Category Archives: Hyatt

Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile HOTEL REVIEW: New Year’s Eve in Paris

New Year’s Eve in Paris is another great experience resulting from my obsession with collecting Miles & Points (what I like to call Pointing). After spending a few days in Amsterdam, we hopped on the Thalys hi-speed train. Upon arriving in Paris’ Gare du Nord station, our car service was waiting to whisk us to the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile. For our two-night stay, we dipped into our reserve of Hyatt Gold Passport points.

The Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile is a large conference hotel and, at 34 stories, is one of the few skyscrapers in this part of the city. Public transportation is easily accessible via the Port Maillot Metro and RER (regional commuter train) stations which are located in the shopping mall connected to the building.

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Lobby

The large lobby is modern and airy. Our check-in was handled quickly, efficiently and in a polite manner. However, given that the hotel was quite full for the New Year holiday and very busy there wasn’t much time for warmth or personalization. In fact, this interaction typified the service throughout our stay – business-like but not warm.

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Club Twin 1

Our assigned Twin Club room was small but efficient. The beds were comfortable and our space included an average-sized desk, which supported a flat-screen TV and a small cocktail table and side chair.

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Club Twin 2

Storage space included a large closet / wardrobe that, while deep and spacious, seemed to be oddly designed (e.g. in order to maximize the full use of the space one had to nearly climb inside to slide your belongs into the back compartment.)

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Club Room Closet Space

Another set of drawers and cabinets (which also contained the room’s mini-bar) provided additional storage space.

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Storage Space

The bathroom seemed a bit more spacious relative to the rest of the room and featured a toilet / bidet combination and a full-sized tub and shower. The walls of the tub were a bit high and could potentially represent a slight obstacle for individuals with mobility issues.

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Club Room Bathroom

Although our room was comfortable enough for our short stay, the furnishings seemed a bit dated and worn. Notable dings, scratches and missing pieces were evident on the desk, side tables and woodwork. In addition, the public spaces such as the hallways were dark and evoked a style reminiscent of what we envisioned the future looked like … back in the late-Eighties 😉

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Hallway

During our stay we had access to the Regency Club Lounge that featured plush red chairs and leather banquettes surrounding low cocktail tables. I actually found the décor of the lounge to be fun in that it straddled the line between French Old World luxury and Moulin Rouge style bordello.

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Regency Club Lounge

The lounge was a nice place to write postcards or have a cup of coffee. However, we skipped its breakfast offerings since the wait for seating in the morning seemed long with a line that extended out the door. To be fair, the hotel was booked extremely full which may have contributed to the crowding issues.

The Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile also offers a high-ceilinged fitness center with a variety of cardio equipment.

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Fitness Center

Floor-to-ceiling windows highlighted one of the hotel’s best features … the spectacular views overlooking Paris. For example, we enjoyed unobstructed views of the city from our room.

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Vew from Room 1

We were even able to spot the domes of Sacre Couer off in the distance. You can spot the famous church on the far right hand side of the horizon in the following photo.

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile View from Room 2

Rooms on the other side of the hotel enjoy views of the Eiffel Tower. Although our lodgings lacked such a postcard vista, we were still able to gaze on this classic landmark in the hotel’s 34th floor Bar La Vue. During our stay, the hotel offered a New Year’s Eve package that included a bottle of champagne and a tray of canapés.

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Bar La Vue New Year's Eve Champagne

Our admission fee also entitled us to a couple of reserved bar stools on the upper level of the bar where we could observe the action below, await the night’s Countdown and watch the fireworks launched from the Eiffel Tower at the stroke of midnight. The “premium” seating option provided either banquette space or a seat at low cocktail tables closer to the window.

Hyatt Regency Paris Etoile Bar La Vue New Year's Eve

All in all we enjoyed our New Year’s Eve at the Hyatt Regency Paris Étoile and especially appreciated our short “commute” down the elevator and back to our room once the evening’s festivities were over.

Have you ever stayed at this Parisian hotel? What was your experience?

Hyatt at Olive 8 Hotel Review – Sleek in Seattle

We were going to be in the Emerald City for a long weekend. Since there was a lot we wanted to see and do, I wanted to make sure that we stayed in a centrally located hotel. Furthermore, for an urban getaway I gravitate towards lodgings with a clean, modern esthetic (such as the Andaz London) or a boutique sensibility (like I experienced at The Boxer Boston). Finally, I wanted to make sure we were comfortable since the last thing I wanted was to be Sleepless in … well, you know where that was going …

Hyatt at Olive 8 Exterior View

The Hyatt at Olive 8 is centrally located in downtown Seattle’s theater district. Major tourist attractions such as Pike Place Market are within walking distance. The hotel is also well served by public transportation and is only a block away from the Westlake Light Rail station, which offers a direct link to Seattle’s SEA-TAC Airport. Seattle is also a great Uber town which means that many destinations across the city are affordably in reach from the hotel by using this on demand car service.

The hotel projects a modern feel softened with the look of natural stone and warm wood finishes.

Hyatt at Olive 8 Lobby View

This tip-of-the-hat to the environment is further exemplified by the fact that the Hyatt at Olive 8 is the first LEED certified hotel in Seattle. Various energy and water saving features allow guests to remain green while enjoying the hotel’s modern amenities. This commitment to sustainability is something that I’m seeing more and more in the hotel world.

Hyatt at Olive 8 Lobby Registration Desk

Our check-in was handled smoothly and professionally. The Front Desk Associate assisting us was genuinely friendly and possessed an earnest, wholesome and squeaky-clean demeanor that can also be conveniently found on any page of a J.Crew catalog.

The Deluxe King Room we were assigned continued the hotel’s Modern Pacific Northwest theme.

Hyatt at Olive 8 Deluxe King Room Bed

The room featured airy, loft-height ceilings, simple clean lines, soothing spa-like color tones and dark wood finishes that warmed up the space.

Hyatt at Olive 8 Deluxe King Room

Next to the bed was a small padded bench that could double as either a suitcase rack or as a spot to slip on your shoes. Nearby, a credenza contained a small refrigerator, glassware and coffeemaker.

Hyatt at Olive 8 Open Closet & Storage

Flanking the room’s entrance hall was an open storage unit that contained ample drawer space, generous open shelving, a place to hang your clothes and a safe.

Our room also had a number of convenience features. These included a combination alarm clock and iPod dock …

Hyatt at Olive 8 iPod Dock

… and ample electrical outlets and plugs for electronic devices on the work desk.

Hyatt at Olive 8 Electrical Plugs

However, a few more plugs located on the bed’s nightstands would have been a much appreciated and practical enhancement.

The hotel also participates in the “Hyatt has it” program that allows you to call down for complimentary toiletries, personal grooming items or even coffee or tea.

Hyatt at Olive 8 Hyatt Has It Program

Within 15 minutes of placing my call, an Associate was knocking on the door with my requested items.

The bathroom was bright and modern …

Hyatt at Olive 8 Deluxe King Room Bathroom

… and featured a walk-in shower stall (but no bathtub).

Hyatt at Olive 8 Deluxe King Room Shower

The Hyatt at Olive 8’s warm modernity extended to Urbane, the hotel’s restaurant where we enjoyed breakfast.

Hyatt at Olive 8 Urbane Restaurant Entrance

Hyatt at Olive 8 Urbane Restaurant Dining Area

Service in Urbane was cordial and efficient. We enjoyed the high quality, attractive presentation and generous portions of our breakfast.

Hyatt at Olive 8 Urbane Restaurant Continental Breakfast

Urbane Continental – Yogurt with House Granola & Honey, Fruit & Croissant

Hyatt at Olive 8 Urbane Restaurant My Favorite Scramble

My Favorite Scramble – Goat Cheese, Red Peppers, Scallion, Home Fries, Toast

Hyatt at Olive 8 Urbane Restaurant Bloody Mary

Urbane Bloody Mary – House Infused Rosemary & Pepper Vodka

The Hyatt at Olive 8 served as a comfortable, well-located and stylish base of operations for our first visit to Seattle. The hotel combines a relaxed, modern elegance with the full range of amenities that one would expect from a large urban hotel. I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again on a future visit to the city.

How about you? Do you have a favorite place to stay when you visit Seattle?


Andaz Liverpool Street London Hotel Review – Looking Forward by Looking Back

After we wrapped up our great trip to Italy last summer, my Partner F and I spent a few days in London before hopping on our flight home. Cashing in some of my Hyatt Gold Passport Points, we booked a three-night stay at the Andaz Liverpool Street. Andaz is Hyatt’s “boutique hotel” brand and provides a high design environment combined with some nice “value added” amenities.

The Andaz Liverpool Street opened in 1884 as the Great Eastern, one of London’s original railway hotels. The architects of this red brick Victorian building also designed the UK’s Houses of Parliament. However, once you enter the lobby you enter a stylish environment that deftly combines the modern with the traditional.

Andaz Liverpool Street London Atrium View

The boutique hotel experience begins during check-in. There’s not a traditional “front desk” when you enter the lobby. Rather, Associates approach and welcome arriving guests and use iPads to complete the registration process. We found the staff to be youthful, friendly and eager and that this level of service was consistent throughout our stay.

I booked us a Standard Andaz King room which featured a comfortable king bed and spacious desk.

Andaz Liverpool Street London King Bedroom

The modern bathroom sported vintage touches that paid homage to the hotel’s roots.

Andaz Liverpool Street London Bathroom

The room’s efficient design ensured that we had “just enough” space for two people. Although you won’t feel cramped in a Standard Room, if you need more “room to roam” you might want to consider booking one of the larger Deluxe rooms or Suites.

Some additional nice touches at Andaz hotels are the complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, free non-alcoholic drinks in the mini-bar and a small selection of free snacks for when you get the munchies.

Andaz Liverpool Street London Free Drinks in Mini-Bar

Andaz Liverpool Street London Free Snacks

Finally, since we were celebrating a “signature birthday” for my Partner F, the hotel was kind enough to provide us with a nice welcome amenity.

Andaz London Liverpool Street London Welcome Amenity

The Andaz Liverpool Street is located in East London and is within easy walking distance of such tourist sites as Tower Bridge, the Tower of London and St. Paul’s Cathedral. The hotel is right next door to the Liverpool Street Train and Underground station, which provides numerous public transportation options.

We were so impressed by the Andaz Liverpool Street that we’ve made another reservation for our upcoming trip to London.We’re looking forward to coming back!

Posing with Londi Character on Thames South Bank Centre London

Have you ever stayed at this hotel or one of the other Andaz properties? What are your thoughts?