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Wednesday 5 January 2022

Sydney's Suite Spot: Coco on the Park

Sydney, as anyone who has travelled and stayed in the most populous city of Australia will tell you, is a tough arena for hotels.

For a long time, Sydney was running some of the highest occupancies in the country with sky-high room rates to match. Then came Covid and re-booted the entire hospitality industry, not just Sydney’s upscale hotels.

Now, I’ve spent time in many of Sydney’s hotels over the last 40 years, either as a guest or a business visitor of some sort. Many times too in my poorly kept secret role as a long-time judge in the coveted HM Awards. Suffice to say, I have developed an eye for hotels.

While it may not have the acreage of New York’s iconic Central Park, Sydney’s Hyde Park is nonetheless an imperious centrepiece of the city, infusing much-needed green space into the concrete metropolis of Australia’s first city.

Again, like NYC’s, Sydney’s mid-city park is ringed by buildings of pomp and substance. Museums, cathedrals, legal chambers, ritzy residential, retail and, of course, fine hotels.

Near the Oxford St junction at the southeast corner, presided over by a dismembered deck gun from a vanquished German warship, is the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park. The building itself first appeared in 1992 and spent most of its life as the Sydney Marriott. In 2012 it underwent a rebrand and $7million renovation to coincide with its merging with the Accor Group and the then-new brand, Pullman.

Pitched as premium business, Pullman bills itself as “pioneering, stylish, accomplished, invigorated” and first appeared in the vast Accor portfolio in 2007. At the time of writing, Pullman has more than 140 properties in 40 countries in such locations as San Francisco, Delhi, Bangkok, Paris, Berlin and London.

There are four Pullmans in Sydney alone with, in my opinion, the Sydney Airport property being a newbuild and the best example of a ‘clean slate’ Pullman.

Nearing 10 years since the rebrand and renovation, the Pullman Sydney Hyde Park is busting to get back on the hospitality scene after the enforced doldrums of Covid. Even as I check in, I catch fleeting glances of uniforms in the foyer, a clue that the hotel has kept the lights on (so to speak) with pandemic guests in the form of ADF and officials.

Smart and classy. The lounge area (supplied)

But up on the 20th floor, I’m being treated to Pullman’s latest piece de resistance, the Park Suite by Coco Republic, a collaboration in luxury by the hotel with the Sydney-based interior design empire and the Hyde Park’s premier revival offering.

“With panoramic views across the park and to the cosmopolitan city of Sydney beyond,” said general manager Michael Daviss in a press statement, “the opening of this luxurious room is the perfect way to celebrate the reopening of travel in this incredible city.”

Entering the room certainly has a ‘wow’ factor. You know it’s a bit special when your suite has double doors and a gold plaque. These swing open to reveal panoramic views across the entire northwest aspect of the city, including the entirety of Hyde Park, from the Anzac Memorial to St Mary’s Cathedral.

The decor is sharp but still restrained, so no Las Vegas glitz here. Colours are mild, combining unobtrusive greys, graphite and gunmetal with earth and sand. Touches of Pullman’s trademark purple showing through in highlights like dining chairs. Certainly a stark contrast to its former incarnation as the Matt Blatt Suite which was literally bursting with vivid colours and quirky incongruity.

In the same press statement, Coco Republic’s national commercial manager Charlotte Dub said of the room, “We have designed the Park Suite to provide an elevated offering to both corporate and lifestyle travellers. This room is perfect for discerning guests who want the utmost luxury in their home away from home. Comfort and practicality were of course key considerations in all of the furniture and styling items selected to ensure a balance between the visual enjoyment and guest experience.”

While the claim of “utmost luxury” might be a stretch, there is no doubt this is one of the city’s better high-end room offerings. Wifi is included, as you would expect, and the 68sqm suite features two whopping Netflix-enabled 55” Samsung flat-screen TVs. 

[see quick-and-dirty video walkthru] >>>


The bathroom is as large as the bedroom and easily lives up to its sumptuous claims with spa tub, big bright mirrors and excellent amenities from CO Bigelow. There’s even room for a gentle foxtrot should the mood take you.

The integrated ‘galley’ kitchen is perfect for longer stays where you may want to self-cater or entertain. The dining table allows you to easily seat the entire family or several guests while still enjoying the ample city views. While I am personally not a fan of pod coffee machines, I can see how they are suited to upscale hotels and this one features the smart Nespresso Latissima device.

While I’m told the suite comes “with a fully stocked minibar including snacks and wine” I am unable to comment as my larder was bare. Perhaps my reputation preceded me? I’m sure, however, that will be promptly rectified for paying guests.

Tasty and healthy selection in Bar Thirty6 (RE)

Until the main restaurant is reactivated for evening service, I did enjoy an excellent dinner in Bar Thirty6 on the ground floor. I was recommended the albondigas, classic Spanish meatballs slow-cooked in tomato sauce and the signature spiced lamb cutlets accompanied by the Prawn Barbados. These did not disappoint.

Currently, the Windows on the Park restaurant is only serving breakfast, but the location is excellent with abundant natural light flooding the whole space, providing a bright start to your day.

Rooftop (supplied)

The rooftop pool and gym, albeit small, is a great touch nonetheless.

In closing, I would say it’s a pity the property does not include a business lounge or executive centre which the newer Pullmans do. A more comprehensive refurbishment, I’m sure, will be undertaken soon and I hope this is included in the new interior redesign.

The Coco Republic Suite is priced at $759/night for two guests but, as we all know, these rates vary on season and demand.

By comparison, the other five-star hotel facing the park, Sheraton’s Grand will get you the 70 sqm Grand Executive Suite for roughly the same money.

For a full list of features or to book direct, visit the website or phone on +61 2 9361 8400

Review by Roderick Eime who was provided complimentary accommodation at the hotel.

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