Nicholas Jones checks in at the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park.


As the name suggests, rooms look down over historic Hyde Park which is just up the hill from the harbour. St James station is minutes away and on the route from the airport.

Check-in experience: Four people on separate desks meant there was no wait and it took only minutes.


What's in the neighbourhood: Across the road is the greenery of Hyde Park and towers of St Mary's Cathedral, and a bit further is the Art Gallery of NSW and magnificent Botanic Gardens. Makes for what must be one of the world's great city runs, following a path along the water and arriving at the Sydney Opera House and Circular Quay. A huge number of shops just metres away, including the big chains like David Jones.

My room: 624 looking down across the park. Measuring 70 sq m, the suite is only a little smaller than my house.

The biggest corner couch I've ever seen is in the living room, plus an executive desk and flat-screen TV. In the bedroom there's another couch and flatscreen for good measure, and more windows with views to the park and cathedral. A corridor/baggage area with walk-in wardrobe leads to the bathroom. Lamps everywhere but helpfully switches are labelled — "master", "dimmer" — so I don't have to call reception to achieve darkness. All the latest gadgets like a coffee machine, and complimentary shoe shining and garment pressing. Green and grey hues with artwork on the walls and fancy light-shades that resemble the alien craft in Arrival.

Everything feels expensive and new — the result of a $52m hotel refurbishment.

The bed: A Sealy Sweet Sleeper that feels like it could comfortably sleep five.

Bathroom: The size of most second bedrooms, all glistening marble and with a bath and (surprise) very large shower with great pressure. I count eight towels/hand towels. Silent ventilation and ridiculous size means it doesn't fog up after a shower.

Toiletries: Le Grand Bain-brand body wash, facial bar, lotion and conditioner. Extras including mouthwash, tooth brushes and paste, shower cap, shaving kit and ear buds mean forgetful travellers won't need to dash to the 7-Eleven.

Free Wi-Fi? Yes and it doesn't even require a password.


Exercise: There's a big gym and spa, or join a boot camp in Hyde Park or walk through the Botanic Gardens. The hotel has an indoor rooftop swimming pool, spa pool and sauna, with an outdoor terrace with great views.

Noise: None from neighbours or the traffic outside.

Price: A room like mine costs upwards of about $690.

Food: Breakfast is included at the Club Lounge on level 21. Feels like a posh restaurant with leather chairs and marble-topped tables, with breath-taking views down to the park and harbour beyond. I pile a plate with hash browns and a look-twice amount of salmon and sit with a Sydney Morning Herald and flat white to take in the view. There are six dining options including high tea, a conservatory bar with outdoor terrace, wine room, room service and the seafood buffet at Feast restaurant.

What's so good about this place? The amazing location and a recent refurbishment makes this a great option if you are prepared to pay for five-star. Being right in the city centre makes it ideal for business travellers.

Would I return? Definitely. Your shout?