Hy­att Re­gency Syd­ney; Har­bour Grand Hong Kong; La­guna Gar­den Ho­tel, Ok­i­nawa; Dou­ble­tree by Hil­ton Naha Shuri Cas­tle

Business Traveller (Asia-Pacific) - - CONTENTS - Tam­sin Cocks

BACK­GROUND

Fol­low­ing a mul­ti­mil­lion­dol­lar re­fur­bish­ment of the former Four Points by Sher­a­ton, Hy­att Re­gency Syd­ney opened at the end of 2016, com­plete with an ad­di­tional 24-storey tower.

WHERE IS IT?

In an en­vi­able po­si­tion in the city’s CBD, about 20 min­utes from Syd­ney Air­port, with a stunning back­drop of Dar­ling Har­bour. The ho­tel of­fers di­rect ac­cess to The Prom­e­nade, which is lined with bars and restau­rants stretch­ing into the fash­ion­able Baranga­roo district.

WHAT’ S IT LIKE?

The pol­ished-mar­ble lobby is grand and so­phis­ti­cated, with sev­eral re­cep­tion desk is­lands and com­fort­able mod­ern seat­ing ar­eas. With 892 rooms (mak­ing it the largest ho­tel in Aus­tralia), the lobby is con­stantly bustling, but check-in was a speedy af­fair (though I did have to queue on a Satur­day evening af­ter my room key card ran­domly de­ac­ti­vated). Staff were help­ful, po­lite and friendly.

ROOMS

At 28 sqm my Club Har­bour View King room felt small, though this seems to be the city stan­dard. The dé­cor was smart and neu­tral, with a dark-grey, di­a­mond­pat­terned car­pet and beige head­board and cur­tains. The stand­out fea­ture is the view: floor-to-ceil­ing win­dows of­fer a fab­u­lous panorama across Dar­ling Har­bour.

The room of­fers all the es­sen­tials: an iron/iron­ing board; tea- and cof­fee-mak­ing fa­cil­i­ties (with fresh milk in the fridge); a well-stocked mini­bar with lo­cal beer priced at A$10 (US$8); a small­ish, oval mar­ble-topped ta­ble; and com­pli­men­tary wifi, which worked well in the room but tended to die in the lobby area. A smart TV with Mira­cast al­lows wire­less mir­ror­ing of con­tent from your de­vices (movies avail­able at an ad­di­tional fee). Thought­ful touches in­cluded a com­pli­men­tary fruit bowl and daily re­plen­ish­ment of cake.

The bed it­self was large and com­fort­able – com­bined with great black­out cur­tains and quiet, am­bi­ent air-con­di­tion­ing, I had a great rest. Both sides of the bed had two plug sock­ets, but un­for­tu­nately they weren’t uni­ver­sal. There was no master light switch ei­ther, but the light­ing sys­tem was in­tu­itive.

The bath­room was clean and func­tional, with Phar­ma­copia prod­ucts, free hy­giene ameni­ties and a high-qual­ity hairdryer.

One evening, I phoned re­cep­tion for a Sam­sung phone charger but was told there were none left. It was quite late, and it’s a large ho­tel, but this is the kind of ba­sic amenity I would ex­pect in a pre­mium busi­ness ho­tel. A knock from room ser­vice at 8.45am one morn­ing also seemed a lit­tle un­rea­son­able, as many peo­ple are likely to be get­ting ready for the day at that time.

FOOD

The main restau­rant out­let is the all-day din­ing, 272-seat Sail­maker, lo­cated be­yond the lobby. It gets very busy at break­fast and you are likely to have to queue – those with Club ac­cess should avoid. Dur­ing lunch, Sail­maker of­fers a health-fo­cused buf­fet con­cept (great for a light busi­ness lunch). At week­ends the evening “seafood ta­ble” shines, and af­ter din­ner head­ing up to rooftop bar Ze­phyr is an ab­so­lute must.

MEET­INGS

One of the stand­outs of this prop­erty is its 3,700 sqm of state-of-the-art venue space. The two ball­rooms fea­ture sail-like ceil­ings with cus­tomis­able light­ing and Dar­ling Har­bour views. The venue also of­fers a car and goods lift, sep­a­rate coach check-in fa­cil­ity for ex­pe­dited reg­is­tra­tion of large groups, and 21 meet­ing rooms.

The Re­gency Club lounge has a strik­ing nau­ti­cal de­sign aes­thetic. The lovely, bright space of­fers plenty of com­fort­able and more for­mal seat­ing ar­range­ments, a good con­ti­nen­tal break­fast buf­fet spread (com­plete with live egg sta­tion), evening canapés and cock­tails, and an el­e­gant con­fer­ence room.

LEISURE

There’s a 24-hour fitness cen­tre with car­dio and strength train­ing on the 11th floor. Re­cently, the ho­tel en­tered into a part­ner­ship with Canon to host a ro­tat­ing gallery in the ho­tel’s Her­itage Bar, built in 1887. An­other piece of his­tory con­nected to the ho­tel is the his­toric Dundee Arms pub.

VER­DICT

Laid-back, Aussie-style five-star, with an un­pre­ten­tious fo­cus on prac­ti­cal­ity over chan­de­liers. Fan­tas­tic lo­ca­tion, good fa­cil­i­ties and a com­fort­able stay.

One of this prop­erty’s stand­outs is its 3,700 sqm of sta­teof-the-art venue space

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