unlike other hotels (westin, grand hyatt, Sofitel etc) that are located closer to downtown, park hyatt Melbourne does not seem to jack up their prices too much for the Australian open.
Usually, we book the cheapest room, and ask to upgrade to a nice cathedral suite, with view of the cathedral and fireplace, by using the hyatt diamond suite upgrades. The suite upgrades save you around $200 per night compared to a normal room.
This year we did not stay enough at hyatt, and hyatt dropped the status match program, so we did not ask for a suite upgrade, we booked (and paid !) for a suite, which is extremely rare for us to actually pay for suite.
Normally, we do not pay for a suite, just the cheapest room. But when I saw that park hyatt Melbourne offer very good rates for their suites, ($600) with free full breakfast, AND $100 dining PER night, especially when the price is much cheaper than other hotels in town for a normal room (westin and grand hyatt are at $700 per night around that time for the cheapest room), we booked the suite with amex FHR directly.
The best part is the $100 credit for dining: you can use it for in room dining, which we did. We order late late night dinner (1am) after the tennis.
The staff seem to have an extensive notes on you. They are prepared. they know right away we stayed many times there before, and which room we liked.
Last year we saw stan wawrinka in the lobby the night before his big match with nadal. Instead of sleeping, he was in the lobby drinking at midnight. We took pictures with stan, and wish him good luck.
Conclusion: hyatt diamond status this year is not worth it. You can usually book suites for cheaper than trying to maintain status at hyatt.
park hyatt lounge: one of the ONLY park hyatt that have a lounge. And what a lounge ! they serve good canapé and drinks selection before tennis at around 6:30pm
melbourne Asian dessert : we usually order this mango bubble tea to bring it into the Australian open: (same restaurants as last year)
Melbourbe pho: Melbourne have good pho restaurants, they are everywhere. Pho nam: This one is located centrally in the basement of the shopping centre (emporium melbourne, same building as uniqlo store)
Have your tried WAGYU pho?? !! they sell it there. we had to try the wagyu beef pho.. for $15 !!
Malaysian: cheap good fast. they even have Singapore chili crabs !
the nikon 1 series are great for taking fast continuous and completely SILENT pictures of action scene: other cameras, including my A7 is too LOUD to take 15FPS. Even my canon 7d dslr is still too loud, too slow for those action scenes.
The shutter sound on my a7 is So LOUD that i cannot take pictures during play, especially when we are sitting so close to the court. I got stares from everyone first time i tried it. Sony A7 is supposed to me mirroless like nikon 1, but the shutter sounds is even louder than a DSLR
Taken with nikon 1 J3: 30-100mm, not photoshopped , full format: click on picture to see full resolution
ANOTHER advantage of nikon 1: it can take slow mo video in 400fps: sample video: click to view
here are some pictures to show how the sony a7 mirrorless full frame looks like in australia:
click on the picture to get full resolution, taken hand held, no tripod
SYDNEY PARK HYATT HOTEL : 22000 hyatt points, cost around $300 for the hyatt oints, compared to normal rates of $850. 50 % savings.
australian open: we were able to get confirmed guaranteed lower level seats for last week of the tournament, as we are australian open match members. We sat on the first row on the women final, 4rd row on man finals. (side advantage: first dip at tickets, and since they are in so much demand…. Especially on secondary market.. )
there are 3 level of memberships. Game, set, and match. Each cost from $99 to $249 for the whole year. To pay $249 per year to have access to lower level seats? Worth it! (Especially like i said, the tickets are “popular and on demand”.
How to get match membership? you have to be lucky and hope someone on that list drop out. there is a long waiting list for thr match membership.
park hyat melbourne from outside, view from cathedral:
our upgraded suite (for free as we used the confirmed upgrade certificates): booked the cheapest room, ended up having similar suite as stanislas wawrinka group. I think for us, The best suite there have a fireplace, view of cathedral. It makes you feel as if you are home.
as a side perks with suites: (free): access to the lounge: free breakfast, free drinks, free pre dinner snaks. A lot of tennis players and their entourage are seen here quite often. (Even if they are multi- millionaire).The staff at the lounge are very friendly, they remembered us even if we come back and stay there only once a year.
Australian open final: we met stanislas wawrinka at the park hyatt melbourne hotel the night before his historic final macth with nadal?!!
We were able to take pictures with him, his entourage took the pictures for us. Nice man, very skinny outside, very muscular as well. i wish him good luck, and he just lift his shoulders and just said thank you… as if he did not think the chances of winning are on his side, or luck is not part of it.
As it turns out, at the final match, talent played a major part, but a very small part of luck also came into play: Nadal was slightly injured.
Wawrinka has a tattoo on his left forearm: ” Ever tried. Ever fail. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
They say the key to success is hard work and determination. But also, Success require failure, and also a little of luck.
What is luck? Luck is to be there at the right time, right moment, with the right preparation. Luck require preparation. Proper Preparation require previous learning, previous failures.