IN terms of father-daughter experiences this one will go down in history as one of the best.
My middle daughter Georgia is 17. Like most girls that age her life is dominated by glamour, boys, music, shopping and impressing friends.
I checked in to the Sheraton On the Park around noon before heading off to an afternoon meeting minutes away in Sydney’s CBD. Georgia was joining me later in the afternoon so I had left a key downstairs for her at the concierge desk.
As I’d already seen the room I knew what she was walking into. Remembering that 17-yearold’s communicate via text, her reaction said it all. ‘‘ Wow. This is g8t. Awesome. I’m off to David Jones. C U l8r.’’
As any father knows this means your teenage daughter is impressed. So impressed that she quickly gathered a few friends to show off her upmarket accommodation.
The hotel’s entrance is on Elizabeth St directly opposite Hyde Park. It is a $ 35 cab ride from the airport and about a three-minute walk to George St.
What we like
The Executive Club on level 21 is the best I have seen. Designed by Joseph Pang the lounge has views over Middle Harbour and St Mary’s Cathedral. It has everything you would expect from an executive lounge – wireless internet, data ports and a private boardroom. The menu – drinks and food – is fantastic for either breakfast or pre-dinner.
What we don’t
It is really difficult to find anything of which to be critical. The only thing worth mentioning is that the set-up in the spa seems a bit odd. You check in at reception in the fitness centre, then you are led to another area where the change room is, and then you are marched up to the pool before eventually going to your treatment room. Not very private, but a very good massage.
With 557 rooms and suites, this is a big inner-city hotel styled in a very classical fashion. On this occasion I find myself in the Hyde Park Suite. It is huge with separate dining, lounge, office and bedroom areas. It has every modern convenience you could imagine. Two widescreen televisions, electronic devices that soften, or boost, the lights, curtains that open and shut with the touch of a button. There is really no need to pack toiletries as everything is provided. Well, perhaps pack your own shaver, the one provided was a tad blunt.
The other guests
You see a lot of suits – and not many people in thongs – here. It is fair to say that midweek the Sheraton On the Park is a retreat for travelling businessmen and guests celebrating something significant in their lives.
The food and drink
We dined at the Botanica Brasserie on level 1. It is a well-stocked smorgasbord with a strong seafood flavour. It was busy, without being overcrowded. And the food was constantly being replaced, updated, so everything was as fresh as it possibly could be. You learn a lot about people watching them devour a seafood smorgasbord. The food was served in three distinct areas – seafood, Asian and more traditional dishes. Botanica Brasserie won the 2008 AHA award for Best Brasserie/ Cafe of the Year.
The mini-bar test
Coke $ 6, Kettle chips $ 6, Crown Lager $ 9.
The bottom line
Hyde Park Suite: Suite for a Room Rate $ 1699 a room a night. King Guest Room with Park Views: Best available rate $ 320 a room a night. Executive King Guest Room with Park Views: Best available rate $ 395 a room a night inclusive of Executive Lounge access for one, or $ 445 a room a night inclusive of Executive Lounge access for two. If you are not staying in an executive suite upgrade to the Executive Club Lounge is $ 75 a person.
WELL APPOINTED: Hyde Park Suite at Sheraton on the Park, Sydney.