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Fresh Faces: Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park GM Krister Svensson


Despite his Swedish roots, new Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park general manager KRISTER SVENSSON says returning to Australia is like coming home. Here's what brought him back, aside from the hotel, and why every foodie needs to get to this recently renovated property.

 

Where is the last place you travelled? 

The last place I travelled to was Vietnam. I was lucky enough to visit three different cities – Ho Chi Minh City, Nha Trang and Da Nang – where I experienced a mix of the country’s biggest city and relaxing coastal destinations.

I also had the opportunity to try some of Vietnam’s amazing food – I found so many hole-in-the-wall places with the most incredible food. 

 

Where are you going next? 

I’ve just moved to Sydney from Singapore after spending the last 30 years of my career managing some of Marriott International’s luxury brand hotels in Asia.

So next, I’d like to explore the country I now call home and its surrounds – New Zealand and the Pacific Islands in particular. 

First on my list is a luxury bicycle tour around New Zealand with some friends that I worked with many years ago

I haven’t been to New Zealand before, but the climate and landscape remind me of being back home in Sweden and I’m looking forward to trying some of the local cheese, seafood and fresh produce that I’ve heard so much about. 

 

Besides your passport, what’s one thing you always take with you on your travels? 

When travelling, I love to have my tech with me – my laptop and my mobile phone – so I’m connected wherever I go.

But I’m also a little old school in my approach and always take a simple folder with my flight details, tickets and itineraries printed out.

You never know when you might run out of battery or can’t connect to Wi-Fi. 

 

Why did you move to this role? 

Not only was it a fantastic professional opportunity, but it also meant my wife and I could be closer to our family. 

My wife’s side of the family live up in the Hunter Valley area, while our children live further north in Queensland - in Brisbane and the Gold Coast

I’ve been away from Australia for 30 years and have always wanted to come back. It’s nice to be home! 

 

Tell us something people might not know about the hotel? 

Something people might not know about Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park is how much we love food! We’re big foodies and are so proud to showcase a range of local produce.

Restaurants and bars in hotels can sometimes have a reputation for not being as creative or affordable as they could be

However, we are creating a space for this creativity and accessibility with a range of new offers such as a Wine and Cheese Buffet on Wednesdays and Oysters, Salmon and Champagne on Thursdays.

We have also introduced something called, The Grand Sunday Brunch, which includes antipasto, fresh seafood, dessert and perfectly matched cocktails – because it’s our opinion that brunch without a cocktail is just breakfast. 

In addition to this, we’ve also introduced an exclusive high tea held in our Royal Suite - something that has never before been seen in Sydney. 

 

What’s the main thing people should know about the Sheraton Grand? 

The hotel has not always been known as Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park. In fact, it was previously known as Sheraton on the Park.

The hotel earned Sheraton’s ‘Grand’ status following $50 million renovation that was completed in 2019whereby our rooms and lounges were refreshed with an elegantly modern, sophisticated look. 

I have spent a lot of time in this hotel and always recommend staying in one of our terrace suites. They truly are a home away from home. 

 

What’s your top travel tip?

Well, I’ve got two! My first tip is to check that your flight is on-time before you leave your home or hotel. It can save you a lot of time (and, on occasion, stress!). 

My second tip is to be open-minded and don’t be afraid of trying the thing that you would usually never dream of trying. 

As much as I have travelled in my career, I will still always recommend a Hop On Hop Off Bus for a new city. It’s the best way to get acquainted with the city in a few hours.

 

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Written by: Krister Svensson as told to Traveltalk
Published: 11 February 2020


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