- Introduction: Paris for the Holidays, Saying Goodbye to American’s Old Business Class, and a Suite at the Park Hyatt Vendome
- American First Class Lounge Chicago O’Hare and Business Class, Chicago – Paris
On this stay I booked a suite, at the ‘old rate’ of 33,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night, compared to a regular room at 22,000. This was done just prior to Hyatt implementing their new category 7 award level. A suite now runs 48,000 points per night.
Thanks to the rolling delay of my Chicago – Paris flight, and arriving at a bus gate, my 8:25am scheduled landing turned into an arrival at the Park Hyatt around noon.
I went to the desk to check in, and they let me know they didn’t have a room ready for it. It wasn’t check in time yet, so that was reasonable.
When I was here two years ago they invited me to have complimentary coffees while we waited. This time they just suggested having lunch in the restaurant, and that they’d come get us in 45 minutes when – they confirmed – our room would be cleaned and ready to occupy.
The hotel had taken our bags as we came in the door, and they promised those would be in our room just as soon as the room keys were ready for us.
After just shy of an hour I checked back with the front desk, they said they were ‘just making us keys’ and they sent us on our way. They had offered an escort to the room, but I assured that I could find it.
Based on availability I was upgraded from a Park Suite to a Park Executive Suite, which is a little bit larger. It faced inwards towards the courtyard and featured a bedroom, separate living room, and a full bathroom off of each.
Each bathroom had a dressing, closet and luggage area, a sink, a shower compartment with a sink inside, and a separate toilet room. The bathrooms were each probably three quarters the size of the rooms to which they were adjacent.
And indeed, the sink inside the shower has always struck me odd, but it’s also sort of neat.
The bath amenities were Blaise Mautin, and they were always refilled — with each service, twice daily. They were a different bottle and a different (less strong) scent than when I stayed two years earlier.
They sell bottles of it in the lobby, though of course guests will never lack for it.
Next to that display is a rate sheet for the hotel on the wall. I’m glad I was using points…
Maybe it’s just me, but I think the bedroom is just gorgeous. It also featured blackout shared that worked fantastically well, with two layers, controlled electronically.
The living room, while stylish, wasn’t super comfortable for sitting. Pillows might have help, or more cushioning, on the couch as well as side chairs. But that’s a minor quibble.
The hotel provides complimentary bottled water, but you need a bottle opener to open it. I wanted to lay down for a nap, and have water by my bedside, so I tried to open a bottle but the room was missing its bottle opener. I called for one, waited awhile for it to be delivered, but when nothing came I poured some water from the bathroom sink and just laid down for a bit. (Four hours later I called for a bottle opener again and it was delivered.)
I went out to dinner that night, came back rather late, and had a great sleep. I find the beds really quite comfortable.
Walking out at night is a treat, past the Place Vendôme, it’s beautifully lit up and fortunately the weather was quite mild. It was even quite attractive, covered up for a renovation while we were there.
I was excited in the morning for breakfast. Gold Passport Diamond members receive complimentary breakfast in either the hotel restaurant or via room service. The ‘full American breakfast’ (buffet plus an entree) runs 50 euros, so you can also take a 50 euro per person room service credit. Although that amount runs out quickly. (I’m confident I exceeded it by a couple of Euros once or twice during my stay, but they never charged me the overage.)
I’ve eaten breakfast in their restaurant, and it’s certainly good, but the indulgence of room service is one I took advantage of each morning in Paris this time. It’s the same food.
There’s no question that it’s pricey, and I wouldn’t ordinarily spend for breakfast what the restaurant charges. At the same time the quality of everything on offer is really fantastic. The pastries are truly top notch. The cheeses they use are as well. There’s a material difference between their breakfast buffet and what I’d get at most hotels, so in a sense the prices do make sense.
The Park Hyatt’s bircher muesli is so good that I asked the hotel for their recipie. Their reply, “yogurt, muesli, honey, brunoise de pomme, cinnamon and red berries on the top.”
Service is good. We walked outside on Friday night and were going to take a taxi to dinner. We were asked what our destination was, and the hotel asked us our room number and sent us of in their car, complimentary. It was a short trip and the car was sitting out front, and this wasn’t something we requested, so was a nice surprise and delight.
The hotel is far from ‘perfect’. There were mismatched glasses in one of the bathroom, and an obviously broken hanger that they hung a bath robe on instead of replacing it. There was no one outside the hotel to assist in hailing a cab Saturday morning, although cabs queue up just down the block in front of the next hotel so this wasn’t an inconvenience.
On my way out of the hotel I looked over the folio. I hadn’t charged very much to the room, since breakfasts each day had already been taken off. There was a light lunch when we first arrived, and a dessert one evening taken from room service (for my wife, I was full from dinner).
I also had a US$100 food and beverage credit from the Hyatt elves on Twitter but that wasn’t reflected on the folio. The hotel didn’t know anything about it. I pulled up the tweet on my phone, took a screen shot, and emailed it to the manager on duty who promised to look into it. He had the credit applied back to me by the time my flight home landed back in the States.
This is a very good hotel, a pleasant oasis in a bustling city, and far nicer than most properties. I found everyone on staff to be helpful, friendly, and eager. And contrary to expectation at a French five star, everyone was quite approachable as well.
I enjoy staying at this property when I’m in Paris. It’s walking distance to three metro stops, and some good dining, but is also in a more quiet neighborhood so serves as an escape. I’m not sure at the 30,000 point price point for a standard room whether it will be as easy a ‘default’ choice for me in the future, compared to 22,000 points in the past. And I can’t imagine I’ll see a suite again now that it’s 48,000 points. But I don’t quibble at all over the value per point even at these higher prices.
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