by Matt Alderton | November 20, 2018
The further they travel from home, the more meeting attendees expect to have a world-class hotel at which to convene when they arrive. Because it doesn't get farther from the United States than Australia, expectations are therefore especially high when groups go "down under." Fortunately, Australia's largest city -- Sydney -- has no shortage of venues that promise to make the trek worth taking.
One such venue is the iconic Sheraton on the Park, which has just re-branded as the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park following a $50 million renovation, Marriott International announced last week.

Located adjacent to the 40-acre Hyde Park in downtown Sydney, the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park originally opened in 1992 and has been a Sheraton hotel since 1995. Achieving "Sheraton Grand" status -- reserved only for the most exceptional properties in Sheraton's global portfolio -- will keep the hotel on meeting planners' shortlists for years to come, even as newer properties flood the local market.

Completed in time for the property's 25th anniversary, the hotel's latest renovation included a complete overhaul of its 558 guest rooms -- each of which has been revamped with a modern, residential-style design -- as well as its Sheraton Club Lounge, which has been reconfigured to maximize views of the park.

Immediately prior to these enhancements, the hotel also renovated The Gallery, where it hosts its famous afternoon tea, as well as its bar, fitness center, spa and rooftop terrace.

"We are honored to receive the coveted designation of Sheraton Grand," said General Manager David Fraser. "From the renovation of the rooms to all the public spaces, we wanted to set ourselves up for the future by ensuring the new design of the hotel reflects modernity but pays homage to its heritage. It is a wonderful testament to the exceptional level of service provided by our team."

Four More Sydney Showstoppers

The Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park -- which boasts over 27,000 square feet of meeting space -- is just one spectacular option among many for Sydney-bound groups. Here are four others:

• Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney: The star at Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney, is the view. From each of the hotel's 565 rooms and suites, guests can see the world-famous Sydney Harbour, home to the iconic Sydney Opera House and the massive Sydney Harbour Bridge. Located in Sydney's historic Rocks district, the hotel -- which offers Shangri-La's signature five-star service -- also has a health club, an indoor heated swimming pool, a spa, four restaurants and bars, and over 30,000 square feet of meeting space, including a grand ballroom for groups of up to 850 people.

• Four Seasons Hotel Sydney: Another hotel boasting amazing Sydney Harbour views is Four Seasons Hotel Sydney in Sydney's Central Business District. A popular meeting destination for more than 30 years, the property has 531 guest rooms and suites, three restaurants and bars, a spa, a 24-hour fitness center, Sydney's largest heated outdoor hotel pool and over 18,000 square feet of meeting space.

• Park Hyatt Sydney: Located in the Rocks, directly across from the Sydney Opera House, is Park Hyatt Sydney, a waterfront hotel that once was home to a water police station. Designed to feel like staying at a friend's posh home, the residential-style hotel has 155 guest rooms and suites with private balconies, including three rooftop suites with private terraces, as well as a spa, an outdoor rooftop pool, a fitness center, three restaurants and bars, and an extensive collection of Australian art. For meetings and events there are three meeting rooms for groups of up to 120 people, the most notable of which is the Guest House; it seats up to 70 guests at round tables and boasts an exclusive show kitchen, as well as a private outdoor terrace on Sydney's waterfront.

• Sofitel Sydney Wentworth: Located in Sydney's Central Business District, Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is a mash-up between French aesthetics and Australian heritage. Considered Sydney's first five-star luxury hotel, the property dates back to 1854, when a guesthouse was erected on the site of the current hotel. The property was rebuilt several times and opened in its current form -- recognized for its signature curved façade -- in 1966. It's about to experience yet another rebirth in early 2019, when it's scheduled to complete a renovation of all accommodations and public areas. Presently, the hotel offers 436 rooms and suites, an onsite restaurant, a 1960s-inspired bar, a private health club and over 23,000 square feet of meeting space.