Our trip to Hawaii continues. I wrote a quick post about what to expect from our trip as we got under way. I’ve summarized the expected stories below in bullet point in case you have questions before I have time to write all the stories. And, if you want to see short live video posts daily of our trip, you can find those in my private Slack community (sort of my version of Patreon). You can find links to that here and here. We have a lot of fun in the community with (mostly) weekly happy hours and giveaways as well as plenty of folks to answer questions.
Here’s a brief list of what I expect to cover:
- Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World
- Hawaiian Airlines First Class JFK-HNL on the A330
- Disney’s Aulani Resort
- Pearl Harbor Memorial
- Volcano National Park
- Cow Cuddling?!?!?!?!
- Jurassic Park ATV Tour
- Grand Hyatt Kauai
- The Lodge at Kukui’ula (a Destination Hotel/Hyatt property on Kauai)
- Kauai Helicopter Tour
- Monkeypod Kitchen (Ko Olina)
- Makahiki at Aulani (breakfast)
- Olelo Room at Aulani (sushi)
- Tidepools at Grand Hyatt Kauai
- Luau at Grand Hyatt Kauai
Back to the Hyatt Regency JFK……
After a short Amtrak ride to NYC to position out of JFK, we needed a place to stay. The new Hyatt Regency near JFK had been on my radar for a bit, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity. The property is less than 15 minutes from JFK by car. It’s also attached to a new casino, Resorts World’s latest foray into the US market.
The lobby is a very welcoming space. There’s plenty of natural light and soft seating. A small cafe is adjacent for snacks. This is a great place for a meeting or just to lounge with a book.
This hotel is a category 4 in the World of Hyatt program, which means a range of 12,000-18,000 points per night. In our case, we redeemed 15,000 points per room, per night. Reminder, as a category 4 this property is a good fit for the Cat 1-4 certificates Hyatt distributes.
I was able to work with my Hyatt concierge to have the property guarantee us connecting rooms. We decided not to use a suite upgrade for the one night stay because the types of suites available didn’t have connecting rooms. Despite that, we were informed upon check-in that they had, in fact, upgraded one of our rooms to an Executive Suite.
Hyatt Regency JFK At Resorts World Executive Suite Room Review
The Executive Suite is a really solid layout. In fact, if the room had a pull-out sofa it would be an incredible value for families looking to use this hotel prior to a JFK flight. As you enter the room there’s a full bathroom with shower. I was expecting a powder room. Two full bathrooms in one hotel room is clutch for families.
Each room has a refrigerator and Keurig machine. The living room portion of the suite had a couch, a small side chair, coffee table and a large flat screen TV. There was also a credenza and a built-in set of cabinets. You won’t lack for storage in this room.
Side note: the hotel left me a single can of Coke, a bowl of fruit and my family’s favorite tea. Some will say I get treated differently because I’m a blogger and Hyatt keeps an eye on my account. While that’s possible these sorts of small bits of recognition used to be the hallmark of other hotel chains but have mostly faded.
The bedroom is completely separate from the living room. There is a small but adequate desk in the bedroom along with another flat screen TV and a king-sized bed. Power is not an issue with these rooms. The desk has two standard electrical outlets and two USB-A charging ports. Both sides of the headboard also have two electrical outlets and two USB-A charging ports. Add to that a wireless charging pad with two more USB-A ports.
The bed definitely exceeded expectations. Linen and mattress quality aren’t generally areas that I cover in room reviews. However, it was such a comfortable sleep experience I think it bears noting.
The second full bathroom was pretty massive. There’s a large soaking tub and an equally big walk-in shower. You’ll find plenty of room for two people to get ready at the same time.
Hyatt Regency JFK At Resorts World Standard Room Review
The finishes in the standard two queen guest room are very similar to the executive suite we stayed in. The hotel makes good use of the smaller footprint. As you enter the room you’ll find the closet behind the door. Integrated into the closet space are a refrigerator and Keurig machine, a nice touch for standard rooms.
The bathroom may be the only underwhelming part of the room. The finishes are great and the shower is spacious. The overall footprint of the bathroom is a bit tight and would make it difficult for more than one person to get ready in the morning. The toilet is in it’s own separate space which helps a bit.
The guest room has the same desk as the executive suite, an ottoman and large flat-screen TV. There are places to charge your various devices everywhere you’d want them. Reading lights compliment an eye-catching headboard, only to be outdone by the cut metal art over the top of the beds. Can you tell I like the decor?
Hyatt Regency JFK At Resorts World Regency Club
Lounges in full-service hotels are a dying breed. Heck, full-service hotels are a dying breed. It was a welcome sight to see the lounge at Hyatt Regency JFK. Located just beyond the front desk on the main floor, the lounge features breakfast items as well as an ample happy hour selection.
We started with happy hour and were impressed. Even by pre-COVID standards the lounge had a decent selection of hot and cold items. Typically Hyatt Regency lounges operate an honor bar, meaning you fill out a slip of paper with your room number to charge any alcoholic beverages. Much to my surprise, alcohol was free in the lounge. There was a decent variety of options. My wife chose a can of wine (yes, a can) that was surprisingly not horrible.
Breakfast included multiple hot items, other typical cold breakfast items such as muffins and cereal, a respectable cheese and charcuterie platter as well as some pretty respectable donuts.
Side note: we were really thankful for the happy hour selection. The hotel itself doesn’t have a restaurant so you’re reliant on the casino options. Take my advice, skip them. We had the most underwhelming meal at Sugar Factory (they were “out” of banana splits and one other sundae) and it looked like the clear winner from a small selection of restaurants.
Hyatt Regency JFK At Resorts World Fitness Center
The fitness center features a solid variety of brand new Precor equipment. You’ll also find medicine balls, free weights and yoga mats. Bonus points for natural light, a big plus on the rare occasion I choose to workout.
The Final Two Pennies
The Hyatt Regency JFK at Resorts World has pretty much everything you’d want from an airport hotel…..except for an airport shuttle. It’s easy to grab an Uber or Lyft. For now, plugging in the Resorts World address as your pickup location. However, we did find a good use for Sugar Factory after all. The hotel staff suggested using that as our pickup location which worked perfectly.
This property clearly punches above its weight class. The rooms are great and the location is perfect for a short stay before or after a flight at JFK. The Regency Club is a welcome surprise. The lobby was a beautiful expansive space to linger in.
As far as domestic Hyatt Regency properties go, I’d have to rank this in my top 5 (and I’ve stayed at a LOT of Hyatt Regency properties over the years). It was literally the perfect property for us to kick off our Hawaiian vacation.
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