If you had $250m to spend what would you do?
Well, the Hyatt Hotels had big bold vision to transform a tired Darling Harbour duckling (Four Points Sheraton) into a sleek, sexy glamazon – The Hyatt Regency, and we love it! She’s the biggest hotel in Sydney, but it takes more than just height for a new entrant to stand head and shoulders above the rest.
Enter the foyer and you are greeted with a white glossy expanse, soaring ceilings and feature lights replicating a DNA structure. Club king room, 1297 is perilously close to Zephyr Bar, practically crawling distance. What it lacks in size it makes up for in high tech touches making any technophile happy with Miracast mirroring 42inch TV screen and a playpen of ports and switches. There’s no grovelling around on the floor here. Why would you? With a lazy chair perfect for chilling, attractive metallic walls, oatmeal and dark wood tones, a plush kingsize bed and oh yes, Darling Harbour at your feet.
We like being ‘in the club’ especially when our room status unlocks entry into one of the best club lounges we have seen so far in Sydney. Whilst all day snacks and soft drinks rule during the day, 6-8pm has just become our favourite time of day in space which sweeps the western end of the hotel. Resembling a luxury cruise ship with is soft curves it has a captains view of the harbour. A long bar is set up with a range of wines and drinks, and ‘cracker’ selection in more ways than one which ranges from black squid ink, beetroot and rosemary. Chase it down with a blue cheese, a selection of daily hot wok dishes (crocodile anyone?), fruits, nuts, cured meats, smoked salmon, sushi and you’ll find it rather had to summon motivation for dinner.
The new Sailmaker restaurant on the ground floor might give you an incentive; follow the glow from church candles suspended on wooden planks which frame the entrance and double down into intimate leather booths. For a rather glamourous hotel, the menu is surprisingly simple, relying on sourcing local and sustainable food. Who would have thought that the delightful chewy sourdough comes from Pioik, a small Pyrmont bakery run by Shady and Rose Wasef just round the corner?
Gone is the monstrous buffet, instead a thoughtful collection of small tables, including seafood shucked and plated to order sourced from Nicholas Seafood at the Fish Markets. A starter of seasoned heirloom tomatoes and Vanella burrata is like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astair – simply made for each other. Grills of Kingsmore Meats Black Angus Flat iron and ocean trout arrive with a range of condiments from Béarnaise to red wine Jus. If Asian is more your thing, the Malaysian laksa is a treat of prawns, laksa mint, egg, chunks of tofu and sambal on the side. Add a glass of Yearing station Pinot Noir and there are not many hotel dining spots getting it this right, at this price.
But let’s get serious, one of the best things about the hotel is the sky bar, Zephyr. It’s got wow and show power. There is something to be said about being on top of the world in one of the greatest cities on earth. Twelve floors below the Saturday night throng is buzzing. Up here in the clouds, beautiful crowds are lounging on curved cream sofas, couples are sitting up at the glass balcony and there’s plenty of action at the semi circular illumined bar as aproned mixologists crack out espresso martinis from syphon’s as clouds of steam from dry ice float up into the sky.
The Grand Hyatt may well be the biggest hotel in Sydney with close to a thousand rooms, but it adds something far more than size, it’s a beautiful hotel, stunning from top to toe. It’s a long needed addition to our city and one that restores your faith that darling harbour, normally lacking in the level of sophistication reserved for Circular Quay, now has a much needed sophisticated roost in more ways than one.
Hyatt Regency Sydney
161 Sussex Street
Tel: (02) 8099 1234