When I was early on in high school I watched the pilot episode of Beverly Hills: 90210. Back before it became just an evening teen soap drama, it started as a fish out of water story — Minnesota teens dropped into the fast-paced extravagant world of Beverly Hills (as portrayed through the lens of Hollywood).

I expect this to begin as something of a reverse-90210, I’ve written about how I believe that a hotel should offer 24 hour room service, or at least access to a fresh pot of coffee (with fresh milk, not a package that requires no refrigeration) 24 hours a day. So take what Mommy Points calls “Mr. Fancy Pants” and drop him in Minnesota, or a limited-service hotel property.

The truth is that I’m incredibly economical in my hotel stays, I’ve rarely spent even $200 a night for a room and simply use all of the travel savvy I can muster to get the best deals possible on the nicest accommodations I can find. But that usually means staying in at least full service properties.

I chose the Hyatt Place Delray Beach for the location, which happened to work on this stay. Plus I need Hyatt stays, this would be number 23 of the year (and I’ve since racked up my 24th).. 25 stays re-qualifies me for Diamond status with Gold Passport.

And I was excited to try out a new brand, the sum total of my sense of what a Hyatt Place is was “a limited-service hotel where you get an Egg McMuffin in the morning.”

There was no wait at check-in, even though the desk doubles as the place where you buy food from a case that resembles where Starbucks keeps their muffins and salads.

I was asked whether I had any preferences for where I wanted my room, and I told the check-in clerk to just pick the best one for me, that one he would want if he was staying.

He handed me a key and wrote the wireless internet access code on the key envelope. Internet access is free for all guests at Hyatt Place, but it’s password protected, and as I found out the next morning that password would change without notice.

I was wished a good evening and ushered on my way, but I stopped and asked, “I was wondering whether there are any Diamond benefits here?”

He looked a bit confused and said “I think you’re all set!”

As I walked off to the elevator he ran after me and said, “You get to choose 500 points or a drink, which would you like?” I chose the points.

The hotel just opened in August and as a new build it’s immaculate and it’s modern. You can tell that much of the furnishings are inexpensive, there are granite countertops in the bathroom but on top of cheaper wood. And the elevator reminded me of my college dorm (or the Sheraton Frankfurt airport).

Still, it was perfectly functional all around and I would stay here again in a minute, in fact the rooms were better than my usual Marriott or Renaissance in Boca Raton (although the newly redone public spaces at the Renaissance are nicer).

I had a room looking directly out at (and on the same level as) the pool, which I worried would mean noise and also a lack of privacy. But there wasn’t any noise, and the blackout curtain meant no one could see in.

The room featured a flat screen television and DirecTV which was capable of rendering HD channels appropriately.

The room was large with a small, partial screen ‘separating’ the bedroom from living area, it actually works and the large L-shaped couch was comfortable. Great for relaxing and working both.

There’s coffee supplies, a single cup coffee maker, and a refrigerator for guest use (as opposed to a minibar).

The only real lapse of the stay is that I never got housekeeping service. I was in the room until almost 10am, while housekeeping was servicing my wing of the floor. I left for the day and housekeeping never returned. I was back in the room briefly before 4pm and considered calling down and asking for the room to be serviced but I didn’t actually need it, I had enough towels for the next day and tidying wasn’t necessary. So I just left it be.

There’s a functional bar area that was lively in the evening and doubled as a seating area for breakfast in the morning.

The breakfast bar offered several stations.

Hyatt Place is famous for their Breakfast Skillet, I hadn’t ever tried it and worried that it would be greasy especially from sitting out on the buffet. And while not the healthiest option in the world, perhaps (they had healthy options too!) it was perfectly done.

The property is new, clean, and centrally located — walking distance to shops and restaurants — and there are plenty of plugs throughout the room. There’s a nice pool area, the staff is friendly. And I had a fairly quiet stay, despite a bacbelorette party across the hall and a family staying next door.

There’s even a Saturday farmer’s market just across from the hotel.

With free breakfast for everyone, free internet, and an empty refrigerator to fill, the property offers really strong value. (And with the refrigerator, I can pick up some fresh creamer and I’m happy making my own coffee — even without room service.)

So I’d unquestionably return, and in fact may start staying here instead of at the Renaissance or Marriott in Boca.

  1. BothofUs2 said,

    The front desk / restaurant idea is a little unusual. Stayed at both the SLC property and Chicago/Hoffman Estates recently. Both were very clean and modern, definitely would stay again. Breakfast was a step above prepackaged meals, but variety was good. Both properties I stayed at had rates that were not crazy-I suspect Hyatt is going to do well with this type of limited service option.

  2. German Expat said,

    I stay quite often at the Hyatt Place in Lombard. Nice clean rooms, modern and the breakfast is ok. Good value for the price and I tend to like them better then some old dingy full service Hilton’s I stayed recently in the LA area.
    I don’t see the point why I should spend more for a hotel while I am on a business trip. Also the free Internet is nice if you have no status.

  3. Brent said,

    Pretty standard for a Hyatt Place. I’m a diamond member and have stayed at probably 20 different Hyatt Place’s (give or take).

    I’m usually very happy with them. Even the older ones are still very nice. All the rooms have a similar design to the one you were at.

    For $100-150 usually, they are a great place to stay. Most have a workout room that has more than 2 cardio machines, many have a pool, and the breakfast isn’t bad at all.

    There’s no room service, but you can call down to the front desk and put in your order, then just go downstairs to pick it up.

    I tell all my coworkers to give it a try and they are usually quite impressed with what you get for the price.

  4. MarkJ said,

    Hyatt Place stays are the only way I will get enough stays to keep my Diamond Status. They are clean and comfortable. No complaints.

  5. Dan said,

    Ha. When I stay at 5* properties, it’s like pulling teeth to get me to pay for room service. My wife hates that ;) I think part of it is all of the add-ons that drive me nuts. There’s either a minimum or delivery fee on top of the mandatory 18% tip.

    Anyway, I was writing to say that I actually like the Hyatt Place concept. Many of the hotels are former AmeriSuites properties. The first time I stayed in one, I was out of town visiting my mother-in-law. I only use Hilton for expensive city stays, and the (now) only SPG property isn’t a very a good redemption (or cash) value.

    So when the Hyatt Place not to far from her house popped up at 5k points per night (breakfast included even on award stays) I had to jump at it. And I’d go back, even as a cash pay ;)

  6. Ann said,

    Hyatt Places really are great for the price point, with probably the best rooms in their category. I didn’t realize they added the Breakfast Skillet idea; last time I was there the only thing they offered was oatmeal that was hot (for free; you can always pay for food).

  7. Scottrick said,

    Let me say that looks like the nicest Hyatt Place ever. I’ve been to a few, and while they are all good, this one is a notch higher. So I don’t think you had quite the typical experience.

    Hyatt Place really shines when you’re stuck someplace like an airport no nowheresville and your alternatives are a Holiday Inn Express and a Radisson. I will take a Hyatt Place over a full-service Radisson any day.

  8. robertw said,

    Very good review as usual. One of the reasons I like the Westin Element hotel in NY is that I can get a hot cup of coffee in the lobby 24 hours a day. If I come in from the cold It feels good to get a hot cup.

  9. ptahcha said,

    The Hyatt Place in Long Island, NY offers room service – and the new food menu is extensive! Plus they offered me a buy 1, get second item 1/2 off coupon upon check-in. The food quality is actually really good, for something they just reheat and plate.

  10. robertw said,

    Really great pictures again. Some of your shots almost look like brochure/website shots like the pool shot :-)

  11. beachfan said,

    Very timely, I’m also thinking of defecting from the Boca Rennaisance.

    Sorry if I missed it, but is there a gym, and do they have elliptical trainers?

    I notice the pool is smaller than the Ren; I swim laps for exercise, so that’s not as good. But the Ren often has it too warm for comfortable lap swimming.

    You like the rooms here better than at the Ren?
    Including the Executive Suite (i.e. junior suite)? The colors sure are nicer.

    If only I hadn’t blown my once in a lifetime status match years ago. I’m Marriott Platinum (will drop to Gold) soley because of my Boca stays.

    I could get 15 stays/year, but don’t think I could do 25 and still keep my SPG Platinum which I value more.

    By the way, my favorite restaurant is a few blocks from the Hyatt. It’s 32 East.

  12. panda said,

    Every Hyatt Place that I have been to had HD channels. Every Hyatt that I been to had HDTV’s but no HD channels!

  13. LIH Prem said,

    As a new build they might be nice (the mock ups we saw in a warehouse were certainly nice) but the converted Amerisuites properties for the most part really suck due to the hvac systems and the lack of user fan control. What was the bathroom like? The converted Amerisuites have tiny tiny bathrooms.

    -David

  14. msp2anywhere said,

    Minnesota is a full-service state. If you’re thinking limited service, you’re thinking of Iowa… ;)

  15. Scott said,

    Delray Beach was one of my first Hyatt Places as well Gary- I loved it- was very very impressed. Got off a bahamas cruise ship as Sandy was approaching and took shelter there. I also stayed at the one in West Palm Beach – very similar but Delray Beach was shiny and new. I’m a Hyatt Diamond also, so it was nice to get stay credits fir a cheaper stay.

    In fact I’ve often wondered whether you’d stayed in one, because you are often referring to them as though they were much lower category properties, & that was far from my experience…

  16. Scott said,

    .. the one other thing I got as a Diamond at the HP West Palm Beach was a late checkout. I called down to the desk and asked if a late checkout would be ok- the guy initially said “oh, I don’t think we can manage tomorrow- big party checking in… [then he checked himself] Oh- you’re a Diamond, sure Sir what time would you like….” 2pm was fine

  17. jk said,

    I was wondering about the bathroom, too. Many of the ones I’ve stayed in are “shower only” in king rooms—forcing you to take a double if you want a tub.

  18. ShaneinTulsa said,

    When I’m in that area, I have changed my stays to the Renaissance Plantation. It’s a bit out of the way but it’s a killer hotel.

    It’s darn near impossible for me to keep Hyatt or SPG Status. Wherever I travel, I can’t find those hotel options so it’s down to a Hilton option vs Marriott and Marriotts are nicer and more consistent. I’m only Gold with Marriott and Diamond with Hilton FWIW.

  19. Bits ‘n Pieces for December 14, 2012 - View from the Wing said,

    [...] has a property at LAX airport — the Hyatt Place Los Angeles/LAX/El Segundo. I’ve become a fan of the new build limited-service Hyatt Place [...]

  20. Marjorie said,

    I had an interesting breakfast experience at Hyatt Place Orlando Jan 2012. Our 1st morning, breakfast consisted of oatmeal, juices,breads etc. (eventually we got something more substantial on the road rather than pay $6.00+ for their breakfast-by-order). The next morning we got a pleasant surprise! It was the start of their new skillet breakfast program. We ate our fill and were quite satisfied. I wrote Hyatt and commended them for the step-up to the skillet breakfast.

    The rooms are always clean and huge and we don’t need “status” to get free breakfast, microwave in our room, free internet,free parking.

  21. Rob Danforth said,

    Excellent blog. The photos are a great touch. We go to Florida a lot, currently my wife is at a Miami Lakes spa and we’ll go back several times this year. Thanks for the tips.

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    [...] really like the Hyatt Place in Delray Beach as an alternative to my usual Marriott or Renaissance in Boca [...]

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    […] Amerisuites). I’ve much liked the Hyatt Place properties I’ve reviewed here like Delray Beach and LAX/El […]

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    […] lovely Hyatt Place Delray Beach the newest airport hotel at LAX Hyatt Place LAX/El Segundo the almost too-friendly Hyatt Place […]

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