Hotel Review: Park Hyatt Chicago

Please note this site has financial relationships with American Express and this post may contain affiliate links. Read my Advertiser Disclosure policy here to learn more about my partners.

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. 

20121017-133944.jpg

20121017-133950.jpg

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.

20121017-134012.jpg

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.

20121017-134024.jpg

20121017-134036.jpg

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.

The Room:

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.

20121017-134051.jpg

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.

20121017-134106.jpg

The bathtub had little candles and bath salts ready – this room really does seem to be designed for couples (or individual relaxation)!

20121017-134123.jpg

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.

20121017-134134.jpg

20121017-134141.jpg

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.

20121017-134148.jpg

Bathroom:

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.

20121017-134159.jpg

20121017-134216.jpg

The shower had very good water pressure, upgraded soaps/shampoos, and it had an additional detachable shower head.

20121017-134224.jpg

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.

20121017-142531.jpg

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.

20121017-142610.jpg

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!

20121017-142616.jpg

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.

20121017-142627.jpg

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!

20121017-142639.jpg

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?

 

Disclosure:  I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links.  As always, thanks for your support!

Comments

  1. Thanks for the great review. I’ve never stayed at this hotel although I’ve stayed at many Chicago hotels. Sounds nice but over priced (even for downtown Chicago ). Sorry to hear about the room service but you did find out that there is a McDonalds on every corner n Chicago 🙂

    Oh and I loved the fantasy of “without traffic it would have been 20 minutes”. Chicago always has traffic it seems that’s why they invented trains I guess.

    • @DaninSTL, our return trip to the airport actually had no traffic and took no more than 20 minutes. It was magical. 😉

  2. my mother in law lives across the street from the park hyatt and i work about 10 blocks away, so i’ve been to nomi and i’m in the area all the time .. but i had never actually seen what the rooms look like, thanks for the review

  3. Great Review! When I stayed at this hotel, it reminded me of the Westin Diplomat in Hollywood FL. The bathroom has the same layout and “window.” I consider these two hotels to be the missing links that bind Starwood and Hyatt :).

  4. Great review. I hope to someday read your review on the freedom of the inexpensive day pass for local transportation. 😉

  5. Thanks for the good review MP. Did you ever post a review of the London May Fair hotel or did I miss it? We are planning a family visit their next spring and were curious.

    Thanks

  6. Loved it!! Beautiful hotel (their designer did an amazing job. Been to some nice hotels and this was by far the most beautifully decorated) and definitely worth trading in your UR points! Room service was top notch and the hotel staff was extremely helpful. But like you said, you can go through some cash fast tipping people!
    Location is fantastic too. Either walking distance or short taxi rides to all the sights and some GREAT restaurants.
    Great review!

  7. Stayed here for 4 nights back in April. Breakfast in Nomi, or as room service, was fantastic. Sorry you couldn’t indulge. Our bill was in the $60-$80 range every morning but was waived as a diamond. Great benefit. It also helped that they had a government rate (yes I am gov employee) available for $185/night. Wish they had that available more often. Overall, we really liked the hotel.

  8. Wow, $50 for parking? Depending on your rental rate and who you rented with, it may have been possible to save by returning your vehicle in downtown Chicago on the day of your arrival at the Hyatt. If your last day was only refueling and returning, no need to pay for an extra rental day plus valet parking if you are staying in the Loop.

    BTW, thanks for the breaking news about the reduced spend offer for the Ink Plus. I will likely be taking advantage of that offer (and your affiliate link.)

  9. @Jason, great way to maximize being a gov employee – awesome rate! I have no doubt the room service would have been yummy.
    @Gene, normally we fill out those little room service breakfast cards the night before and hang them on the door…but I think this hotel was too fancy for those cards, so we should have called the night before (in hindsight). Now we know!
    @Hua, no doubt there are cheaper ways to get around, but we had too many errands, hotel check-ins, etc to mess with that on this trip. Enjoy the Ink Plus if you go for it and thanks for your support!

  10. I don’t understand why you didn’t receive a room upgrade or some kind of amenity for them messing up breakfast (5000 points should have been offered and has been offered at other Park Hyats when there has been a miscue like this).

  11. @Michael, we were checking out the morning of the breakfast, so there isn’t really any way they could have done an amenity or upgrade at that point. They did offer 5,000 points as of this morning, which seems about right to me.
    @User Name, in the end I did get 5,000 back, which feels about right. I do think it would have been appropriate for the front desk to have been a bit more proactive about that when I informed them at check-out, but it did work out in the end. Glad I’m not the only one that things missing a free breakfast stinks. 😉

  12. I stayed there the last time I went to a conference located at the Sheraton (across the river). The manager mentioned that it was the biggest hotel either in the US or the world??? Thanks.

  13. hi mp, would you share in general how you tipped the bellman, waiter, room service cleaning crew, valet at a place like this? thanks

  14. Interesting coincidence as a client of mine emailed me a few days ago to ask me about this specific hotel and whether I had stayed there. I just emailed him your link and I suggested he considers the Hyatt card. No commission will be charged from me, enjoy:-)

  15. Great news about the 5000 points. Thought you would get compensated.

    I did want to note that I was treated like a King, actually just a Diamond, at the Chicago Hyatt Regency downtown. Upgraded to a suite both times I stayed there and the Regency Club is great. Sometimes you will find $99 rates for this hotel so I think it’s a steal — especially when you are trying to requalify.

    (FOR NEXT TIME)

  16. @Nguyen, I think the Hyatt Regency Chicago is one of the largest non-gaming hotels, but not this one. It is a very nice hotel though!
    @dj, we often tip between $3 – $5 for things like bags, valet, hailing cabs, etc. Just depends on what it is and what we have on us.
    @gpapadop, ha ha. So now you are in the affiliate game?! 😉 Kidding, let me know if he has any questions and thanks.
    @Michael, good to know. I considered that property – good to know for the future!

  17. Park Hyatt Chicago can be family friendly too. In addition to the standard Diamond amenity, they brought cookies and milk for the kids. It was a nice touch. Kids also got a kick out of sleeping on the window bench shown in one of your pictures.

    • @Rick, cute! We didn’t see a single kid on our visit, but I would bring Little C – she would flip over milk and cookies. 😉

    • @J, I got Diamond status originally through participation in Star MegaDo 3 (all participants receive the status). I am re-qualifying this year based on 25 paid Hyatt stays.
      @colleen, nice idea!

  18. Although we were using our multi-day CTA transit passes to return to ORD, we engaged the free “fancy pants” hotel car to drive us to the nearest Blue Line station rather than the navigating the hassle of a bus/wait with luggage.

  19. my wife and I stayed at the Park Hyatt Chicago last weekend to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversay using my two free nights from obtaining the Hyatt credit card. An hour after we arrived they sent up chilled Champagne and strawberries with dipping chocolate. We parked about a block away for $35 a night. The paid rate for our room which was identical to yours was $475 a night. A very nice hotel.

  20. It looks like they didn’t extend you the courtesy of a room with a lake view–that’s one of the distinguishing traits of the property. Things like this and the breakfast breakdown are examples of the PH’s erratic service level.

    As a GP Diamond, you deserve better.

  21. I put my parents in the Park Hyatt once using FFNs from Hyatt. My dad, who has been going to Chicago for almost 60 years, said it was the nicest hotel experience they’d ever had here.
    .
    When Little C is a couple years older and heavily into American Girl, you can return. The “mothership” of American Girl is across the street from the PH in a former Lord & Taylor. Something like 27,000 square feet of wallet-sucking insanity.
    .
    And of course the Hershey Store and Ghirardell’s are less than a block away.

  22. @Harv, great use of your free nights and Happy Anniversary!
    @Larry, ha ha. I justified it by reminding myself the room was “free”. 😉
    @toomanybooks, I did see a bunch of girls with their new dolls. That will be really fun (and expensive). 😉
    @Jim C, absolutely! Couldn’t turn it off for a second, even for photos. Ha ha.

  23. Definitely one of my go-to properties in Chicago. Sorry to hear about your room service experience. Nomi may be pricey, but they have a great menu. Of all the domestic US properties I frequent, this is probably the hotel restaurant I look forward to the most.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *