Hyatt Regency Seattle Grand Opening
Today I attended the grand opening of the brand new Hyatt Regency Seattle, the largest hotel in the Pacific Northwest with 1260 guest rooms. Designed by LMN, the large flat white building isn’t the most attractive in my opinion.
My daily commute to work takes me by the new Hyatt Regency Seattle. I have spent the past three years watching the demolition of the former Greyhound station and apartments, excavation, and build out of the new property.
Here are some shots over the the past three years (click to enlarge):
The Hyatt Regency Seattle takes up most of an entire city block. The main entrance is on Howell between 8th and 9th. It is located kitty corner from the Hyatt Olive 8 and less than 2 blocks from the Grand Hyatt Seattle. All three properties are owned by R.C. Hedreen. The Regency is 3 times larger than either of the other properties.
The expansion of the Washington State Convention Center is being built across the street. Amazon headquarters’ central buildings are a couple of blocks away. Coming from the airport, guests can take the Link light rail to Westlake and walk a few blocks to the hotel. There are plenty of restaurants and shopping nearby. It is very central location.
Lobby & Check In
There are two entrances to the property. The main lobby atrium, including access to the restaurants and conference rooms, is located off of Howell. A large mural art installation is against a bright white wall. There are a number of seating areas throughout the lobby.
The other entrance is via an ally between 8th and 9th. Currently there is a surface parking lot but I imagine it won’t stay vacant for long. This is the valet entrance and the main entrance for hotel guests.
The check in area is large with at least 12 stations if fully staffed.
I’m not sure how I feel about the lobby art.
Across from the check in desks are two banks of elevators. One bank takes guests to floors 1-26. The other bank takes guests to floors 1-8 and 27-45.
When you enter the elevator, there is a key pad with digits 1-9. Floors 1-9 are easy (just press the number). If you want a higher floor, 25 for example, you would need to press “2” and then “5”. It is quite confusing and I saw guests ending up on the wrong floor.
There are currently three restaurants in the Hyatt Regency Seattle. There is additional retail space that has not been built out. Daniel’s Broiler steakhouse is the headlining restaurant. The restaurant and two bars take up most of the 2nd floor of the property.
The main restaurant can seat up to 200 (depending on configuration).
Additionally there is an open lounge. Hidden behind the lounge (and a wall of whiskey barrels) is the Rickhouse Whiskey Bar for a more intimate and formal lounge experience.
On the first floor is Andare, a more casual Italian restaurant and bar. To me it felt like a standard hotel restaurant (pretty generic).
The third option is the casual Market. Currently open 5am to Midnight, the plan is to keep it open 24 hours a day in the future. Made to order food and coffee or grab and go is available.
A FedEx business center is located across from the Market.
Conference and Ballrooms
During the opening celebration, the property was clearly labeled as a conference hotel. The location and the physical space emphasize this. There are five floors (floors 3-7) of modern conference rooms and ballrooms. In total, there are 4 ballrooms and 46 meeting rooms that add up to over 100,000 square feet of event space.
The huge Regency Club is located on the 8th floor. In addition to various seating areas, there is an outside balcony with seating and fire pits that will be fantastic in Seattle summers.
Besides breakfast and evening bites, there are snacks and beverages available throughout the day.
Also on the 8th floor is the gym. Lots of equipment including a couple of Peloton bikes.
Guest rooms start on floor 9 and go up to floor 45. The hallways circle the elevator shafts. Each room has a unique local photograph outside the door.
Essentially there are two types of (non-suite) rooms. Regular rooms or corner rooms. The 320 sq. ft. regular rooms come with either one king or two queen beds. As you enter, the bathroom is on one side and open, free standing closet area is on the other. Each room has a small built in desk next to the wall mounted large TV.
The beds have a back lit headboard. There are plenty of outlets and lighting options for the room.
Each room has a small empty fridge, safe and Keurig coffee maker.
The bathroom is small. A lit mirror is above a single vanity. The dimmer switch is built into the mirror. Only the ADA rooms have a tub, the rest have a small shower with glass half wall (no curtain).
Some will definitely complain about the wall mounted bath product dispenser, but I like that hotels are going this route to cut costs and reduce waste. I was told that the Pharmacopia brand of product is going to be the new standard at all Hyatt Regency properties.
The larger rooms are the four corner rooms on each floor. These rooms are a bit bigger at 420 sq. ft. You enter into a small foyer with a large picture window. You then turn and have the bathroom on one side and closet on the other. The bed area has an added lounge chair in front of the window.
The corner rooms all have a lock off option to a standard room. My guess is that this will be the “suite” set up that many World of Hyatt elites are offered during their stay.
There are a very limited number of true suites located on the 45th floor.
One interesting thing to note is that by default, housekeeping will only be offered every other day. I was told guests can request housekeeping every day if they want it. It will be interesting to see if this policy sticks.
The ribbon cutting ceremony was brief; with Chuck Floyd of Hyatt and David Thyer of the ownership group making remarks before a crowd of 900 guests — mostly VIPs from Hyatt Corporate, friends and family of the owners, and those involved with the development and building of the hotel.
Seattle is a city that has a hotel room shortage. Many new properties have opened in the past five years. The Regency is a welcome addition. With a property so large I wish they would have considered a hotel within a hotel concept — perhaps having the top floors be a separate Andaz or Park Hyatt property. I suppose that with Hyatt’s acquisition of Two Roads Hospitality (including a number of properties in Seattle), they don’t see the need for a more boutique option.
The Hyatt Regency Seattle is a Category 4 property which means it will cost you 15,000 Hyatt points.
This is the same cost as the other two full service Hyatts in downtown Seattle. Update: As of March, 2019, all other properties in Seattle are moving up a category. I would absolutely recommend the Hyatt Regency over either Hyatt House or Hyatt Place. No contest.
Overall, I prefer the Olive 8 which feels smaller and less cookie cutter. Plus it has a pool.
Looking at cash rates in the future, it seems that Regency generally is a bit cheaper than either Olive 8 or Grand.
Therefore, I would suggest someone paying cash to try out the Regency.
However, if you are using points and won’t have lounge access, I think Olive 8 offers better value. If you are going to have lounge access, the Regency beats out the Grand lounge (and Olive 8 doesn’t have a lounge).
Are you going to try out the Hyatt Regency Seattle? Have you already stayed? Tell me your experience and thoughts in the comments below.