Stayed in the Grand Hyatt this trip to Melbourne, just for something different. Nice hotel – although a distinct lack of views from my room (I didn’t even bother taking photos). The Sheraton Towers is much nicer in that regard – especially with city views looking over the Yarra to the Flinder St station. I think the views on the other side of the Hyatt would have been nicer.
Nice, minimalist rooms, quite comfortable – good pillows (very important !). Actually, given that I have been suffering from a slight head cold all week and feeling generally fairly miserable, I did actually sleep really well and suffered almost no headaches/neckaches from the pillows as usually happens when sleeping in a strange bed with pillows that don’t really work. The more I think about it, the more I like the Grand Hyatt.
Breakfast (always important) was nice. Can always judge a hotel by the quality of their orange juice. Fresh squeezed wins out every time, followed closely by 100% juice that doesn’t taste more like lemons than oranges. Hotels that serve preserved orange juice which tastes like domestos are just evil. The Hyatt put on a good spread with a really nice orange juice – and (unlike the Sheraton who makes a random selection of cereal daily) they had Weet-bix out every day – which is ultra important. The scrambled eggs and bacon on toasted Helga’s bread, which I had on the first morning, was good too.
Overall, I think I would have to put it up there as good or even slightly better than the benchmark Sheraton Towers breakfast – except the Sheraton also gets bonus points for the great view from the restaurant.
Laptop friendly too – decent desk (not brilliant though), actually got a 50kbps connection on dialup which is unusually high in a hotel – I can only ever get up to 28.8kbps at the Sheraton Towers. What’s more the Hyatt also offers iTouch broadband internet access in the rooms – which the Sheraton lacks ! Given how much I miss my ADSL when I travel, this was a major bonus.
Location is good – one block east of Swanston Street and so quite close to the restaurant district around Chinatown – Cinemas and shops a short stroll away too. The only thing the Sheraton really beats the Hyatt on here is it’s proximity (spitting distance !!) to the IBM building. Of course there are some pretty swank restaurants around the Sheraton, and you are a pleasant walk away from the Crown complex as well, so they are both pretty even on this count.
I must say, it was a rather pleasant stay overall. I think I will have to stay there again – I’ve got 15 stays in the Sheraton since I joined their Starwood loyalty program, so I think it might be time to stay somewhere else a bit more too.
Time for a rating:
Room: 7/10 – functional, clean, minimalist, generally nice. Room a decent size with a desk and lounge chair with ottoman (quite comfortable). Bathroom a decent size. Views of nothing on my side, but I think the views on the other side would be quite nice.
Bed: 9/10 – considering I have difficulty with beds, and especially pillows… and I was a bit crook with a head cold – I slept really really well. I’m actually looking forward to going back there.
TV: 8/10 – decent TV, not easily viewed from the desk, but okay from the lounge or the bed. Good cable selection, but no Discovery Channel (no Junkyard Wars *sob*)
Connectivity: 8/10 – two phones, one on desk and one by bed, both with data ports, Dialup speed 50kbps+ (unusually high for a hotel !). Intertouch broadband (*yay*) – max $29 a day. Was so nice to be productive from a hotel room with a usable internet connection. I think hotels who don’t have broadband access in their rooms will start to have trouble attracting business travellers.
Breakfast: 8/10 – breakfast was nice with a good selection. Can’t complain at all – although missing that something special I think.
Room Service: not rated.
Location: 9/10 – plenty of shopping, restaurants, 711s and entertainment around.
Total: 49/60 = 82%