Pullman Sydney Hyde Park review
The Pullman Sydney Hyde Park has spectacular views, but does this CBD accommodation offer a comfortable stay?
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For couples, friends or workers looking for a quiet and comfortable stay close to Sydney's CBD, the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park delivers value for its price. And a spectacular view! However, families and those with particular location needs may want to take a closer look.
Pullman Sydney Hyde Park
- Where: 36 College St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010
- When: December 2021
- Room type: Park Suite by Coco Republic
- Guests: 2 adults
- Cost: $260–$420 a night
- Hotel star rating: 5 stars
- Book: Pullman Sydney Hyde Park
My review, in short:
- My star rating: ★★★★
- Cost: At $260 a night for the Classic Room on most days, it's comparable to its peers.
- Location: Central to the city tourist attractions but not to the CBD itself. Far enough away for a good view, close enough to walk.
- Decor: Contemporary finish just about covers over an ageing building.
- Check-in/out process: Easy access, good parking and friendly staff. Quick!
- The room: We stayed in the suite, which was excellent. Spacious, well-provisioned, comfortable, quiet and had a spectacular view.
- Food: The in-room dining was delicious and above expectations.
- Facilities: Great pool, suitable gym and a comfortable bar, but all tight on space. Good business and wedding spaces.
It feels like there's a spectacular view no matter which way you look in the halls and rooms of Pullman Hyde Park in Sydney. Situated on the south-east corner of Hyde Park, it looks back towards the CBD out 1 side and towards Bondi on the other. If you love a view, then I suspect this is a hotel that's popped up on your radar.
The Pullman Hyde Park has had many names over the years, with the building something of an icon for locals. My wife stayed there for a hen's night nearly 20 years ago. But this latest stay was a more romantic occasion. Just the 2 of us; kids off… well I don't care where the kids were, they weren't near me!
How does the old girl hold up? Is the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park one of the best stays in the CBD?
The Pullman Sydney Hyde Park is priced comparatively or even slightly under its peers in the surrounding area. I didn't notice any major difference doing searches between midweek and weekend rates or school holidays. If you see a price fluctuation, I dare say it's because you're booking during a wedding or company offsite that has upped demand.
The Classic Room goes for around the $260 to $280 mark. This price increases in $20 increments as you go up to the Superior Room, Deluxe Room and Executive Room. For families, there are suites that seem to be priced around the $420 mark.
Looking across the landscape of hotels, I would say the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park is accurately priced in comparison to the other options out there.
The Pullman Sydney Hyde Park is intriguingly positioned. It's not in the centre of the CBD, but it's somewhat central to the Sydney city area. About a 20-minute walk to the west you'll find Darling Harbour. A 20-minute walk to the north is where you'll find Circular Quay, with the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge. If you walk 20 minutes to the south, you'll hit Central Station. A 10-minute walk to the east is the iconic King's Cross.
There's no need to walk as public transport is close by. You can easily jump on a bus or train to any of the aforementioned locations. It's also close to the bus routes for Bondi and Fox Studios. There are plenty of restaurants, pubs and clubs on Oxford Street just around the corner too.
Then of course there is Hyde Park, a true wonder of Sydney. It's surrounded by gorgeous old buildings, including the museum and art gallery. It also connects to the Domain which opens up into the Botanical Garden, a stunning place for a walk that leads down to the harbour foreshore.
As mentioned, its location – just back from the CBD – gives you a stunning outlook on the cityscape. You can't see most of the major attractions, but it's still beautiful. In almost every direction, the view is more or less unhindered.
Overall, I'd give the location a big thumbs up, with the proviso that you understand that it's not in the centre of Circular Quay or Darling Harbour. If being in either of those spots is your dream, then the distance is probably too far to fit your needs.
There's not a heck of a lot going on in the foyer of the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park. It's not a big space, but it's nice enough. There is a small bar, a cafe/restaurant and reception. Don't expect a big open area and opulence, but it's inoffensive. There are some nice big chandeliers about and the stairs have an old-school panache about them.
The first 2 floors above are dedicated to work spaces and auditoriums. During weekdays, the hotel obviously caters to businesses, but it's out of the way and you'd likely not even know something was going on if you didn't directly stumble into attendees.
Overall, the hotel goes for deeper, rich colours that are bold and inviting. It's not an ultra-modern approach, a wise move given that it's an older building at the end of the day. However, there is 1 room that is a little special. It's been put together by interior design specialists Coco Republic. It does look modern and chic and was the room I stayed in.
If you look closely in your room, you can see the age of the building making itself known. Peeling paint, marks on the floors and curious little quirks like this can't be covered over completely by the new furniture and dressings. It doesn't bother me, but it's worth noting.
As it's just out of the city centre, access to the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park is easy. While the road can still get busy, it's wide and not packed in like the city streets of the CBD. There's a generous driveway that allows you to pull in from the street to unpack/pack your gear. A parking lot is available underneath, which I used. Even driving a larger SUV, I found the spots relatively easy to get in and out of. Relative to that, city spots are always tight to start with.
It's a short walk from the front door to reception. The staff that greeted us were pleasant and quick about their work. We were up to our room in a jiffy and the key card worked the first time of asking. Check out was equally as quick and painless; really a breeze.
Pullman Sydney Hyde Park room
I'll preface this part of the review by pointing out I stayed in the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park during COVID and just a few days before Christmas. As such, some of my experience wasn't helped by the struggles Sydney businesses were having trying to stay fully staffed at the time. Some of the great features – such as being able to choose from a selection of pillow types and having a kitchenette stocked with cutlery – were on pause.
The 4 big things for me are a quiet room, consistent air conditioning, a spectacular view and comfy bed. The room ticked all 4 boxes with aplomb. While not every room will have the stunning corner vantage overlooking the city as the Park Suite by Coco Republic, many would and it really was lovely just sitting there looking at the peaceful view.
I invite you to watch the video above to get a tour of the room, but you'll note as I did that it's very spacious, has a large bathroom with an excellent bath and is well provisioned without being over-stuffed with furniture.
TV and Wi-Fi
The 2 complaints I do have is that Wi-Fi is not free in the rooms. In this day and age, that's really unacceptable in my opinion. However, in this day and age, you can also compensate with 4G. For some reason when I got to the room, the set-top box was missing too. This was compounded by the fact the TVs were old and I couldn't get apps to cast or play on the TV even after I paid for the Internet.
While this was my experience, I don't think it would be a consistent complaint among guests. The manager came and had a good chat with me and was as surprised as I was that the set-top box was missing. The aforementioned COVID-related staff shortages meant the usual IT staff weren't available to fix it. She also mentioned that they were in the process of upgrading the TVs to modern models with native apps, which could be the key fix in all this.
The Pullman Sydney Hyde Park doesn't have a large, bustling restaurant experience. There is a lovely space with an outlook onto the park that serves a buffet breakfast in the mornings. It's called Windows on the Park and isn't open during the rest of the day. The breaky was tasty but focused on the bare basics. No omelette chef, Asian foods, fancy yoghurts or the like, just the nuts and bolts of a buffet.
Drinks and lunches can be bought at the small but comfortable Bar Thirty6 in the main foyer too. As can dinner between 4:30pm and 9pm.
You always have in-room dining. We ordered quite a bit of food while in our room and it was excellent. The serving sizes aren't massive, but the quality of the food was impressive. Perfectly cooked and very tasty.
Perhaps it was just because we were in the Park Suite by Coco Republic, but there was a little fruit platter in our room when we arrived, which was also delicious.
I've already mentioned the extensive meeting and board rooms, which are well provisioned with screens, office chairs and so on. There are some larger auditorium spaces here too. The site encourages the use of the venue for weddings. With the picturesque park just outside the doors, it wouldn't be a bad spot for such a thing, either.
You've also got your buffet breakfast restaurant and bar. In the main foyer, you can access Wi-Fi for free for a limited time, even if you can't up in your rooms.
But the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park isn't particularly rich in facilities. The highlight is definitely the rooftop pool and gym. There's a spa up there, but it wasn't in operation when I was there due to COVID.
While there's no doubting the view from this area is fantastic, it's a little tight on space. Check out the video above to get an idea, but it doesn't take much for both the gym and the pool to feel overcrowded. Especially the latter, where there is only space for a handful of sunlounges.
On a hot summer's day, with a few families staying in the rooms below, I think this space simply wouldn't cope with the numbers. When I was there, just 1 family was in the pool and that took up the majority of sunlounges and water surface area.
There's no real fix for this; they only have the space they have, right? My take is that it's great to have the pool and gym as both are nicely done. But don't imagine yourself spending hours in either relaxing.
Verdict on Pullman Sydney Hyde Park
I enjoyed my night in the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park. While I can imagine that the location may not be ideal for everyone, I appreciated being able to sit back and view the park and the cityscape from nearly every window in the building. The bed and room were very comfortable and quiet, and the in-room dining was delicious.
Like many city hotels, the fitness facilities suffer from available space, but if you can score the pool or spa to yourself, it remains a wonderful space. And while the underlying age of the building pokes its ugly head through in places, it can't stop the rooms themselves from feeling contemporary. I do hope they upgrade some of the TVs in the near future though.
I'd be happy to stay at the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park again. I'm not sure I'd take my kids there due to the pool size and walks to kid-friendly spots such as Circular Quay and Darling Harbour. But with my wife or on business, that's not so much of an issue.
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