Old May 9th, 2005, 11:10 AM
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Sydney Park Hyatt, Four Seasons, or Westin? Or any other suggestions for a luxurious, clean and well serviced hotel for a special trip?
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Old May 9th, 2005, 12:52 PM
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I stayed at the Sydney Four Seasons last year and was well pleased. Excellent accomodations, terrific staff, very helpful concierge, etc. We had a great view of the harbour, bridge and Opera House from our room, at night the view was spectacular.
Old May 9th, 2005, 01:54 PM
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I stayed at the Park Hyatt in January. It's in a great area not too far from the ferries, shopping and restaurants. And there is nothing quite like waking up with a view of the Opera House- one of the most famous architectural landmarks in the world.

The room was modern yet not cold as modern can sometimes be. The bathroom was marble tiled and a good size with a nice size shower stall and a soaking tub.

A couple of minor annoyances...
1) The drapes work by remote control- out of habit I would constantly walk to the window to adjust them only to realize that the remote was on the other side of the room.
2) The beds have duvets in covers but no top sheet... meaning it's "all or nothing". (That said, I am sure if I had asked they would have made the bed with a top sheet as well.)

We ate at the restaurant one night, which was fine, but we had dessert there almost every night... they have a gingerbread cake to die for. And with coffee they also give you these lovely 'crisps' with macadamia nuts and chunks of chocolate.

The pool is small but functional, as is the exercise room.

The concierge was very helpful with opera tickets and dinner reservations. If you do stay here be sure to ask the concierge for their list of restaurant reviews (which I believe is taken from a book or magazine which produces a list of 'where to dine' every year). It's very helpful, but we only thought to ask on our second last day.

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Old May 9th, 2005, 02:30 PM
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Well --
for a luxurious, clean and well serviced hotel for a special trip
my recommendation would be Quay West where you have a great apartment overlooking the harbor, Opera House AND the Sydney bridge. The views are spectacular and they take such marvelous care of you too!
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Old May 9th, 2005, 03:54 PM
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The Park Hyatt and Four Seasons are both down near the water, at a part of Sydney called "The Rocks"; at the Hyatt, there's virtually nothing between you and the water, and the view from most rooms is breathtaking. The Four Seasons gets you up much higher, however' the Hyatt is only about three storeys high, to fit in with the turn-of-the-century character of the area (it manages to do this only with respect to its height).

The Westin is further uptown in the shopping area; a good choice if your main interests don't lie around the Opera House and the Bridge; the major department stores are only a block away. However, there are literally dozens of hotels around this area, and most of them are cheaper than the Westin.

Of the three you have chosen, the Park Hyatt is at least the unique one. However, I think it is also easily the most expensive.

May I suggest another? The Grace Hotel is in an area between the shops and the Rocks. It looks like a small New York art-deco skyscraper. It has an interesting history: during the war it was commanderred by the military and handed over to General Douglas Macarthur, who used it as his south-pacific base, fortifying it and actually constructing a bomb shelter in the basement. He also had a secret tunnel built under the hotel all the way down to the water's edge at the harbour, apparently just in case of an emergency (this tunnel is now used for telephone cabling). After the war, the owners tried unsuccessfully to get the hotel back (even fighting in court, I think), but times -- and fortunes --were different by then, and the Australian government decided it was just what they needed for a postal storage centre. Following this, it changed hands several times before finally ending up in the possession of an Asian company who, about four years ago, refurbished it in the manner in which it was originally built. This firm put all the prices up, too, but apparently it's still pretty good value, and certainly it is a great-looking hotel, just to stand and gaze up at it! If history is part of what makes a holiday "special" for you, then the Grace has it in spades.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 04:09 AM
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And just to add to the illustrious history of the Grace Building, it was the site of this humble poster's humble first job, as a clerk with the taxation office in 1960 - a base I used to investigate the respective merits of the many pubs in the immediate area, sadly now mostly defunct but fondly (if a little foggily) remembered.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 10:02 AM
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We spent 10 days at the Park Hyatt, and it was delightful. Very convenient, excellent staff, small hotel, and well worth the price. Also, found a Chinese laundry about two blocks away that would do your things the same day.

You have so many choices for eating, some expensive, and other reasonable. I would stay at the Hyatt, but I am partial to the Hyatt hotels.

Have a great time.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 08:32 PM
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Wow. Thank you everyone for all your responses and great feedback. This is so much better than working with a travel agent who usually have their own agendas when it comes to booking hotels.
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Old May 10th, 2005, 09:21 PM
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Don't forget Grace Building was once the glorious home of the now renamed Repatriation Department!
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