As I mentioned in the introduction, I spent some time living in Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love. And as a Hyatt junkie, I’ve always wanted to check out the only Hyatt property within the city, Hyatt at the Bellevue.
Built in 1904 as a hotel, it was perhaps the height of luxury, located right down the street from City Hall. Through the years, it had been converted into a mixed-use property. In 1996, Hyatt took over the property. In the beginning, it was known as the Park Hyatt Philadelphia, but in 2010, it was stripped of its Park Hyatt brand and “downgraded” into a plain old Hyatt. I have always wondered why this is, but (spoiler alert) after these two stays, it kind of makes sense.
This trip report/review is part of a series. See also:
- 1. Trip to Southeast Asia – Introduction
- 2. Hyatt at the Bellevue, Philadelphia (King Room)
- 3. Hyatt at the Bellevue, Philadelphia (Junior Suite)
- 4. EVA Air Royal Laurel (Business Class) “Hello Kitty” Jet Houston-Taipei
- 5. Grand Hyatt Taipei (Haunted?) Grand Suite
- 6. InterContinental Hong Kong Patio Room
- 7. Coral Executive Lounge Bangkok-Don Mueang
- 8. AirAsia “Premium Flex” Chiang Mai to Bangkok-Don Mueang
- 9. Conrad Bangkok (King Room)
- 10. Conrad Bangkok Executive Lounge
- 11. Conrad Bangkok Presidential Suite Bedroom
- 12. Grand Hyatt Bangkok Grand King Room
- 13. Thai Airways 777-300ER Royal Silk Business Class Bangkok to Stockholm
- 14. Park Hyatt Istanbul Park Deluxe Twin Room
- 15. Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul (“July 15 Heroes of Democracy Lounge”)
- 16. Turkish Airlines A330 Business Class Istanbul-Washington DC
Hyatt at the Bellevue had been undergoing significant renovations, and it was finally done just a few weeks before I checked in. I took a day off to do some mileage run, so I actually had two separate stays at the property. In this review, I will focus on the first stay.
I can never quite figure out the pricing of this hotel. I am sure there are a lot of events going on at the hotel or in the city I am not aware of, but their rates can consistently go from around $200 to almost $700 for a standard room, and that’s just the range within the same week. Since this hotel is a Category 4 property, I redeemed my expiring Anniversary Free Night from the Chase Hyatt card. The annual free night can be used for any Category 4 property or below.
Like many new hotels in skyscrapers or mixed-use buildings, the check-in lobby was located on the top (19th) floor. However, unlike said hotels, this check-in area is not a dedicated one. The staff explained to me that it’s usually in the ground floor, but with renovations in place they moved it up to the 19th floor, right next to the XIX Restaurant.
I waited about 15 minutes to be helped, and the lady who checked me in acknowledge my Diamond status with Hyatt. She proactively provided a 4pm-checkout, and explained the breakfast situation. However, no upgrade was offered or mentioned. I was assigned a King room.
I loved the USB charging ports right by the bed, because probably like most people I spend some time on my phone before I go to bed (you’re not supposed to do that…I know, I know).
There was no decoration whatsoever in the room—the walls were completely bland and it frankly felt a little bit sterile.
The room was spacious, and the bed was comfortable. I appreciated that there was a huge desk and a large coffee table for me. It’s always nice to have a surface to unload all my bits and pieces as soon as I entered the room.
Opposite the bed was also a huge flat screen TV. Opposite the door was a cabinet with the coffee maker.
As I mentioned, the property had recently undergone significant renovations, but you wouldn’t really be able to tell from looking at the room. My observation and experience begged the question, what was renovated?
To begin, the room had a hodgepodge of different furniture with all sorts of different designs. There was no coherence—it’s as though someone went to a few “hotels going out of business” sales, picked up a few chairs and nightstands from each hotel, and threw them in the same room. If you take a look at the night stands, you will notice that they are drastically different on each side. The TV lounge chairs, chairs by the table, and bench by the bed all featured different patterns and material.
The closet was dingy and felt like something I would see at an old Holiday Inn Express, not a recently renovated Hyatt.
The bathroom had no tub but a pretty spacious shower. However, the light switches and outlets had seemingly not been changed during the renovation. I know I may be nitpicky here, but that seem like a cheap and easy fix that would make the feeling of the room a whole lot better.
The bath products were the standard Kenet MD for Hyatt.
Then there is the cleanliness factor that I think is pretty important for hotels in general. I know rooms sometimes do stay vacant for a bit, but I was frankly a bit shocked to see the air vents so dirty and the phone covered in dust.
And this brings me back to the history of the hotel. I think it’s fair to say this property definitely does not deserve the “Park Hyatt” name. Even knowing it is now just a plain Hyatt, though, it was still underwhelming. And I know, design of hotel is pretty much a first world problem. But for a hotel that can run ~$400 for a standard room during busy weeks, I expected something better.
Have you stayed at Hyatt at the Bellevue? What was your experience like?