I purchased tickets to U2’s tour opener in Vancouver late last year and knew I would want to spend a couple days in Canada. There is only one Hyatt option in Vancouver; the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, so I booked it. I am a Hyatt loyalist after all. This would be my first stay at a Hyatt property as a Diamond member after completing my Elite Tier Offer.
Location: Hyatt Regency Vancouver is located in the heart of downtown next to the Burrard SkyTrain station that you can access via the Expo or Millennium lines. It is no more than a 15 minute walk to anywhere in downtown. The hotel lobby is connected to a small mall that has a drug store and fast food restaurants. A few blocks away is the shopping area of downtown in one direction and the waterfront in other. Vancouver is a very cosmopolitan city and you can easily find anything you are looking for.
They building is a rather ugly concrete structure but it matches the surrounding buildings. The entrance is oddly placed in essentially an ally that you enter off the middle of a busy street. It isn’t the most warm welcome — the Staples office store on the main floor of the hotel is much more prominent. The lobby itself is small and very business oriented.
Check In: My experience at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver check in was probably one of the warmest I have experienced in a hotel. Perhaps this is the standard welcome for a Diamond member but I was very impressed. The desk agent (I wish I had got her name) was efficient but took the time to make sure I knew about all the property amenities. I was asked if I would like the welcome amenity or the points, and I took the points. I was asked if I would like a paper in the morning, turn down service, and whether I would like a late check out or not. She then took the time to walk me to the elevator to show me how to use it (it is a bit complicated, but I have the same system at my office so it wasn’t foreign to me).
Room: I booked a “Preferred View Room” as that was the cheapest available on hyatt.com. It ended up being on the 32nd floor with a very nice view. I don’t know if my Diamond status gave me any sort of upgrade; clearly the room was the standard set up. Clean, small, modern, business. Nothing deluxe but very nice. There was a mini fridge which is always welcomed. Large closet with safe. Plenty of outlets at the desk and by the bed. Black out curtains that were built with overlapping track so you can actually black out the room instead of having light bleed in through where the curtains meet.
I requested two double beds as my friend would be joining me for the second night of the stay. My friend’s only comment about the room was that she didn’t like the art; but to each her own.
The biggest complaint I have about the room is the connector door allowed noise in from the neighboring room. After the concert we got back to the room around 11:30pm. Our neighbors were having a party and at 1:00am we finally called security. We could hear clearly every word they were saying, what song was playing, even glasses clinking when they were toasting each other. Security was quick to respond and after that the group quieted down. I turned up the room fan and that helped cover the noise. However there is no sound proofing and your neighbors will be able to hear everything going in your room.
Bathroom: The bathroom is what you would expect from an older building. Small (one vanity) with a bathtub. It had clearly been updated, but you can’t make a bathroom larger. The shower head was built into the ceiling (rain shower style) and was able to be pivoted. I would have preferred a wand shower head as well. Water pressure was good and the water was hot. Standard Dr. Kenet products.
Regency Club: I made good use of the Regency Club (located on the 29th floor). Breakfast was basic; one morning the hot option was oatmeal and the second morning it was an egg dish. During the day there were cookies and snacks left out. A cooler was well stocked with water (both still and sparkling), soda, mixers, juice and milk. There was also a coffee machine that people had difficulty with as it was quite high tech. Hors d’oeuvres could be a stand in for dinner if needed. An honor bar was set up with multiple options of drinks. I didn’t make it to the evening dessert.
The staff was VERY attentive and helpful; taking your plate, opening the sliding window to the patio, cleaning, refreshing food, etc. Two work stations were set up and there were a couple of TVs. It was a small lounge but I never had a problem finding a spot to sit.
Pool: There is an outdoor pool and spa that is heated. I am not sure it would be open in the winter but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is. It is located on the 4th floor next to the gym. I swam twice and both times was the only person at the pool. If the weather was nice there was room to lounge and a couple of palm trees attempted to make the space feel like more than a concrete roof.
Service: While the “hard product” of the hotel was average, I found the service to be excellent. When one of my keys didn’t work, immediately someone came to give me a new set. When my fridge was set to high and my water froze not only did they come up and fix it, but they also left me a handwritten note and that evening during turndown service brought two water bottles. After we called security on the neighbors a note was slipped under our door from the manager apologizing for the late night disruption. I definitely felt that the staff went above and beyond to make me feel valued as a guest.
Overall: The price of the room ($303 CAD a night) during my room was steep. You are paying for location and service. The hard product is nothing more than average. This is they only Hyatt in town; I suspect that they will build a Park Hyatt or at least a Grand sometime soon in a modern building. However until that time this is a fine option for Hyatt loyalists.
One more thing…
I couldn’t resist posting a photo I took at the concert.