When the Park Hyatt New York first opened it was very difficult to get an award night there. The hotel wasn’t completely finished, and the unfinished portion included some of the 12% of rooms that would be considered ‘standard’ and thus eligible for redemptions.
Recently I’ve had no problem with availability. And since it’s a category 7 hotel (30,000 points per night), the cash and points price is both lucrative enough for the hotel to offer those awards and also too expensive to usually be worth it (since at 15,000 points plus $300 you’re buying back points at 2 cents apiece). Of course cash and points nights count towards promotional earning and also accrue towards elite status.
I finally booked myself into the Park Hyatt New York recently on an award recently to get a sense for the flagship property that’s been controversial — not just for limited award night availability early on, but also for their treatment of Gold Passport Diamond members. I was blown away.
The hotel is absolutely gorgeous — both the rooms and the public spaces. And I was upgraded.
About the only thing I did not like about it is a feature is has in common with some of my favorite hotels (that is often found in split hotel-condo complexes): you take one elevator up from the street to the lobby, and another elevator from the lobby to guest rooms.
That was the arrangement when I stayed at the W Times Sqaure this summer. And it’s how the Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur works (among many others of course). It means, though, that it takes longer to get between guest rooms and the outside. Not ideal if you’re in a rush.
When I arrived at the hotel the door was opened for me and I was offered help with my luggage. I declined because I had only a rollaboard. They asked my name, escorted me to the elevator, and told I’d be going up to the lobby and making two right turns once I got out of the elevator. I did think it strange that if they were going to greet me that they’d be giving me directions instead of escorting me, not that I needed the assist.
Front Door of Hotel
Ground Floor Entrance, It’s an Elevator Up to the Lobby
At check-in they knew my name (the staff member in the lobby would have announced me to the front desk) and took a swipe of my credit card. They didn’t ask for ID. I wish more hotels skipped the ID, at least those where I’m a regular. Hotels should know repeat guests and welcome them back.
Make a Right, Go Down the Hall, Make Another Right to Get to the Desk
I was told that I was upgraded, they explained the breakfast benefit to me, and I was asked if I’d need a late checkout after my second night at the property. I didn’t, I had an early flight, but I appreciate that they proactively offered.
Lounge Area Behind Check-in
Upgraded to a Suite
The hotel was sold out during my stay. That probably accounts for why I was upgraded to a suite on the 19th floor — they needed to upgrade someone, or likely several someones (since the hotel has very few standard rooms), and preselected me for that as a Diamond guest booked.
19th Floor Hallway
In general the experiences I’ve read of other Diamonds staying here is that they’re unlikely to upgrade to suites without use of a confirmed suite upgrade (which is of course consistent with the Gold Passport program terms).
My room had a separate living room and desk area, with a half bath off the entryway.
And there was a large bedroom, and gigantic bathroom with closed off shower room, toilet room, and a free-standing tub along with dual sinks. There was plenty of closet space between the bedroom and bathroom, and more closet space in the entryway.
There was a bottle of water on each nightstand when I arrived (it was past turndown time). They figured out I was the only person staying there, I think, because my second night there was only a single bottle of water by the bed.
The bed also had a little box of chocolates placed on it, recognizing me as a Diamond member. I wonder if that was intended as the Diamond amenity. Since I wasn’t asked for my amenity choice at check-in, and 1000 points didn’t post automatically with the stay to my Gold Passport account, I had them added (as 1500 points, the amount you get for a missing Diamond amenity).
The bathroom is fantastic, with a television built into the mirror and a Japanese-style toilet. Seriously, press play on this video:
Entrance to Bathroom
Bathroom television in the mirror
Diamond Breakfast Benefits
I was told at check-in that I could take my complimentary Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond breakfast in the restaurant or the lounge downstairs, or via room service.
The hotel’s “57th Street Breakfast” is considered a ‘full’ breakfast and comes with eggs; breakfast potatoes; breakfast meat; muffin or toast; juice/coffee/tea. It runs $38, and so the hotel provides a credit of $45 per person to cover the breakfast and service charge. It can be applied to other items if you wish, and the hotel will allow this credit to be taken via room service which is awesome.
They add a $6 charge for room service, which I feel is a bit cheeky, but I’ll happily swap a restaurant breakfast for room service for $6 especially when I can use the breakfast credit for any items I wish.
And their default was to provide a $90 credit (breakfast for 2). The Gold Passport benefit is breakfast for up to 4 registered guests in the room, though it was just me on the stay. Even if you don’t use the full credit you’ll still be charged the $6 deliver fee.
Here’s the room service menu (click to enlarge):
I only walked past the restaurant and the lounge area off the lobby as I went between the elevator up to the lobby from street level and the elevator up to my room. I didn’t make use of either, but I did think they were beautifully designed.
When I checked in the agent at the desk suggested I check out the pool and the gym on the top floor “even just to see them.”
And both are gorgeous. The pool is indoors. It’s large, with plenty of chairs, and there’s a hot tub as well.
Top Floor Pool
You can head upstairs from the pool to get to the gym.
The gym was deserted during the day with plenty of equipment and a spectacular view. One thing I thought was notable is that there were plenty of complimentary bottles of water there.
I Plan to Return Just to See…
I had a spectacular stay, but I’ve heard many people suggest theirs were just ‘good’ while they expect to be blown away by the brand new flagship Park Hyatt New York.
I think that expectations can sometimes be off merely because room rates here can easily top $800 during periods of peak demand, in much the same way that people are shocked getting lackluster service in French Polynesia when rates are equally high. It’s New York, and I expect something better than hotels bookable for $300 but I also don’t expect a Peninsula Hotel in Asia.
I also suspect my stay was colored positively by the suite upgrade and I’m curious to see what I’ll think on a future stay where I’m not so lucky.
My understanding is that confirmed suite upgrades (whether with points or a Diamond Suite Upgrade, which can be used on a cash and points stay) would be to a junior suite which would also be on a lower floor — certainly a value, but not as special.
All in all though I was impressed by the hotel, and happy with the two nights I spent there. I still think the Andaz 5th Avenue is a better value on a paid stay, though I tentatively think that 5000 extra Gold Passport points to stay at the Park Hyatt is worthwhile depending on where I’d need to be in the city.