Hyatt Regency Chicago-Review

Discussion in 'Hyatt | Gold Passport' started by Pizzaman, May 29, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. Pizzaman
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    HYATT REGENCY CHICAGO REVIEW 5/21-5/24

    I had a 3-night stay here recently for a trade show. This was my second time at this property. My first stay wasn't great, but good enough to return.

    I tried to check in early, but my room wasn't available. They gave me keys to the lounge, and later called me when my room was ready. I was in the main tower (don't remember which one is which, but the tower where the front desk is). I was upgrade to an Astor Suite by Hyatt staff. It was a delightful room.

    The room was probably pretty close to 1000sf. The entryway lead into an area with 2 semi-circular couches and a desk to work at. The rest of the room had a few more lounge chairs, a table for 8, a wet bar and a bathroom.

    The bedroom had one of the nicer hotel bathrooms I've had. The shower was what really made it. It was 8'x12'. There were two sets of shower heads on opposing walls as well as some body spray jets. Overhead, a rain shower head. A bench as well, and you've got a bathroom I would be happy to put into my home.

    The rest of the bedroom was pretty standard. The room was in a very good state of repair.

    I had no problems using the wifi while I was there, although others have said they did further upthread.

    One of the things I liked about this property was J's Express. It's a modified Starbucks in the lobby. They've got a freezer with a bunch of food and ice cream options, fresh pastries and bagels, sandwiches, drinks, fruit. It's a great option to grab a quick bite to eat in a hotel, and a welcome change from some of the other properties I stay at frequently. There's usually 2 or 3 employees working, and they do everything they can to zip you through the line.

    Contrast this to the gift shop directly across the hall. If you want to do a room charge, first you need to show your ID. Then they pull out a stack of papers that has the names of all the guests staying in the hotel. Once they've verified that, they ask for your room number. Then, they fill out a handwritten slip for you to sign. Oy.

    The lounge is one of the nicer ones I've visited. It's small, but the food selection is always plentiful.

    All in all, a solid stay. It's a big property. I feel like they do a decent job managing it. Not the most intimate setting, but perfectly serviceable for a big downtown property.
     
  2. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    I've stayed here many times over the years for large and smaller meetings and IMO it is the best of the larger downtown/loop properties, with the possible exception of the historic (and frequently more expensive) Palmer House since it was renovated. I like the Hyatt Gold Passport special check in/out desks and the lobby bar. I'm not real fond of the path to the other tower or the frequent delays (IME an hour or more) in room service when there's a big meeting at the hotel. OTOH, the basement concourse offers some decent food options during the business week where one is competing with nearby office workers rather than meeting participants and at the far end are the Swissotel restaurants, including the Palm steakhouse.

    IME this is one of the best of the large convention Hyatts, much better than, for example, the Washington DC one at Convention Center.

    However, sometimes the Swissotel next door offers special deals, such as $25 surcharge over the group rate to upgrade to an executive suite, which are great. In addition, there are now some newer upscale big chain hotels within a few blocks which can be great deals if offered at the same group rate as the Hyatt.
     
  3. Pizzaman
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    I like the fact that this property actually staffs the separate elite check-in desk. Gotta agree on schlepping over to the other building. I don't really even bother with the lounge if I'm in the main tower. I can pick up a quick snack at J's and save myself 10 minutes of walking.

    The only convention Hyatt I've stayed at that's superior is the Hyatt Regency Denver.
     
  4. samonyc
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    samonyc Silver Member

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    At this moment, I'm enjoying a sunny view of Lake Michigan and the Chicago River from the West Tower of the Hyatt Regency Chicago. :)
     
  5. fstop75

    fstop75 Active Member

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    Just finished a 4 night stay here last week and was pleasantly surprised by the level of service for such a large hotel. We arrived around 4:00pm and was relieved to see that the GP desk was staffed by three FD agents due to the LONG line at the regular check-in desk. I had my wife and kids with me so had used a diamond confirmed upgrade to guarantee a little more space for the stay. When I went to check in I was informed that the suite portion of our room was not ready due to a late check out but that the connector was ready and we could use that to freshen up and then wait in the regency club until the suite was ready. We dropped off our luggage and then headed up to the regency club. After a short time in the regency club we decided to head back to our room. On the way back we stopped at the front desk and were notified that our other room was ready and that they had made up new keys that would open either door. After arriving to our suite I was slightly disappointed as it was really just a little bit larger than a normal room with a small sitting area beside bed. The bathroom was larger than normal and featured a tiled walk in shower but did not have a bathtub. Thankfully we had the adjoining room for our kids because without, I hardly would have considered this a "suite". My disappointment was minimized when we had a knock at the door which turned out to be a beautiful birthday cake for my son and daughter (close birthdays). This was unprompted by me and was totally unexpected. My kids felt like rock stars that the hotel knew it was their birthdays! The birthday cake was just the beginning of what turned out to be a great level of personalized service. From the front desk clerks to housekeeping, everyone we encountered was genuinely pleasant and made a point to interact with our children as much as with my wife and me. This is a big thumbs up with us. Ultimately our family vacations are centered around our kids so if a hotel makes an effort to recognize them as well as me, I take note. Again, I certainly wasn't expecting this from a hotel as large as this.
     
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  6. Pizzaman
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    I have found the staff of this hotel surprisingly efficient for a large-scale hotel. I've stayed in that same suite you did, and wasn't wild about it either. However, the regular rooms in the other wing are less appealing, IMO. The rooms in the other wing actually have slightly nicer finishes, but the doors and walls are thin, so you hear everything. I thought others were over-exaggerating before I stayed there the first time, and I figured I'm not that sensitive to noise. But, it was pretty bad. I've been in the main tower ever since, and always been pleased.
     
  7. techgirl
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    I just finished a three-night stay here and had quite the opposite experience. I checked in with three of my colleagues. We were all on the same rate, I had booked my room at least a day earlier than the other three rooms. I was the only Diamond - we had one Platinum and then two Gold members. When it was check in time, we all stood in the Gold Passport Area but I was called away to the regular desk (while the other three were all helped by the Gold Passport team) - they did recognize my status when I checked in but I felt like it was more of an afterthought than I would have gotten in that section of the check-in.

    I was given the smallest room of the four of us (albeit on the executive floor in the other building). My room was stuffy and smelled like both cigar smoke and pet odor. I mentioned it at the front desk on our way out to dinner (I didn't have time to haul my stuff back across the sky bridge to discuss a different room as we had been delayed and were now late to dinner). They never did get back to me or suggest a different room being an option and I was only sleeping at the hotel (our conference was at the Marriott) so I didn't press the issue.

    The Executive Lounge was packed (standing room only) every time we tried to go in there at a "serving" time. I'm talking so crowded that I couldn't even get with grabbing range of the food to take something back to my room with me. There seemed to always be a lot of activity on my floor - twice I left my room and had to squeeze around an ice machine that had been pulled out of its covey, blocking the hallway. Maids routinely left their carts smack in the middle of the hallway. On the day I checked out, I had to squeeze with my back to the wall, tugging my rollaboard sideways, past one... the maid just stared at me and never offered to move the cart.

    It seemed like every time I walked across the skybridge or into the lobby, furniture had been rearranged by groups into large clumps of chairs and no one on the staff was quick to move them back. On Saturday evening, a giant group of moms with strollers were spread out having some kind of pizza party on the skybridge and we had to maneuver around them with our bags as they were spread out blocking the walkway.

    I had remembered this hotel from many past events from FT and always thought it was a bit rough and this stay did nothing to change my impressions of this being a tired, worn, crammed full of tourists convention hotel. Not impressed.
     
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  8. flyer_o

    flyer_o Gold Member

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    Finished a two night stay at the property and was quite pleased, given my knowledge of the property and the foibles that have been noted in previous posts.

    The Air and Water Show meant a quite full property but the line at the Gold Passport check-in was non-existent. I booked the first night at the AP rate of $139 and the second at the daily rate of $199. Just for kicks I applied a Diamond Suite Upgrade. At check-in, the agent noted my Diamond status, quickly asked whether I wanted the points or the amenity (points, naturally) and then said "you've got a very good room". After much typing, furrowed brows and idle chit-chat, he gave me keys to the "Plaza Suite" (ie Rooms 3601/3602 in the West Tower), one floor above the Regency Club.

    Once I schlepped over to the West Tower and found my way to the room, I was pretty happy. The suite consists of two connecting rooms, one with a murphy bed and dining table that seats six, as well as a wet bar and additional full bathroom. The other room, was a fairly unique bedroom with a great view toward Navy Pier. Despite the drop ceilings and mediocre physical plant, the rooms were better than expected and quite nice for the two days that I as there. The club was virtually empty everytime I went in, so I didn't have to deal with the hordes that were previously reported. Given all of the great food in Chicago, I only went in for drinks before heading out into the City. One down note was the abominable wifi signal; I tried to get a bit of work done and it was virtually impossible. I'm not sure the reason for the poor signal, but its got to be improved. Despite this, a very good stay at a reasonable rate.
     

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