Hyatt Regency Sydney - Too Many Service Issues

1   Not Recommended

Regency Suite
March 4, 2018 by
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Regency Suite

Liked:
Location
Service
Food
Amenities
Room

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Room
Regency Suite

I recently stayed at the Hyatt Regency Sydney for 7 nights and used a Globalist Suite Upgrade Award.  Technically the 2017 awards expired at the end of February 2018 and because my check out was on March 2nd, they could have required me to switch to a regular room after 5 nights, but they were kind enough to guarantee me when I booked several months in advance that they would allow us to stay in the suite for the entire 7 nights. 

 

Room

Our suite was in the new tower.  Everything was clean and modern.  We had a nice view of Darling Harbour from our room with floor to ceiling windows.  The room reminded me a bit of Sheraton Zürich because of the pillar in the room, the wood floor with round carpet in the room, and the overall modern design.  While I liked the room, I am not sure that this property is the best place to use a suite upgrade.  The room looks more like a large room rather than a suite.  I guess it’s all relative – some people have complained that regular rooms are tiny at this hotel, so the suite is indeed quite a size upgrade relative to the standard rooms, which I could confirm by looking at the floor plan. 

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Location

The location of the hotel is excellent.  You can just walk out and you are right in Darling Harbour with lots of nice restaurants all around the bay.  That said, it appeared to me that there are lots of other chain hotels within a 10-minute walk.  So Hyatt Regency is in a good location, but I think the same can be said of many other hotels in the area.  We took the taxi from the airport to the hotel which cost about 70 AUD including tip; traffic was quite bad so we thought taking the train would have been faster.  At departure, we wanted to try the train so we walked from the hotel to the City Hall train station which is not that far, but you need to go up a hill so if you have lots of luggage it is not the easiest hike.  The train to the airport is a lot more expensive than the train to other places – looks like they have a separate surcharge specifically for people going to the airport; we paid a bit less than 40 AUD for two, which was cheaper and faster than taxi, but not the most convenient since it’s not door to door. 

 

Dining

The Regency Club lounge has nice views of the Harbour but generally is too small given the number of people who have access.  Happy hour on Friday and Saturday night were the worst.  The lounge was completely packed with people having to sit at the computer tables, in the meeting room at the end of the lounge, and also several couples who did not know each other were sitting together at a large rectangular table near the entrance of the lounge because all other small tables were occupied.  Breakfast was also very crowded on some mornings in the lounge and we ended up going to the restaurant downstairs which was less busy, which is the opposite than most hotels where you go to the lounge to have a quiet time.  At this hotel, you get a quieter environment for breakfast downstairs and more choice of food.  I thought the breakfast was fine – not great, not bad.

 

The food in the lounge during happy hour 6pm-8pm was decent and enough to make it a meal if you do not have a big appetite and the quality was good.  There is a chef station cooking a fresh hot dish every day which was a strong point of the lounge.  The chef cooked for example garlic shrimps, ravioli, gnocchi, of those that I remember.  However they serve you in a tiny round plate for you to take to your table.  When it was shrimps, you only got 3 shrimps.  It would seem they want to discourage people taking large portions by using those tiny plates.  Some people took a larger portion straight from the chef pan to their regular size plate whenever the chef was temporarily away from the station.  For the wine selection they had 2 reds and 2 whites, plus sparkling wine.  One evening, they ran out of Pinot Noir so it was down to only 1 red.  One chap complained to staff about it that evening, then they ran out of the Shiraz, and they had to bring bottles most likely from the restaurant downstairs (higher quality wine) for the last 30 minutes of happy hour.  The next day, they also did not have Pinot Noir at all.  How can you not plan ahead and avoid running out of wine?  That was strange. 

 

There is no afternoon tea in the lounge but there are fruits, nuts, and crackers along with soft drinks available all day.

 

As mentioned we had breakfast in the restaurant almost every day, and each day the conversation about the Globalist free breakfast at reception of the restaurant was different.  One time they said it’s free for Globalists and they made us fill out a form.  The second day they said it’s not free and insisted we had to pay, even though I said the day before it was free after signing the form and that they told us in the lounge that the restaurant was free.  In the end they let us have free breakfast when I said the lounge was full anyway and we were coming to the restaurant because we could not find a table upstairs.  Then another day they said only the cold breakfast was free but after I asked why not the hot buffet, I was told if we are in a Club room then it’s free.  And another morning the lady told us it’s not clear if breakfast should be free because they are changing the rules (?), but they asked us to sign the form and we ended up not paying.  Clearly, the hotel just need to set things straight with their staff.  It’s free or it’s not…

 

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Gym

The gym seems to be too small for a hotel of this size, however given that we went there twice in the afternoon of week days, it was very quiet both times which was nice.  The odd thing is that the gym is cut in two small rooms.  When you come out of the elevators, the gym on the left is the cardio room.  There are only 2 elliptical machines and both of them did not have TV working.  There are 4 treadmills.  One had TV and sound, one had TV without sound, one had no TV at all, and I did not try the 4th.  The equipment is quite recent, so why is the TV not working properly on half of machines?  And why so few machines for a big hotel?  On the right side of the elevator is the weight room.  In that room there are several machines relative to how small the room is, so the room felt a bit cramped.  Fortunately we were almost alone in there so no problem. 

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Service

Service and operational efficiency is what is generally lacking from this hotel.  In addition to the issues with breakfast in the restaurant mentioned above, there were too many minor hiccups for me to consider it was only a fluke.  One time I got a phone call from a guest asking me for a wake up call.  I had no idea what the lady was talking about and she said she had clicked on the concierge button on her phone.  Another day I got a call from a man and when I answered just saying “hello?” he asked me if I was the concierge and I said I was not.  So some hotel phones were programmed such that the speed dial buttons were calling my room?

 

One day we left our room at 1pm to go to the gym.  Before leaving, we called housekeeping to ask for the room to be cleaned because we previously had the do not disturb sign on the door.  We came back around 3pm and the room was clean and we put back the DND sign.  At 4pm two men from staff knocked on our door and asked if all was ok.  I said yes and I looked at the DND sign.  One staff told me they were checking because the DND sign had been there for a long time.  Clearly it was not the case because housekeeping had just gone in our room a couple of hours before.  Two days later, similar issue.  We went out of the hotel at noon, called housekeeping.  Then we came back at 4pm and put the DND sign.  Someone knocked while I was taking my shower and when my wife did not open the door, two men came into the room despite the DND sign.  My wife asked them what they were doing and they said the DND sign had been there for a long time, which again was not the case.  I never had someone from hotel staff walk into the room with DND for my last 100+ stays and it happened twice in the same week at this hotel.  This is not right.  Not only they should communicate with housekeeping, and at the very least, they could have called before walking in.

To cap things off, the hotel did not credit my stay and points to my account so I had to contact my concierge to do so.

Overall

Overall this hotel is not a disaster by any means.  However I unfortunately cannot recommend it.  Many times I can think of one kind of clientele for which a certain imperfect hotel would be suitable.  But here, I am not sure who that would be.  Location is good, but there are many other good hotels in an equally good location.  The price we paid (sub 300 AUD) is good and I realize Sydney is not a cheap city, but I suspect it’s not low enough to think this is a screaming bargain.  The suites are not particularly big.  The lounge is not the best and is too crowded.  There are many service issues.  If there was not much hotel competition in Sydney, perhaps I could tolerate the issues, but I could see from walking distance a Hilton, Westin, Sheraton, Marriott, Sofitel, etc. which are not in a completely different price range so if I have elite status at these other chains, I will most likely try them on my next visit to Sydney rather than return to Hyatt Regency.

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