Okay, this won’t be an all roses review of the illustrious Park Hyatt Sydney, so I’m giving you fair warning. Don’t think that I have DYKWIA syndrome; I just have high expectations at expensive places and expect close to perfection.
We were here for 2 nights in late November 2015. I used my wife’s 2 free nights with her Chase Hyatt Visa signup. She only had Platinum status, but I had Diamond status due to the Hyatt Diamond match. I called Hyatt and added me to her itinerary as a guest. I then emailed the PHS butlers to see if we would get free breakfast since I was a Diamond although we used her points. They confirmed that yes, since I was a Diamond, we would be extended Diamond benefits. Awesome!
Uber-X at the Sydney airport
We landed in Sydney at around 8AM on the LAX Virgin Australia flight. It took us about 30 minutes to clear immigration and to pick up our bags. We tried to book an UberX (our flight attendant told us UberX isn’t allowed airport pickups,) but if you pick a location close to the airport, you can call them and have them pick you up at the airport. We tried this, but we couldn’t call or receive any phone calls. The driver cancelled our request, and we just decided to catch a cab instead.
The taxi asked us if we wanted to take the toll highway or local. We would save about $6-8 in tolls, but we’d add ~10 minutes of time since we were taking local roads. Since this was a Saturday afternoon, we picked the local roads. If this had been rush hour, we may have taken the tolls (just know that the airport is south of Sydney and traffic goes INTO the city in morning rush hour traffic. It took us about 30 minutes to get to the PHS; I figure they wouldn’t have a room ready for us that early, so we were in no rush. It cost about $60 AUD for the taxi ride.
We got to the Park Hyatt Sydney at around 9AM. They were fully booked the night before and didn’t have a room ready, which is what I expected. The butler who I emailed eventually approached us and told us we could wait in the dining area while they got our room ready. By 10AM our room still wasn’t ready. Our friend was picking us up to take us around and so we had to leave. We told our butler this and she apologized that our room wasn’t ready yet, and then proceeded to ask us when she could bring up our free champagne for our anniversary. We told her around 5pm would be great.
At this point, let me just say that I expected for our room to not have been ready yet. However, if they realized they had no room ready and that cleaning would take more than an hour, wouldn’t it have been better to tell us to just drop off our bags and come back in the afternoon to check in (this is what happened at other hotels?) Or maybe we could have walked around outside instead of waiting for an hour in the dining area?
Where’s the champagne?
So after a day of sightseeing we returned to the hotel at around 5pm and checked in. The rep asked us if we wanted our Diamond amenity to be 1K points or free champagne? I told them the free champagne, and since we got the free anniversary one today, that meant we got another one tomorrow. Awesome.
When we went to our room, there was no champagne in the room. Maybe they figured it’d be best if we checked in first before bringing up our champagne. I wasn’t mad that the champagne wasn’t there; it was more of a disappointment because we had agreed with the butler that we wanted it at 5pm. A quick call to the concierge and 5 minutes later, they brought up a bottle of champagne. All is good.
So the hotel is in the shape of an L. You ideally want to be on the highest floor possible and be in a room at the bottom of the L since those will have a direct view of the Opera House. However, the majority of the rooms will have a view of the harbor, and to see the Opera House, you’ll have to step out on your balcony to see it. I was Diamond at the time, and I know a coworker who was also Diamond who got the same view as I did. I think it’s really rare to get a direct view of the Opera House.
The breakfast buffet was smaller than I expected. Maybe only 4 hot items and some pastry and fruit. With Diamond, you can order off the ala carte menu as well for free. That’s what we did and enjoyed the food. On the first day, something happened in the kitchen and so it took longer than normal to being out our food (maybe 15-20 minutes.) It wouldn’t have been a big deal, but our tour bus was arriving shortly. Really, I’m nit picking here.
No 2nd champagne
When we returned from our tour and got back to our room, we were expecting our champagne amenity. It wasn’t there which was fine, so we called the concierge to ask them about it. Forty five minutes later, still no champagne and we had to leave for dinner. I called them up and told them to cancel the champagne and to just give me the 1K points instead. They apologized and asked if we wanted it later or sent to the restaurant. Maybe my anger clouded my judgment but I just said NO (that or I didn’t want to pay any corkage fee since we were going to a fancy restaurant.)
When we got to the restaurant, we were given a glass of champagne. Intrigued, I asked the waiter why we got the free champagne. He jokingly said he used to work there and then said they had a good relationship with the hotel [since the PH did recommend and book the rsvp for us.] To this day, I’m not sure if the hotel called the restaurant to comp us the champagne or if everyone from the PH gets it. If you stay here and eat at Aria, please do let me know. I’m just curious.
Here’s the thing – I’m not entitled. If you promise me something, I’m going to hold you to it. If you don’t do it, I’ll be disappointed and you shouldn’t have promised it in the first place. I realize my expectations may be higher than others and I should be grateful for the hobby. However I’ve been to enough high end hotels that my expectations are higher now.
It’s like if you’ve only had McDonald’s all your life and went to Ruth Chris for the first time and they over cook your medium rare steak to a medium – 1. Would you even be able to tell that they overlooked it and 2. Would you let them get away with it? You have no frame of reference to know your steak was cooked badly. If you go enough times, then you’ll know it’s been overlooked and you most likely will complain then.
So that is my gripe about the Park Hyatt Sdyney. They promised me things that they didn’t follow through with, thus raising my expectations that they didn’t meet. Plus if I hadn’t experienced the service at the Park Hyatt Tokyo, I wouldn’t have known what truly world class service could be like.
I still highly recommend the Park Hyatt if you go to Sydney. I’m sure my experience was an anomaly; if I ever go back, I wouldn’t hesitate to stay there again.