There are cities that become your home cities even if you don’t actually live there, you simply love them for all they have to offer and visit them as often as you can. For you these cities are magical. For a long while now, I’ve called Vancouver, British Columbia, one of my home cities. If you can find a hotel in your home city that suits you to a T, well then you’ve struck gold. I’ve been striking gold for years now at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver. No matter the season when I’m visiting, I’m always happy with my home Hyatt’s ability to provide me with an oasis from the hustle and bustle of Vancouver. I always leave the hotel having already planned my next visit!
Don’t think for a minute that I’ll go easy on the Hyatt Regency as I pen this hotel and hotel room review. It may even be that I hold my home Hyatt to a higher standard, just because it is a hotel I frequent so often. After all, first impressions matter and if you’ve not yet stayed here I want you to have the best impression possible.
Specifics About The Hotel
The Hyatt Regency Vancouver has 650 rooms and it is the one of the largest hotels in Vancouver. The hotel is owned by InnVest, a company that holds a large portfolio of hotels in Canada. The Hyatt Regency was built in 1973 making it 45 years old. The room refresh that the hotel has been going through this past year is projected to be completed by summer 2019.
How I Paid For My Stay
My most recent stay at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver was for five nights. For one night I used a World of Hyatt cash and points rate and the remaining four nights were booked with my Citi Prestige card so I could benefit from the 4th Night Free rate. The all cash rate was $206 USD a night. Remember, if you’re paying cash for a hotel stay, let Pruvo monitor your rate for price drops!
This would also be a good hotel to use a World of Hyatt free night award that comes with the Chase Hyatt credit card yearly renewal as the cash rates during the high season can be well over $300 USD. The Hyatt Regency Vancouver is a World of Hyatt Category 3 property, meaning free nights start at 12,000 Hyatt points per night.
Because of my Globalist status with Hyatt, I was upgraded to an Executive Suite. I usually stay in a Junior Suite, so I was looking forward to enjoying a different room category experience. Because I know the Junior Suite so well, and because the hotel and many of the Junior Suites have been recently refreshed, I’m going to review BOTH the Junior Suite and Executive Suite rooms. Let’s just say you’re getting two room reviews for the price of one! The suites are very different from each other in what they offer. They would appeal to different guests depending on what your needs are, so it makes good sense to cover both suites in one review.
Using my Hotel Room Scorecard I broke down the individual elements of the Executive Suite and the Junior Suite at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, which scored a 33 of 40 points.
The Hyatt Regency is located on Burrard Street and is very well placed for exploring the city. It’s located three blocks from the waterfront and three blocks from Robson Street, which is one of the main shopping districts. If you’re on a cruise that stops in Vancouver, when you dock you’re only a few blocks away from the hotel. The hotel is one block from a metro/Skytrain station, giving you easy access to the airport. There are buses on Burrard Street, and on Georgia Street you can catch an express bus to Horseshoe Bay for some lovely hikes and amazing fish and chips! If like me you enjoy walking everywhere when exploring a city, the Hyatt’s location will not disappoint you.
The rooms have floor to ceiling windows. The bedrooms have good lighting for the size of the room, with one standing lamp and two lamps at bedside though no overhead lighting in the Executive Suite bedroom. The desk has its own light and given the placement of the desks in the bedrooms, during the day there would be plenty of natural lighting as well. The living room area is a bit dim given the large space. I actually moved a standing lamp from the bedroom into the living room for extra lighting. The kitchenette area in the Executive Suite had the best lighting with bright overhead lighting.
In the recently updated Junior Suites, bedrooms now have overhead lighting and more standing lamps. I found the old desk lamps awkwardly shaped and now, interestingly, the light over the desk is the same style but not as big yet just as bright. Good switch, Hyatt!
Window Access 4/5
The Hyatt Regency is located on a very busy street with car, bus, and general street noise, so it’s right in the thick of the downtown action. Ask for a high floor. There are 33 floors, with the executive lounge on the 29th floor.
The Executive Suite did not allow for opening a window, but the Junior Suite has a balcony with sliding door in the bedroom. Because housekeeping was cleaning the balcony when I took the photo, you don’t see the usual balcony furniture out there. Even if you don’t use the balcony, being able to open the door for some air is a big plus in my book.
There are two levels of window curtains, one for privacy and then heavy blue curtains in the Executive Suite as black-out curtains. Interestingly, one of the most common complaints the Hyatt Regency used to get was about how dark the rooms seemed, especially with the dark curtains.
Hyatt listened, and in the refurbished Junior Suites the curtains are now a mix of light browns and beiges and are much much nicer.
Given the orientation of the Hyatt Regency, the view from the rooms is either city buildings and sunrise, or more of a nature view with mountains, water, and sunset. I was told that most people request the sunrise view.
Bed Comfort 4/5
The beds are comfortable enough. I’d rate them on the soft side though, so if you sleep better on a harder bed, you might not love them. One thing to note is in the Junior Suite bedroom. If you don’t get a king bed the beds are two double beds, not queens.
I’ve mentioned in many other hotel reviews I’ve written that I don’t like overhead showers. I prefer shower-head options. The shower stall in the Executive Suite is actually quite small given the size of the bathroom, with too much bathroom real estate being taken up by the tub.
The Executive Suite bathroom has two sinks, which is always a welcome feature. Why is it that bathrooms always have the best lighting of an entire suite? The Executive Suite bathroom has a towel warming rack. Nice touch! I’m a stickler for hooks to hang towels on and this bathroom gets a big YES!
One very odd feature of the Executive Suite bathroom is that the bathroom glass door only swings one way! You could push or pull the shower door, but not the entry door. You have to push it to get in and pull to get out. Not a huge deal, but be prepared to laugh at yourself and wonder why you keep pulling when you should push and vice versa.
The Junior Suite has two bathrooms, both with a single sink and both with a tub over-head shower combo. One bathroom is just off the counter minibar area in the living quarters and the other bathroom is in the bedroom around the corner from the bed. I prefer this set-up and like it much better than the Executive Suite bathroom set-up.
Interior Appointments and Furnishings 3/5
In the Executive Suite the couch has a lounge section at one end, which is a great couch feature. I wish more hotels had this. Its deep blue color is attractive and seems to wear well.
There is so much unused space in this suite so if Hyatt is listening, when you walk in, how about a coat rack in the entry way? This is Vancouver after all, and you’ll likely have an umbrella, coat, and shoes that could use a home by the entrance door.
The layout of the bedroom in the Executive Suite was one of the strangest I’ve seen because of one odd feature. The bed has a side table that is VERY close to the closet. It’s a small closet to begin with. The safe is on the top shelf of the closet and all the way to the left. It’s a very tight squeeze even for someone lean like me, to open the closet door and use the safe. If you’re right-handed it’s even more awkward. This could so easily be remedied by moving the safe.
Layout wise, I also feel the bathroom is too close to the bed. All the glass you see on the mirror and on the bathroom door and bathroom wall is just not my taste in room decor.
In the Junior Suite the closet in the living space has much easier access and that’s where the safe is placed. It’s on the floor so access is much simpler. With the refurbished rooms the safes are now back to the old style where you set the combination rather than use a key card to access. The Assistant Rooms Manager said, “Sometimes the old fashioned way is the best way.”
The Executive Suite living room has a lot of underutilized space. A table and chairs in the corner of the Executive Suite would be a great addition or even another desk to match the two desks that you get in the Junior Suite set-up.
In the remodeled Junior Suite not only is the furniture more modern than it was before, but the new living room chairs are much more comfortable.
Those old chairs, which you still see in the Executive Suite, are narrow and a tight squeeze even for a thin woman like me.
The chair in the bedroom of the Junior Suite has an accompanying ottoman!
Again, as in the Executive Suite, the long hallway needs something like a chair, couch, or coat rack. Usually, I move a chair or a seat from the bedroom into this space to make it more functional.
There is very little artwork in the Hyatt Regency rooms. I’d rather have less artwork then too much. The rooms have a few well-placed pieces on the walls with neutral nature scenes which matches the hotel location.
In the Executive Suite there are two outlets in the kitchen area and more than enough outlets in the living room. Plugs and outlets were plentiful and well-placed throughout the suite. There were outlets near the beds and universal plugs and USB charging ports at the desk. One good design feature in the new Junior Suite rooms is that the lamps all have USB outlets on them. Great idea!
Snack and Minibar 5/5
The Junior Suite has a regular Starbucks coffee maker. The Executive Suite has a Keurig coffee maker. Personally, I’d love to see them get rid of the Keurig and add a Nespresso instead. If they keep the Keurig, I’d like to see them provide instructions for how to use the Keurig! There are none on the machine or on paper anywhere. Am I supposed to drain the brewer before I start…..no clue. Too many buttons and little working knowledge can make for a big coffee mess. Of course, you could just go out and explore the excellent coffee scene in Vancouver!
The Executive Suite kitchenette includes a sink and big fridge. The spacious counter served as a good workspace with three stools for seating. The kitchen was not as amazing as the Park Hyatt Saigon, but a sink is always great to have when you’re in a room for more than a day or two.
The Junior Suite’s snack area surface is quite large and there is a fridge. Even though it’s not a big one as in the Executive Suite, it’s plenty big to hold drinks and snacks and a coffee maker.
Hotel Service and Club Lounge
The lounge is not a particularly big or fancy one, but the lounge concierge team is awesome and the lounge itself does what it does very well. You can’t beat the view from the lounge. From the 29th floor the views to the north of the mountains overlooking the harbor are strikingly beautiful. One thing that stands out for this lounge is that there is a patio, though a small one.
Many Hyatt lounges in North America during their evening hours don’t serve what I call real foods. There’s no salad, though maybe a bowl of lettuce, and nothing that’s not fried for a hot option. If I have to name one food I see offered more than any other it is flatbread pizza. And the same pizza over and over again. Terrible, in my opinion. Lounges can do much better, and this lounge does. In contrast, in this lounge hot food offerings at night are protein! I’ve sampled tasty meatballs, grilled shrimp, chicken wings, and pork ribs, so not only are the offerings good, but there is plenty of variety. Each night the lounge also provides delicious, creative salads. I try to eat at least two big bowls of salad every night because I don’t want them to think no one appreciates the healthier foods.
The lounge is also well staffed. When hotel management knows lounge occupancy will be high, they will double lounge staff. Many hotels, no matter the hotel occupancy rates, only have one lounge concierge. I find this Hyatt Regency’s policy works much better for both guests and staff. Take note that the lounge often closes for the Christmas holiday season. Sometimes they close for a few weeks and sometimes longer.
Housekeeping and guest services are always quick to provide requested items. At the hotel front desk there is always more than enough staff and the concierge desk is well staffed too. The Hyatt Regency Vancouver is a busy hotel that knows providing abundant well-trained staff makes a difference to a hotel guest!
There you have it, two different suite options providing different amenities and furnishings. I am impressed with the Junior Suite refresh. They came out really well and the suites look and feel so much better. If you’re traveling with children or a group, for sure I’d recommend the Junior Suite. If traveling as a couple and you don’t need the pull-out couch the Junior Suite offers, the Executive Suite will serve you really well. No matter which room you opt for at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, I’d be willing to bet you’ll have a great stay and like me, will return as often as you can!
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