I’ve always loved Sydney, Australia. Let’s get that out of the way, so there’s no confusion. I’ve lived in Sydney at different times over the course of many years, and if home is where the heart is, then Sydney is my home. Sure, I also love every other part of Australia I’ve ever set foot on – but my love for Sydney is and always has been, both deep and abiding.
When the opportunity presented itself allowing me to visit my one true love – Sydney – I could not contain my excitement. Ever since the Park Hyatt went under major renovation in 2011, I have dreamed of being able to stay there. The hotel has a long and proud reputation as the ‘go-to’ place for the who’s who in politics, entertainment and high society. Even Elton John spent so much time here that it’s surprising his mail was never permanently forwarded on to his suite. Needless to say, after knowing all of this, I jumped at the opportunity.
The renovation transformed what had already been an excellent hotel into one that is nothing short of spectacular. The entire building was redesigned to ensure that guests can be in any of the hotel’s main areas and still have a great view of three main attractions: the Opera House, Circular Quay, or the Harbour Bridge. By incorporating sandstone walls into the overall design of the new Park Hyatt, the renovated building fit seamlessly into its natural surroundings.
Upon first arrival at the hotel, I was in awe of the magnificent view it provided. It was even better than I had remembered. Before I could even fully absorb what I was seeing, the hotel’s service personnel quickly made sure I felt at home, and greeted me with a warm welcome. Not one, but two friendly employees approached, grabbed my bags and whisked me off to my suite. At that moment, I truly felt I was being swept into a dream.
There is absolutely no doubt that the fantasy I had carried all these years about the Park Hyatt paled in comparison to the reality that confronted me when I walked through the doors of my suite. As a result of the renovations, the rooms didn’t just look like standard hotel rooms, but instead mini apartments. They felt like home: spacious and filled with the types of amenities you’d expect from a top-tier facility, including media hubs that enable visitors to plug in their media devices to the television.
Each room is outfitted with a Toto toilet – a Japanese model with heated seats – and a glass door sectioning off the toilet area from the spacious freestanding shower and bath. As for the décor, you’ll find a unique combination of comfort and elegance, defined by the clean lines and neutral tones, that’ll have you wishing you never had to leave.
Equally as impressive is the rest of the hotel. The lobby is referred to as the ‘Living Room,’ and serves as an area devoted to open dining through each day; the hotel restaurant is called ‘The Dining Room,’ and the former cigar area, which is now a bar, is aptly named ‘The Bar.’ Simplicity is key at the Park Hyatt, and if those names don’t make this place seem like home, I can’t imagine what would.
Throughout my stay I was treated to a variety of delicious and divine meals at The Dining Room. The restaurant features local produce from a contemporary menu created by executive chef Frank Detrait and is serviced by staff members who have an uncanny ability to anticipate my every need – even before I knew what I needed! It truly felt like a world-class experience: perfect in every way.
Not only was it the ambiance and amenities that provided this exceptional experience, but also the nearby attractions that were offered as well. There’s a gallery called, as you might expect by now, ‘The Gallery’ that offers a variety of commissioned pieces of art by some of the best-known artists in the region. Additionally, a ‘Guest House’ provides some of the best harbor views available in the city, and ‘The Study,’ is an incredible wine cellar featuring a tremendous selection of wine from around the globe. Most of these locations have, at one time or another, played host to a number of weddings and a variety of other special events.
Elsewhere in the city, you can enjoy fabulous restaurants offering nearly every culinary delight under the sun, as well as a number of bustling bars and nightclubs. Everywhere you go, you’ll be met by some of the warmest and friendliest people on the planet – just one of the many reasons why my love affair with this spectacular city has only grown more intense with every visit.
The day before I had to leave, I found myself sitting on the balcony overlooking the harbor filled with the sensation that I was – in that one moment – feeling on top of the world. I may have been feeling some of the effects of the complimentary champagne, to be honest, but I know it was more than that. As I sat with a smile that covered my face from ear to ear, there was little doubt in my mind that Sydney will always be one of my favorite cities.
Fast-forward twenty-four hours and it was time to get back to reality as I checked out. While exiting, my dreamlike experience was completed as I saw a glimpse of Ms. Kate Waterhouse – true Sydney royalty. My last act? I straightened my skirt, threw back my shoulders, donned my sunnies, and offered her a friendly and knowing wink as I walked through the door on my way to real life.
This experience was sponsored by the Park Hyatt Sydney.