My Stay At This Iconic Hyatt Hotel Was Disappointing

by Shelli Stein

There are cities that become favorites even if you don’t actually live there. You simply enjoy them for all they have to offer and visit them as often as you can. When it comes to cities that offer what I enjoy, London has always ranked HIGH on my list. It has a certain charm. For me it’s magical. The parks, gardens, walking along the River Thames, the art, the theater and so much more. And yes, the people too! Each time I visit and get to know the city better, I realize how good I feel when in London. She matches me well!

There’s never a doubt when I visit that I will return. For my most recent visit I decided to spread my time in London across a variety of Hyatt properties, one of which was the Hyatt Regency The Churchill. I do like to sample different hotels in London, as well as different areas of the city, so this idea worked well for me.

Hyatt Regency The Churchill lobby

Hyatt Regency The Churchill lobby

How I Paid and My Room Assignment at the Hyatt Regency The Churchill

Don’t think for a minute that I’ll go easy on the Hyatt Regency Churchill as I pen this hotel and hotel room review. I may be a Hyatt fan girl, but that often means I hold Hyatt properties to a higher standard. After all, first impressions matter and if you’ve not yet stayed here I want you to have the best and most informed impression possible.

I’m not writing to promote Hyatt. I’m writing to inform readers!

Specifics About The Hotel And Some Hyatt Regency Churchill Backstory

The hotel has 440 rooms and 50 suites. I was told that Globalists like this property as a choice for London stays, and as you read more about the hotel and the amenities, you’ll see why. Interestingly though, it is not necessarily a mostly Hyatt member hotel.  Roughly around 65% of guests are Hyatt members.

Typical guests stay on average 4-5 days. There are historic suites at the Churchill. One even has four bedrooms and it’s always occupied. I wasn’t able to view it. The other historic suites were occupied during my stay so maybe next time I’ll get to see them!

In case you’re wondering which months are the busiest and which months might be more off season, here’s your answer. January and February are generally low season while June, July, September, and December are the busiest months.

Occupancy during my stay was around 80%, so the hotel felt lively but not overly busy at all.

The hotel was built by Stone, Toms & Partners with a sepcific design in mind. It opened in 1970 by the Loews Hotel Group as The Churchill. The hotel’s developer, Sir Eric Miller, wanted to pay homage to Sir Winston Churchill.

In February 2004, Hyatt Hotels Corporation took over the property and in May 2004 renamed the hotel to what we know it as today, the much-loved and remarkable, Hyatt Regency London – The Churchill.

The Library at the Hyatt Regency The Churchill

The Library at the Hyatt Regency The Churchill

There have been a series of refurbishments over the years. In 2016 there was a major refurbishment of bedrooms, suites, and meetings/events spaces. In 2012 the hotel did a full-refurbishment of The Churchill Bar and Terrace.

The Churchill Residential Suite was unveiled in 2020. In 2021 the meetings and events spaces were refurbished. In 2023 there was another refurbishment done on the two Premium Balcony Suites, gym, and wellness area.

My recent stay at the Hyatt Regency The Churchill was for four nights. I could have used a World of Hyatt free night award or booked nights with Hyatt points. Hotels in London can be super pricey. The all cash rate hovered between $400 and $600 USD a night. I decided to use points for my stay. I also decided to use a Hyatt Suite Upgrade Award so I knew beforehand I’d been assigned a suite.

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Hyatt Regency London—The Churchill is a World of Hyatt Category 6 property, meaning free nights start at 25,000 Hyatt points per night.

My Check-In Experience

Checking in to the hotel did not go smoothly. Check-in is at 3pm. I arrived at 1pm so knew I’d have to wait. That’s fine. I was told the room would be ready at 3pm. However, I was not in the room until 4:15. When I arrived I was told they would switch me to a suite that guests had already vacated, so not at all sure what this delay was about.

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Using my Hotel Room Scorecard I broke down the individual elements of my Hyatt Regency London—The Churchill room which scored a 30 of 40 points.

Location (5/5)

I asked both hotel staff and many people I know who favor the Churchill why they choose this Hyatt property over other Hyatt hotels in London. Again and again I heard LOCATION location location! People love the area near Mayfair and the nicer areas of London. The hotel is also within easy walking distance to both Hyde Park and Regents Park. For me this is a huge plus.

Churchill's Artwork in the hotel gallery

Churchill’s artwork in the hotel gallery

The hotel is near two metro stops, Marble Arch and Baker Street, which means good access for public transportation. London is a spread out, huge city. The hotel location means you will likely be using the metro to explore London. In case you’ve not been to London yet, or didn’t use the public transportation while you were there, it’s an incredible system that’s extensive and easy to navigate. No matter where I went in London, from the nearest hotel stations it was never more than 15-30 minutes. It’s easy to get to Central London from The Churchill. I never mind using the London metro at all.

View of Nobu Hotel from the suite at the Hyatt Regency The Churchill

View of Nobu Hotel from the suite at the Hyatt Regency The Churchill

Another reason people favor the property is for the Churchill history. The hotel being a Regency works in its favor because people like that brand.

Here’s a location tip for you. Oxford Street is one of the big shopping streets in London. It seems to me, and I know many Londoners feel this way as well, that Oxford Street, how shall I say this, has gone downhill over the years. I found it unpleasant walking along Oxford Street. If you do too, walk along Wigmore Street. It runs parallel to Oxford Street.

Hyatt Regency The Churchill view from 7th floor suite

Lighting (4/5)

The room did have natural lighting, with two floor-to-ceiling windows, one in the bedroom and one in the living room. The brightest areas with the best lighting were the bathroom and the closet. Why is that, I wonder. Hopefully when the suite I stayed in gets refurbished the lighting options will improve.

Yes, I recognize that the average guest stays maybe two nights, but there are guests who work or just want to sit on the couch and read with proper lighting.

Window Access (5/5)

Having floor to ceiling windows in both the bedroom and suite living room area made a big difference.

There are two levels of window shades, one for sun/privacy and one for black-out darkness.

Hyatt Regency The Churchill living room in suite

I know it can be unrealistic to expect hotel windows that open, but for me that’s always what makes window access a 5 star rating, instead of a 4. I was able to open both the window in the living area and the bedroom.

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Bed Comfort (3/5)

The bed was too soft for me, but not as soft as some beds at other hotel properties I’ve stayed at. And just in case you’re not already aware of this, bed sizes in the UK are different from in the States. They are smaller in width and often shorter in length as well.

The Churchill, however, uses bed sizes that are standard for the U.S. The pillows worked well and there were already different pillow types on the bed, so I was able to choose which worked best for me. Too often all the pillows are the same, but not in this case.

Bedroom in suite at the Hyatt Regency The Churchill

Bathroom (3/5)

I’ll say right up front that I did not care for the bathroom design or layout.

A shower will leak, as this one did, if there is an overhead shower and not a big lip between the shower and the floor. Yes, that’s true even if the hotel thinks its shower doors are tight.

Unless I really missed something here, there was no outlet for a hair dryer in the bathroom. Only an outlet for a men’s shaver.

Bathroom at Hyatt Regency London The Churchill

There was no double light in the bathroom. There was only one switch and it provided VERY bright light. I can’t recall the last time I was in a hotel room where the bathroom didn’t have lighting options.

The bathroom seemed cramped, especially for a suite. I’m thin and the space between the shower stall and the sink was a very tight fit.

Bathroom at Hyatt Regency London The Churchill

I don’t know about you but ever since hotels started going to big canisters of shower gel/soap and shampoo, I bring my own supplies. I appreciate a shower where there are still trays on the wall where you can place your own supplies so my sundries don’t sit on the floor.

Bathroom at Hyatt Regency London The Churchill

You can see from the photos, this shower had a tray for sundries. Having a ledge for sundries is a simple thing that those of us who are now (or always did) bringing their own sundries when they travel might really appreciate.

Bathroom at Hyatt Regency London The Churchill

Interior Appointments and Furnishings (3/5)

My suite did not match the one I saw online, either in design or layout. Maybe online the photo was one of the refurbished suites. I don’t know. The layout in the online photo looked different. It seemed better and included balcony area. That would have been lovely!

Unfortunately I found a bottle cap under the couch.

I felt the suite design was a mish mash in both the design and the room layout.

Here’s why.

As you can see, the only artwork in the living room was an Asian art motif on the wall. I can’t help but be curious as to why the Churchill would choose Asian art rather than a piece, or pieces, that reflect the hotel and its location.

Asian motif artwork at the Hyatt Regency The Churchill

The living room had the same white formica glittery coffee table I see in other Hyatt Regency properties around the world. It didn’t at all match the classic decor of the room.Hyatt Regency London The Churchill living room of standard suite

The coffee/tea/snack area was behind front door. I’m guessing this area used to be a closet.

Hyatt Regency London The Churchill coffee and tea area

I’m pretty sure this beverage area used to be a closet just behind the entry way door.

There was a purple ottoman along the living room wall. Again, a piece that didn’t seem to fit with the rest of the room design. There were glass side tables, while hardwood was used on most of the furnishings in the suite. Speaking of wood furnishing, I thought the wood headboard attached to the wall over the bed was rather worn and ugly.

In general it felt like the tired wood furniture throughout the suite looked old.

The peep hole on the entrance door is placed too high for the average height of women. This has long been a pet peeve of mine. Do only men check who’s knocking or ringing the bell?

The divider wall between the bedroom and living room had wall paper. It has a corrugated siding look and I thought it was awful. I didn’t like the illusion effect at all.

Crazy wallpaper at the Hyatt Regency The Churchill

There was one nice, interesting piece of artwork…….in the closet. Why not move this piece into the main seating area or bedroom?

artwork at Hyatt Regency The Churchill

Why not move this artwork from the closet to the living space of the suite.

There is a bench at the foot of the bed. I often wonder if people like this feature in a hotel room or not. For me, sometimes yes and sometimes no. It depends on the layout of the room. I’m curious. Do you like and find it useful to have a bench in a hotel room?

Bedroom in suite at Hyatt Regency The Churchill

There was one good feature in the bedroom I want to mention. There was a well-placed desk and the desk lamp was bright. This was useful because there was no lighting above the desk.

Hyatt Regency The Churchill desk setup in the bedroom

Good setup for desk area in the bedroom

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Electronics (4/5)

Plugs and outlets were adequate. There were outlets near the bed with universal plugs and USB charging ports. I needed to borrow an adapter. I recognize it’s on me to carry my own, which I do. Just needed an extra one this time around. The hotel did find one for me, so I appreciated that.

Amenities (3/5)

The hotel does send welcome amenities to Hyatt Globalists. I did not receive one nor did I get a welcome card. This was a miss on the hotel’s part. After hotel management realized this, I was given Hyatt points in lieu of the welcome gift. I appreciated this gesture.

YES on providing a Yoga mat! I’ve started requesting Yoga mats when I stay in hotels. If you’ve ever taken a close look at the “need anything extra” card presented in each Hyatt Regency hotel room, you’ll notice Yoga mat is listed. I’m starting to notice, though, how few hotels actually have mats.

The property provides water, and it was super generous whenever I requested more. It was also generous with whatever supplies you needed. That always leaves a positive impression on a guest.

When writing hotel reviews I often review the minibar and available snacks. The minibar and coffee area was well-equipped with a kettle and Nespresso style coffee maker. There was a good size fridge underneath the living room TV. No snacks.

Hyatt Regency The Churchill living room

Breakfast Options

For breakfast there is a restaurant area just off the lobby. Hotel guests use the restaurant as do many locals. It offers a full menu of plated foods. There is also a full buffet style option as well. I did not take breakfast, so I can’t comment on the breakfast service.

Breakfast is 30-40 GBP if not included in the room rate. I did go see the buffet offerings and there is nothing missing! It’s huge. My sense is that if you enjoy breakfast buffets, you’ll be very pleased with the one the Churchill offers.

There are many large common space areas at the hotel. There is a large pub style bar and the restaurant which does serve dinner. They are well used by hotel guests.

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When I review a hotel I always wonder what complaints hotel guests have, so I ask the hotel team. This hotel’s chief complaint is one I’ve not come across yet. Apparently, guests who frequent the Hyatt Regency Churchill are quite attached to certain rooms. The chief complaint management receives is that people who visit want the same room they had before and naturally that’s not always possible. Part of this is that many people use the hotel for long term stays!

Hyatt Regency The Churchill Club Lounge

If you’ve been traveling the past few years you for sure have noticed that so many Hyatt Regency Club Lounges have closed. They have not reopened and I doubt they ever will. This is the case across hotel brands, not just Hyatt hotels. And this is true both in the states and around the world.

For the Churchill, there was no question as to whether the club lounges would reopen. They had to!! There are actually two clubs. One side is family-friendly and allows children and the other side is called the Business Club Lounge.

Because of my Globalist status with Hyatt I had access to the lounges. The Club was excellent! I took breakfast there every day and the only item missing was eggs. If you want eggs for breakfast, head to the buffet. Other than eggs, you’ll be content with the offerings at breakfast.

As is the case with clubs, it was open all day for drinks and snacks (fruit, nuts, yogurt, beverages, and sweet treats). The club was actually open until 11pm, which is much later than clubs are usually open. This was great for me because I worked while at the hotel so I enjoyed using the club as my office 🙂

Cakes were served during the tea/coffee hours in the late afternoon and I’ll admit they were rather good.

In the evening, the club served small plates, besides cheese, bread, meats and a few other items. The small plates were different every night and there was table service.

During my stay the club was well used but was never too busy. It was a TREAT to have such a wonderful club experience and was one of the highlights of my stay at the Churchill.

Great to see lots of staff onboard at the Club. The service team throughout the day was excellent. They knew what I liked (think soft pretzels), and put one aside for me each day.

Concierge Service at The Club Lounge

Outside of the club is a concierge desk that was staffed most of the day and into the early evening. The concierge team was tops! Very helpful, very fun to talk with, and never a request I made was too much for them to handle. It was great to be able to secure assistance from them rather than having to go downstairs to the front desk if I needed something.

Hotel Service at the Hyatt Regency London—The Churchill

While you can tell I was not thrilled with the hotel room and thought the design and layout were off, I was pleased with the service! This really does tie into my being generally impressed with the hotel, though not impressed with the room.

Housekeeping was always quick to deliver whatever I requested. If you’ve been traveling much this past year you might have realized how short-staffed many hotels are. I did not find that to be the case at the Hyatt Regency London Churchill at all.

There was never anything I asked for from housekeeping, the front desk and concierge team, the hotel management team, or the Club team where the staff didn’t happily oblige. I thoroughly enjoyed the friendly, warm and very helpful environment.

Final Thoughts On The Hyatt Regency London–The Churchill

The Hyatt Regency London—The Churchill is an unusual hotel with an amazing history. It is an expensive property, whether paying cash or using points. You’ll have to think as to whether it is a great value on points or when paying cash. There are now many Hyatt properties in London, so it can be a toss-up as to which property to choose. What it offers and the service were both good. Perhaps if I liked my suite better I’d say GREAT instead of good. For sure having the club available to me made a huge difference.

The location can’t be beat. That I agree with. It is a classic hotel with a certain vibe. If that suits you, you’ll enjoy the property. I prefer a more relaxed hotel vibe, though I’m not at all disappointed I had my Churchill experience. Every Hyatt hotel is different, every staff is different, and every guest is different, right? Some properties are bound to work better than others for what you’re looking for.

Would I stay here again?

I’m not sure. Putting together this review was fun because it brought back memories of an enjoyable hotel stay in a city I’m quite fond of. I’m thrilled I tried something different when needing a hotel in London.

I think of the Hyatt Regency London—The Churchill as a hotel for people who enjoy mixing their hotel stay with history as well as spending time in a more local area of London rather than in a super touristy area. That certainly includes me and if it includes you, by all means gather up your travel gear and give this hotel a try and see what you think for yourself.

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Tom November 25, 2023 - 12:43 pm

I stayed here this summer. My experience was similar to yours same room type. I wouldn’t say I left feeling disappointed. It’s a Hyatt regency and I got a Hyatt regency experience. I guess we had different expectations.

Shelli November 25, 2023 - 7:44 pm

You make a valid point, Tom. I guess because of the cash price point as well as the number of Hyatt points for a standard room, I had higher expectations. Also, for those of us who have stayed at Park Hyatt properties, it did at times seem like a Park property, so the rooms just didn’t match up. Nothing that some renovations would fix though, so that’s the upside. Thanks for taking the time to comment.

Christian November 25, 2023 - 1:11 pm

Interesting review, particularly as a fellow Hyatt fan. I think that you might be a little harsh about the decor. Sure it lacks unity but not much of it is actually bad. JMTC.

We’re you offered restaurant breakfast as a Globalist?

Shelli November 25, 2023 - 7:53 pm

Howdy Christian, Room decor and design is so personal, right? And it’s in comparison to so many other rooms we stay in, the price we pay, or the points we spend. The hotel has a lot to offer but now that there are many more Hyatt options in London, I take the actual room into consideration more than I had in the past. I accept your thinking I was too harsh though 🙂

Yes, I was offered restaurant breakfast as a Globalist. Too busy during breakfast with long wait times to be seated and way more offerings than I need. For me the club worked much better. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment. What’s your fav Hyatt property these days in London?

Christian November 25, 2023 - 10:03 pm

Actually, I haven’t been to London since I was overnighting as a child. Ironically I spent my way up to top tier status with Hilton (I burn through my Hyatt points pretty quickly between myself and GOH bookings) this year and will be initiating London at the Conrad for 3 nights with my wife. It’s basically a scouting mission but any suggestions for first timers would be appreciated. Or Oxford or the Cotswolds.

Ethan November 29, 2023 - 8:28 pm

Thanks for the review but more photos of the room and the hotel would have been appreciated.

Shelli November 30, 2023 - 11:54 am

Appreciate the feedback, Ethan, and thanks for reading.

Joe Howard November 30, 2023 - 6:28 pm

You have way too much time on your hands. You might want to find meaningful productive activities instead of this silliness

Shelli Stein November 30, 2023 - 6:44 pm

Appreciate your viewpoint Joe. I can only hope some find hotel reviews helpful. Happy holidays!

Rob November 30, 2023 - 6:44 pm

Hi – I’m a regular visitor to the Churchill – as well as other London hotels, as I stopover enroute back to the US at least three times a year. For the record, I agree the service is always terrific at the Churchill – and while reserved, it is what I would call “British Friendly.”

For the record, under British law, there are never plugs in any bathroom in the UK. It’s a safety issue (even though we don’t seem to have problems with them in the US.

I found the rooms perfectly comfortable… As a globalist, I’ve received several suite upgrades, but of course it’s not guaranteed. The decor is understated, and the beds are super-comfortable…and my request for feather-free pillows has always been accommodated.

The Regency Club has been open for quite some time and it is among the best in the entire chain. (As a frequent Hyatt visitor, I’ve found clubs open in places including San Antonio and Washington…although the catering level varies quite a bit). The breakfast in the dining room is spectacular…but I’m not 100% sure if Globalists still have access to the buffet.

Oh, and it’s the London UNDERGROUND, not the Metro. The Metro is in Paris. 🙂

Shelli Stein November 30, 2023 - 6:51 pm

Thanks much for adding to the conversation, Rob. Sigh…….I know it’s the Underground, so thanks for pointing out my miss. I learned a new term, “British friendly”. Many employees at the hotel weren’t British, so I assumed it was in the training. Wow, that explains the no plug in the bathroom. Wonder why no one at the Churchill mentioned this. As far as I know, because it was offered to me, breakfast in the dining room is still available to Globalists. Thanks again for taking the time to comment. You for sure are a wealth of Hyatt hotel intel 🙂

dwondermeant December 1, 2023 - 10:57 pm

Many of us have vast differences in our expectations .One of the things about picking the right hotel before you stay is doing a lot of research on rooms and service as well as recognition data points from other members.Carefully examining photos to see if its your style/kind of property.This isn’t a modern new Four Seasons and thats pretty evident.Nor is it as restored masterpiece
Its quirky just like Andaz London with high rising trip inducing tubs.

I’ve had wonderful stays at HR London and not so great but the breakfast is always solid and having the club option is a nice option to utilize instead or in addition too.If a bottle cap missed by housekeeping is going to upset you during a stay its going to be tough life on the road for you as housekeeping has generally declined over the past 3 or 4 years in most cities/countries.
Photos are really clear online of what to expect in this hotel and like you I’m a LT Hyatt Globalist while I would go back I haven’t in some time.I’ve gone instead for modern boutique hotels that offer higher personal levels of service and better value.The HR London panders to the very wealthy and their regulars and not to any elite member who cashes in some points and expects VIP recognition based on status alone.Sure its great to assume a great experience but as most of us know its not going to be the case as hotels march to the beat of a different drummer based on location and revenue expectations.
In order to get much better rooms or suites one has to develop relationships and or be regulars and get to know the key folks insiders at any hotel who can kick up the room assignment some extra notches be it suite or best room if they deem you a desirable kind guest.For those that don’t wish to enter into those kinds of discussions and do the extra footwork involved there is also paying a lot more to just get what you want.
While there are hotels that do a knockout job at Hyatt’s for Globalists first thing in the door this is one that won’t right off the top instead pretty much assigning what you book or the minimum required based on room or suite standard allocations.For myself over the years I’ve met some stellar team members and when something mattered they tried hard to accommodate my requests.My main reason for leaving is I found a more desirable newer hotels with a hard product for much less with better recognition.Having said that I wouldn’t hesitate to go back to the property even if a tad dated as service has almost always been above average or much better.Lets not forget that generally London is old world/historic and pricey no matter where you go to a fair degree!
So if that isn’t your speed you need to seek out other options outside of Hyatt with Hilton.Marriott etc which have some amazing new state of the art boutique properties that may be more your speed
Location of HR London is nice even as most cities have lost some desirability since the pandemic started and slowed.
The area can be mobbed sometimes with pedestrians and traffic depending when you go
Lots of good memories in that old Grande Dame but sure Hyatt could up its game but it has a variety of decent properties and they are cash cows even if not the best in the city and folks are/seem willing to pay the premium

Shelli Stein December 2, 2023 - 10:03 am

Thanks so much for adding to the conversation! Your comment about the Andaz London reminded me of how quirky and fun that property is. Housekeeping levels have always varied from hotel to hotel and while at some hotels has now gone missing, at other hotels I’ve stayed at it is as great as it always was. Hyatt has expanded its offerings in London and as you suggested it is a city with no lack of choices regardless of whether at a chain hotel or smaller boutique property. Appreciate your take on all this. Your main point about everyone’s expectations being different is spot on!


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