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Hyatt Regency Sydney
Harbour View King Room
- Fresh decor and fantastic harbour vista
- Prompt, friendly service
- Dining table doubles as work desk
- Limited power outlets near desk
- Incredible views from Zephyr rooftop bar
Eight hundred and seventy eight. That’s how many rooms and suites you’ll find within the Hyatt Regency Sydney – a sprawling, inner-city address which also holds the lofty title of ‘Australia’s largest hotel’. Yet to focus solely on that number does it a disservice.
While it’s true the five star hotel can host a convention (or two) and still have rooms to spare, it’s not just the scale that makes it worth visiting. It’s the amenities too, of which there are many.
From a sleek rooftop bar to the newly-unveiled Regency Club, the Hyatt is a hotel brimming with all you need to work, rest and play in style – in one of the finest locations in town.
Location & Impressions
Nestled between the CBD and Darling Harbour at 161 Sussex Street, Hyatt Regency Sydney is moments from the corporate hubbub of the city centre, yet it makes an ideal holiday base too.
SeaLife Aquarium is directly behind the hotel, while the bars and eateries of Cockle Bay Wharf and Barangaroo stretch out in either direction. Local stalwarts including the Sydney ICC and Australian Maritime Museum are an easy 5-10 minutes stroll.
Town Hall and Wynyard Stations are some 5-10 minutes walk from the front door. If you’re arriving from the airport with multiple bags, you may be better off flagging down a taxi or Uber, as the varied pavement heights and hills can be somewhat tricky to navigate.
Stepping into the lobby from the hotel’s semi-circular drive on Sussex Street, the hum of the city traffic is replaced by an air of relaxation and calm. Twinkling piano music in the background adds to the spa-like ambience.
A warm, neutral palette flows throughout. Browns and creams abound from the floor to the walls and the desks, though there are welcome pops of mustard in the nearby lobby lounge, which has a somewhat maritime feel thanks to the black netting enveloping it.
Given my evening arrival time, check-in is quick and efficient with zero waiting around.
The nautical theme continues on opening the door to my King Harbour View Room, not only from the porthole-like mirror above the bed but the navy and white walls and carpet too.
Crisp, horizontal detailing surrounds the window overlooking the harbour, leading up and across the roof back towards the bathroom. It’s a simple, attractive design feature making an otherwise fairly standard room a little more exciting.
A comfortable chaise lounge perched in front of the window provides as good an excuse as any to lean back and to soak up the view, which leads along the harbour and across to Pyrmont.
Blind controls, master light switches and power outlets (AC and USB) are built into the curved vinyl, timber and rattan bedhead, meaning there’s no need to venture beyond the warm embrace of the blankets to switch off the lights.
Directly opposite the bed is a Chromecast-enabled Smart TV, which doubles as your room compendium. Info on the hotel’s dining, in-room spa treatments and guest services are available in just a few simple clicks.
The bathroom houses a walk-in shower with pump-action toiletries fixed to the wall – a great addition reducing single-use plastics – together with a vanity and length mirror. Additional toiletries are listed on a card and available on request.
Rounding out the key features of the room is a timber-look wardrobe and minibar, housing a selection of soft drinks, beers and water, along one side of the entranceway.
It’s a nice, well-appointed room with everything needed for a couple of nights.
Despite its reputation as a business hotel, the big downside of the room is surprisingly the work desk. It’s not a desk at all, but rather a square marble-look dining table with a single chair (couples will also need to move the table to the chaise for in-room dining).
While I wouldn’t recommend the dining table for an extended work session, with the seat not the most comfortable, it is adequate for tapping out a few emails. Power outlets are also limited.
On the plus side though, internet speed was good: 19Mbps up and down.
However, if you book a Regency Club room or suite instead, or happen to hold World of Hyatt Globalist and Lifetime Globalist, there’s a far nicer work area available to you, as the hotel has recently pulled back the curtains on its new Regency Club on level 11.
Bathed in natural light and enjoying impressive water views, the intimate club lounge features multiple seating options including a long workbench, high table and comfortable armchairs, with power outlets within reach of most.
That said, those who visited the previous Regency Club may be somewhat disappointed, as the new lounge is much smaller than its predecessor. That original space is actually next door and has since been converted into a function venue known as The Upper Deck.
Among the highlights of Hyatt Regency Sydney is its dining options, running the gamut from the Dundee Arms, one of the city’s oldest surviving pubs, through to glamorous rooftop bar Zephyr, which boasts a harbour view and cocktail menu that doesn’t disappoint.
Sailmaker restaurant acts as the hotel’s primary breakfast venue (open daily for buffet and à la carte dining), while evenings from Thursday to Sunday see it transform into the ‘ocean to plate’ Seafarer Dinner Seafood Experience.
Over at the broad hot buffet are the usual suspects of sausages, bacon and eggs, along with an omelette station where guests fill out their order on a piece of paper.
The cold buffet selection is similarly diverse, featuring a mix of salads, yoghurts and juices. Who knew acai berry smoothies could be so good?
Jackalberry, fronting onto Sussex Street, is the hotel’s all-day dining option. It’s housed within a restored heritage building, accessible from the street or via a convenient bridge near the lobby.
The electric decor is loosely themed on global travels, while the menu follows suit with the likes of pad Thai, rosemary-infused gnocchi, and char-grilled octopus served with a smooth romesco sauce.
For dinner at Jackalberry, I choose the latter, paired with a Peruvian sour cocktail, and followed by pan seared salmon on a bed of furikake rice. Each dish is sensational.
Atmosphere is lacking somewhat – no music playing and just the sound of clinking glasses and cutlery from other tables to break the silience. But, it could be due to my early arrival time. It was a hive of activity during the morning coffee rush.
While primarily a business hotel, Hyatt Regency Sydney works as a great holiday base too, with most key attractions within walking distance or a short ferry ride away. The view over Darling Harbour is stunning too, especially at night.
If there was a dedicated work desk in the room with multiple powerpoints at the ready, or perhaps a specific executive-level room, this would be a definite improvement.
Last refurbished in 2020, rooms are still fresh and modern, while the location is top-notch and variety of dining choices onsite and nearby is just right. I’d stay again.