What's it like? This five-star hotel was opened in 1986 and certain areas have undergone renovation since 2009 in various phases. The renovation of all the rooms will be completed around September this year and the
spa will get its facelift next year. The new designs of the public area, restaurants, The Residence and suites offer the Hyatt “feel” – contemporary yet comfortable. It is quite easy to navigate since most of the bars and restaurants are on the lobby floor. A non-smoking policy is applied throughout the hotel premises.
Where is it? The hotel is located on Collins Street, a district in the heart of Melbourne famous for fashion and dining. It is a convenient five-minute drive or 20-
minute walk to Melbourne Convention Centre where I was attending a travel show. There is no lack of restaurants, bars, museums and theatres in the area and Federation Square is also close by. It is a great area to explore by foot.
Room facilities Designer Joseph Pang has imparted a contemporary residential feel with a touch of luxury in his design. I was staying on the Grand Club floor in a newly renovated Grand Suite King with an open city view. The living room area and room both have iPod docking, and high-speed wifi is available in all redesigned rooms at A$29 (US$31), otherwise it is free at the Grand Club. The room is well appointed, it has a walk-in closet and good-size bathroom tiled with marble, featuring separate shower and bathtub. A yoga mat is also available in the grand suite rooms or above categories for those who want to practise the discipline. Yoga Channel (29) is available in all rooms and runs 24 hours a day.
At the Grand Club located on the 31st floor, guests in grand suite rooms or above can enjoy complimentary continental breakfast, all-day refreshment, afternoon tea, evening drinks, free wifi internet and one-hour boardroom facility per stay – the Grand Club opens every day from 0630 to 2200. I was a bit surprised that the closing time was so early compared to hotels in Asia, and the breakfast is continental style – all cold cuts and patisseries without even a boiled egg. This is one area for improvement.
Restaurants and bars Collins Kitchen, located on the lobby floor, has been renovated recently with an open kitchen concept. Multiple food styles including grill, wok, sushi, deli and patisserie are served buffet style. Where possible local Australian food is used, such as organic produce from the Yarra Valley, 1.5 hours away. Chinese cuisine has been added to the breakfast buffet recently to suit the tastes of the increasing volume of Asian travellers to Australia. I really liked the open-kitchen concept as it showed the chef in action and I could try to learn a few cooking “tricks”.
The Lobby Lounge is located next to Collins Kitchen, serving an all-day dining menu, morning and afternoon tea and light meals, so it is a perfect place for meetings or relaxing. Bistro Bar serves a wide range of cocktails and wine, and is open from 0600 till late.
RU-CO Bar opens nightly, a bar and nightclub with a dramatic design concept and striking artwork. It stocks over 2,700 premium wines in addition to an impressive cocktail list.
Business and meeting facilities The hotel is well equipped with 16 meeting rooms and two ballrooms. The Residence is the premium events venue, a concept that is also seen at sister hotels such as Grand Hyatt Taipei and Grand Hyatt Hong Kong. The Residence is made up of four individually styled rooms – the Wine Room, the Library, the Verandah Room and the Courtyard – all serviced by the open kitchen.
Leisure facilities Grand Hyatt Melbourne’s City Club Health and Fitness Centre is arguably the largest gym in the Southern Hemisphere, stretching over 1,740sqm. It also has regular spin, step, pump, pilates and yoga classes. On top of that are an indoor heated swimming pool, spa, open-air tennis courts and golf practice nets. If you are lucky and are visiting during the Melbourne Open (January each year) you might run into some tennis pros practising at the court or gym.
Verdict Grand Hyatt Melbourne has not just a convenient location and great facilities but friendly and efficient staff. It has a welcoming ambience (especially for the first-time visitor to Melbourne) and I definitely look forward to staying here again on my next trip for business or holiday.
Mary Traverso Ng
HOW MANY ROOMS 546 rooms including three diplomatic suites, two ambassador suites, 18 grand suites and 82 grand
ROOM HIGHLIGHTS iPod docking station, large suite sizes, Nespresso coffee machine, and great city views with floor-to-
PRICE Prices start from A$260 (US$276) for standard room type.
CONTACT Grand Hyatt Melbourne, 123 Collins Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000, Australia; tel +61-3 9657 1234;