Hyatt China Globalist Experience
Over the past few weeks you may have noticed I haven’t written as much on the blog. While Mark, Bethany and Danny picked up the slack, I enjoyed a very aggressive “vacation” riding roller coasters through China with my friend. Here is the path we took through the country in just 14 days.
I’ll cover our transport which consisted of trains, ferries and flights in another post, but it was quite fun. What was also fun was getting to try out my elite status in various Chinese cities. I covered our hotel choices in a previous post, but basically we stayed in 6 Hyatts, a Hilton, a Conrad and a Sheraton.
I do plan to review every hotel individually, but today I wanted to focus on what my World of Hyatt Globalist status got me at the six Hyatt properties on the trip.
The properties were as follows:
- Park Hyatt Shanghai
- Grand Hyatt Chengdu
- Hyatt Regency Chongqing
- Grand Hyatt Shenzhen
- Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
- Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Sha Tin (I added one day to my trip and stayed here, but it wasn’t initially part of the plan.)
Park Hyatt Shanghai
The Park Hyatt Shanghai is located towards the top of the Shanghai Financial Center, one of the highest buildings in the world. The area is more for business than pleasure, but I don’t mind that it is a bit quieter than the tourist areas.
Cost: 10,000 points + ~ $125 USD per night (2 nights total)
Goal: I booked us into a normal room, but was hoping for an upgrade to the Park Suite. Upon checking in I was told the suite wasn’t available for the 1st night, but I could be moved for the 2nd night. I accepted.
Overall Impressions: This hotel had perhaps the most indifferent service of any of the ones we stayed at on this trip and I found the materials in the room weren’t as high quality as I would expect from this brand. Still, the views delivered and the rooms weren’t bad. Breakfast in the clouds was very good too.
Bottom Line: Good views, decent rooms, alright service. Perhaps a tad below your normal Park Hyatt standards.
Grand Hyatt Chengdu
After “slumming” it at a Hilton and a Sheraton, we eventually ended up in Chengdu at the lovely Grand Hyatt. Like many of the nicer hotels in China, it is located towards the top of an office building which means decent views.
My Cost: 6,000 points + ~ $75 USD per night (2 nights total)
Goal: This was the first of a long line of truly impressive properties. I had emailed the property before arrival and was guaranteed into a Grand Suite before arrival.
Overall Impressions: I truly fell in love with Chengdu and can’t wait to return. The food and energy of the city is truly something worth visiting for. As for the hotel, I found the location to be quite good (near a pedestrian street) and the spread in the lounge, plus the breakfast buffet downstairs were fantastic.
Curiously this is one of the only properties I have seen where the lounge doesn’t open for breakfast. In the evening the sprawling space has apps and drinks, while breakfast is taken in the very extensive main buffet. Our room was decent, the food and service were great.
Bottom Line: A busy but nice property in a good and convenient location in the city. Confirming my suite before arrival was a nice touch as well.
Hyatt Regency Chongqing
While it involved a little backtracking, we took the train from Chengdu to Chongqing and eventually walked to this hotel. There is a little construction going on, but it is in a great neighborhood near many shops.
My cost: 2,500 points + ~ $50 USD per night (1 night)
Overall Impressions: As a category 1 property I wasn’t sure of what to expect when visiting, but I was truly blown away. I had emailed the hotel prior to arriving and my contact made sure to greet me upon check-in. They guaranteed my suite prior to arrival and the room was truly lovely. Unfortunately our stay was short, but this is a hotel I would love to go back to.
Bottom Line: A very new five star property in a nice location. The service is top notch and the cost makes this a true gem.
Grand Hyatt Shenzhen
The Grand Hyatt Shenzhen is located very close to the Hong Kong border in the center of the city. It has great views of the city and the border from its sky lobby.
My Cost: 6,000 points + ~ $75 USD per night (1 night)
Overall Impressions: For some reason the Grand Hyatt Shenzhen was the only property that never responded to my emails before arriving. Thankfully though I was upgraded to a Grand Suite for my one night stay. It even came with a view of the Walmart below.
Despite Shenzhen being in Mainland China, this hotel sees a lot of Westerners and feels a bit more catered towards Western likes than the others I visited. The room was very nice and the service in the Club Lounge was great as well. I loved sitting in the lounge and staring down at the Hong Kong/Shenzhen border. Quite cool.
Bottom Line: A world class Grand Hyatt property with fantastic service and great rooms. Very close to the border if you need to travel back and forth to Hong Kong.
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
Last year I stayed at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong and had a lovely stay with the exception of an issue of being overcharged after I checked out. That was eventually resolved and I was very much looking forward to staying at this hotel because of its amazing views.
My Cost: 12,500 points + ~ $125 USD (2 nights total)
Overall Impressions: This was the only hotel where I used a Globalist Suite Upgrade award to guarantee we would have a suite. I then emailed the hotel and asked to see if I would be given a Harbour View and was told it was confirmed. The suite was truly amazing and the views one of a kind.
I also want to mention that the service at this hotel was absolutely world class. We were personally taken care of from check-in until checkout and the General Manager even came up to chat with me personally at one point. Besides the service, the room was simply awe-inspiring. Two visits in and I am in love with this hotel.
Bottom Line: Hyatt’s flagship Asian property delivers on every level. Some would argue the location isn’t the best, but I find it fantastic given the views, plus the service, rooms and Club Lounge are absolutely top notch.
Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Sha Tin
After booking my flight home, I ended up having an extra day in Hong Kong following my friend’s departure to the United States. Instead of paying crazy rates in the city (and because I was tired), I decided to move out to the Sha Tin Hyatt Regency to give it a try.
My Cost: ~$97 per night (1 night)
Overall Impressions: To be clear, this hotel is not in an ideal location for tourism given that it takes about 40 minutes to get into the center of the city. With that said, I found some cool things around it like the 10,000 Bhuddas Monastery and a Snoopy themed playground.
As for the hotel, it is a bit dated, but it has lovely views of the water and the staff is very friendly. For someone who has to work in the area, or someone who needs to go to Shenzhen (the border is about 15 minutes away) it is a decent property. I was upgraded to yet another suite and the cash rate can’t be argued with.
If you are keeping track, I managed to score a suite upgrade at all six Hyatt properties on this trip and out of 9 nights total we spent 8 of them in suites. Pretty darn good. I will review each of these properties individually and go over the positives and negatives in those reviews, but overall I found the level of service to be quite high which isn’t something I necessarily thought would happen going in.
While Hyatt has a limited footprint and some of the World of Hyatt changes have been frustrating, I was quite happy with the rooms, service and locations of the properties which I chose for this trip. I often say I stay in the more boring Hyatt Places so I can enjoy the benefits on trips like this and it is true. I got enough value out of this trip to help motivate me to get past the re-qualification finish line.