Sunday, March 8, 2015

Review: Park Hyatt Washington

Room:  Georgetown Suite
Price:  $125 (+10,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points; Diamond Suite Upgrade; $18.13 taxes) per night
Category:  5

Back during law-firm recruiting season, a firm I interviewed with housed me in the Grand Hyatt Washington. I mentioned to one of the recruiters that the hotel was very convenient; he replied: "Yeah, I know it's not the Park Hyatt, but it's so close to the office."

That piqued my interest, as the Grand Hyatt seemed perfectly nice to me. A few weeks ago, I finally got the chance to satisfy my curiosity with a two-night stay at the beautiful Park Hyatt Washington.

Park Hyatt Washington
Introduction
Park Hyatt is Hyatt's luxury line, with locations in top cities for well-heeled tourists and business travelers, e.g., Shanghai, Paris, and Dubai; and the playgrounds of the wealthy (and the honeymooning), e.g., Milan, Maldives, and Goa. The Park Hyatt Tokyo featured prominently in the unwatchably dull film Lost in Translation.

There are 35 Park Hyatts globally (36 when the Park Hyatt Zanzibar opens next week), with 5 in the United States.

The Park Hyatt Washington recently got downgraded from a Category 6 property to a Category 5 property. The downgrade makes a points-redemption booking a bit less expensive.

I tried to book my two-night stay using the Points + Cash option, but I hit two snags.
  • First, Hyatt's computers had not updated the hotel's category downgrade. The phone representative had to put me on hold and make a few calls to get the room to price correctly.
  • Second, the hotel had no standard rooms available for the nights I requested. They could make the reservation if I was willing to upgrade to a suite (as a Diamond member, I get four annual suite-upgrade certificates). Since my last certificate was about to expire, I was happy to redeem it.
The suite

When I reserved the room, the phone representative confirmed into a 693-square-foot Park Suite. But at check-in, the agent explained that the hotel upgraded me to "something nicer." Diamond members can choose a 1,000-point bonus or a food-and-beverage amenity when they check in. I chose the points.

The agent explained that Diamond members can enjoy free breakfast through room service or at the well-reviewed Blue Duck Tavern on the lobby level.

My room was on the third floor. The elevator had a bench.

Elevator bench

As I walked down the hall from the elevator to my suite, I was surprised to see someone enter my room with a cart. Unsure what to do, I knocked, then entered with my key. A startled Hyatt staffmember explained that he was dropping off my food-and-beverage amenity, apologized, and beat a hasty retreat.

The amenity was some delicious house-made fudge and a large bottle of Voss water - a nice touch, given that I had chosen the points rather than the food.

Food amenity

Fudge

I was amazed at the suite - I had been upgraded to the absurdly spacious 1,022-square-foot Georgetown Suite, with a separate bedroom, office, living/dining room, and 1.5 bathrooms.

The half-bath is to the right of the foyer as you enter the suite. Unfortunately, the soap dispenser was empty.

Half-bath

Sliding wood doors separate the four rooms (living/dining room, office, bedroom, bathroom).

Georgetown Suite

The living room has a very, very long couch with red-white-and-blue throw pillows.

Living room 

The dining area has a large square table for four (but in a pinch, I think eight could fit).

 Dining table

There are quite a few of this cabinet-and-drawer combinations in the suite; this one near the dining table houses a mini-fridge in the top portion.

Mini-fridge and Nespresso

The office isn't large, but it's functional. The television can rotate horizontally to the bedroom.

 Office


Office

But midway through my wide-eyed exploration of the suite, I heard a knock on the door. It was the agent who checked me in, holding my credit card and driver's license. He had forgotten to give them back during the check-in process, and I had forgotten to ask. I appreciated him coming in person to return them.

And back to the room tour. The bedroom was the least remarkable part of the suite, but the bed was very comfortable.

 Bedroom

 The bookshelf next to the bed had a couple of complimentary bottles of Evian water.

 Quack

The highlight of the suite was the bathroom - specifically, the beautiful spa-style shower and bathtub.


Shower and bathtub


Shower


Bathtub


Sinks

The closet area is next to the bathroom.

Closet 

 Closet

In one of the storage areas, the hotel provided a large golf-sized umbrella and a yoga mat. They also provide a bag for shoes (the hotel provides a complimentary on-demand shoe-shine service).


Food
Unfortunately, I had early meetings and didn't have time to enjoy the complimentary Diamond breakfast in the Blue Duck Tavern. Instead, I ordered room service (which showed up exactly on time every morning). The menu is here.

Nobody suggested a spending limit. The published Diamond benefit consists of an entree, coffee, and juice for each registered guest, but I ordered more than that and nobody raised a fuss. (The hotel also picked up the gratuity).

Each meal was spectacularly prepared.

Breakfast One
Eggs Benedict ($16)
Seasonal fruit plate ($10)
Grapefruit juice ($5)
+ 18% service charge, 10% tax, and $5 delivery fee = $44.68

 Breakfast

The convenience of the Nespresso machine inspired me to finally pull the trigger on my own machine for home (along with the matching espresso glasses).

Nespresso 

Breakfast Two
Jumbo lump crab with scrambled egg whites ($15)
Organic yogurt, seasonal fruit ($10)
Potatoes ($5)
Grapefruit juice ($5)
+ 18% service charge, 10% tax, and $5 delivery fee = $49.80

Yogurt and fruit 

 Breakfast potatoes

 Crab, tomato, spinach, avocado, and egg white scramble

Breakfast tray

Conclusion
There were a couple harmless miscues at the beginning of the stay, but they didn't dampen my enthusiasm for the Park Hyatt Washington. The staff were excellent at anticipating needs (ground transportation, clearing food, etc.) without being obsequious; the suite was immaculate; and the food was delicious.

I'd very happily stay here again.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, you got an amazing room! The details do matter so much so it is really sad that the soap dispenser was empty. But it's a fine line before you become KAL nut-screamer. I am very intrigued and would love to stay here some day. It's nice to hear that they do not nickel and dime you on the breakfast amenity and they gave you something in addition to points. I love that they also do not try to squeeze you on water. Good job, Hyatt!

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