Tucked beneath the arches of Sydney Harbour Bridge, Park Hyatt Sydney enjoys uninterrupted views of the gleaming white sails of the iconic Sydney Opera House, designed by award-winning architect Jørn Utzon. Whether you’re heading to the hotel for a meal with friends or treating yourself to an aromatherapy treatment at the spa, it’s the kind of place that’s made for luxuriating.
Its amazing location is great for enjoying a panoramic view while sipping on a cocktail, but it’s also a gateway to the dynamic neighbourhood, which houses one of the city’s most celebrated museums, the Museum of Contemporary Art, just a stroll away. Here is DayAway’s guide to making the most of your day at Park Hyatt Sydney.
10:00am: Go for an art and design walk indoors
Step into the hotel’s discreet lobby and you’ll immediately be uplifted by its serene mood, created by decor in soft neutrals, an expanse of cream stone flooring and sandstone walls with fine carvings by Australian artist G.W. Bot (Christine Grishin), the latter referencing the natural stone that abounds around the foreshores of this historic part of the city.
Beyond the lobby, you’ll catch a glimpse of the Living Room, a stylish space lining the curve of the building housing a bronze sculpture by Victorian sculptor Robert Bridgewater depicting rays of light. The chaises and marble-topped tables are arranged in intimate groups, as if in an elegant private residence.
Designed by leading Australian designer Stewart Robertson of Bar Studio, every nook and cranny of the Park Hyatt Sydney evokes not only understated luxury but a strong sense of place. The interior opens up seamlessly through floor-to-ceiling glass windows framing spectacular views of Sydney, a picture-perfect vista that can be taken in from various points of the hotel.
11:30am Step in for a treatment
Continue with the calming experience at The Spa, where you’re sure to be warmly welcomed as I was by Cindy, who offered a selection of five plant oil blends made with organic ingredients by homegrown Australian brand iKou. Park Hyatt Sydney’s spa is a chic hideaway with just five treatment suites, including one for couples.
They have healing hands from around the world—my therapist Kamatcha is from Thailand—and she led the way to a spacious suite with its own mosaic-lined shower. The 60-minute aromatherapy massage is wonderfully revitalising and left me feeling utterly relaxed. Post-treatment, you’ll be offered a delicious herbal tea or mineral water to enjoy at the cocooning relaxation lounge.
1:30pm: Time for Afternoon Tea
The Park Hyatt Signature Afternoon Tea is one for the books, and perfect to enjoy with friends and family whether there’s an occasion or you’re just celebrating being in each other’s company. Once settled into the Living Room, you’ll be offered a flute of Veuve Clicquot Champagne, which you can sip whilst taking in the magnificent view of the harbour across to Kirribilli Point.
Expect a sequence of savoury bites to start: salmon roe and cheese sandwiches, prosciutto grissini, chilled tomato gazpacho, prawns with a caesar dressing. To end the tea on a sweet note, you’ll find melt-in-your-mouth Valrhona chocolate and hazelnut tartlets, lemon myrtle cheesecake with Kataifi pastry served with fresh fruit salad, freshly baked scones with strawberry jam and clotted cream. Of course, everything is served with your choice of signature organic leaf teas or barista-made coffee.
4pm: Stroll along the waterfront
After a decadent tea, some exploration is in order. Peruse some of the city’s historic sandstone buildings, which were once devoted to the storage of wool and grain and nowadays house restaurants, galleries and boutiques. Continue on to the Museum of Contemporary Art, which has a collection of more than 4,000 works by Australian artists encompassing a significant collection of works by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists.
Currently, the 23rd Biennale of Sydney exhibition is on show. Entitled “rīvus”, it has works by 22 artists reflecting our relationship with the natural world. I’m especially moved by large-scale tapestries by American artist Kiki Smith exploring climate change and the impact on particular species. Other works highlight tensions between nature and culture, the themes of fluidity and interdependence, and the relationship all life on earth has to water.
6pm: Light shows, sunsets and cocktails
At this time of the year, the harbour lights up with Sydney’s annual Vivid festival. Take a sunset stroll along the harbourfront to view a dazzling light show of illuminated buildings. A stunning Martumili collective painting – Yarrkalpa – Hunting Ground illuminates the sails of the Opera House.
Curious in collaboration with Martu Artists has created the 3D mapped projections that depict the Indigenous artists’ community and country creating reflections on the water. Ferries and other vessels are also lit to tie-in, adding drama to the painting and this unforgettable light show taking place on the edge of one of the most spectacular harbours in the world. Continue with the enjoyment with a cocktail The Bar, which doesn’t take reservations, or The Rooftop Pool or Terrace, ideal if there’s magnificent weather, which being in Sydney, is almost guaranteed.
See also: A Perfect Day In: The Best Hotels in Australia For A Daytime Escape