Ah, the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme.  For many this is the pinnacle of Hyatt Gold Passport redemptions – especially before it increased from 22,000 to 30,000 points per night.  The golden decorative accents, the 800 Euro a night room rates (well over $1000USD for the currency impaired), the famed breakfast, the air of ‘French Fantasticness’, I mean what better place to stay in Paris with your four year old, right?  Okay truthfully I was a bit worried this place was a little too hoity–toity for both of us, but given all the glowing reviews we just had to give it a try, and I’m glad we did.

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The Lobby and Check-in:

After flying overnight from Houston to London in United BusinessFirst, getting through Heathrow with a tired four-year-old, catching a short British Airways flight to Paris, and getting the hour or so from the airport to the hotel, suffice to say we were glad to have finally made it.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I could hear angels trumpeting our arrival into the Hyatt Mecca, or maybe I was just hearing things at this point.  You can read about all of those adventures here

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Upon entering the hotel, a bellman took our name and bags.  The front desk was alerted that we were approaching, and our bags magically disappeared until we would be reunited with them later in our room.  Everyone at the front desk was very well dressed (especially in contrast to our now quite disheveled appearances) and they were all extremely professional.  There was a fair amount of confusion over our award reservation as they had merged it with someone else’s reservation who shared the last name and had a stay around the same dates.  It took a bit to sort out this confusion, but it eventually was rectified and they reflected the correct rate of all points, no cash.

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Fancy columns are perfect for hiding behind!

We were informed of our Diamond benefits that included the American Breakfast in the restaurant, and when I asked they confirmed we could also take it via room service.  We were also offered either 1,000 points or the amenity of a bottle of red wine.  Knowing how expensive everything was going to be in and around that hotel, we selected the wine to celebrate the arrival of my mom and aunt the following day.

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After we had completed the check-in formalities, we were offered a tour of the property.  This seems to be a standard part of the check-in process here, and it is at the same time awkward and helpful.  The tour included information about the on-site restaurant Le Pur that is open nightly from 8PM – 10PM.  Yes, you read that correctly.  They said reservations are highly recommended there, and given the short opening hours, I can imagine why.

We were also shown the bright Les Orchidées restaurant where we could choose to have breakfast in the morning.  This was located next to the La Cheminée shown below that serves things like afternoon tea, light appetizers, or a quiet drink before dinner.  It looked like a very quiet and relaxing place…in other words, somewhere we needed to steer clear of at all costs.

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Lunch is offered seasonally in outside in La Terrasse – which you can see through the windows near the check-in area.

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After getting a tour of the available restaurants on the main floor of the hotel, we headed up the elevator to our third floor ‘upgraded’ Park Deluxe King room that had a courtyard view.  We were shown how to operate a few things in our room, and then left to relax and unpack.

Park King Deluxe Room:

My first impressions of the room honestly weren’t great.  I’m not into the gold look – it just reminds me of Las Vegas about a decade ago, but it grew on me.  We were given what I was told was an upgraded room, but it still wasn’t very big.  I will say that my mom received the same upgrade with no status, only to a room with a view of the street, and her room seemed much larger.  Ours must have been on the smaller side of the spectrum for that room type.

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Regardless, it was plenty big for my daughter and me.  The bed was a bit hard – even my four year old noticed that, but it was about the average stiffness for Europe.  Otherwise it was quite comfortable.  The TV did have a cartoon channel, but despite the guide saying it was in English, it was very much in French.  That was kind of fun for us to watch though during our downtime, and you will have downtime even in Paris with a four year old.  There was also an adapter so you could easily plug the goodies you brought from home.

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The bathroom was almost as large as the main part of the room, so we actually hung out in there a bit looking out into the courtyard.  There wasn’t much to see, but my daughter just loved it.  I will note that it was actually a pretty dangerous set-up for young and curious kids who have poor danger assessment skills as it is easy to open the windows, and easy to fall out.  We had to have lots of talks about that, and I had to be next to her whenever she wanted to open the windows.

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Hanging out in the bathroom in Paris

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Her favorite spot in the room

There was a large bathtub and separate large shower area.  Naturally kids love these huge tubs, but be aware the shower area gets very very slippery when wet, so again another safety thing I had to discuss with the little one.  The water pressure and temperature were totally fine during our stay.

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Two sinks in the bathroom

The room was plenty comfortable and I didn’t have any noise issues from in our courtyard room either from outside or from the hallway.  The WiFi also worked very well for our stay.

Room Service Breakfast:

With a little one, there was no way I was going to go into the restaurant downstairs when we had the option to enjoy our breakfast in bed thanks to Hyatt Diamond status.  Especially given the time change and jet lag issues (more on that in the next post in this series), being able to eat without getting out of bed was amazing.  Both days our breakfast ran well over 100 Euros, so thank goodness it was all covered other than the extra tip we added.  You could have breakfast for two via room service a bit cheaper than that, but it would run you probably at least 60 Euros even if you ordered very conservatively.  We didn’t really order conservatively.

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Breakfast in jammies – thank goodness

The first day my daughter had pancakes that were incredibly fluffy, and I had some eggs and a fruit smoothie.  We shared some fruit and fresh squeezed orange juice.  Throw in a bottle of water and some coffee and this costs 100 Euros+.  It was so yummy other than the very hard bread they served with the meal.

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C used these as drum sticks

The second morning my mom and aunt “happened to” arrive to our room right as breakfast was being delivered, and we all shared two orders of the American Breakfast “for two” plus some extra coffee.  There was way more than enough eggs, pastries, fruit, and ham to go around for the four of us.

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American Breakfast for two…or four in practice

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Other than a little extra coffee, we only ordered breakfast for two, but it was a great way to get more value for the Diamond benefit since the four of us were pleasantly stuffed after sharing the meal in our room.  All in both days we had close to 250 Euros in breakfast (close to $350 USD) thanks to our Diamond status.  Throw in the bottle of wine and the frequently restocked Evian waters in the room and all of that added up.  We wouldn’t have spent that much on breakfast without Diamond status, but given the price of everything in Paris, it probably wouldn’t have been cheap – and without room service it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as convenient.  I enjoyed the heck out of that room service breakfast, and both days didn’t have to eat another full meal until dinner.

Local Area:

The Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme is located in a high end area of Paris that is covered with very upscale retailers.  There are some more reasonable priced restaurants in walking distance, but there are also some pretty expensive places.

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It is a reasonable walk to several stations including Opéra, Concorde, Madeleine or Pyramide.  We walked to the Opéra station in about 12 minutes or so, and while I wouldn’t want to do it with a luggage + a kid, it was fine with just a kid.  The concierge was helpful with nearby recommendations, and they also helped arrange for cabs that took credit cards every time we asked.  Everyone we encountered at the Park Hyatt Paris spoke very good English, so communication was easy.

Overall Impressions and How You Can Do It:

The first few hours we were there I was beyond happy we had made it, but I honestly wasn’t blown away with the hotel.  It wasn’t that it wasn’t very nice, it is just that it wasn’t at all my style.  Kind of like how a Rolls Royce is probably very great, but it isn’t my style.  However, it grew on me in a hurry thanks to the exceptional service, high quality of pretty much everything, and I missed it tremendously when we switched to a different hotel after a couple of days.  The breakfast benefit certainly helped give us a great overall experience, but everything about the hotel made being in Paris easy and quite comfortable.

I think it was certainly worth the 22,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night we spent, and is even now worth the 30,000 Hyatt points it currently costs…at least for a special trip.  That is a bunch of Hyatt points, but remember you can transfer them in 1:1 from Chase Ultimate Rewards and leverage the sign-up bonuses from cards like the Ink Plus® Business Card,  Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Ink Bold® Business Card to help give you a decent number of points to work with. It is also one of the best uses of the two free nights you can get via the sign-up bonus for the Hyatt Visa

Do be aware that the particular room type we were in is rated for two adults and one child, but it is not the standard room type you can reserve with points.  Those room types have a max occupancy of two, and even toddlers would count as the third (though infants would not).  This is a problem you are going to hit with many hotels in Paris, and not unique to Hyatt.  I know of many people who have worked with the hotel directly to book the standard room on points and then pay a cash up-charge to stay in a room that will technically allow three people.  If you have elite status you may well get that upgrade complimentary as we did, but it’s not guaranteed.  If you have a family of four, the only rooms here technically rated for that are the very expensive largest suite types so expect a relatively substantial up-charge for that, if it is offered at all.  My friend Ed negotiated an Executive Suite for his family of three a little earlier this year.

I hope we are able to visit this hotel again, and I would love to hear your experiences if you have stayed here as well!

 

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Posted by Mommy Points | 23 Comments

23 Responses to “Park Hyatt Paris Vendome Review”

  1. Trevor says:

    Thanks for the great review! In terms of the room service breakfast, was there a maximum allowed spending amount for the diamond benefit?

  2. Erik says:

    The “maximum occupancy of 3″ issue is prevalent all over Europe. Furthermore, many of the “double” rooms have 2 twin beds, making it impossible for a family of 4. Even when they do have 2 full or 2 queens, the occupancy rule may be enforced (sometimes it is hotel policy, in other cases it is legal/fire code). You simply have to call or e-mail the hotel to find out if they will allow 2 adults/2 children using the existing bedding in a room with a maximum occupancy of 3. I prefer to make this confirmation via e-mail so that I have a written proof in case something goes wrong.

    Some chains are better than others – in our experience, Marriott properties tend to be more likely to have an American-style double room available. But sometimes they do not have a property in our destination, so when that happens we have used local hotels or apartment rentals (usually the latter, since you typically get a kitchen and much more space for a family).

  3. Dia says:

    So glad to read this review, as it makes me glad we chose the Etoile last year! It’s not as fancy, and a metro ride, but at 15k points we had a top floor suite as a diamond that was bigger than my 1st house!

  4. Dan says:

    What I get from this review is that the hotel is incredible but probably isn’t worth it if you dont have diamond status. Would you spend 30K Hyatt points today (I know you got in for 22K) for this hotel without Diamond status since then it would not come with free breakfast?

  5. Geoff says:

    We stayed at the PHV as a couple in Feb ’13 but as Platinum guests and received exactly the same benefits(tour, breakfast, room).
    Service was fantastic, location even better. In the snow it was quite romantic.
    As you mentioned MP, we used our four free nights(we each had the Hyatt card).
    Might be the single best hotel card in the loyalty universe.

  6. ptahcha says:

    Did not know about the room service breakfast benefit for Diamond members! We went downstairs every morning during our stay. The American breakfast buffet was plentiful, and it comes with 1 order of eggs.

    My only complaint about the hotel is the ridiculous prices at the bar. €35 for a signature cocktail is a bit much.

  7. Jonathan says:

    Dan – You are spot on (in my experience anyway). I have zero status, and I was a little underwhelmed by the Park Hyatt, especially with all the hype. It is, after all, just a hotel (and a pretentious one at that). While the bathroom is amazing, the overall room is quite small. Unless you want to go just for the experience, I’d save a few points and stay at a hotel that costs fewer points if you don’t have status.

  8. Santastico says:

    I know this Hyatt is like the “Holly Grail” for most people that have Hyatt points but I am not convinced I would spend 33,000 points there. First of all the hotel is located in Paris which is probably one of the last places on Earth I would want to spend time enjoying a hotel. Paris is all about enjoying the city. Thus, all I care is location and a comfortable bed and clean and functional bathroom. Don’t get me wrong, I still want a pretty nice place but you can find amazing boutique hotels in Paris that don’t cost 800 euros/night and you will be treated like royalty. I prefer to save my Hyatt points to use in places where it is all about the hotel and its amenities in resort places like Kauai, Papagayo, etc…

  9. JakePB says:

    @Dan, as a Gold my wife and I still received the daily breakfast benefit. We found the PH Vendome to be a truly special place, and what made it exceptional was the staff. The property has a very high end feel, but the employees didn’t even have the tiniest bit of pretense about them. Although we stayed in the 22k days, we will definitely be back and will gladly shell out 30k pts/night. And I must say, by Paris standards the rooms are actually quite large IMO.

  10. Valerie says:

    We stayed here last year and had to “sneak” my daughter in. I emailed the hotel ahead of time and they said 2 max in standard room. We were moving from a hotel close by so I sent my dh to check in and see if we are given a complementary upgrade or not. Joked with my daughter that we might have to sneak her in if not. We were given a lovely upgraded deluxe room with a balcony overlooking place vendom. Even though we didn’t need to, my daughter loved the idea of “sneaking” in the hotel like a spy and made me do that every time :-)

  11. JakePB says:

    Oops – check that – I’m platinum via Hyatt Visa card.

  12. Michael says:

    So happy you and C had a great stay. I love the hotel and stay every year.

    Glad you enjoyed that wine, but it’s four euros in the Monoprix down the street. (The Monoprix is great to get lots of provisions for picnics and odds and ends, including terrific inexpensive kids clothes.)

    Also, there is the great Erik Kayser Bakery just a stone’s throw from the hotel that has amazing delicacies for a few euros (I’d rather have the free diamond breakfast — which has an amazing buffet/ assortment in the restaurant), but if it was not free, I’d go to Kayser.

    As for food choices, Le Regelade is nearby and is a famous bistro with a great prix fixe for 35 euros and a 15 minute walk brings you into the left bank and a host of options…

  13. Patrick says:

    Is the breakfast benefit applicable to all Hyatt properties for Platinums? Or was that just a one off?
    Thanks

  14. David says:

    PHV is a over-rated hotel, especially at the paid rates.

    Did you really eat all the food that was ordered for breakfast?

  15. Paul says:

    When we were there as Diamonds, was not offered amenity, received a lousy upgraded suite that was badly in need of TLC (snags in curtains, stains, broken iron/lamp, shower had corrosion, peeling paint). It was disgraceful that they charged 1200 Euro a night for that room. Service was good but concierge gave us bad info the one time we used them (wrong train to Versailles). Breakfast was nice, but hardly something to rave about as so many do. Good location – walking distance to the Louvre/Notre Dame

  16. Shaun says:

    Great review!

    We will be staying there next month on points as well and had issues with max occupancy.
    Contacted the hotel directly and received offer to pay 90 Euros per night for a deluxe room. Then I contacted the GM directly and he was nice enough to extend the complimentary upgrade for two nights! (my diamond status might have helped)

  17. Shaun says:

    @Dia

    how was Etoile? We are staying there for 3 nights and the reviews on-line are not so great.

  18. stvr says:

    Did you try Uber when you were there? (reading your taxi cabs with credit cards comment to mean maybe you did…?)

  19. mommypoints says:

    Traveling right now, so apologies for not getting to each comment right away, but a few notes….
    -I do think it might be worth 30k points, but I didn’t think so until after I stayed there and then stayed somewhere else and realized how much I missed it. Having the breakfast helps for sure. For sure a good place to use the two free credit card nights!
    -I did use uber some in Paris, we also used cabs.
    -David, four of us shared breakfast for two one day and no even the four of us didn’t finish it. I did finish most the day I ordered for just C and myself, but I didn’t order much for myself so that was easy.

  20. JohnnieD says:

    My wife and I stayed there 2 yrs ago on points. It was very nice and since I was Diamond at the time, we ate the breakfast in the rest. It was the nicest breakfast i ever had! However, with that said, I would never pay 100 eur for breakfast and would not return. nothing wrong with the place just that it didn’t seem to be worth the pts (22k at the time).
    We stayed 3 nts and honestly enjoyed staying another 3 nts at Holiday Inn Express Paris-Canal de la Villette much better. It was in a residential area where we interacted with locals- eating,shopping,walking. Just a short walk from the RIQUET Metro station. We traveled frugally on hotel pts..

  21. Dis says:

    @Sean, I have a full review of the Etoile on my blog (click my name). We stayed weeks after the transition and there were a few bumps, but for value I totally recommend. The Eiffel Tower view is amazing, and Bastille Day there was a life list experience.

  22. iahphx@yahoo.com says:

    Thanks to the points game, I often wind up in fancy Paris hotels because I don’t really pay for them. But, honestly, there’s no place in the world where a fancy hotel is less valuable than in Paris. Typically, I leave the hotel early in the morning and don’t return until after dinner (Paris is so spread out that you are rarely in the neighborhood of your hotel that you pop back in for a break). While I value location in Paris — it’s better to stay in an area that you plan to spend time in — I don’t value “stars” very much: a 3-star is almost as good as a 5 star to me in Paris. And getting “free breakfast” in Paris is marginal. A fantastic baguette (never more than a block or two away in Paris) is a steal at a euro; buy a little cheese or meat and you have breakfast fit for a king for almost nothing. Sadly, unless Choice hotels is running a good promo (and they’re not now), the fancy hotels wind up costing almost the same as the cheaper hotels for those attuned to the mileage game. But it’s a very modest benefit.

  23. Pizzaman says:

    Sounds like your experience was a bit different than mine, but we definitely had a better room than you guys did. I’m not sure I would enjoy the smaller room either. We took a pass on the tour, those are never really my kind of thing. We went breakfast buffet and really enjoyed it but sounds like you had a major score on room service.

    I agree that I wouldn’t have picked the styling in the rooms, but I can usually ignore that stuff pretty well and enjoy the parts that work for me. Sounds like you had the same view as me, which our kiddo really enjoyed. I have zero other experience in Paris, but I’m headed back to PH the next time I’m there.

    I’m conflicted on the 30K per night. On the one hand, I think it’s a lot for a hotel room, and the Westin down the street is 20-25K a night. I’d probably lean towards saving my SPG points for a country like Italy where Hyatt has little presence, especially because it’s easier to stockpile points to redeem at Hyatts.

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