Review: Park Hyatt Sydney (Cove Suite)

The Park Hyatt Sydney re-opened in March 2012 following an AU$65 million renovation. That kind of investment across a property with only 155 rooms means the hotel has the finest rooms in the city. We stayed in one of the hotel’s eleven suites.

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Entering the hotel, we were immediately struck by the hotel’s fit-out. The hotel’s redesign was led by Melbourne’s BAR Studio. BAR say the lobby is fashioned as a living room, setting the tone for the entire hotel: subdued, comfortable and relaxed.

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Arriving at the hotel, we were led straight up to our suite for in-room check-in. We find that being made to feel welcome is key to getting a hotel stay off on the right foot.

The hotel only has four floors, serviced by two elevators. There was never any wait and it was refreshing to simply press the button for the desired floor and be on your way.

The elevators face the concierge desk. The friendly greeting by the concierge when passing by can be a nice touch.

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Stepping out of the elevator into the hotel’s snaking hallways, it is clear the designers have done well in specifying the extensive wooden paneling.

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That said, we don’t feel that we quite understand the sculptures in this hotel.

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The hotel has an elegant solution to connecting rooms. An outer set of doors can be shut off if you buy the adjacent room to make a two bedroom, two bathroom suite.

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Cove Suite

We stayed in a Cove Suite, the hotel’s base suite, which was located almost directly opposite the elevators.

Inside, the Cove Suite was comfortably furnished. It is clear a great deal of time and effort has been spent in getting everything just so – the refined atmosphere in the rooms is hard to explain or convey with photographs.

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The hotel’s website lists the Cove Suite as being 73 sqm (~785 sqft). This quoted size is 2 sqm (~22 sqft) smaller than the next lower category, the Opera Deluxe room.

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Leaning out from the Cove Suite’s twin balconies, it was possible to catch glimpses of the Opera House. The whole hotel is designed around that view, although the Cove Suites don’t get the best views in the house.

Gary Leff at View From the Wing says that at the Park Hyatt Sydney “you’re paying for the view, and layered on top it’s a nice hotel”. We don’t quite agree. The spectacular view of Sydney is obviously a factor in the price of this location, but we think you are also paying for the high quality fit-out of the property.

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In the Cove Suite, sliding doors come out from either side of the central wall to separate the bedroom from the living area. We will say this: only stay in a Cove Suite here if you really really need that one feature. You are otherwise much better to get an Opera Deluxe room here.

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The double glazing and truly excellent engineering on the sliding doors – the door handles need to be cranked through a full 180 degrees to unseal them – keeps most of the noise out from the public walkway below.

Cruise ships berth year-round at the Overseas Passenger Terminal, which is just across from the hotel. You can check the vessel movements website to see what is going to be in port, although a cruise ship here is nowhere near as invasive as at the Hilton Auckland.

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The hotel mini-bar includes very nice glassware and even plates and cutlery. Other top flight hotels would do well to follow suit.

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The bedroom is spacious, with convenient controls and power outlets on either side of the bed.

The electrically adjustable privacy sheer and black-out blinds are independently controlled. The switch for the bedroom is next to the side of the bed closest to the windows, while the living room’s controls could be found by the entrance to the bathroom.

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The bathroom opens into the bedroom by default, although it can be shut away. Sliding doors at this hotel all have a nifty anti-slam feature.

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The centrepiece of the bathroom is a massive vanity with two sinks which overhangs the bath area.

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The bathroom has a small television built into the mirror, although we couldn’t get it to work. In any event, it didn’t look like the angle would allow it be watched while in the bath.

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The water closet has a top-of-the-line Toto Japanese toilet, complete with heated toilet seat. These are extremely rare fixtures in Australian hotels.

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In-room Wi-Fi is complimentary for all guests at this property, even if they aren’t a member of Hyatt’s Gold Passport loyalty scheme. We found it zippy, confirmed by a Speedtest:

PHS internet

Gym

The hotel’s gym is located on the third floor. A wave of the room key triggers a motor which opens the door.

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There are dressing rooms for each gender, complete with saunas off to the left. A staircase leads to the hotel’s rooftop pool, although we didn’t visit on this occasion. The pool can also be accessed by taking the elevator to the top of the hotel.

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The gym seemed well equipped. Undoubtedly some will like exercising on the elliptical or treadmill while looking out over the adjacent Hickson Road Reserve.

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Restaurants and Bars at the Park Hyatt Sydney

The hotels’ lounge, ‘The Living Room’ runs the length of an expansive space on the hotel’s ground floor.

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The aptly named The Bar sits between The Lounge and The Dining Room.

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The hotel’s restaurant, The Dining Room, is clearly designed to take advantage of the view of Sydney’s iconic Opera House.

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We found the service in The Dining Room to be variable at breakfast, despite the restaurant only ever having a handful of guests.

This is unfortunate as it put us off hosting lunches and dinners here. The excellent view from The Dining Room isn’t enough of a drawcard when you have concerns about the service.

It’s worth noting that a five minute stroll from the hotel towards the city’s historic district, The Rocks, produces some excellent restaurants.

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The breakfast menu was as follows (click on the menu to expand):

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The breakfast buffet in The Dining Room is extensive and has many quality items.

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Refrigerators off to the side contain a number of cheeses, fruits, yoghurt and cold cuts of meat. The refrigerator doors swing shut behind you so it is preferable to have two free hands.

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The buffet also features a wide selection of juices and carbohydrates.

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A hot buffet of four dishes is usually located up the stairs next to the kitchen entrance.

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During periods of low occupancy (seemingly weekdays in the quieter months), the hot buffet vanished and instead the platform was laid as a table.

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Over the course of our stay we tried all manner of dishes for breakfast – in addition to the buffet. From buttermilk pancakes and waffles…

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… to Eggs Benedict.

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In summary

The Park Hyatt Sydney is about more than just being on the harbour with a stunning view of Sydney’s iconic Opera House. The hotel has the finest rooms in the city. While we would rather stay further into the middle of Sydney’s CBD (being more convenient to the places we need to go), we have not been able to come close in terms of hotel quality.

The hotel’s Japanese owner reputedly purchased it for his daughter because she liked it. We can certainly see why.

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View out the back entrance to the Park Hyatt Sydney

While luxury pricing will put this property out of reach for many, we do highly highly recommend that you stay here if you can when you are in Sydney. Even if just once.

1 Comment on "Review: Park Hyatt Sydney (Cove Suite)"

  1. Very nice review MDU. I’ve stayed a coupe of times at the Park Hyatt Sydney over the last couple of years, and there are some things quite nice about it, other things I’m not a fan of.

    The good points for me were, the fit out is indeed intended to exude luxury (and for the most part, this is true), F&B is usually quite good (as you’d expect for the price), the hotel spa has provided some world leading treatments (I tend to find a lot of massages sub-par, but this spa put me into a state of utter relaxation), and they provide Le Labo toiletries.

    It is good they provide Toto Washlets in the bathroom, although I’ll highlight that these are basic models really with regards to Japanese bidets. You can find more advanced Japanese bidets at other hotels in Australia (Crown Towers, Melbourne is one example – which has top of line Toto NeoRest’s in some suites) and in our region, although not typically in base rooms (although cost wise, given the price for a base room at PH Syd, that’s not really a fair comparison).

    I did find the bed on the firm side (which is fine if that’s your preference, unfortunately it’s not mine), service (as you noted) sometimes is not quite at the standard this hotel pitches at (and charges for), rooms can have issues with privacy (whether cruise ship or just passing public), and the small bath size feels really at odds with the hotel’s luxury pitch.

    Still I think this hotel regularly features in most people’s aspirational stay lists, and there is a reason for that. Worth trying out once, at any rate.

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