Park Hyatt Sydney
The Final Verdict
4.2
Location
Property & Amenities
Staff
Food & Drink
Value For Money

Some hotels are blessed with a completely unfair advantage – and this is one of them. The Park Hyatt Sydney offers an inimitable location. Perched between the iconic Harbor Bridge and Sydney Opera House, it’s a central business district dream, with no shortage of vibrant city life to explore nearby.

But at $900 a night, location isn’t everything. To thrive, a hotel would need more – and unfortunately on this stay, the Park Hyatt Sydney didn’t offer it. It, of course, being “more”.

Arrival is overwhelming, even when you have a rough idea how perfect the location is. The hotel has a beautifully refined appeal throughout. Soft tones, gorgeous stone work and marble create an immense feeling of clean, understated luxury. Our check in was swift, and the hotel politely granted early check in after an overnight flight from Tokyo.

After finding our room, number 232- we were shocked to see that we really could see the famed Opera House out our window. Better yet, we had a comfortable balcony to sit outside and enjoy a sunset. The room is large, luxurious, modern and practical. It’s very hard to find fault with any element. But unfortunately, we did find fault with the hotel. Not the property, location, rooms, room service or any other element – just the staff. 

Our only staff interaction during our multiple night stay was a call requesting us to leave the room at noon, despite arranging for late check out the evening before. This was one of many indicators that staff do not communicate or share information to further a guests stay.

There were no hellos in the hallway, polite greetings or inquiries about help making plans. The staff – overall – appeared rigid, unwelcoming and lacking any concern for guest satisfaction. It felt cookie cutter, in the gold bullion sort of way.

There was never a sense of place. The hotel is lovely, but lack of any definable vibe or personality amongst staff and menu meant it could be located anywhere. Thank goodness there are windows. Thank goodness the hotel is blessed with it’s unmatched location.

My overall sense of the staff was best illustrated in Home Alone II by Kevin Mccalister. You could practically feel each member of staff attempting to pry your wallet open with their eyeballs. Never a pleasant feeling.

While disinterested is one thing, incompetent is another. On two separate occasions, we attempted to have cocktails in the lobby bar. The team were absolutely clueless about virtually everything. Like this memorable question:

Me: Other than the spirit, what’s the difference between the Singapore Sling and this other Rum punch?

Bartender: Well, one is made with Gin and the other with Rum.

Me: Ok, then…

On one occasion, we sat down, looked at a menu and politely said we were going to pass. Only moments later, the other server emerged from the same location asking the very same question. It’s hard to properly describe the levels of frustration experienced during these attempted cocktail visits. So much so, we gave up and didn’t even give the hotels other food locations a chance.

Much like all facilities at the hotel, the rooftop pool and jacuzzi are lovely. The staff upstairs was welcoming and anticipatory, offering complimentary bottled water and towels. It would be very easy to fall blissfully asleep at this swanky roof top set up – if not for the horrendous sunburn that would follow shortly thereafter.

In the end, this hotel left a mercurial, frustrated feeling and nothing more. The location is idyllic. The rooms are of the highest worldwide standards and the views are first class. Connectivity around the city from the nearby ferry wharf is unbeatable.

But when you’re shelling out major cash or major points – you want to feel welcomed or invited. And you should. Sad to say – we barely felt as if we were allowed in. With other top properties, many which offer suites or club lounge amenities at a fraction of the cost – and only hundreds of yards away, we regretfully say we’ll be looking elsewhere. It’s all about staff culture and a desire to elevate any guests experience – no matter how small. This one could improve.

Have you stayed at the Park Hyatt Sydney?

Gilbert Ott

Gilbert Ott is an ever curious traveler and one of the world's leading travel experts. His adventures take him all over the globe, often spanning over 200,000 miles a year and his travel exploits are regularly...

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7 Comments

  1. Really professional pictures. You should take pictures for real estate. Would sell a lot of houses.

    Anyway, I think you assessment is spot on. The location and hard product are unbeatable. As one of Hyatt’s most aspirational hotels, I was astonished by the service and that not much was mentioned about it on Flyertalk. During breakfast for two days, the server took out drink orders, but both times, no one came to take our food order until we called them over.

  2. Yes, I used one of the Chase Hyatt introductory free nights (The one you can redeem anywhere) some years ago. Its by far the best free night deal I’ve made. Everything about the hotel is perfect.

  3. We disagree with your review, respectfully of course. We stayed at the Park Hyatt Sydney in 2017 and each interaction with the hotel staff was adequate and friendly. We received help at check in, assistance with a day over at Bondi beach, chatted with our waiter at breakfast each morning and even had laundry delivered to our room from our outside vendor with the hotels assistance.
    We did not use the bar area during our stay but it seems odd that one of the examples you use as to why your stay, and I assume it was free using points, did not meet your high standards, is because a bartender did not know the differences between two drinks. Meaning, burnt toast, a forgotten order, terrible martini, without any attempt to remedy the problem by the hotel staff might warrant a complaint, but the way you wrote your review, it reads as if you had visioned your visit to the bar area in your mind and the moment your visit did not go as you imagined, you were disappointed.
    Anyway, maybe it’s all in the timing since we have certainly stayed at hotels elsewhere in the world and were less than impressed with hotel staff. Maybe next time through you should give PHS another shot before you write it off. After all, its one of the more recognizable hotels in the world given that location.

  4. Gil,

    Nice review. I enjoy your writing, both general articles and specific reviews.

    What they seem to be lacking for me, however, is:

    *What was paid for the room/flight (whether points/dollars/or both) in question?

    *What category of Hotel room was it; specifically, what is it called on the Hotel’s website? I may want to experience the same room, thus need to know what room those pictures and words are referring to.

    * Was any post-payment/check-in upgrade provided?

    *More bathroom & Breakfast pics/info.

    Cheers 🙂

  5. I am heading to Australia for my honeymoon in November and am considering multiple hotels that I have points with (SPG, Hyatt, and IHG). Is the Park Hyatt worth 30k points if you don’t have globalist status? What other hotels would you recommend in the CBD?

    1. I personally would say no. View is worth a lot, but unless you’re globalist you’re paying for everything else and I found the staff more tip centric than NYC. The Hilton nearby isn’t bad at all, and across the way (nearer Opera house) I believe there’s a good AccorHotel. But highlight for me was some Airbnb’ing for most of it. Feel free to email me 🤓

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