Sydney and Australia is high on many luxury travelers' wish lists. It doesn't hurt that its southern hemisphere summer coincides with the darkest, coldest months in the northern U.S., or that its people tend to be so friendly and well-traveled themselves. And whether your greatest interest is the beach, surfing, people watching, performing arts, eating great food or all of the above, Sydney has plenty to see and do. We also love that there are some lovely luxury options, many with incredible views of the iconic Sydney Opera House and Sydney Harbor (or Harbour, as Australians would spell it). The only question is…when are you going?
Coming off of its recent renovation, the Park Hyatt Sydney is getting rave reviews for its spacious, modern rooms with floor to ceiling windows, balconies, and magnificent views of the opera house and harbor. Even entry level City Harbour King Rooms offer 430-480 sq ft of space, an open plan that allows you to keep the bathroom private or make it part of the open plan, and luxuries such as butler service and an in-room Nespresso machine. We especially love the rooftop pool and jacuzzi, with their likewise stunning views of the harbor, although who needs the (very well equipped) fitness center given all the exercise you'll probably be getting outdoors in and around Sydney? The location is perfect, close to all the restaurants and nightlife, but our one complaint would be that rooms aren't fully soundproofed–you may find both outside noise and hallway noise troublesome if you're a light sleeper.
Become a TravelSort Client to book the Park Hyatt Sydney with these Virtuoso benefits:
- Upgrade on arrival, subject to availability
- Daily full breakfast, for up to two in room guests
- $100 USD Spa Services credit, to be utilized during stay
- Early check-in/late check-out subject to availability
- Daily full American breakfast for two people per bedroom, served through In-Room Dining or in the hotel restaurant (including buffets)
- Food and beverage credit of USD100
- Upgrade of one category, based on availability at time of check-in (excluding signature suites and villas)
- Complimentary high-speed Internet access for all suite bookings
Quay Grand Suites Sydney
Talk about spacious–it doesn't get more roomy for entry-level rooms than the One Bedroom Suites at the Quay Grand Suites Sydney, at over 800 square feet. It's also super central, located across from the Botanical Gardens and just a five minute walk from the Opera House. Families or anyone staying for awhile in Sydney will appreciate the fully equipped gourmet kitchen, including a Nespresso machine and dishwasher as well as stove, fridge and oven, and a washer and dryer. We also love the jacuzzi bath in the bathroom and the private balcony, especially if you spring for a Harbour View Suite, which we recommend. Note that on weekends it can be a tad noisy, since there can be crowds on Circular Quay, but you won't regret the mesmerizing views. Garden View Suites on top floors have a good view of the treetops of the Botanical Garden, but be aware that a busy road separates you from the Botanical Garden. We're also not keen on the pricey and sometimes weak Internet access, though you will end up paying for Internet at pretty much all the true luxury hotels (unless you have elite status at chain hotels such as the Park Hyatt, or spring for Executive Lounge access at the Four Seasons). The fitness room is on the small side, but there's a heated indoor pool, jacuzzi and sundeck with harbor view that we definitely recommend. Don't bother with room service, which is overpriced, and head out instead to one of Sydney's excellent dining options, or open a bottle of wine and enjoy it while watching the sunset from your balcony.
Getting to Sydney with Miles and Points:
One of the best products is Qantas First Class on its Airbus 380 from Los Angeles to Melbourne; this is extremely difficult to get, however, so make sure you try for it 11 months out and stay up late, calling American every hour or so to book it. First Class roundtrip is 145,000 American AAdvantage Miles; you can earn 100,000 AA miles by applying simultaneously for the Citi AA Visa and AMEX, and another 50,000 AA miles by later applying for the Citi AA Business card. See Best Travel Credit Cards. You could also earn AAdvantage miles for as little as half a cent per mile with BankDirect.
Qantas has recently partnered with Emirates, so another route will be via Dubai. As of 10/1/12 with Japan Airlines' revamped award chart, roundtrip in Emirates First Class NYC – Dubai will be 135,000 Mileage Bank miles = 110,000 Starwood points (see Best SPG Airline Transfer Partners), and the Alaska Airlines award chart for Emirates redemptions should be released soon.
If you have lots of Delta miles, V Australia flies nonstop out of Los Angeles to Sydney, although award space tends to be better on the LA to Brisbane route. Delta imposes fuel surcharges for V Australia award redemptions, so expect to pay $500-600 for a roundtrip award ticket.
You have several options with Star Alliance. Thai Airways flies from Los Angeles to Bangkok and then from Bangkok to Sydney.
Asiana flies from Seoul to Sydney on a two class 777, and has excellent business class award space on it. You could have a stopover in one direction to break up the journey a bit. For the outbound trip from Los Angeles to Sydney the schedule works out great as there’s only a two-hour connection in Seoul, while on the return an overnight is required.
Business Class Roundtrip for either of the above options is 120,000 United miles.
You could also get to Singapore in business using United miles or first class if you transfer AMEX Membership Rewards points to KrisFlyer, then take Singapore Airlines to Sydney.
There are a few other options; see Tips for Booking Award Tickets to Australia and New Zealand.
Need Award Booking Help? Our fee is as low as $75 per ticket if you book your hotel through us.
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