, non-standard affairs.

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