Review: Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park, a central classic
Nearly 30 years on from its Sydney debut, the Sheraton still ranks among the city’s elite hotels.
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Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park
- Sprawling room with city and park views
- Sheraton Club lounge dining and service
- Limited mini bar options
- No Chromecast streaming
- Guest Experience Ambassadors
- Beautiful views across Hyde Park
Hyde Park is one of Sydney’s greatest assets – a leafy 40-acre oasis of weeping fig-lined paths, fountains and spaces to catch up with friends or enjoy a midday siesta. And one of the best vantages to appreciate its full majesty is the Sheraton Grand Hyde Park.
Previously known as the Sheraton on the Park, the five star hotel is perched directly over the road from the historic parkland, with 558 rooms and suites, a heated indoor pool and lofty executive lounge just a few of the notable features within.
Following a significant refurbishment and rebrand in 2018, it now sits comfortably amid the finest hotels in the city. However, it’s not the name or interiors that leave the biggest impression.
Location & Impressions
As its moniker suggests, the hotel’s 161 Elizabeth Street entrance is nothing short of ‘grand’, with soaring marble columns and flanked by winged sculptures known as the Angels of Hospitality.
In terms of convenience, the Sheraton is well placed for both corporate and leisure stays. It’s around two minutes walk from St James Station, close to retail hubs like Pitt and George Streets, and within easy reach of attractions such as St Mary’s and the Art Gallery of NSW.
Stepping inside, a sweeping curved staircase draws your eye up the three-storey central atrium, from which Feast Restaurant, The Gallery (home of the signature high tea on weekends) and the Conservatory Bar all radiate.
Aside from the odd vintage photo here and there, there’s little reference to Sydney throughout the hotel, with more of an international approach to styling.
Check in is a quick and easy affair, with guests provided an electronic keycard or given the option of a digital room key accessible via the Marriott Bonvoy app. The latter can only be activated at reception.
Self-parking is available at $60 a day, while valet will set you back $75.
Part of the Marriott Bonvoy hotel loyalty program – alongside over 6,700 global properties – guests can enjoy perks such as free room upgrades, welcome gifts and late check out at the higher tiers, along with points which can be redeemed on complimentary nights and more.
Unlocking the door to our spacious Executive Suite on level nine, there’s a glass work desk with leather recliner to the right, a marble-topped minibar cabinet and 55” television to the left, and a grey L-shaped lounge wrapping around the far corner of the room.
Out the window, the twin spires of St Mary’s Cathedral peek out from across the treetops of Hyde Park, the late afternoon sun setting them ablaze against the greying sky beyond.
Passing through a separate doorway is the king size bedroom, replete with a chaise lounge and a secondary television. There’s also an unneeded rollaway bed set up, which is soon removed.
It’s quite a moody colour palette with chocolate walls and curtains, dark timber and grey soft furnishings. White skirting boards and architraves save it from being too weighed down.
Yet another doorway leads to a dressing room, home to a wide luggage stand large enough for two full-size suitcases, four timber drawers below (one of which neatly hides the safe) and a mirrored wardrobe housing an iron and ironing board.
The adjacent bathroom is a knockout with multiple mirrors (making it a challenge to take a photo without appearing in at least one reflection), single vanity, deep bathtub and a separate walk-in shower.
Included toiletries are a mix of Apelles Apothecary and Sheraton’s own Le Grand Bain.
There’s no Chromecast functionality from either television, though you can purchase a day pass for unlimited in-house movies, if you really want to. Complimentary wifi (85.1 Mbps download, 89.3 Mbps download) makes streaming on your own device a more attractive option.
Minibar options are rather limited: three spirits, two beers, two soft drinks, water and a kit kat.
Although only refurbished in 2018, the room doesn’t feel quite as fresh as some of its inner-city rivals, most likely due to the subdued colour palette, but it does tick all the boxes for functionality.
Those needing to do a bit of work will be happy with the desk, lit by a well-placed ceiling light and decorative lamp on the wall immediately to the right. There’s also a desk lamp, though it takes up one of the two available powerpoints and remains unplugged for my stay.
A third power outlet can be found on the wall directly behind the desk, beside the door, for those with a long enough cable.
High-speed wifi is conveniently available throughout the hotel though, so you’re able to continue working no matter where you choose to perch yourself. The lobby has a good mix of lounges and dining tables, providing ample space to meet friends or colleagues.
Access to the Sheraton Club on level 21 – home to an expansive lounge, outdoor terrace and grand archway buffet – is a welcome perk for guests staying in an Executive room.
In addition to buffet breakfast, evening snacks, cocktails and wines are all part of the deal. There’s also access to a private boardroom, with complimentary office supplies included, and a business centre with computers and a printer, if needed.
One of the unexpected yet appreciated aspects of the lounge is the Guest Experience Ambassador. It’s a newly-created role which sees a dedicated staff member chatting with guests, making them feel at home and providing a friendly face while at the hotel.
Elizabeta is the ambassador during my stay. I overhear her chatting with other guests, many of whom have been staying here for several days, and it's like seeing friends catching up, not just someone going through the motions. It really does enhance the customer experience.
Other staff are just as friendly, striking up conversations with whoever catches their eye, while also knowing when guests prefer to be left alone.
As an Executive level guest, the Sheraton Club is my daily haunt.
Buffet breakfast consists of freshly baked pastries, cold meats and cheeses, and sliced fruits, as well as cereal and quintessential hot items such bacon, eggs, grilled tomato and waffles. Yoghurt and bircher muesli are also available.
Evenings are just as abundant, with a selection of fresh fruit, meats and cheeses, salad and bar snack hot items from cauliflower samosas to teriyaki salmon and dumplings. Staff walk around to take your drinks order, whether that’s a glass of wine, juice or a cocktail.
Beyond the Sheraton Club, the hotel offers three distinct dining venues, although I only have the opportunity to visit one of them during my stay: the sensational Conservatory Bar.
The social heart of the hotel, it offers tapas-style snacks and an extensive menu of wines, beers, spirits and cocktails, making it an enjoyable base for a late afternoon drink with colleagues.
A live pianist tickling the ivories in the evenings dials up the ambience.
Rounding out the dining experience is Feast Restaurant, offering a breakfast buffet daily and market-driven seafood buffet four nights a week, and The Gallery on the ground floor, open seven days for breakfast and a limited menu of a la carte lunch items.
High tea is what The Gallery is best known for. The three-tiered Signature High Tea, plated up Friday to Sunday, will set you back $79 including tea, coffee and hot chocolate, or you can up the ante with a 1.5 hour free-flowing sparkling wine add-on for $25 per head.
If three tiers of deliciousness is not enough, a Buffet High Tea option is also available Saturdays and Sundays for $79, including tea and coffee, or with a glass of Penfold sparkling wine for $99.
Bathed in sunlight beneath a vaulted glass ceiling, the hotel’s rooftop lap pool feels like an oasis above the city, with views stretching across Hyde Park and the harbour beyond. A 24-hour fitness centre is also on hand should you feel the need to get your heartrate up.
The gym is equipped with stretching mats and cardio equipment like treadmills, elliptical machines, and stationary bikes, through to standing weights, chest machines, and free weights.
If it’s relaxation you seek, On The Park Rejuvenation Day Spa offers a wide range of treatments including facials, massage, body scrubs and pampering packages.
A worthy hotel option in the heart of Sydney, particularly if you choose an Executive level room with Sheraton Club access. But, even if you don’t, there’s still a lot to love about the Sheraton, from the rooftop pool to the fabulous Conservatory Bar.
Above all though, it’s the personal service that leaves the biggest impression. Having stayed at many comparable Sydney hotels over the years, none have come close to evoking the same feeling of ‘home’ that’s often sorely missed when you’re on the road.
Hi Guest, join in the discussion on Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park, a central classic
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11 Jul 2014
Total posts 870
Always an enjoyable location and stay the downside is kids coming from the pool to the Sheraton Club for food and drink (wet).
Delta Air Lines - SkyMiles
16 Oct 2017
Total posts 153
And staff do nothing to stop that? Enough to put me off.
30 Aug 2019
Total posts 23
Just a question - why do you guys always use the hotels images in your reviews? I get they are high res, but they're also marketing shots, so they're designed to make the hotel look better.
I feel the reviews would be far more beneficial and transparent if you used your own photos.
Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer
12 Feb 2016
Total posts 4
so true and they are always taken with nobody except the models in sight so you get no idea of the actual practicality or function of the areas photographed. Makes it just advertising.
01 Feb 2013
Total posts 24
Its been my Sydney home for 10 years and I stay on average 40 nights per year. The Club lounge is excellent and the long serving staff treat me like family. Makes a huge difference.