The new Hyatt Regency Seattle opened in December 2018. It’s now the largest hotel in the Pacific Northwest, with 1,260 guestrooms and 45 floors.
We’ve had the opportunity to make 3 stays at the Hyatt Regency Seattle (HR Seattle), so we’ve gotten pretty familiar with this new hotel. Aside from one glaring and recurring issue, we’ve enjoyed the hotel and it’s quickly become one of our favorites for our repeated visits to Seattle. Given the Hyatt’s size, good location in downtown Seattle, and the fact that not too much has been written about it, we thought we’d take the opportunity to give Middle Age Miles readers a full review of this new-and-shiny property.
Booking and Rates
On each of our 3 stays at the HR Seattle, we’ve booked under a corporate rate available to us. That said, Member Rates have been within a few dollars of the corporate rate on each of these stays. (During high-demand summer months, however, corporate rates can provide much more of a discount.) We’ve booked and paid as follows:
- Stay #1: Booked through Citi Aspire Concierge, paid with Citi Prestige using 4th night free benefit ($179.58 rebate)
- Stay #2: Booked direct with Hyatt, paid with Chase Sapphire Reserve with a Chase Offer attached ($38 statement credit)
- Stay #3: Booked direct with Hyatt, paid with Chase World of Hyatt Visa with a Chase Offer attached ($38 statement credit)
As you can see, we’ve gotten extremely lucky to receive Chase Offers on our 2 best points-earning cards for Hyatt stays. I doubt we’ll have such good fortune in the future!
I’d also note that we’ve had Regency Club access for all 3 of our stays:
- Stay #1: Used a Club Access Award earned through a match from MLife Gold to Hyatt Explorist status (Note: Club Access Awards are no longer given when you do this status match.)
- Stay #2: Granted Club access by a hotel manager, as a kind gesture in response to a housekeeping fail (more on that below)
- Stay #3: Purchased Club access at check-in, for $35/night
- This was discounted from the normal buy-up rate of $55/night, presumably discounted based on Explorist status
- This was only a 2-night stay, so we hadn’t used a Club Access Award in advance. It turned out that we had a very early arrival time, and no room was available for us yet. Purchasing Club access was a solid deal, to get a nice place to work for a couple of hours until the room was ready, plus get to enjoy the Regency Club for the rest of our stay.
Unfortunately, Hyatt hotels don’t participate in any shopping portals, so we haven’t been able to earn any extra points/miles/cashback that way.
Somewhat surprisingly, the HR Seattle is a World of Hyatt Category 4 hotel. Standard rooms can be booked for 15,000 Hyatt points per night. Assuming that you can find availability, this can be a great deal during high-demand periods in Seattle (which includes basically the entire period of June through September). In addition, the HR Seattle is probably one of the very best uses of Hyatt Category 1-4 Free Night Certificates. (Note that its neighbors, the Grand Hyatt Seattle and the Hyatt at Olive 8, increased to Category 5 earlier this year and thus are no longer available for Category 1-4 certificate redemption.)
The HR Seattle is well-located in the northeast part of downtown Seattle. The street address is 808 Howell Street, just at the point where Olive Street splits into Howell and Olive, between 8th Avenue and 9th Avenue.
It’s a half-mile walk to Pike Place Market, and a mile walk to Seattle Center park where you can visit the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Museum of Pop Culture. There are plenty of restaurants within a few blocks. It’s also just a couple of blocks to walk over to the Washington State Convention Center. Many Amazon buildings are reasonably accessible from the HR Seattle’s location if your work takes you there.
Interestingly, the HR Seattle is clustered with 2 other nice Hyatt properties, the Grand Hyatt Seattle and the Hyatt at Olive 8. Both are within 2 blocks of the HR Seattle.
We’ve also recently stayed at the Grand Hyatt, and we’ll plan to do a review of that property soon. Compared to the HR Seattle, there were some things we liked better about each property, and we’d generally be happy to stay at either one.
We haven’t stayed at the Hyatt at Olive 8. But we did a walk-through recently, and we weren’t that impressed. We might do a short stay there at some point, for the sake of getting a review for Middle Age Miles readers, but at this point we wouldn’t be choosing the Olive 8 over the HR Seattle or the Grand Hyatt.
Our Major Issue with the Hyatt Regency Seattle
Let’s get this out of the way up front. We have had major issues with trying to get housekeeping to come to our room on every single one of our three stays, on every single day of each stay save one. (Once they actually come, the actual housekeeping and clean-up of the room has been very good; the negative issue is only with getting housekeeping to come at all.)
The HR Seattle’s default procedure is that they do not do daily housekeeping. However, they will provide daily housekeeping upon request (at least that’s what they say). We had read about this issue before our first stay, so we were prepared for it.
On each of our 3 stays, we have asked at check-in for daily housekeeping. Each time, the agent has said something to the effect of “no problem at all” and typed something into their computer.
Then, on all 3 of our stays, housekeeping has not come. Each time, around mid-afternoon, I’ve had to go down to the front desk and ask again for housekeeping to service our room. Each time, I remind the agent that we asked for daily housekeeping. Each time, the agent checks the computer and confirms that our room is set up for daily housekeeping. This sequence has occurred literally every single day of each of our 3 stays, except for one. Thus, on 5 out of 6 days, housekeeping has failed to come and we’ve had to go to the front desk and ask.
After my first ask, sometimes housekeeping comes and sometimes they don’t. On 2 days, in late afternoon, I’ve had to go down to the front desk yet again to ask for a 2nd time for housekeeping to come.
During our 2nd stay, when I had to go down for a 2nd time, I asked to speak with a manager. I walked him through our experiences and said that I’d like them to fix this very frustrating issue. I didn’t ask for any compensation, but the manager offered 5,000 Hyatt points and Regency Club access for the rest of our stay. This was a very nice gesture, and we enjoyed having Club access. The 5,000 Hyatt points never showed up, though. I haven’t followed up on those points and I don’t intend to; it was just a verbal conversation and the manager probably forgot.
This is an incredibly frustrating issue, and it has definitely tainted our otherwise very good experiences at the HR Seattle. It’s unbelievable to me how remarkably bad they’ve been with this. (Frankly, we have an issue with the default “no daily housekeeping” policy in general, but we’re setting that aside for now.)
Dear Hyatt Regency Seattle:
Please fix the issues with getting daily housekeeping. If you’re going to let me request daily housekeeping at check-in, please follow through and make sure it happens. If you’re not actually going to do daily housekeeping, please let me know so I can stay at the Grand Hyatt (or the Sheraton, Westin, Hilton, etc.) instead. Thank you.
Signed, ~Middle Age Miles.
Tour of the Hotel
Now, let’s do a tour of the hotel, starting with the entrance areas, then working our way into the hotel and up through the floors. The basic layout of the hotel is:
- 1st (Ground) Floor: Entrance; front desk; Concierge desk; some lobby seating; Andare restaurant
- 2nd Floor: Cafe; Daniel’s Broiler restaurant & outer bar; some lobby-type seating; FedEx Office; business center
- Floors 3-7: Meeting spaces and ballrooms
- 8th Floor: Regency Club; fitness center
- Floors 9-45: Guest rooms
There are 2 entrances to the HR Seattle – one on Howell Street (south side of the building), and one on the east side of the building (the side that faces 9th Avenue). Rideshares generally pick up and deliver at the south entrance on Howell Street. The formal drop-off and entrance area, such as where you’d take your car if you were checking into the hotel and where the valets are located, is on the east side of the hotel facing 9th Avenue.
First Floor – Lobby Level
The entire first floor lobby level is surrounded by floor-to-ceiling glass windows on the east, south and west sides, providing the entire area with tons of natural light and creating a welcoming effect. The entire lobby has high ceilings and elegant modern fixtures that make for a nice setting.
If you enter through the main (east) entrance, the front desk is immediately to your right. If you enter through the Howell St (south) entrance, you’ll have to turn to your right, then go left around a corner to get to the front desk.
The front desk is long and open, with a series of 8 check-in stations, 2 each at 4 tables. In our experience, the front desk has been well-staffed and we’ve never seen anyone have to wait very long to reach an agent. On each of our stays, front desk staff has been very friendly and efficient.
As you stand facing the front desk, the elevators are behind you. There are 2 banks of elevators. Each bank serves floors 1 through 8 (the lobby, restaurants/bar/cafe, meeting rooms & ballrooms, fitness center and Regency Club). Then, one bank serves guest room floors 9-26 while the other serves guest room floors 27-45.
Lobby seating areas are nice, but they can be a bit crowded and hectic, as there’s a lot of traffic through the lobby. These areas are pretty, but not necessarily relaxing, and they definitely wouldn’t be a good place to get serious work done.
Head up the escalator from the lobby and you’ll arrive on the second floor. Immediately to your right is a small business center, with three computer stations, a large copy machine, and a few other business machines.
Further up on your right, you’ll see the entrance to FedEx Office.
Now looking to your left, you’ll see the Market Cafe, which has a large assortment of drinks, snacks and sandwiches. There are also some small tables and chairs where you can sit and enjoy your snacks.
Continuing down the 2nd floor walkway, you’ll see signage for Daniel’s Broiler, a nice steakhouse restaurant, ahead. Before you reach the main Daniel’s restaurant, you’ll first come to a bar area outside the main restaurant on your right.
To the right of this picture, there’s another entrance to a more intimate whiskey bar (on the other side of the translucent glass where you can see the array of wooden barrels).
And finally, you’ll come to the main entrance of Daniel’s Broiler, a very nice steakhouse restaurant.
We haven’t (yet) eaten in the main Daniel’s Broiler restaurant, but we’d like to try it. We did eat a meal in the outer Daniel’s Broiler bar area, and we thoroughly enjoyed it. My burger was excellent.
We’ll skip over the meeting rooms and ballrooms on floors 3 through 7, and make our way to the much more exciting 8th floor.
Eighth Floor – Regency Club & Fitness Center
Exit the elevators on the 8th floor, and to the left and down the hallway you’ll find the entrance to the Regency Club. Slightly to your right you’ll see the entrance to the fitness center. This is a fantastic floor – the Regency Club is excellent, and the fitness center is very nice too.
By all means, if you stay at the HR Seattle, get access to the Regency Club if you can. It’s truly one of the nicest club lounges anywhere, and especially in the US. The space is huge and very well-done, with a variety of seating options to suit every need. The breakfast spread is fabulous, with multiple hot items including meats every day. Heavy hors d’oeuvres and tasty desserts are really good too. There’s also an honor bar that’s set up for the late afternoon and evening, with a selection of beer, wine and make-your-own mixed drinks.
The Regency Club also has a large outdoor patio/terrace (for days that it isn’t raining!). Some of the outdoor seating is arranged around fire-pit tables. Back inside, they also have a selection of games such as an oversized Connect Four frame.
As you can tell, we’re quite smitten with this Club. Let’s take a look around, mostly in pictures.
When you enter the Club, you’ll see the welcome desk on your left, which includes a selection of newspapers. The desk isn’t always attended. There’s usually a sign-in sheet on the far end of the desk, but they’ve never been overbearing about making us sign in.
When you enter, you’ll see a large open seating area to your right. This is a living room-type area with comfy seating and the games. You also would pass through this area to exit outside onto the terrace. To your left will be the food-serving area and some less-formal seating areas. The in-Club restrooms are also down this way, just past the food-serving area.
Straight ahead are desks with 2 computer stations and printers. Let’s start there:
Now, let’s turn to the left to see the food-service area and less-formal seating:
Moving back around to the other side of the Club, the living room-type side:
The HR Seattle has a large fitness center with an assortment of treadmills, elliptical machines, bikes and weight machines, and a good-sized open area for stretching and free weight work. All of the equipment is from TechnoGym.
Treadmills include modern smart displays. You can set them to run various workout programs including video, or you can sign in to your Netflix account to watch something while you run.
Overall, the fitness center is terrific, but we have 2 issues. One, the fitness center may not have enough equipment to truly service the number of guests at this size of hotel. 10 treadmills for 1,260 rooms may not be enough; they are all completely full most early mornings. And two, there are not enough bikes. There are only 3 bikes in total – two Peloton bikes and one recumbent bike. The last afternoon I was at the hotel, there were only 4 people total in the fitness center, and 3 of us were taking up all of the bikes.
Each time we’ve booked the HR Seattle, we’ve reserved a base-level room – listed on the HR Seattle website as simply “1 King Bed” (or “2 Queen Beds”). As Explorists, on each stay, we’ve been “upgraded.” On our first 2 stays, we were assigned to a “1 King Bed High Floor” room, which seems to be a 1-level upgrade. On our most recent stay, we were assigned to a “2 Queen Beds Corner” room, which seems to be a 2-level upgrade (although not our bed preference). On each stay, we’ve been high up in the hotel with nice views – we’ve been on the 35th, 37th and 40th floors.
All of the rooms have a very modern, eco-friendly feel. Notwithstanding the eco-friendliness, the thermostats in the rooms did actually work to cool the rooms as we desired. Toiletries are in large bottles mounted in the shower. They’re Pharmacopia-branded, Argan Oil Collection, made with organic Aloe Vera, Cruelty-Free and Vegan.
We found the beds to be quite comfortable. Pillows are good, but they flatten a lot once you put your head on them.
One awesome feature of the rooms is that they each have a new 65-inch Samsung flat-screen TV mounted on the wall facing the bed(s). I was remiss in not getting a picture of one of our TVs on at night – the size and quality was excellent.
And finally, a cool and unusual feature of the rooms is that they have motion-activated floor night lights, so you can see where you’re going (and wake up your partner?) if you get up in the middle of the night.
1 King Bed High Floor room
The “1 King Bed” and “1 King Bed High Floor” rooms are advertised as 320 square feet, but they seem smaller. When you enter the room, the bathroom is on one side, with a sliding door. Beyond that, you enter into the main bedroom area. There’s an open wardrobe with space to hand your clothes, a bed, a work desk and chair, and a chaise couch that’s actually pretty comfortable. Each room also has a nook with a safe, a refrigerator, some other cubby holes, and a Keurig machine and water bottles on top.
There’s not a lot to say about the rooms that you can’t see in the pictures, so we’ll let those do the talking:
Before we leave this room, here are a few things about the shower. Water pressure and hot water were good. There’s no shower door, which we don’t love, and you can’t help but splash a bit of water out onto the bathroom floor. One nice feature is that the shower head is on the far end of the shower, but the handle to turn on the water is on the near end – so it’s easy to turn on the water without getting wet or splashing water everywhere. And last but not least, there’s a very unusual thing – the round disc behind the shower handle is very shiny and reflective, so you can see yourself “in the mirror, so to speak” while you shower. I have to say, this is kind of odd.
And finally, a minor issue is that the end of the couch interferes with the left side of the desk in a way that cuts off the space and limits you to working on a smaller part of the desk. It’s hard to tell in the picture, but if you stay in the room and try to move your desk chair around to access things on the left end of the desk, you’ll understand. Like I said, minor point, but it was noticeable to me as I cranked out Middle Age Miles articles from the room.
2 Queen Beds Corner room
For our most recent stay, we were assigned to a “2 Queen Beds Corner room.” This seems to have been a 2-level upgrade based on our Explorist status. As we’ve mentioned earlier in this article, this was only a 2-day stay, we arrived very early, and we paid extra for Club access. Any or all of these factors may have contributed to us getting a double-upgrade. We preferred a room with 1 King bed, but we weren’t complaining.
It was definitely fun to stay in a different type of room with more space – although, in some respects, the extra space is so inefficiently used that the actual functional area isn’t any more than in the smaller standard room.
One other thing that was different about this room compared to the standard room was that this Corner room had a shower/tub combo, whereas the standard room was shower-only. This didn’t make any meaningful difference to us, but it might be important to some.
Our corner room was Room 3823, with the two outer sides of the room facing south and west. The view to the west overlooked the northern part of downtown Seattle and Puget Sound, whereas the view to the south included Mount Rainier during a clear-ish part of the evening.
As for the room itself, you entered into a hallway with a window with the west-facing view straight ahead. The rest of the room was down the hallway and to the left – first, the bathroom with a sliding door, then the bedroom, with the beds and desk on one side and the TV, built-in shelf/cubby and wardrobe on the other.
We hope you’ve enjoyed our review of the new Hyatt Regency Seattle. Despite our frustrating and recurring issues with getting daily housekeeping and a few other nits, we really enjoy this hotel and look forward to returning. We certainly recommend it to Middle Age Miles readers traveling to the downtown Seattle area.
Have you been to the Hyatt Regency Seattle? What can you add to our review? Please share with us and other Middle Age Miles readers in the Comments!
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