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After two days of Chicago Seminars excitement, my husband and I headed to the Park Hyatt Chicago for the night. I debated some whether it was worth 22,000 points or the roughly $500 it was selling for that Saturday night, but eventually decided it was absolutely worth trying for the night on points. Since Hyatt points can be transferred 1:1 from Ultimate Rewards, it was really a n- brainer, as easy as those points seem to be to earn these days with the 5x powers of the Ink Bold Charge Card or Ink Plus Business Card, the quarterly 5x bonuses from the Chase Freedom Visa, etc… While sign-up bonuses are the quickest way to rack up points, you are essentially earning a free night at a top tier Category 6 Hyatt hotel with every $4,400 in spending if you are earning 5x. That is pretty amazing!
Heading to the Park Hyatt:
Heading to the hotel there was a fair amount of traffic, so it took about 45 minutes to an hour to get there from the airport, but without traffic it would have been more like 20 minutes. We did go in a circle a couple of times since downtown Chicago was a madhouse of gridlock and crazy drivers, but once we arrived and used the valet (we were totally done with downtown Chicago driving), we knew we were in for a treat. Valet was around $50 for the night.
The Lobby and Check-in:
When you first walk into the hotel, there is a large sitting room to your left that would be a comfortable and convenient place to wait for valet, friends, etc. We didn’t have any waiting on this trip, but it is always good to have a convenient place to kill some time – especially if you have a child to corral for a few minutes.
The actual check-in area is straight ahead and it is a large and somewhat empty area. It feels very modern and elegant. All of the employees we encountered addressed us by our names, and were extraordinarily polite. They make you feel important, even though if you are like us, you most certainly are not.
They proactively asked us at check-in if we wanted to take advantage of the 4PM late check-out that comes with Diamond status. Sadly we had to decline, but it was nice for them to offer right up front. We were also told that due to our Diamond status that we would be entitled to complimentary breakfast either in the restaurant or via room service. She did not mention a maximum amount we could spend, and I didn’t ask. She then asked if we wanted the 1,000 Diamond Amenity points or a food and beverage amenity. We took the points as usual, but in this case that was actually an error. I was really in the mood for a snack and a drink, and getting the amenity would have been a very economical way to do that. If you value Hyatt points at 1.5 – 2 cents a piece, then trading the 1,000 points would have only really “cost” us $15 – $20. As you will see in a minute, our drink and snack cost us much more than that.
A very nice bellman accompanied us to our room with our bags, which was quite all right with me, but if you would like to avoid needing to tip people left and right, then this may not be the hotel for you. Lots of people are very helpful at this hotel, so just be prepared for that with some cash.
We used points and reserved a basic Park King room for 22,000 points. We neither expected nor received any sort of upgrade with our Diamond status, however our room was still very nice. We were at the end of a hallway on the 18th floor and only had issues with noise when other people were going in and out of their rooms early in the morning. The doors (slamming?) were quite loud, but thankfully that didn’t happen at night.
The room is a unique design in that the bathroom and bedroom areas are a pretty open floor plan. It was perfect for our night with just the two of us, but it would be a funny feeling room if you were just traveling with a friend. I’m sure our daughter would have loved peeking through the bathtub to the bedroom, and while I would absolutely bring her to this hotel, it is not a hotel that is really designed with families at the forefront.
The bathtub had little candles and bath salts ready – this room really does seem to be designed for couples (or individual relaxation)!
The bedroom itself has a nice sitting chair and an inviting padded area perfect for reading right next to the window. I really enjoyed just looking out of the window. Just like most hotel rooms in major cities, there isn’t a ton of extra space in the room, but it was plenty of space for two people for the night.
You can shut the divider between the bathroom and the bedroom if you wish, though it makes the room feel much more “standard” and not near as special when you do so.
The bathroom has a TV that you could see from the tub if you wanted. It also has a separate room for the toilet, and both a shower and the very large tub that was shown above.
The shower had very good water pressure, upgraded soaps/shampoos, and it had an additional detachable shower head.
The Nomi Lounge:
As I mentioned at the beginning, after a day at the Chicago Seminars, I was hungry and thirsty, and needed a snack before our dinner reservation. We headed down to the Nomi Lounge hoping to watch some of the football game while eating, but this was not the sort of lounge that has a TV. It appears to be way too sophisticated for a TV. 🙂 We were a bit disappointed, as we were hoping to watch Notre Dame play, but we ordered six oysters, a sushi roll, and a couple drinks even though there was no TV.
The food was fantastic, and it really was exactly what I was craving. The service was top notch and very efficient (which was good so we could get back to the game). The only real downside of the lounge is it is as pricy as you would expect for a Park Hyatt in downtown Chicago. Our snack with drinks was over $100, which is why I kind of regretted not just getting the Diamond food and drink amenity. I very much enjoyed the lounge, but would probably get the amenity for a snack next time.
Had the weather been nicer, there is a nice patio next to the lounge as well. However, it was cold and rainy the night we were there, so no patio this time.
Dinner in Chicago:
Since this was “date night”, we wanted a dinner in downtown Chicago that was within walking distance, and was nice, but not too ridiculously expensive. Many of the top Chicago restaurants didn’t have any space anyway since we started looking for reservations just about a week in advance. Thanks to some recommendations and research on chowhound.com, we decided on Cafe Spiaggia. It has a much more expensive sister restaurant Spiaggia which is right next door, but the less formal and more affordable atmosphere of Cafe Spiaggia was better suited for us that night. It was about a 10 minute walking distance from the Park Hyatt.
We had several courses of yummy Italian food and a couple glasses of wine for $100 total, so it was the perfect choice. It was quality food and service that made it feel like a nice night out, without breaking the bank too terribly. Heck, it cost less than our snack at the Hyatt!
The walk back to the Hyatt was fun – there is just something kind of magical about nighttime downtown in a big city. People are dressed up and going every which way, horse carriages are trotting by, and I just love the hustle and bustle of it all. The Park Hyatt is in a fantastic location if you like shopping, eating, or other downtown activities.
Room Service Breakfast:
We were very excited to take advantage of our Diamond breakfast benefit by enjoying room service breakfast. As you would expect, room service breakfast at the Park Hyatt isn’t cheap, but since it was complimentary for us I was ready to indulge! I’m not a very good morning person, but we ordered room service as soon as we were up, and we were told it would be there in 45 minutes. That would mean it would arrive just before we needed to get on the road to the airport which was perfect.
We got ready for the day and the breakfast still had not yet arrived. Around that time they called to say that the breakfast was running late, but it would be there in 5-7 minutes. That would be cutting it close, but it would still be enough time to eat, and I appreciated them calling with the update. However, 5-7 minutes came and went with no breakfast. We were even looking down the hall to see if perhaps they were coming off the elevator – we are kind of pathetic. About 15 minutes after the originally scheduled delivery time (one hour after we ordered), we called down to cancel the order as we had to depart for the airport. It is not a big deal at all in the grand scheme of things, but I was pretty bummed since I was hungry and very much looking forward to putting my Diamond benefits to good use.
Instead we went through a nearby McDonald’s drive thru which was much more efficient, but likely not near as delicious as the Park Hyatt breakfast would have been!
In retrospect, I should have ordered room service earlier, but if it had come when we were told it would it wouldn’t have been a problem. I’ll know for next time. I did put our room service issue on the survey that was emailed to me after our stay, and I did receive an email from the In Room Dining Assistant Manager apologizing and offering to personally oversee our next in-room dining experience at the Park Hyatt. I highly doubt I will request special oversight of our next order, but at least they do read the surveys. Update: The room service manager has now followed up again and offered 5,000 points due to the room service delay. As to whether or not that was a result of this post I can’t say for sure, but I do think it is a fair amount given that we lost out on about $80 worth of breakfast. I would have gladly returned to the Park Hyatt either way, but I am happy with the outcome.
Overall it was a fantastic stay at the Park Hyatt, and I do think it was worth 22,000 points whether those come directly from your Hyatt account, or are transferred from Ultimate Rewards. If you have free Hyatt nights from the Hyatt Credit Card sign-up (make a booking on Hyatt.com to see if you can get an offer with a statement credit) and want to use your free nights domestically, it would be a very good use of those nights as well. I hope to return to this hotel in the future, and next time I will order breakfast a bit earlier!
Have you stayed at this Hyatt? What did you think of your stay?
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