Grand Hyatt Melbourne – Review

Grand Hyatt Melbourne – Review

the Grand Hyatt Melbourne is a 5 stars hotel located in the heart of Melbourne’s business and shopping district.  It is a large building offering 547 guest rooms including studio, executive, deluxe rooms and suites. It also has an executive lounge called the Grand Club and offering complimentary evening cocktails and breakfast. The hotel is renowned in Australia for its unparalled service and facilities.

Location

The hotel is located at the intersection of Collins Street and Russell Street. Many high end boutiques can be found in the area and even a few within the hotel premises; watches, bags, luxury clothing, etc.

This Hyatt has the advantage of being very close to Flinders Street Station and in the middle of the CBD. Many tram lines can be found around the hotel and are actually free to use, provided you remain in the CBD area. Also, you will find many good restaurants and cafes around. While it is buzzing throughout the day, the neighbourhood is not dead at nights and a few restaurants have patrons queueing outside.

As for shopping, department stores are not far away. Go up Russell Street to Little Collins Street or Bourke Street where you will find many large stores and international brands. While you can certainly take a tram, it is not too far away by foot.

First Impression

As it is often the case for Grand Hyatt, the hotel looks impressive with its grand entrance and large lobby. It is however definitely more modern than most Grand Hyatt in Asia such as Taipei or Dubai. It is slick and refined. The reception is in front of the main restaurant and there is enough staff for a quick and efficient checkin. The first impression is very good. Our receptionist was well trained and certainly able to assist with unusual requests in a very polite and respectful way. At time of checkin, we asked for an executive lounge upgrade which was priced at AUD 100 per night (for 2 people).

Rooms

During that stay, we had a Grand Club room which was located on 31st Floor, the same floor as the Grand Club lounge. Club rooms are similar to standard rooms but offer a few additional perks such as city view, Nespresso Coffee machine and an iPod docking station. The room could have been bigger but still of a reasonable size for Melbourne. It includes a lounge area with a sofa and round table. It is contemporary but still classic with warm and neutral colors and dark wood used throughout.

The lounge area is very good and comfortable allowing 2 people to do some work or just rest, watch TV etc. The bathroom is large and luxurious with Italian black and white marble. It includes a bathtub and walk-in shower. Water pressure is great and amenities are plenty, under the June Jacobs brand.

The bed itself was very comfortable, medium firm and a pillow menu was available with all sorts of materials and firmness. Lastly, we would mention the aircon unit which was a bit noisy and probably a bit difficult to set up but yet was not a problem for a good night sleep!

Facilities

The hotel includes a few shops but may not be very useful unless you are looking for a special present; BVLGARI, Armani and a flowers shop. The hotel has otherwise all the necessary facilities with a large gym, a swimming pool, steam room and sauna, tennis court and a 24 hours parking.

The gym is open 24/7 and is truly impressive with a large number of machines for cardio and weight training. In includes a free weight and stretching section. Behind it, the changing room is connected with the indoor swimming pool which is rather small and is probably more useful for aqua gym sessions than actual swimming! Note that it also closes at 8pm which is quite early for a hotel pool.

Business services like photocopying, fax, phone calls are also offered through the Front Desk or in the executive lounge. Finally, the hotel has a private transportation service available from sedan to limousines. However, that is probably not necessary given its location within the city. As for the airport, the Skybus service proposes a shuttle to Southern Cross Station where a direct bus to Tullamarine Airport departs every 10 minutes or so.

Restaurants

The Grand Hyatt has a main restaurant, Collins Kitchen, which offers breakfast, lunch, high tea and dinner. There are also 2 bars and a lobby lounge at disposal. during this stay, we only used the Grand Club Lounge on the 31st Floor.

The Grand Club stretches along the west facade and offers very nice views over the city of Melbourne. It proposes complimentary continental breakfast, all day refreshments and evening drinks with canapés.

The first question that would come to mind is: is it worth it? Well, at AUD 50 per day and per person, it is debatable. Melbourne is a thriving city with a huge and sophisticated food scene, it is also easily accessible with its very good tram network. Across the city, you will find small independent cafes, ethnic restaurants, cheap eateries, fine cuisine, etc. The problem with executive lounges is that you will want to maximise value and end up spending too much time in there, missing out on what the city has to offer. What seems like a good idea in Jakarta or Dubai, may not be a good choice in Melbourne.

The continental breakfast was of good quality with a variety of breads and pastries, yogurts, cheeses and a few hot dishes such as sausages and scrambled eggs. A separate station had a selection of fruits and cereals. While being good, it wasn’t exceptional and had nothing fancy. The evening cocktails were in the same style; a few salads, the same cheese and a couple of hot items. Special mention however to the deserts selection!

If you are looking for a restaurant in the neighbourhood, we would warmly recommend Chin Chin at 125 Flinders Lane. This Thai restaurant is one of the best in the city and can have long queues at night. Tip: go for a late lunch to avoid any waiting time. After that, we recommend Market Lane Coffee at 8 Collins Street, for good Australian coffee.

Connectivity

Complimentary Wi-Fi is available throughout the hotel. It was however painfully slow. It is known that Hyatt reserves premium internet access to clients with status. One needs to stay at least 10 nights per year in one of the Hyatt Hotels to get such benefit. For the rest of us, Hyatt only creates frustrations by making it so slow that loading any internet page can take ages. Perhaps the only thing you can do easily is a WhatsApp chat. Things are however much better in the Executive lounge which offers premium access by default and free of charge.

In the room, cable TV and movies on demand are available as well as cable internet. One plus was the power outlet console next to the sofa; very convenient to anyone working on a laptop. Generally speaking, Hyatt always has things well thought of in terms of connectivity but internet speed seems like an unnecessary limitation.

Verdict

At the time of booking, an autumn special offer was available for AUD 200 per night (without the lounge upgrade mentioned above). This was certainly worth it. The Grand Hyatt is in excellent condition with a refined atmosphere and all the necessary facilities. Special mention to the gym which is very big and will satisfy any Gym goer. The service was excellent, fast and efficient. While it could have been more personalised at the lounge, it was certainly professional. Rooms are modern, comfortable and would allow any business traveller to get some work done for several hours. We must stress however that the standard price of a room can get up to AUD 500-600 per night. At this price, Melbourne definitely offers more affordable options close by.

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