This was my first stay at the Park Hyatt Chicago. I’d heard good things from others, and I’ve never had a Park Hyatt stay that failed to exceed my expectations.
I dropped my bags off early in the morning since I was changing hotels during a recent Chicago stay. I was going to be in a conference all day, so I told the front desk I wouldn’t need a room until later that afternoon. The bell captain was happy to take my bags and store them until my return. The hotel itself is fairly well located, on the 800 block of Michigan Avenue. Plenty of great restaurants and bars nearby.
When I arrived back later that afternoon, the front desk already had my keys ready and the bell staff had already brought my bags up to my room. Since the bell captain wasn’t standing at the front desk when he took my bags, there was obviously communication between the two departments to make my stay seamless. These are the small details I appreciate from an upscale property.
My room seemed to be pretty standard based on a quick peek at the floor diagram on the back of the door. The bedroom area had a very comfortable lounge chair along with ample desk space to work at. I ended up plugging my iPhone into the bedside stereo and hung out in the lounge chair to get some work done.
The bathroom had a set of pocket doors that opened onto the bedroom. This is something I see in Caribbean properties or other places where you might want a view from the tub through the window. The one added plus here is that since the bedroom had a lot of natural light it definitely made the bathroom more appealing to let that light in. It changes the feel of the room a bit so it feels less like a hotel room. While it was a dingy day, you can see from the pic below a decent view of the Magnificent Mile and the lake.
The bathroom itself had a separate room for the toilet and a separate shower. The bathroom itself was quite large by “big city hotel bathroom” standards.
Another nice small touch was the bowl of fresh apples in the entry way of my room. Definitely not something you’re going to find at your typical Holiday Inn or Sheraton. They were very fresh!
I didn’t end up using the gym, but I did have two meals in the restaurant, NoMi. I had appetizers with a colleague and really enjoyed everything we tried. There were some veal meatballs, some charcuterie and some sushi, all enjoyable.
The next day, I ordered room service for breakfast, which is a complimentary benefit of Diamond status at properties without lounges. I have yet to stay at a Park Hyatt with a lounge yet and have enjoyed some pretty good breakfasts as a result. Breakfast was delivered in a timely fashion and no bill was even presented.
At that point (around 9am), I realized I had not asked for a late check-out when I arrived the day before. Since I was meeting a colleague later in the afternoon, I wanted to have the opportunity to do some work in the room as opposed to sitting in the lobby. Hyatt is really good at honoring the 4pm late check-out for Diamond members. I can’t remember the last time a property failed to ask me if I needed a late check-out when I arrived. That’s why I was so surprised by the response when I called the front desk. The gentleman I spoke to told me the hotel was sold out, so they would not be able to extend my check-out time. I politely asked about the fact that this was a Diamond benefit. He replied, “I can do 1pm, sir. That’s the latest I can do.” We went back and forth a few more times, but he wouldn’ budge. t thought about pushing it harder or asking for a manager, but decided to leave it be and took the 1pm.
As the day stretched on, it became apparent that my meeting was going to be after 1pm, and I still had no desire to check-out early. I rarely use the late check-out benefit (I think this might be the first time I’ve actually used it for a Hyatt stay), but when I need it I expect it to be delivered consistently. I decided to go down to the front desk. I relayed my story to the person I spoke to at the front desk (could have been the same person I spoke to on the phone earlier, not sure). I explained I was waiting for a meeting and would really appreciate if they could help me out. He replied, “We can make that happen for you, sir.” I still didn’t get the sense that it was an overwhelming “yes”. Again, this struck me as odd since Hyatt has been so good about training all their front desk agents to offer this upon check-in for all Diamonds.
Anyway, back up to my room for some more work and then down to the restaurant for a quick bite to eat with my colleague. We shared the veal meatballs I had enjoyed the night before and I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich on sourdough with truffle butter and tomato soup.
Normally I’d say it’s hard to over deliver on grilled cheese and tomato soup, but this really was a pretty awesome lunch.
I had another small example of great service from the Park Hyatt at departure. I stored my bags with the bell captain so I could head out to a meeting. I knew I’d be very tight on time to make my flight, so I asked the bell captain if I could call ahead and have my bags waiting with a cab. He assured me that would be no problem. Sure enough, after calling on my way back, I ran back to the hotel and they had a cab at the curb with my bags ready to go.
Overall, a very enjoyable stay and definitely a property I will frequent again, even with the minor bump on the late checkout.