I worked for many years in hospitality hotel operations for both Marriott and Hyatt. Now that my job requires me to travel, I really enjoy trying out different properties and witnessing the various levels of customer service from the “other side of the desk”.

I’ve always considered myself a “Marriott Guy.”  I quickly gained status with Marriott and enjoy the perks of their top tier “Platinum” status.  Since my travels have me in Washington, DC just about every week these days, I’ve decided to branch out and experience Hyatt.  Hyatt has always had superior service to any I have witnessed, even Marriott.  The only problem is that there are not as many Hyatt options in most places I travel.

I’ve stayed at the Park Hyatt in Washington a couple of times now.  This time, I’m participating in their “Hyatt Gold Passport Trial Diamond Offer”.  They offer Diamond status to those with elite status with their competitors on a trial basis.  If you stay 12 nights in the first 60 days after being enrolled in the offer, you get to keep the status the rest of the year.  These types of offers are great for frequent travelers who enjoy certain perks with one company and hesitate to try others due to lack of perks like free internet, breakfast, happy hour, and point multipliers among others.

 

The Experience…

[Arrival]

I arrived late evening and experienced a bit of trouble with the cab driver getting the credit card to take.  While I was dealing with that, the bell attendant pulled my luggage from the cab, carted them inside, and informed the front desk of my arrival such that when they greeted me, they knew my name and had my room keys ready for me.  I was offered a “Diamond Arrival Amenity”, with which I got to choose between several very nice options.

Diamond Amenity

Diamond Amenity

 

I opted for the cheese board and wine.  They have an amazing cheese artesian who dedicates their entire day at work to sourcing the most amazing cheeses.  They have an amazing spread in their lounge, so I thought this could be interesting.

Diamond amenity - Cheese plate

Diamond amenity – Cheese plate

[The Room]

My stay this time was for nine days, and since I was here over the weekend, I had Carol come out so we can sample the Haute Life options in the area!  To make it extra special, I used two of the four “Upgrade Credits” I got as a Diamond member, and was put in their Park Executive Suite.  This was probably one of the nicest rooms I’ve stayed in – and I’ve been in some nice rooms in my time.  More than 1000 square feet, two massive flat screens, walk-in shower, huge bath tub with bath salts… even a half-bath for my guests!

Living area TV

Living area TV

 

[Breakfast]

The diamond status gives free breakfast each morning.  I had the choice of dining at the Blue Duck Tavern, or in room dining (for a modest $5 delivery).  The breakfast that is included essentially offers everything on the menu!

I discovered that I really like goat cheese in my omelets!

Breakfast - Omelet

Breakfast – Omelet

[Fitness Room]

I’ve got to be honest, I don’t use the exercise facilities as much as I should when I travel.  After a few too many “food reviews” of some of DC’s finest, I guilted myself into checking them out.  They have a very nice indoor pool and hot tub that was closed for maintenance.  A sign directed guests to the front desk for alternate accommodations that were made during the down time.

The fitness room was well stocked with those amazing Park Hyatt water bottles, fresh towels, variety of newspapers and magazines, and even headsets for the machines!

The fitness room had multiple treadmills, elliptical machines, and recumbent bikes.  I didn’t look too close at the other machines, but the elliptical had a built in TV and offered to save my workout to a USB (kinda cool!).  The room also includes a full set of dumb bells and a good variety of weight machines.

Gym - Towels, Newspapers, Magazines, & Water (Oh My!)

Gym – Towels, Newspapers, Magazines, & Water (Oh My!)

 

[Room Service]

I ordered room service several times (hey, it’s a weakness of mine!), and was never disappointed.  Every time the service was prompt, the quality was right on par, and the culinary creativeness one would expect at a place like the Blue Duck Tavern restaurant was expertly recreated in my room.

Tip and tax was included, and the receipt placed in an envelope for my reference with no need to sign – very nice!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

[Overall Service and Experience]

Of course, there were a few bumps along the way (nobody’s perfect), but their ability to recover and quickly (lightning fast) correct the problem was impressive.  I had an issue with the electronic system that shuts off the lights and resets the climate control, they were quick to respond and recalibrate the system.

After a very long wait at the Blue Duck Tavern one morning for breakfast (combined with a small billing error), I received a hand written apology from the food and beverage director… not needed, but well appreciated.

Overall, this trip far surpassed my expectations.  The service and attention to detail consistently delivered by all employees from all departments was top notch.  I’m a long-time Marriott customer, but the service experienced at this hotel opens up an entire new world for travel possibilities.  I’m looking forward to seeing what other Hyatt properties have to offer!