In my recent trip to Melbourne, I stayed at and reviewed the Grand Hyatt Melbourne which is located in the bottom right corner of the Melbourne CBD, right at the intersection of the upscale shopping stretch of Collins Street and Russell Street. The hotel is a close walk to other attractions as well; Federation Square, Flinders Street Station, Hosier Lane, Chinatown, the Theatre district, the Old Treasury Building, the Parliament, St. Patrick’s Cathedral and Fitzroy Garden are all within a few blocks. There is also a tram station right outside the hotel, and trams within the Melbourne CBD are free, which makes the trip to other attractions in the Melbourne CBD just a short commute.
There is 2 entrances to the hotel. There is a pedestrian walking entrance on Collins Street which leads to the main lobby, and a vehicle drop off foyer at the Russell Street entrance one floor below. The decor in the lobby is luxurious, with a few artwork prominently featured. The hotel’s restaurants – Lobby Lounge and Collins Kitchen are opposite the check in area, while the bars – Bistro bar and Ru-Co, are next to them, tucked in a corner.
As a Diamond member, I used a Diamond Suite Upgrade in conjunction with my booking. This got me booked into the Grand Suite King on a high floor. The room was 80 sqm, with huge windows offering a great panoramic view of the city. The suite opened into the living room with nice seating area, as well as a large work desk. There was a small bathroom next to the entrance as well as a closet which conceals the minibar and nespresso machine.
The bedroom was separated from the living room with a sliding door. There was also a small sofa set in the bedroom. At the back of the bedroom was the marble bathroom which featured a bathtub and a separate shower area. Toiletries were from June Jacobs, which is common brand standard across most Grand Hyatts. As a Diamond member, I was also given a welcome amenity of grapes, a jar of salted nuts and a bottle of wine.
The standard rooms in the hotel start from 33 sqm and are quite similar to the bedroom module of the suite. If possible, ask for a room on a higher floor with views of the CBD or the Yarra river.
The hotel has a huge full fledged gym which spans the entire 9th floor and more. The gym is called City Club Health & Fitness, and has all the equipment and facilities that one would expect from a proper gym. It is open to hotel guests as well as external members 24 hours, although some parts of the gym closes after certain hours.
The gym also has an indoor swimming pool, plunge pool and jacuzzi next to the changing rooms which also contains a sauna and steam room. The spa treatment area is also located here. More impressively, you can also walk up a flight of stairs to get to the roof of the gym, where the basketball half court, golf swinging areas and tennis court are located. I really cannot remember the last time I was in a city hotel with both a basketball and tennis court together!
Grand Club Lounge
The hotel has a club lounge on the 31st floor. Entrance is available for guests who booked a club room and above, as well as Diamond members. The Grand Club Lounge is a huge long space, overlooking the Melbourne skyline. The entrance is right at the elevator lobby, with the reception desk in the middle of the club. Both left and right side feature comfortable seating spaces. On the far left, there is also an impressive meeting boardroom. Both sides of the lounge also has a workstation near the bathrooms.
In the evenings, the lounge serves food and drinks. Desserts are on the left side, while hot food and appetisers are on the right. In my time there, there were 2 red and 2 white wines available, and Chandon champagne. There was also a selection of beers and hard liquor, as well as regular drinks and a coffee machine. The lounge also serves breakfast in the morning. Diamond members are entitled to breakfast here only. Eating in the hotel restaurant is an additional $20 USD surcharge.
During my stay, I took the opportunity to have breakfast as well as dinner in the hotel’s signature restaurant, Collins Kitchen. The breakfast buffet spread was magnificent, with all the typical Australian hot breakfast food, cold cuts, cereal and yoghurts on display. There was also a row of Asian cuisine, as well as an eggs / omelette station and waffle / pancake station. A small selection of gluten free cakes and bread were also available. I also took the opportunity to order the classic Australian flat white coffee here.
Most impressively, there is a smoothie station! The smoothie station has some ready made smoothies prepared in a bottle to go, as well as the option to customise your own smoothie from the ingredients available. Breakfast was very popular and packed while I was staying at the hotel, but the service remained tip top.
Dinner time at Collins Kitchen was a different affair compared to the bustling mornings. The restaurant environment is more upscale and quiet. The dinner menu features some seasonal items on top of the regular selections. A small selection of wine is listed on the menu, but a more extensive and separate wine menu is also available.
The hotel stresses on their food sourcing, working together with local farmers to obtain organic and local ingredients for the meals. The dinner menu highlights this nicely, with the origins of the meat explained in further details at the back of the menu.
The dinner started with a loaf of fresh bread and butter. The bread was still warm when served, which melted the butter nicely. For my main course, I had a medium rare Darlings Down Wagyu from Queensland accompanied with a glass of 2014 Bowen Estate Cabernet Sauvignon. I also ordered a side of Shaved cabbage salad, as well as the pepper sauce and chimichurri sauce.
The steak was done as well as one could hope for, with the outer layer grilled perfectly, while the middle still pink. The sauces were also well executed, with the chimichurri sauce providing a spicy kick to the meal. I also had the opportunity to chat with the sous chef, Jelena, who has worked her way up a long way from the Hyatts in Serbia and Dubai. She was friendly, and explained the competitive dining scene in Melbourne as well as the seriousness in which the hotel took to procure their local ingredients.
For desserts, I ordered the signature dessert – “Living Grand” white chocolate sphere. This dessert comes with white chocolate sphere sitting on a platform of crunchy puffed rice. The waiter then pours the passionfruit coulis onto the sphere, melting it away to reveal the inner goodies. This dessert was quite a fun spectacle to experience. Jelena explained that in the past, the hotel used to serve a version with regular chocolate and raspberry coulis as well.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my stay at the Grand Hyatt Melbourne. The hotel is in a prime location, has comprehensive facilities and great dining options. The rooms are comfortable, and the Grand Club Lounge was a delight. I would not hesitate to stay here again when I come back to Melbourne.
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This review was written by Luxury Travel Diary contributor Lenard Lim.
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