I don’t expect much from most hotel stays, and getting a room at the Grand Hyatt in Washington, DC for $65 all-in is a hard bargain to pass up. Still, even with that great bargain coloring my views, I was a bit disappointed in the stay. Part of that is my fault. The hotel is still undergoing renovations to the guest rooms and that meant lots of construction going on inside. Had I booked directly through Hyatt I would have been sufficiently warned:
Even a hotels.com booking might have warned me (though it isn’t updated with the delayed completion date) had I scrolled down enough to find this bit:
Alas, the booking via the United.com Hotels booking engine (just another 3rd party OTA contracted out by United) didn’t include the renovations warning in their property alerts:
Not Hyatt’s fault that the OTA isn’t up-to-date, but still frustrating.
I had also asked of my Twitter followers which Hyatt to stay at (the Hyatt Regency was the same price) and the Hyatt Washington account responded. They neglected to mention the construction as well. Sadly, I think this is the most disappointing part of the news. They should know and, when asked which is better, a heads up on the construction wouldn’t be unreasonable.
Our initial room assignment had us squarely between construction on three sides; the atrium was the only side without contractors coming and going all afternoon. Normally not a problem but we wanted to take a nap. That’s more difficult to do with someone hammering on the walls of your room all afternoon.
To their credit, the hotel was very up front about the construction at check-in. All guests were offered a glass of sparkling wine upon arrival and there was also a voucher for free internet, a free movie or a free cocktail in the hotel bar.
They did their best to be accommodating. Except for the part where the construction schedule didn’t go floor-by-floor so as to minimize the number of people booked in next to the construction. Or maybe it was my 3rd party OTA booking that got me the worst room location in the building. After a visit to the front desk after the attempted nap we were able to get a room a few floors up, away from the noise. It was much better.
And, I must admit, the renovated rooms are pretty nice.
The translucent screen in the headboard is back-lit which is a bit strange but it is also nice, indirect light for the room. The bed was comfortable, the bath amenities sufficient (though I’m pretty sure the shampoo in our room was a half-used one left over from a previous guest) and generally speaking the space was aesthetically pleasing. At the price-point I paid there was really nothing wrong up to this point in the stay.
My wife went out to the gym in the morning and I didn’t bolt the door behind her. I could hear housekeeping headed up and down the hall outside but they didn’t come to our room; we had arranged for a late check-out (no charge, even for a no-status OTA booking) and they were apparently aware of this. At one point I heard a key card on our door and then it opened. I figured my wife was back from the gym. Instead it was a hotel employee, opening the room and announcing "Hotel Security" as he stepped in. WTF?!?
Apparently a prior guest left something in the room and he was just coming to see if he could find it. At least that’s the story he told me. And the front desk manager was aghast when I mentioned the incident as we checked out. But neither actually apologized. And it NEVER should have happened in the first place.
I’d probably stay here again given the same price point. Even without the $50 coupon from United the Hyatts were pretty much the cheapest hotels in DC proper for the weekend; Priceline and Hotwire couldn’t even save me much on the stay. And the room renovations are quite nice; I actually liked the room layouts and amenities. But the guy from the hotel walking in on me definitely left a sour taste in my mouth. Not cool at all.