Review: Park Hyatt New York, Suite Upgrade and Diamond Room Service Breakfast

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.

Six months ago it became possible to redeem Hyatt Gold Passport points there regularly.

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.


Entryway


Half Bath

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.


Living Room


Desk


Minibar


Living Room

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.


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).


Diamond Chocolates

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


Bath tub


Toilet room


Shower


Bathroom sinks


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.


Restaurant

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):

Hotel Facilities

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.


Hotel Gym

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.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. I just flew to NYC for a weekend trip and stayed at this hotel last weekend but had an unpleasant experience. The room is dirty with dusts on the table, dirts on the ground and the wall, and hairs from previous guests, which is not supposed to happen at a Cat 7 Hyatt hotel. I reported the problem to the hotel but it took more than three hours for the hotel to get another room ready for us to move in…..After all, lots of things need to be improved at this hotel, and the front desk and manager need to be more attentive…..

  2. My friend actually lives above this hotel (the 157 West 57 residents) and the entrance is right next door to it. He’s considering doing an airbnb type thing where he’ll just rent out one of his 4 bedrooms and charge the same amount or less as Park Hyatt but for a much better view (above the 50th floor), not sure if he’ll include room service and free breakfast lol

  3. This hotel definitely upgraded you based on DYKWIA status. When I checked in (also a Hyatt Diamond), I saw the cheat sheet they were using to identify guests based on information from Google, I’d surmise. Stuff like “VP of Marketing, Universal Studios”

    We got a room on the lowest floor I might add

  4. Stvr, have to agree with your thoughts. My wife and I checked out of the PH yesterday. I was upgraded to a studio suite on the 10th floor as a Diamond. Very nice room, but my bathroom was not 25% as nice as the one in Gary’s room. I believe the fact is that Gary and Ben have so many followers now that their experience can no longer be related to that of their reader’s when it comes to things like hotel upgrades. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that, but it’s just the way it is .

    By the way, both my wife and I thought the PH was spectacular and certainly worth the expenditure of points.

  5. This is totally a DYKWIA sort of situation. Ive been here multiple times as a diamond, never upgraded beyond a deluxe, never been treated “special”, very stuffy staff… always a disappointment staying here

  6. might have to agree with the crowd on this one. they definitely looked you up… interesting that you assumed that they were *full* though. perhaps care to share why that is? hotel has a record of not upgrading that high a level. shame on the hotel. but good for you I guess?

  7. Pretty sure they didn’t “know who I was” — my only special treatment was a better upgrade, and as I say hotel was full (I had checked leading up to arrival). The hotel doesn’t have very many base level rooms, while I didn’t quiz them on the suite they were full and took the easy way of moving guests around. I note that the hotel has a reputation for not being generous (going above and beyond Gold Passport terms and conditions), here I think the upgrade was for their convenience rather than mine…

  8. Nice getting the jump on AA’s new terms! I think one mile at a time was slow on the draw and notbso happy you beat him to it! Well done!

  9. We’re here at the PHNY now. This is a superb hotel, with excellent service and large standard rooms for NYC. There’s a few minor service glitches, but nothing that marred the stay, and I can confirm the use of room service for the diamond breakfast benefit. No real view from our room on 14, so view-junkies are likely to be disappointed. One other thing: it’s far more expensive than listed. Looking for a room a year from now, to return for a family weekend, prepaid rates exceed $900, and regular cancelable rates exceed $1000. Needless to say, with points usable, I took the 30k plunge, but I’ll have to consider other options over the next year….

  10. Didn’t know who he was!
    Clearly this is a man that enjoys seeing pools and gyms, so take some pix for your blog please!!!

  11. Don’t think this was a DYKWIA situation. I stayed at the Park Hyatt NY as well in early Oct as a Diamond member. I got upgraded to a larger suite as well. I’ll send Gary a couple of pictures and video as well. Great hotel. Can’t wait to return.

  12. Last year, I stayed on cash + points for 4 nights prior to Thanksgiving (Sat-Wed). Because it was cash + points I was able to use a suite upgrade. I booked the nights the week before one at a time as they opened up at the last minute… even booking my Saturday night stay the morning of as I was in the Admirals Club at SFO waiting for my flight. I loved the junior suite I was in for 4 days because I prefer a room with an open bedroom and living room. Absolutely dislike the 2 room suite arrangement in any hotel… as it generally means I will never use the separate living room… and the bedroom usually seems smaller in those arrangements. So in my book, I got a room I liked better than the room you pictured. I loved the openness of the junior suite in this hotel. One quirky thing about the room was that all the amenity boxes under the sink in the bathroom were empty… as the previous guest took all the items (Q-tips, shower cap, etc… for goodness sakes!) and housekeeping did not detect the empty boxes. My major concern with the hotel… was coming in after a late dinner after 11:30pm… and running into “ladies of the evening” in the bar and lobby looking to find or waiting for their “dates”. Ran into some of this outside on the street in the blocks nearby but was very displeased to see it inside the hotel… and that the hotel did not address it.

  13. I’m not sure they tell every guest to check out pools “just to check it out.” I have to agree with RoloT, we can’t expect these types of experiences to happen to us, it’s just how it is. so just have reasonable expectations before bashing a hotel

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