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We were recently in Chicago for the Chicago Seminars which was being held in Elk Grove, Illinois. TPG Content and Community Manager Ryan Gaines chose to stay at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. Here’s his review of the property.
While we were attending the Chicago Seminars in Elk Grove (near O’Hare), I decided to stay downtown at the Hyatt as I needed a few more nights for the Hyatt Diamond Challenge. The 2,019 room Hyatt Regency Chicago is located on Wacker Drive and is actually the largest Hyatt in the company. When booking this hotel, I decided to book though their iPhone app so I could earn take advantage of the extra 1,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points.
Check-in and First Impressions
When I entered the lobby, one of the first things I noticed was how truly massive this hotel is. When I booked here, somehow I missed the fact that this property had over 2,000 rooms. I headed up the escalators to the hotel’s registration area where a handful of agents were working. There was a dedicated Hyatt Gold Passport Platinum and Diamond check-in area as well as several self-serve kiosks to check-in at.
I was pleased to learn that despite the hotel being sold out, a room was ready for me as soon as I arrived (around 12 pm) and I didn’t have to wait until the standard check-in time of 3pm. As the hotel is split into two towers, half the rooms are located in the West Tower, so if you are assigned a room there, you must take the sky bridge over to the separate tower.
As a Hyatt Diamond member, I was upgraded to a Regency Club King on the 35th floor in the West Tower which featured a King sized bed. The hotel does have a small check-in area in the West Tower as well, so if you know you are going to be on the Club floor, then you might want to check-in directly in this tower.
There was a small lounge chair in the corner of the room and an outdated plasma TV. Overall the room was quite sparse and could use a renovation.
Behind the bed, there was a nice sized desk where I was able to spread out and do some work, while also feature several plugs for me to keep my electronics fully charged throughout my stay.
The bathroom felt cramped to me as it had a combined bathtub/shower and limited counter space as well.
The highlight for me of the room was the view of the Chicago River leading out to Lake Michigan. It was a great view to wake up to every morning, and you could just see the end of Navy Pier as well, which is a very large tourist attraction.
One of the perks of the Hyatt Diamond challenge is that you are given the status as soon as you request the challenge, meaning you enjoy all the perks while you complete it. Because of this, I had access to the Regency Club which was down the hall from my room.
The Regency Club is open 6:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. on weekdays, and until 10:30 a.m. on weekends for breakfast. Evening hors d’oeuvres are from 6:30 p.m. to 10 p.m nightly. The club is open throughout the day for snacks, water, and sodas.
Breakfast consisted of fresh fruit, smoked salmon, hard-boiled eggs, pastries, cereals and one hot-item each morning.
In the evening, there was an assortment of fresh vegetables, cheese, meats, breads and one hot appetizer as well as beer, wine, and cocktails for purchase. Personally, I would of liked to have see more hot appetizers in the evening.
I thought the hotel was centrally located as I was able to walk to almost everywhere in the city from here. It was just a few blocks over from the shops and restaurants on Michigan Avenue. One of the best features of the hotel was the Regency Club, so I would try to upgrade to this level if you were to stay here and don’t already receive because of your Hyatt status.
The main reason I opted to stay here was to get a few more nights for the Hyatt Diamond Challenge. Having 2,000 rooms meant that the hotel was constantly bustling as they were sold out during my stay. For Hyatt’s flagship property, I felt that the rooms were dated and could use a renovation. I think if I was in the Chicago area again, I would want to try the Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile or possibly even the Park Hyatt Chicago before returning back to this property again.
The hotel did feature a gym on the 2nd floor, which I thought was rather small for the 2,000+ room property and the property lacked a swimming pool. After this stay, I am now down to just a few more on the way toward Hyatt Diamond status, so overall it was worth it to stay here for me. On my way back to the airport, I was running late so decided to take a UberX and the ride was only $25, which seemed very reasonable to me.
The Hyatt Regency Chicago is a Category 4 property meaning free nights start at 15,000 points or if you went the Points + Cash route, it was 7,500 plus $100 per night.
Have you ever stayed at the Hyatt Regency Chicago? What are your thoughts on the property? Feel free to share your thoughts below. With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.
With great transfer partners like United and Hyatt, 2x points on travel & dining and a 50,000 point sign up bonus, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great card for those looking to get into the points and miles game.