How do Hyatt treat you as an Elite?

Status: Explorist
Property: Grand Hyatt Erawan Bangkok
Room booked: 1 King Bed
Rate: 8000 Hyatt points (booked before category changes)
Received: Upgrade to 1 King Bed View Club Access

Unexpected upgrade to club access room with all the benefits included (breakfast and evening canapes). Had never been to Bangkok before, but the hotel is decently located and the lobby is very nice to relax in, if you don't have access to the lounge ;)
 
Status Globalist
Property: Hyatt Regency Sydney
Room Booked: 1 King Bed
Received: Regency Studio Suite in new building

Status Globalist
Property: Park Hyatt Melbourne
Room Booked: Park King
Received: Park Suite (later asked for a downgrade to a Park Deluxe, the other old Club Deluxe that are far nicer).

Status Globalist
Property: Park Hyatt Sydney
Room Booked: Park King
Received: Opera Deluxe
 
Status: Globalist
Property: Andaz Pattaya Jomtiem Beach
Room Booked: Garden view King
Upgraded to King Garden View Suite using a Suite Upgrade Award

I'll include a proper review of this property here too as it might be of interest to others who happen to be traveling through Bangkok.
Since this property has opened, we were very keen to give it a try while at the same time curious about its location and whether it’s actually worth venturing here. We finally got the chance over the Xmas holiday, splurging ourselves with this year’s last Hyatt Globalist Suite Upgrade award for a Gardenview Suite. And boy, was it worth going!

We’ve been great fans of the Andaz chain since their first properties opened in West Hollywood and London Liverpool Street. With all our experiences so far in city locations, we were interested to see how the Andaz concept would work on a resort style property (Bali and, of course, Hawaii are still on our must do list). I think you can still tell that it’s the same concept- much more modern, airy and stylish compared to an old fashioned Park or Grand Hyatt, both from the design and also the service attitude. The property is absolutely breathtaking though most rooms do not provide ocean views which is a bit of a shame. The gardens and several pools on site, however, are all very well laid out and of course, being a rather new property, it’s all in perfect condition. Which seems to be no easy feat as there were about a dozen of garden helpers constantly raking leaves and pruning the trees to keep it this way.

Our suite was one of the best rooms we’ve ever had anywhere- it was HUGE and absolutely gorgeous in design and fit out- the perfect mix of modern design combined with local Thai elements and even the little details done to an amazing standard. The bed was typical Andaz as the chain does away with triple cushion overthrows and the likes, and rather provides you with a good quality, rather firm, mattress and simple but high quality bedding which we very much appreciate. If you’re after the kind of plush furnishings of a Ritz Carlton or WA, then better don’t stay here, this is not what Andaz is about. Finally-we were at first sceptical that the “Standard Suite” is Garden view rather than a private pool suite but it happened to be on the first floor of these little villas while the pool suites were underneath us on the ground floor and did not look as appealing as we would have thought, the pools were rather in the shade of our huge balcony above.

Speaking of room types- there is a rather confusing array of rooms which can face either the gardens or any of the different pools. Which is a bit of an issue as one pool is the one with the kiddie centre right next to it while the other one is the much more quiet pool on the outer side of the property. So depending on what you’re after, it’s worth choosing wisely (request to the property to be near one or the other, depending on your needs). Speaking of pools- there’s also the absolutely breathtaking pool by the ocean which is gorgeous especially for sundowner. We developed a little schedule that worked for us- some hours by the quiet pool during the day (we loved the lazy river type channel around the block of residents and enjoyed the water in there being ice cold which was such a good contrast to the weather outside) but then later in the afternoon, when many of the families were leaving the ocean pool, we’d head to the ocean pool with plenty of seats available past 4pm-ish and even enjoyed some rather affordable coughtails (for coughtails, that is, and for Thailand which is surprisingly becoming a bit expensive thanks to general inflation as everywhere and probably also for us the weak Aussie Dollar) from the restaurant next to it while romantically watching the sun going down- beautiful! What else is there to say?

Service, as others have mentioned, is a bit hit and miss. Staff is generally all Thai and smiling but not necessarily able or empowered to help- it all feels a bit like ‘organised chaos’, a typical Thai trait that we’ve experienced on our various trips. We also felt that English skills were way less developed down here in Pattaya than what you’d find in Bangkok or even coughet but maybe that was just bad luck, not sure. Breakfast is spread across two of the restaurants and was quite amazing, and especially the Thai choices were almost overbearingly varied. Again, service a bit so so at Breakfast and rather chaotic but it was also of course the holiday season. Which did not help with the overall atmosphere in general: While the Andaz chain is usually geared towards a rather adult crowd, this resort property is unfortunately a children’s playground and many of them are rather misbehaved (or more accurately, it was often the parents who were not willing to provide even the most basic supervision to their little “angels”). This was a bit of a downer for us but was kind of expected, given the time of the year. The one quieter pool though was a bit of a miss to not officially make “Adult only” which could have easily been done without spoiling the "family fun" elsewhere on this property. Oh well, it’s hard to complain about anything really, given the property is so gorgeous (similarly, the shower in our suite lacked water pressure but really, I feel even silly to mention such little things!).

Finally, to help other visitors, here are few facts about the property: First, the different building blocks, described moving from entrance of property towards ocean: the quieter pool with a lazy-river-esque water path, and hence the rooms surrounding this pool are closest to reception/restaurants. Then there is a series of buildings with garden view also near reception (across the lawn). Then comes another series of pool view rooms, this time close to/overlooking the official children’s pool and play area (it’s a normal pool, with a lazy-river-esque water path surrounding it, and a water slide, and a children’s water playground). Then comes the junior suites (small buildings with private pool rooms on the ground floor, the larger suite we had on the first floor above, all of these looking over the never-ending garden), then comes the super suites (larger buildings with big family suites within) some which look towards and over the beach side pool and ocean. Bear all of this in mind when booking as the website advertises mostly ‘garden’, ‘pool’ and ‘ocean’ view rooms but in reality the entire property is one huge garden with pools interspersed, with the ocean at the far end of the property.

Then- the area itself: It’s rather far away from Pattaya and pretty much away from everything. We dared into town one evening and it was exactly as seedy and messy as I had been warned, so seen it once and never again. Luckily, Grab works a treat- whether you want to drive out to a restaurant or to order food in through Grab delivery- all very easy and not too expensive. There’s literally nothing within walking distance besides the Aquaverse water theme park which we indeed tried and found to be one of the poorest and most unsafe (!) water parks anywhere we’ve been. If you want your kids to drown- that’s the place to go, otherwise I’d stay by the beautiful and well attended pools at the Andaz rather.

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Nice review, like your FT posts, too.

I looked at this property. We only book villas and they must have separate living and dining, a private pool and an Ocean view from the inside and pool areas.

The price for the Villas that meet these requirements at this property are as high as a lux resort like a FS or Aman.

Take a look at Cape Fahn in Koh Samui. It's gorgeous and a steal on points.
 
Nice review, like your FT posts, too.

I looked at this property. We only book villas and they must have separate living and dining, a private pool and an Ocean view from the inside and pool areas.

The price for the Villas that meet these requirements at this property are as high as a lux resort like a FS or Aman.

Take a look at Cape Fahn in Koh Samui. It's gorgeous and a steal on points.
Thank you!

And oh yes, the Prize of villas like that is indeed crazy (unless you share with more than one family- we’ve seen this done quite a lot as there are even two and three bedroom ones available).

One option, also something we have seen done, is to book one of the “Garden view suites” and the corresponding “Pool suite” underneath. Not quite the by the ocean setting you are mentioning but it might be a more affordable compromise and you’d pretty much have half of one of the villa buildings for yourself.
 
Status: top tier
Property: Lindner Antwerp (FlyerTalk review)
Room booked: king with a suite upgrade award applied
Rate: 8.5K World of Hyatt points total for two nights
Received: king suite; 11am check-in; full breakfast.

Property: Lindner Prague (FlyerTalk review)
Room booked: king with a suite upgrade award applied
Rate: 23.5K World of Hyatt points total for five nights
Received: deluxe (or corner) king (award not honoured); full breakfast; voucher for two drinks at the bar.

Property: Hyatt Place Amsterdam Airport (FlyerTalk review)
Room booked: king no sofa bed
Rate: 5K World of Hyatt points for one night
Received: king high floor; voucher for one drink; handwritten, personalised welcome note from the front office team; small Dutch sweet; full breakfast; no charge for airport shuttle.

Property: Hyatt Regency Amsterdam (FlyerTalk review)
Room booked: king with a suite upgrade award applied
Rate: EUR198 for one night and 34K total for two nights
Received: email in advance of stay requesting arrival time and preferences; king suite; handwritten, personalised welcome note from the GM; small box of sweets; full breakfast; lounge access.

Property: Hyatt Place Krakow (FlyerTalk review)
Room booked: king no sofa bed.
Rate: 30K World of Hyatt points total for six nights
Received: king no sofa bed; handwritten, non-personalised welcome note; 700mL bottle of French Merlot; voucher for four drinks at the bar; full breakfast.

Property: Lindner Vienna (FlyerTalk review)
Room booked: wellness suite
Rate: ~EUR148 per night for four nights
Received: wellness suite; full breakfast.

Property: Grand Hyatt Kuala Lumpur (FlyerTalk review)
Room booked: king with a suite upgrade award applied
Rate: ~MYR620 per night for four nights
Received: email in advance of stay requesting arrival time and preferences; grand Twin Towers view suite; typed, personalised welcome note from the GM; box of chocolates; whole fruit plate; full breakfast.
 
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Property: Park Hyatt Auckland, New Zealand
Tier: Globalist
Booked: Standard city view King 465NZD
Received: A huuuuge 2 bedroom suite with personalised welcome card and a bottle of Kiwi bubbly

Stayed here two times now and absolutely adore this property! From the outside, it’s hard to grasp how amazing this rather unassuming building is made in the inside. On my first trip, they upgraded me to a huge room which was bigger than the suites in most hotels but apparently wasn’t even a proper “suite”. Coming back recently to celebrate my partner’s 40th birthday, we were given an even bigger, proper suite and it was absolutely massive. All the rooms are modern while not overly plush and reflect the theme of sailing and the traditional Maori people very well, something that’s evident in the beautiful lobby and other parts of the hotel too. Staff was generally friendly and city is easily reachable via a pedestrian bridge but there are various food and entertainment options in the immediate vicinity as well.

Status recognition as a Hyatt Globalist was perfect, not only the upgrades but also the warm welcome, various in room amenities and also of course the free breakfast. Breakfast is a rather lavish affair though we noted the restaurant manager to be a bit aggressive to his hard working staff members which is always a bit off putting.

Finally the only real disappointment is the pool which simply doesn’t really work, seems like an afterthought which is a real shame: While I had beautiful views and afternoon sunshine on my terrace during the first stay (it would easily fit 20 people so way bigger than a “balcony”), the pool is on level 2 and faces the windy and shady side of the hotel. It has an infinity edge with views of the brewpub and the top of the ugly silos opposite of it. They’ve planted trees there so that you don’t have to see the brewpub and silos, hence the view from the infinity edge is… Trees! Awesome idea, must have been the same architect that designed the Hilton pool in Surfer’s Paradise which happens to sit in the shadow of its own hotel building all day.
 

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Status: top tier
Property: Hyatt Centric Melbourne
Room booked: king
Rate: $261 for one night
Received: advance email offering assistance and requesting arrival time; 11am check-in; king deluxe; full breakfast; waived credit card fee; typed, personalised welcome card and 750mL bottle of sparkling ... water; late check-out.

Status: top tier
Property: Hyatt Regency Perth
Room booked: king with a suite upgrade award applied
Rate: $615 total for three nights
Received: king executive suite; full breakfast; lounge access; waived parking charge, credit card guarantee, credit card surcharge and extra person charge for one breakfast.
 
I love that Centric in Melbourne. Maybe location not ideal but not a biggie with those trams everywhere. Otherwise- such a nice hotel, modern, stylish und service top.

Quite affordable usually too and good on Globalist recognition as well. One of my favourite Hyatts in Australia.
 
Property: Andaz Xintiandi, Shanghai, Mainland China
Tier: Globalist
Booked: 5 nights in Standard King and applied Globalist Suite Upgrade Award
Received: Big suite, mid-high floor and away from the construction site opposite of the hotel

What a lovely stay we had! Some of the reviews of this property that I’ve read on other forums are way too harsh. Yes, it shows its age a bit but not in a way that would be too severe (maybe with the exception of the pool- I’ll get to that later). What we loved about the property the most is that it’s well and truly an Andaz. Cool artwork in the public areas, upbeat music in the lobby area and overall a slightly younger and more fashionable crowd than what you’d find in your run of the mill quiet-piano-music beige toned carpets 5 Star hotel (try the Langham next door which oozes beige from afar). This was the perfect match for the Xintiandi neighbourhood which is very posh and stylish with plenty of overpriced fashion shops. Overall Check in was efficient and English well spoken enough though our check in lady had the worst BO I’ve ever encountered with any hotel staff, but there seems to be a severe lack of deo spray in China generally we’ve noticed.

We had applied a Globalist suit upgrade award and found it very well spent during our 5 night stay here. Yes, there are a few scuff marks on the floor boards but hey, nice wooden floor boards throughout which I’d always prefer over a rotten carpet. The bed was typical Andaz and so comfortable that we did never want to get up. Speaking of “typical Andaz”- I loved that this is one of the older Andaz properties that’s located in a fancy and cool area of town, has lots of cool artwork everywhere and is a bit understated in its luxury. It reminded me a lot of the Andaz in West Hollywood or London Liverpool Street which are both amongst my favourite hotels in the world. The newer Andaz properties, while still nice, tend to be a bit over-the-top luxury which is a bit more exchangeable in my views.

So, yes, very happy with this property, loved the cool colour lit bathroom (bedroom lights also colourful) with the open plan rain shower, the spacious separate work room and a very bizarre seperate corner of the room with an exercise bike within (!) which didn’t love so much as it’s a totally unnecessary gimmick and worst, the video screen of the bike runs 24/7 and adds some unwelcome light to the room at night. We noticed that you can’t even switch it off or at least pull the plug as the matter is somehow connected underneath the floor boards and can’t be reached- annoying! We also the Andaz-typical free minibar plus evening happy hour in the lobby bar which was a nice added benefit.

The location of the property is full of overpriced fashion and jewellery shops which itself is a bit boring but it seems to be the cool part of town with plenty of bars, restaurants and just fun and fashionable people to look at- we totally loved it. There’s also several Metro stations within walking distance and a DiDi over to the Bund is a short 10 or so minutes ride.

Biggest highlight must have been the breakfast buffet- such a huge choice and especially the local dishes were of amazingly high quality. You could get a whole selection of different noodle dishes, very tasty pan fried dumplings and all sorts of other things. Western selection included Eggs Benedict, omelette and even a carving station with baked ham. Both variety and quality was outstanding and staff very helpful and efficient- no problem if you don’t speak Mandarin, even some of the chefs spoke English!

And the biggest gripe- that would be the swimming pool. It feels old and not very hygienic: There was a government-issued pool hygiene sign by the wall indicating this pool is only tested as “Average” and it felt like that- the pool is essentially an infinity pool that constantly overflows but instead of flowing into some pretty pebbles or into a gutter, the water just sips onto the mouldy mats all around it. Yikes. We were also hassled into wearing an uncomfortable and annoying swimming cap even though I hardly have any hair and my partner wears hair really short. This has happened elsewhere in China too but we felt that generally, Chinese do not treat pools as a relaxing past time, rather as a sports venue of sorts. Very sterile, usually some tiger parents shouting at their kids to teach them swimming and that’s about it. Definitely not a place where one would want to relax and enjoy themselves which is a real shame.

We’ve stayed at a whole bunch of Hyatt properties across China and I will post reviews of those in due course!
 
Property: Commune by the Great Wall, Unbound Collection by Hyatt, Greater Beijing, China
Tier: Globalist
Booked: Point stay for 1bedroom Suite
Received: A rundown 1 bedroom suite and various amenities (see details in my report below)

This is a really difficult property to rate. Yes, it is very unique. But we had expectations that ended up being very underwhelming and I don’t think this is our fault- this property works really hard to create these (rather misleading) expectations: The photos on the website, the description which makes it sound as if you get your own private part of the wall to walk to and explore (reality here looks completely different but I will get to this shortly) and also just the simple fact that this is part of Hyatt’s Unbound Collection, which usually houses only high quality 5 Star properties.

But from the beginning: We arrived from central Beijing in the outrageously overpriced hotel limousine, which is unfortunately almost essential if you don’t have a a car of your own, as the location is indeed very isolated. On arrival, none of the front desk employees spoke a word of English but we managed to get everything done using translation apps. We had been in touch in advance and one of the English-speaking employees had kindly reserved restaurant seats for dinner, and showed up shortly after to assist with our check in and explaining how the property is laid out, so no biggie.

On arrival in our suite (we had used Hyatt points to book a suite), we noticed straight away that the aircon does not work properly. It was about 24 degrees and we were hoping to cool down the room a bit, but the vents were rather blowing out hot air. This seems to be a very Chinese problem as we’ve encountered overheated places everywhere, but this is of course unacceptable for a supposedly 5 Star Hyatt hotel. We spoke to our English-speaking friend at the hotel but she just told us to “switch it off altogether as the system goes with the prevailing wind”. This is totally not how an aircon is supposed to work and not a solution 😡 The aircon situation never changed no matter what time of day and no matter what setting. It just kept blowing really hot air to warm up to the room to a crazily overheated 25 degree or so- just as the Chinese seem to like it. We ended up sleeping with all the windows and doors open but I can only imagine what a disaster this would be in the midst of Summer (just thinking of all the Insects coming in makes me shudder!) and for us, this alone is a reason why we would not to recommend this property to any Westerner ever, as sad as this is.

But this is not all: The entire property is pretty rundown, way too much so to justify being part of the Unbound Collection by Hyatt. Our room had scuff marks, all the buildings on property look faded and worn even from the outside (maybe except for the bamboo buildings) and entirely different from the pictures on their website which must be ten or more years old. Likewise, inside- we even found dirty tea cups that clearly had not been cleaned between guests but rather just flushed quickly under water (drink stains still in it, bah) and our carpets at the bed and in the living room were also dirty, the fittings in the toilet old and rusty, all not very pleasant, and likewise the windows and balcony door all haven’t been cleaned seemingly in weeks or longer: Even the balcony itself had dirt and rust stains all over.

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To be fair, there were also some positives: The bed itself is very comfortable and firm, just the way we like it. If you’re after a more plush kind of bedding, then this is not your place. We personally like a more firm mattress with a simple Duvet and we therefore slept like babies. We received nice amenities including a fruit bowl, a handwritten welcome card, a bottle of South African bubbles (which tasted like, well, South African bubbles- it certainly ain’t French champagne! But still a nice gesture) and, most importantly, a super cute little plush squirrel with Commune branding which we adore.

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Service overall was mostly good and as non-Chinese guests we were taken special care of by the front desk manager and even the hotel manager herself- they were super nice people all around. Not sure if those niceties are for all foreigners or just for suite/ Globalist guests but it was very much appreciated. The rest of the staff was sometimes hard to communicate with and my very limited Mandarin skills went a long way. Some of them seemed like they needed a bit more training though- on the last day, we asked for a shuttle to pick us up from the room and down to the reception area with all our luggage and the driver arrived and just sat there, staring at us lugging the heavy suitcases down the stairs (no elevators in those buildings if you’re staying on the upper floor) without any attempt to help.

The restaurant was probably the highlight of the entire hotel, we loved it! All the food we had at dinner was great and highly recommended, everything tasted amazing, was well presented and definitely worth the money, prices that we found quite fair for a fancy hotel like this.
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The breakfast buffet on the contrary was rather forgettable- besides the repeatedly ice cold Eggs Benedict which I certainly will NOT ever forget as they were by far the worst I’ve ever come across in my entire life.

Overall, we couldn’t stop being disappointed that the whole property unfortunately looks quite different from the pictures you see on their website. All older and really run down, the buildings all worn and generally much closer together than it seems on the website’s misleading photographs. We had asked for a nice view and stared at the mountain wall and a parking lot. After exploring the property a bit more, it actually doesn’t look like there would be nice views anywhere at all, definitely not these sweeping Mountain views they somehow manage on their website (these must be taken at a really amazing camera angle or good photoshop skills- not sure what). Needless to say, both the children and adult pools were closed despite 26 daytime temperature (at least that part was honest on their website).

But now to the worst disappointment of all: The much advertised hiking trail to a private part of the Great Wall. We had even asked about it in advance and they confirmed while you cannot climb onto the wall itself, you definitely can hike up to the fence at least. However, on arrival, we were told that the “path is risky” and we better go into town to tour the touristy renovated bit of the wall instead. Luckily, we had already been to a different renovated part of the wall a day earlier (at a different part of greater Beijing) but we very much were looking forward to seeing this unrenovated empty stretch of the wall. It’s all fine if it’s locked up behind a fence for safety, but advertising this feature all over their marketing material and then just being told that getting there is “risky” is false advertising, straight up. The hotel website even had its own section called “Hike to the Great Wall” and promises that “the hotel is located within walking distance of the Great Wall. Explore an untouched and crowd-free piece of Chinese history, entrenched in the wild beauty of the landscape” but then in reality staff is rather embarrassed to even talk about it. On our second day, we realised why that is: We actually went for a bit of a wander and knew instantly why they’re so reluctant to let you explore the magic path. That part of the property has lots of completely derelict non-operational hotel buildings- one of them had the door open and a cold (wonder oh wonder!) air conditioning blow was blasting from inside. There was no one around, only empty rooms, mattresses stored upside down and rust all over the formerly glorious buildings. We felt that it was quite a crime to let these buildings rot away like that- we imagined the whole time what you could do with this property if anyone (Hyatt, hey, do you hear us?) invested just a little bit of money and care. The path to the wall itself (which we only ventured a few metres down) was overgrown and had safety warnings all along, it was pretty clear that no one hikes this at all anymore. So take this lie off your website, we felt totally duped!

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Overall pros of this property: The locale for an authentic Chinese experience that is away from the hustle and bustle of the city; restaurant food is fantastic for dinner; size and style of rooms; the staff trying very hard to please guests, including all managers/host-level staff speaking English.

Overall cons of this property: The hard product is run down and doesn’t look in the slightest like on the photos, the air conditioning isn’t working in the rooms and management seems to think that this is acceptable. Some buildings of the property are completely not in use which is a shame, the breakfast is not that great, the staff can be a bit chaotic, and most importantly the Great Wall is not accessible from the property directly which is their major marketing draw card (it’s fine if it’s not accessible, just don’t advertise it!!).

Things to know before you come: Yes there are 11 architectural styles of buildings on site but there are actually about 30 buildings in total e.g. the red cantilever house, the bamboo house and the white neighbourhood and white shared houses all exist about 6-7 times across the property. Some buildings have suites, some have normal rooms, some buildings are 2-3 (maybe 4?) bedrooms. The website isn’t very clear about it and enquiring beforehand did also not really help explain properly. We were in one of the white neighbourhood buildings which seemed to only have 1 bedroom suites within. Another thing to note is that while the direct access to the wall is not available within the commune property, the tourist-accessible part in the village below the property is only a short walk (or VERY short drive) away so if you are planning your Commune stay as your only opportunity to see the Great Wall, enquire about accessing the wall there.
 

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Since Hyatt started this joint venture with a Chinese brand, I was super curious to see what it’s about so this trip to China was finally our chance to see! Unfortunately, this particular property is simply a renovated old local hotel and this shows throughout. On arrival, only one staff member spoke a tiny bit of English which wasn’t ideal (and kudos to him!), but we managed.

Unfortunately, our Globalist status somehow had not “transferred” into the Urcove system so we had to debate the breakfast inclusion. Generally asking about breakfast I can muster with the little Mandarin I’ve learnt but a debate like this is way beyond my skills. In the end, I showed him my Hyatt app, he took a picture of it and somehow that granted us our breakfast (which turned out to be pretty awful anyway but more on that later).

Strangely, Urcove hotels insist on payment on arrival and wouldn’t accept American Express , this chain is the only Hyatt property-type we encountered in all over China that didn’t. After paying we were sent to our room, which of course was not an upgraded room category, as our status had not been recognised.
Property: UrCove by Hyatt Beijing, Forbidden City
Tier: Globalist
Booked: Business Deluxe King
Received: Business Deluxe King (Globalist status initially not acknowledged in system)

The room looked nice enough at first and had clearly been renovated after Hyatt took over. On first glance, it looks very very similar to any Hyatt Place elsewhere- nice wooden floorboards, smallish sized but not outrageously tiny, a very comfortable bed, okay enough bathroom. Unfortunately, this being an old building started to show as the deadlock on the door wasn’t operating and the rooms had paper-thin walls, so we constantly heard the family with their two annoying little screechers next door causing a rockus but also doors slamming, people talking, all that jazz. The worst, however, was the aircon that simply did not work which seems to be all too common in China- as per usual, it showed all sorts of phantasy temperatures on the display but then turned out to be not individually controlled at all and temperature remained way too hot throughout. So in order to get some air at all, we needed to sleep with the window open which was noisy and uncomfortable. This was in April, so during the Summer months it would be totally unbearable. Wifi is an issue at this property too and at UrCoves in general. There is the normal hyatt wifi appearing on your list of available wifis but unfortunately this doesn’t work, instead you must login to the wifi via WeiXin (WeChat). So lucky for me, not so lucky for my partner who did not have WeChat installed. A really good benefit, however, were the free laundry facilities which were of good, clean quality. They provide washing detergent, it’s built into the machine. This is great if Beijing is neither first nor last on your China-itinerary.

We decided to have Hotpot and Beijing Duck in the restaurant the first night but really struggled as the restaurant seems to be operated by a third party and thus no one spoke English, and they only accepted cash (!), not even WeiXin (WeChat) or Ali. The Beijing duck was VERY average and the hot put just boring but at least the meal was pretty cheap.
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Breakfast in the same place was also not much better with a coffee machine that was constantly under repair and black tea only available from a dispenser which tasted as bad as it sounds. The saving grace was a little made-to-order cart by the side which produced decent noodle bowls and even omelettes.

Finally, the one redeeming factor for this property is, of course, the location. Wow oh wow, it really doesn’t get any better as a tourist in Beijing. Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City are literally 10 minutes away, on foot, if that! Beijing is a big and fairly difficult city so this is a HUGE advantage, especially if you’re here for the first time, as we were. Plenty of sights, food, shopping, everything, all in walking distance. One side effect of walking around so much was that we got to see the back of the hotel and the rest of the building, which explained why it is so noisy outside at night: Let’s just say that from the back, the hotel building isn’t the fanciest of places and looks more like a rundown youth hostel than a Hyatt!
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So our final verdict: If you speak a bit of Mandarin and want a relatively affordable accommodation right in the centre of Beijing (or if you just so badly need this brand stamp in your Hyatt Brand Explorer collection), just be aware of the downsides but by all means, stay here, it is “good enough”. But if you need a working aircon (sweltering Beijing Summer, anyone?) or want to ensure your Hyatt status gets recognised (or simply prefer using your American Express card for payment like, you know, in literally any Hyatt property anywhere else in the world), then maybe fork out a bit more to stay somewhere fancier.
 
Since Hyatt started this joint venture with a Chinese brand, I was super curious to see what it’s about so this trip to China was finally our chance to see! Unfortunately, this particular property is simply a renovated old local hotel and this shows throughout. On arrival, only one staff member spoke a tiny bit of English which wasn’t ideal (and kudos to him!), but we managed.

Unfortunately, our Globalist status somehow had not “transferred” into the Urcove system so we had to debate the breakfast inclusion. Generally asking about breakfast I can muster with the little Mandarin I’ve learnt but a debate like this is way beyond my skills. In the end, I showed him my Hyatt app, he took a picture of it and somehow that granted us our breakfast (which turned out to be pretty awful anyway but more on that later).

Strangely, Urcove hotels insist on payment on arrival and wouldn’t accept American Express , this chain is the only Hyatt property-type we encountered in all over China that didn’t. After paying we were sent to our room, which of course was not an upgraded room category, as our status had not been recognised.
Property: UrCove by Hyatt Beijing, Forbidden City
Tier: Globalist
Booked: Business Deluxe King
Received: Business Deluxe King (Globalist status initially not acknowledged in system)

The room looked nice enough at first and had clearly been renovated after Hyatt took over. On first glance, it looks very very similar to any Hyatt Place elsewhere- nice wooden floorboards, smallish sized but not outrageously tiny, a very comfortable bed, okay enough bathroom. Unfortunately, this being an old building started to show as the deadlock on the door wasn’t operating and the rooms had paper-thin walls, so we constantly heard the family with their two annoying little screechers next door causing a rockus but also doors slamming, people talking, all that jazz. The worst, however, was the aircon that simply did not work which seems to be all too common in China- as per usual, it showed all sorts of phantasy temperatures on the display but then turned out to be not individually controlled at all and temperature remained way too hot throughout. So in order to get some air at all, we needed to sleep with the window open which was noisy and uncomfortable. This was in April, so during the Summer months it would be totally unbearable. Wifi is an issue at this property too and at UrCoves in general. There is the normal hyatt wifi appearing on your list of available wifis but unfortunately this doesn’t work, instead you must login to the wifi via WeiXin (WeChat). So lucky for me, not so lucky for my partner who did not have WeChat installed. A really good benefit, however, were the free laundry facilities which were of good, clean quality. They provide washing detergent, it’s built into the machine. This is great if Beijing is neither first nor last on your China-itinerary.

We decided to have Hotpot and Beijing Duck in the restaurant the first night but really struggled as the restaurant seems to be operated by a third party and thus no one spoke English, and they only accepted cash (!), not even WeiXin (WeChat) or Ali. The Beijing duck was VERY average and the hot put just boring but at least the meal was pretty cheap.
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Breakfast in the same place was also not much better with a coffee machine that was constantly under repair and black tea only available from a dispenser which tasted as bad as it sounds. The saving grace was a little made-to-order cart by the side which produced decent noodle bowls and even omelettes.

Finally, the one redeeming factor for this property is, of course, the location. Wow oh wow, it really doesn’t get any better as a tourist in Beijing. Tiananmen Square and the Forbidden City are literally 10 minutes away, on foot, if that! Beijing is a big and fairly difficult city so this is a HUGE advantage, especially if you’re here for the first time, as we were. Plenty of sights, food, shopping, everything, all in walking distance. One side effect of walking around so much was that we got to see the back of the hotel and the rest of the building, which explained why it is so noisy outside at night: Let’s just say that from the back, the hotel building isn’t the fanciest of places and looks more like a rundown youth hostel than a Hyatt!
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So our final verdict: If you speak a bit of Mandarin and want a relatively affordable accommodation right in the centre of Beijing (or if you just so badly need this brand stamp in your Hyatt Brand Explorer collection), just be aware of the downsides but by all means, stay here, it is “good enough”. But if you need a working aircon (sweltering Beijing Summer, anyone?) or want to ensure your Hyatt status gets recognised (or simply prefer using your American Express card for payment like, you know, in literally any Hyatt property anywhere else in the world), then maybe fork out a bit more to stay somewhere fancier.
My understanding of UrCove from FT is that is a brand intended for locals only.

If that’s the case, Hyatt should remove them from the booking engine. But almost none of the properties have English speaking staff and none take AMEX
 
My understanding of UrCove from FT is that is a brand intended for locals only.

If that’s the case, Hyatt should remove them from the booking engine. But almost none of the properties have English speaking staff and none take AMEX
Yea- that’s exactly the issue here. If you don’t speak Chinese (or one is stuck seemingly forever in HSK 3 like I am because it’s just so damn hard to learn), you have no idea that it’s not a proper Hyatt. In English, it has the “by Hyatt” very prominently all over its name and that’s on purpose I’m sure. It comes up on the Hyatt app as just another hotel and nowhere it tells you that they wouldn’t take Amex. It even is a brand on the Brand Explorer thing!

For us, it wasn’t a big issue and I was indeed rather keen to try and stay somewhere that forced me to speak a little Chinese. I also got plenty of opportunity for that later in Chengdu where we stayed at much more fabulous place, will write a review on that shortly.
 
Property: The Langbo, An Unbound Collection by Hyatt Hotel, Chengdu, China
Tier: Globalist
Booked: Used Suite Upgrade certificate for a Standard Suite
Received: Great suite with views from the 58th floor, plenty of (Voss branded) water, one round of mini bar and snacks free (Coke, Sprite, some spicy Sechuan peanuts which I loved), hand written welcome note and free dry cleaning for up to three items

This was by far the best property we stayed in during our entire trip to China, absolutely loved this place!

We generally really liked Chengdu as a city and would warmly recommend venturing over here on a first visit to China. It’s one of those huge mega cities with not one but two sparkling new airports, and masses of high rise buildings going up in all directions. Staying at the Langbo allowed us to fully take in the vastness of this place as the property is in the top part of one of these modern high rise buildings. We had used one of our Globalist suite upgrade awards and hence had a fabulous roomy suite on the 58th floor. All suites are on the top 4 or 5 floors here so that alone is a reason making an upgrade worthwhile. And the hotel is in a great location- right in the centre of town with plenty of sights and lots and lots of shopping and (sometimes quite scary!) food within walking distance.

We very much liked the modern fittings in this property including a beautiful bathtub with views, and a very comfortable bed.

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The air condition luckily worked well in this hotel (which isn’t guaranteed in China, even in 5 Star hotels) so that was definitely a plus. We also received plenty of free waters (fancy Voss, no less) and the first round in the mini bar (coke, sprite, some snacks) was free too as well as dry cleaning or pressing for three laundry items which was a very nice and welcome bonus. Service all around was amazing and there was always someone around who could help in English (with the exception of the pool area but I’ll get to this shortly).


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The lobby and all public areas are stunning and we particularly liked the club lounge which we could access as Globalists (and I believe suite guests of any variety can access too). It had feee booze in the evening, some decent wines, beer, soft drinks. And a whole selection of food which was definitely meant for the Chinese taste so very exciting to us (think chicken feet, rabbit meat, all sorts of stuff). My partner was a bit more adventurous with all that than I was but I was very happy to find a small but nice salad buffet. Having eaten no lettuce for almost two weeks, I totally loved this “Western choice”. Oh- and they had delicious little sweet desert pastries, and the one supervisor lady who spoke excellent English was great! We also had the buffet breakfast included as Globalists and while not the best breakfast we had in China (that would have been at the Andaz in Shanghai), it was still plentiful. It’s definitely also more geared at Chinese tastes but we enjoyed our bowls of noodle soup- the hotel is in China, after all. Some less adventurous guests might miss a little more of a Westen selection which is admittedly pretty limited.

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The ONLY problem with this property is the pool set up, for two reasons:

Problem one: The general chinese attitude towards pools and swimming appears to be that the pool is for exercise only (not relaxing) and that everyone must wear a swimming cap. This pissed my partner off majorly as we really wanted to wind down after a busy day, and the latter caused a real issue when the two young attendants at the front desk who did not sie an a wird of English insisted that we wear a cap, and then tried to force us to purchase caps from them! It was only me getting angry and using my raised voice in the best Mandarin I could muster that convinced them to lend us two spare caps in lieu if us having to purchase. Needless to say, this wasn’t a relaxing trip to the pool!

Problem two: When you get to the pool area (you are welcomed at a desk and led through the gym), it becomes obvious the hotel has sold/commissioned/delegated responsibility for the pool and gym to an external provider, meaning: This facility is not really part of the hotel and hence open for all so you will see local gym members everywhere and feeling out of place as a hotel guest; mandarin speaking only; the already non relaxing pool environment spoilt further with noisy swimming lessons and the usual Chinese parents shouting at their children. When you look at the pool (in person and on the hotel website), it looks to me like the hotel used to be officially part of the hotel: its curvy sides, shallow depth, even a starry display installed into the ceiling! It’s now out of place as a gym pool AND the hotel is trying to have its cake and eat it too by having the gym staff service hotel guests. Very disappointing and extremely misleading on the hotel website- I absolutely hate it when properties do this and advertise their so-called“facilities” which in the end are shared with the mess from the streets.

So: don’t go to the pool. Otherwise, a perfect property!
 

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Property: Hyatt Place, Charles de Gaulles Airport, Paris France
Tier: Globalist
Booked: Standard King, relatively pricey
Received: Standard King and refusal for any upgrades dispite the property being half empty

The frustration with this property started long before the actual stay when the Hyatt Place at Charles de Gaulles airport in Paris started spamming my inbox multiple times trying to sell me “upgrade options” that I should get as a Globalist anyway: Late check out, breakfast, a better room. Actually- plenty of room upgrade options were available and offered for extra money but once we arrived, surprise surprise, of course we only got a stock standard room with views into the dead boring inner courtyard (think staring at other rooms on the opposite side), that was deemed available for us Globalists.

This makes me furious- it has a very “Accor” feel to it (happens to be France so maybe that’s it!). One email maybe but not multiple times, and adjust your spam for Globalists so it reflects their included perks. Sending multiple emails trying to peddle their breakfast which I get anyway is just a bad look and once you endure the disaster that this breakfast is- oh my gosh!

So, from the start: Location good if you want to stay right in the departure route from one of CDG’s runways (I personally did not mind at all checking my Flightradar app every two minutes or so to see which “exotic” European or African budget airline was roaring over our heads this time around :p). Close enough to the airport itself but the property has the audacity to fleece guests extra for the transfer bus which, of course, gets shoved into your throat at several occasions (“Have you booked your transfer?”). I assume that many guests have clued up that you can use Uber or Bolt from the terminals for about the same price as two people on their transfer bus, just way more convenient and with less waiting. As a result, their bus ran mostly near empty and they felt the need to constantly advertise this “service”. Likewise, parking is a rip off at a property like this out in the middle of nowhere and -strangely- the parking lot comes with a messy queue of mostly local taxis that spend seemingly all day trying to get one of the oddly publicly available Tesla superchargers that seemed to fit nowhere else than this €18 a day hotel parking lot. Head scratch…

Property was the first Hyatt property in a very long time that did not allow Hyatt app check in but instead emailed you to try and get you to use a dodgy self-made property specific check in system which of course would not allow you any customisation as a loyalty member. Check in at the desk instead was close to pleasant despite the refusal for any Globalist upgrade or, heaven forbid, at least the standard thank you for your loyalty. Nope, nothing. At least our room was ready on early arrival but the property seemed half empty during our stay anyway which makes the lack of upgrade even more infuriating. Clearly one of those properties that wants the bookings through Hyatt but does not care to give back to its loyalty program.

The stingy management theme went through our entire stay. Staff ranged between disengaged and outright rude, the little grab and go store down at the lobby charged about three times as much as a local supermarket would (we checked, double wasn’t enough for this property’s greed) and the room was a pretty standard Hyatt Place room with a barely working aircon (the first of many in Europe- an ongoing and seemingly continent-wide issue) combined with a plastic Duvet and pillows as well as a horrible mattress topper that felt like made of rubber, presumingly to prevent spills and bodily liquids from soiling the way too soft mattress underneath. We did like the little robot cleaner in the hallway that did a better job than any of the human staff combined and appreciated the bar downstairs that had pretty nice local beers on tap for a quick wind down in the evening (though a free welcome drink wouldn’t have harmed).

The in room coffee maker, however, not only was a really weird model but essentially useless as no milk or at least powered creamer was provided. And we did not even bother to ask as we learnt the hard way that any requests are a waste of time: Housekeeping had decided to “forget” replenishing the toilet paper during the mid-stay clean which is a big oversight in itself, but when I tried to obtain another roll, oh my, did this expose how bad this property is being operated: First I tried downstairs at reception at 10pm and the usual disengaged staff told me they had to ask a colleague to bring one up- eyes roll. Said magic colleague of course never showed up so I called down an hour later at 11pm and was told it was yet to come. Another half hour, another call, this time at 11.30pm and I was told in an annoyed tone that the lady on the phone would “bring it up herself”. Over half an hour later, we decided to use some of our own handkerchiefs for business and went to bed. We’re talking toilet paper here so this could have been quite a disaster which might explain the rubber mattress topper 😬. But the best is yet to come: Around 1am in the night and roughly three hours after my initial pledge for toilet paper at reception, the phone suddenly my rang in our room, waking up in our sleep but I could not catch the phone in time. I had a suspicion and voila, a minute later it rang again (!!!) to tell us the long awaited toilet paper had arrived. In the morning we woke up to a beautiful display of toilet paper on our door handle which very clearly had a “Do not disturb sign” on it. Three hours for toilet paper and then waking you up during your sleep ignoring the DnD sign. Worst service in a very long time.IMG_6530.jpeg

To finish off, the much advertised breakfast buffet which was totally overpriced but “luckily” included for us as Globalists, was a total disaster. The promised made to order omelettes did not exist as one would require able staff for such a service, the pre-made eggs and poultry sausages were god-awful and staff struggled cleaning up tables and replenishing basics like juice and cold milk for the cereal. After asking in my best French for some cold milk, I was offered hot milk instead by a trying but unfortunately unskilled kitchen helper while the supervisor (or similar) appeared towards the end of breakfast time and could not find anything more important than upping the pile of green apples and replenishing the bowls of which there were plenty, rather than refilling the milk. My partner made a game out of making it VERY obvious when things were empty (turning the milk jug upside down, rummaging through the tea selection looking for the flavour that he already knew wasn’t there etc. 😂 alas to no avail). We saw many other guests constantly searching for missing items or attempting to get the staff to help with any of it- and that included a lot of native French speakers so it wasn’t a language but rather a service problem. Again a total fail and like the toilet paper issue, so easy to fix with a bit of staff training and maybe not only employing the cheapest possible recent immigrants that management can find in order to pay a Euro or two less per hour.

Finally, just to compare: I understand that this is an airport property and no Park Hyatt. But we have stayed many times at similar Hyatt Place hotels and this one is exceptionally bad in comparison, especially as the room rates are more expensive than elsewhere: I am thinking of the one at DFW airport in Dallas TX which is also not a beauty but the transfer bus is free and staff always very friendly and welcoming or, much closer to Paris, the one at Frankfurt airport in Germany which has always been excellent, gives us the best available room every single time, a welcome drink on top, and actually has a yummy and well run breakfast. Again- zero excuses for this mess.
 
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Oh
There is no entitlement to an upgrade of any sort at Hyatt Place properties (among others), Globalist or otherwise
Oh I know. But almost every single Hyatt Place I’ve ever stayed in as a Globalst has given me the best room in the house or even a suite, if the property has such a thing. In my experience, Hyatt Places are often really humble and delighted to ha e a Globalist staying with them, more so than some of the larger properties.

I might just have been lucky but I doubt it. Nothing ever expected but delighted when I receive such treatment anyway. And annoyed when a property like this one in Paris just says “We want your money” all over it instead.
 

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