Review: The Hyatt Regency Manila Is A Perfect Airport Hotel

by Miles Jackson

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The Hyatt Regency Manila, City of Dreams is a 365-room five-star luxury hotel near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport or NAIA (commonly referred to as Manila International Airport.) City of Dreams is a combined resort project which includes a shopping mall, a full casino, several pools and a Dreamworks themed play area.

By far, it is my favorite hotel to stay when passing through or connecting in Manila to onward flights. If you are connecting in Manila, this is the best hotel to stay at. It’s a first class experience from top to bottom and easily reached from the airport via the Skyway (a toll road  near the airport terminals).

Booking Hyatt Regency Manila City of Dreams

The Hyatt Regency Manila City of Dreams is a Category 2 hotel in the Hyatt portfolio. Room rates start from around $150 USD per night or 8,000 World of Hyatt points.

A Club Access room will cost you about $230 USD a night or 12,000 points.

 

An Aqua Suite can be purchased for $270 USD and a Pool Villa goes for $308 USD.

The Points + Cash options are a terrible redemption — a Club King Access room would cost $183 USD plus 3,000 points.

How To Earn a Lot of World of Hyatt Points

Hyatt Regency Bali | Image: Miles Jackson

An easy way to get a lot of World of Hyatt points — along with a free night certificate and four lounge certificates — is by having the World of Hyatt credit card.

Earn up to 50,000 Bonus Points. That’s enough for 10 free nights at Category 1 hotels.
  • Earn 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
  • Earn an additional 25,000 Bonus Points after you spend $6,000 total on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.
  • See the program terms for complete details.

With the World of Hyatt credit card sign-up bonus you could stay up to six nights free in Bali. I recently stayed and reviewed the Hyatt Regency Bali.

Location & Getting To The Hyatt Regency Manila City of Dreams

As I said, it is an easy taxi ride from the NAIA to the hotel, especially if your driver takes the Skyway (an elevated toll road). The ride should cost you around 240 Philippine Pesos (Php) – or about $4.60 USD. If taking the Skyway, there is an additional small toll cost of about 70 cents.

Image – Miles Jackson

Pro Tip: If you are looking for a taxi from NAIA to anywhere in Manila, make sure you avoid the many taxi scams. Either use an app like Grab (which has replaced Uber) or make sure you get a metered taxi. Metered taxis can be found at Bay 12 outside Terminal 3 (international arrivals) at the Manila airport. Otherwise, you may just be in for a huge bill as your friendly driver takes you on a long, slow tour to your destination costing you more than four times the normal fare.

Checking In To Hyatt Regency Manila City of Dreams

Upon arrival, your vehicle will be examined. A lot of important people stay or visit the City of Dreams and security is at its highest, including drug dogs, armed security and police, and even mirrors on the ends of poles to examine underneath arriving vehicles.

Once at the Hyatt’s entrance, someone will open your door, welcome you to Hyatt, take care of your bags and direct you to the personal security screening before escorting you into the check-in area.

They are very professional and courteous, but take their jobs seriously. You will pass through a scanner gate and any packages or bags you are carrying will be searched (although not as extensively as you might expect).

Club Access Guests Will Check-in at The Club Lounge (Image – Miles Jackson)

Check-in time is 3:00pm, although I have been early many times and have never had an issue getting into my room.  As I check-in at the property, I always go the Globalist  and Explorist designated agent.

If you have access to the Club Lounge, you will be escorted to the Lounge on the 7th floor for check-in. There is a special check-in process there including chairs, a welcome beverage, a personalized welcome letter, and a brief orientation on the lounge hours, amenities, and anything special going on.

On this recent visit, we had a very early flight out of Manila on our checkout day. The Club Lounge staff asked us if we would like them to prepare a breakfast to go that would be delivered to our room that morning. Of course, we replied yes, and had a delicious full breakfast (eggs, toast, bacon, roll with water and juice) at our room right on time. Considering it was 3:00am when we departed, that’s amazing service by the hotel and helped start our day off right.

The Rooms at Hyatt Regency Manila City of Dreams

The Hyatt Regency Manila City of Dreams is comprised of two towers flanking a large pool complex, where you will find 365 deluxe rooms. Pets are not allowed in the property.

Standard (Hyatt King and Hyatt Twin): This is a 36 square meter room located in the Tower 1 of the hotel. You will get a view of the airport or pool deck and the hotel grounds depending on the room in which you are staying. Maximum of 3 guests.

Deluxe (Hyatt Deluxe King and Hyatt Deluxe Twin): Located in Tower 2, the deluxe rooms are a bit more spacious at 50 square meters. You have the chance to enjoy a view of Manila Bay (to the west or southwest), pool deck, or the hotel grounds. Maximum of 3 guests.

View (Bay View Deluxe and Aqua Suite): A spacious 55 square meter room. If you wish to get one of the best rooms in this category, go for the Aqua Suite which is an 85 square-meter corner room in Tower 2. Maximum of 3 guests.

Club (Club King and Club Twin): Guests booking one of these 45 rooms are given access to the Club Lounge and can take advantage of a number of exclusive services. Maximum of 3 guests.

Club King Room | Image – Miles Jackson

I always have been booked into the Club King Room, so I cannot review or comment on the other room types, but our room has always been outstanding. It is well-appointed, impeccably clean, and a larger size than you will find in most Manila hotels.

High Ceilings and dramatic decor (Image – Miles Jackson)

The halls and rooms have high ceilings and have a dark brown and golden tone décor. The entire hotel hasa relaxing feel — that is until you hit the gaming floor of the casino.

The Club King Room 

Club King Bathroom | Image – Miles Jackson

The Club King Room features an amazing bathroom with dual sinks and make-up areas, a full bathtub (all but standard rooms have separate soaking tubs). separate toilet area plus a glass-enclosed shower room with a rain shower head. Bathrobes are provided, complimentary plush slippers, and plenty of towels.

(Image – Miles Jackson)

A stocked minibar and a beverage center with complimentary water bottles, tea, and a coffee center are included. There is a lot of space for your luggage — I really appreciate this for a hotel I often use between flights (if only for one night or a few nights). There’s a nice sized desk and plenty of power outlets including USB ports throughout the room. There is a very large LED television mounted on the wall facing the bed which includes your hotel charges, local and satellite channels, movies, and information on City of Dreams and Hyatt.

In addition, the room has a personal table and two comfortable chairs placed along the large floor to ceiling windows that span one wall of the room. My views have always been either Manila Bay or looking down at the massive pool area below.

Our room had a welcome amenity of fruit, chocolates and two bottles of Perrier. We also were provided turndown service nightly which was accompanied by various pastries — both nice features.

Another nice feature is the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign which is triggered by a switch inside your room. The staff respects this 100 percent. In fact, I recently had some documents delivered to my room by the concierge and had forgotten that I had set the ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on. I received a telephone call from the concierge later to advise that the documents had come up to my room, but upon seeing the sign, the employee returned to the concierge rather than disturb me.

Dining at the Hyatt Regency Manila

The Lounge | Image – Hyatt

The hotel sits upon the City of Dreams entertainment, shopping, casino and dining complex which is basically an enclosed mall. As such, there are a lot of dining options. In the Hyatt property you have three dining choices: The Café, the Lounge, and the Club Lounge (if you have access).

City of Dreams Complex
(Image – Miles Jackson)

There are a few restaurants in the City of Dreams complex that will actually let you charge your meal to your Hyatt room. That means extra World of Hyatt points!

I highly recommend Red Ginger as a dining alternative that is open 24 hours. The food was tasty and there’s a great wait staff. I love their chili and basil chicken as well as blue marlin filet with assam butter.

The Café

This is the main dining facility of the hotel. Located on the main floor (across from hotel check-in), it serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are many featured buffet times which is spectacle in terms of presentation. However, it can be a bit pricy (for the Philippines). They offer an a la carte menu as well as several buffet options daily. Buffet prices will range between $25 USD for breakfast to more than $60 USD for their Sunday brunch.

You will find a range of seating options, from more personal circular booths to private and semi-private rooms to standalone tables. I found the environment as entertaining as the food is varied and delicious. The Café features cuisines from around the world, not just Asian selections.

The Lounge

Not to be confused with the Club Lounge, The Lounge is located adjacent to the Lobby. You will find it as a comfortable, stylish spot to relax, have drinks, or light snacks. It also features cocktails, premium wines, teas and coffee. The Lounge also offers an international snack menu. The casino is just around the corner.

The Club Lounge

The Club Lounge
(Image – Miles Jackson)

The Club Lounge
(Image – Miles Jackson)

The Club Lounge
(Image – Miles Jackson)

The Club Lounge
(Image – Miles Jackson)

Here is where I really found Hyatt excelling. Each return trip to the lounge, I am recognized before I even sign in. The staff is amazing and attentive. The Club Lounge is on the 7th floor of an 8-story complex so there’s great views of Manila Bay.

The lounge serves a complete breakfast, snacks throughout the day, and a nice dinner offering featuring one specific selection nightly. The dessert offerings are nothing less than delightful and with lots of variety. On average, I would say they featured at least eight different desserts each night.

Complimentary wine, beer and spirits are available during dinner time which is a two hour period each evening. The staff remembered I favored their sparkling wine and made sure my glass was always full as they asked about my latest travel adventures.

Other Amenities

Free Wi-Fi: Actually, Wi-Fi is made free and available to everyone in the City of Dreams complex; it is not specifically a Hyatt offering.

Image – City of Dreams

Casino: It’s the best casino in the Philippines. Players must be 21 years old to even set foot in the casino. If you have persons younger than that in your group, you will not be allowed to ‘cut through’ the casino to go from one side of the hotel to the next. This really only is a concern when you are trying to access the casino exit to get on one of the two free shuttles that depart from the City of Dreams.

Swimming Pools: There are a few pools, including a kids pool and a lap pool. There is poolside service for beverages as well as snacks and full meals. The staff is very attentive and appear without prompting.

Salon: There is a salon located in the hotel. Prices are expensive and I actually opted for a haircut, shave and massage at a local salon which cost me about $2 USD. So you can do a lot better on price than the Hyatt Salon.

Fitness Area: The Hyatt features a fully equipped gym on the pool level.

Dreamplay
(Image – Miles Jackson)

Dreamplay: Dreamworks themed play area/amusement/family entertainment center located inside the City of Dreams complex.

SM Mall of Asia: One of the best benefits at the Hyatt Regency Manila City of Dreams is the free shuttle between the hotel and the SM Mall of Asia. You will be glad you avoided a taxi ride as the traffic in Manila is simply unbearably frustrating and slow. This mall is the largest mall in the country. The Mall of Asia spreads out in width as well as height — it’s full of shops, kiosks, entertainment (laser tag), and dining options. There are two cinema complexes that show first-run features. There’s also a small amusement park at the back of the mall where kids can have fun with kiddie rides. Parents can catch a cruise (that departs from the back, on Manila Bay) and enjoy a romantic dinner.

SM Mall of Asia – Philippines’ Largest Mall
(Image – Miles Jackson)

If you happen to need to visit the U.S. Embassy while in Manila, it is conveniently located less than 8 kilometers to the north. If you take the free shuttle to the SM Mall of Asia you will have covered more than half that distance, perhaps saving on a taxi fare.

Yes, there is a Chinatown in Manila
(Image – Miles Jackson)

Chinatown Shuttle: Yes, there is a Chinatown in Manila. City of Dreams offers a second free shuttle between the hotel and Chinatown, located 11 kilometers to the north.

Side Note: Currency Exchange In the Philippines

Surprisingly, the exchange rates inside the arrivals of the airport is not too bad. I find that they are usually within 98% of the street rate. Of course, you are best off using an ATM that will exchange cash right from your US bank account, provided you have a debit card that doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee or ATM fee.

The Upshot

The entire property exudes luxury and elegance, and I wouldn’t want to stay at another hotel in this very over-crowded city. I prefer the Hyatt Regency Manila City of Dreams over the Grand Hyatt in Manila. The Grand Hyatt is located in a bit dodgier part of Manila. For only 8,000 points per night, this is always an impressive redemption.

Have you stayed at the Hyatt Regency Manila City of Dreams hotel?

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

3 comments
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3 comments

Dotti September 28, 2019 - 7:49 am

Nice review thank you

Reply
Miles Jackson September 29, 2019 - 3:04 am

Dotti,

Thank you for the praise. It’s a wonderful hotel; an oasis in the chaotic city of Manila. Thanks for reading.

Reply
scadeleon April 21, 2020 - 1:37 pm

Loves your thorough review! I have always been curious how many points is needed for me to book 1 king size room with club access. Thank you for this!

Reply

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