Park Hyatt Paris Vendome Review

May 1, 2014

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Ah, the Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme.  For many this is the pinnacle of Hyatt Gold Passport redemptions – especially before it increased from 22,000 to 30,000 points per night.  The golden decorative accents, the 800 Euro a night room rates (well over $1000USD for the currency impaired), the famed breakfast, the air of ‘French Fantasticness’, I mean what better place to stay in Paris with your four year old, right?  Okay truthfully I was a bit worried this place was a little too hoity–toity for both of us, but given all the glowing reviews we just had to give it a try, and I’m glad we did.

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The Lobby and Check-in:

After flying overnight from Houston to London in United BusinessFirst, getting through Heathrow with a tired four-year-old, catching a short British Airways flight to Paris, and getting the hour or so from the airport to the hotel, suffice to say we were glad to have finally made it.  In fact, I’m pretty sure I could hear angels trumpeting our arrival into the Hyatt Mecca, or maybe I was just hearing things at this point.  You can read about all of those adventures here

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Upon entering the hotel, a bellman took our name and bags.  The front desk was alerted that we were approaching, and our bags magically disappeared until we would be reunited with them later in our room.  Everyone at the front desk was very well dressed (especially in contrast to our now quite disheveled appearances) and they were all extremely professional.  There was a fair amount of confusion over our award reservation as they had merged it with someone else’s reservation who shared the last name and had a stay around the same dates.  It took a bit to sort out this confusion, but it eventually was rectified and they reflected the correct rate of all points, no cash.

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Fancy columns are perfect for hiding behind!

We were informed of our Diamond benefits that included the American Breakfast in the restaurant, and when I asked they confirmed we could also take it via room service.  We were also offered either 1,000 points or the amenity of a bottle of red wine.  Knowing how expensive everything was going to be in and around that hotel, we selected the wine to celebrate the arrival of my mom and aunt the following day.

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After we had completed the check-in formalities, we were offered a tour of the property.  This seems to be a standard part of the check-in process here, and it is at the same time awkward and helpful.  The tour included information about the on-site restaurant Le Pur that is open nightly from 8PM – 10PM.  Yes, you read that correctly.  They said reservations are highly recommended there, and given the short opening hours, I can imagine why.

We were also shown the bright Les Orchidées restaurant where we could choose to have breakfast in the morning.  This was located next to the La Cheminée shown below that serves things like afternoon tea, light appetizers, or a quiet drink before dinner.  It looked like a very quiet and relaxing place…in other words, somewhere we needed to steer clear of at all costs.

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Lunch is offered seasonally in outside in La Terrasse – which you can see through the windows near the check-in area.

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After getting a tour of the available restaurants on the main floor of the hotel, we headed up the elevator to our third floor ‘upgraded’ Park Deluxe King room that had a courtyard view.  We were shown how to operate a few things in our room, and then left to relax and unpack.

Park King Deluxe Room:

My first impressions of the room honestly weren’t great.  I’m not into the gold look – it just reminds me of Las Vegas about a decade ago, but it grew on me.  We were given what I was told was an upgraded room, but it still wasn’t very big.  I will say that my mom received the same upgrade with no status, only to a room with a view of the street, and her room seemed much larger.  Ours must have been on the smaller side of the spectrum for that room type.

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Regardless, it was plenty big for my daughter and me.  The bed was a bit hard – even my four year old noticed that, but it was about the average stiffness for Europe.  Otherwise it was quite comfortable.  The TV did have a cartoon channel, but despite the guide saying it was in English, it was very much in French.  That was kind of fun for us to watch though during our downtime, and you will have downtime even in Paris with a four year old.  There was also an adapter so you could easily plug the goodies you brought from home.

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The bathroom was almost as large as the main part of the room, so we actually hung out in there a bit looking out into the courtyard.  There wasn’t much to see, but my daughter just loved it.  I will note that it was actually a pretty dangerous set-up for young and curious kids who have poor danger assessment skills as it is easy to open the windows, and easy to fall out.  We had to have lots of talks about that, and I had to be next to her whenever she wanted to open the windows.

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Hanging out in the bathroom in Paris

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Her favorite spot in the room

There was a large bathtub and separate large shower area.  Naturally kids love these huge tubs, but be aware the shower area gets very very slippery when wet, so again another safety thing I had to discuss with the little one.  The water pressure and temperature were totally fine during our stay.

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Two sinks in the bathroom

The room was plenty comfortable and I didn’t have any noise issues from in our courtyard room either from outside or from the hallway.  The WiFi also worked very well for our stay.

Room Service Breakfast:

With a little one, there was no way I was going to go into the restaurant downstairs when we had the option to enjoy our breakfast in bed thanks to Hyatt Diamond status.  Especially given the time change and jet lag issues (more on that in the next post in this series), being able to eat without getting out of bed was amazing.  Both days our breakfast ran well over 100 Euros, so thank goodness it was all covered other than the extra tip we added.  You could have breakfast for two via room service a bit cheaper than that, but it would run you probably at least 60 Euros even if you ordered very conservatively.  We didn’t really order conservatively.

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Breakfast in jammies – thank goodness

The first day my daughter had pancakes that were incredibly fluffy, and I had some eggs and a fruit smoothie.  We shared some fruit and fresh squeezed orange juice.  Throw in a bottle of water and some coffee and this costs 100 Euros+.  It was so yummy other than the very hard bread they served with the meal.

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C used these as drum sticks

The second morning my mom and aunt “happened to” arrive to our room right as breakfast was being delivered, and we all shared two orders of the American Breakfast “for two” plus some extra coffee.  There was way more than enough eggs, pastries, fruit, and ham to go around for the four of us.

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American Breakfast for two…or four in practice

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Other than a little extra coffee, we only ordered breakfast for two, but it was a great way to get more value for the Diamond benefit since the four of us were pleasantly stuffed after sharing the meal in our room.  All in both days we had close to 250 Euros in breakfast (close to $350 USD) thanks to our Diamond status.  Throw in the bottle of wine and the frequently restocked Evian waters in the room and all of that added up.  We wouldn’t have spent that much on breakfast without Diamond status, but given the price of everything in Paris, it probably wouldn’t have been cheap – and without room service it wouldn’t have been anywhere near as convenient.  I enjoyed the heck out of that room service breakfast, and both days didn’t have to eat another full meal until dinner.

Local Area:

The Park Hyatt Paris Vendôme is located in a high end area of Paris that is covered with very upscale retailers.  There are some more reasonable priced restaurants in walking distance, but there are also some pretty expensive places.

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It is a reasonable walk to several stations including Opéra, Concorde, Madeleine or Pyramide.  We walked to the Opéra station in about 12 minutes or so, and while I wouldn’t want to do it with a luggage + a kid, it was fine with just a kid.  The concierge was helpful with nearby recommendations, and they also helped arrange for cabs that took credit cards every time we asked.  Everyone we encountered at the Park Hyatt Paris spoke very good English, so communication was easy.

Overall Impressions and How You Can Do It:

The first few hours we were there I was beyond happy we had made it, but I honestly wasn’t blown away with the hotel.  It wasn’t that it wasn’t very nice, it is just that it wasn’t at all my style.  Kind of like how a Rolls Royce is probably very great, but it isn’t my style.  However, it grew on me in a hurry thanks to the exceptional service, high quality of pretty much everything, and I missed it tremendously when we switched to a different hotel after a couple of days.  The breakfast benefit certainly helped give us a great overall experience, but everything about the hotel made being in Paris easy and quite comfortable.

I think it was certainly worth the 22,000 Hyatt Gold Passport points per night we spent, and is even now worth the 30,000 Hyatt points it currently costs…at least for a special trip.  That is a bunch of Hyatt points, but remember you can transfer them in 1:1 from Chase Ultimate Rewards and leverage the sign-up bonuses.

Do be aware that the particular room type we were in is rated for two adults and one child, but it is not the standard room type you can reserve with points.  Those room types have a max occupancy of two, and even toddlers would count as the third (though infants would not).  This is a problem you are going to hit with many hotels in Paris, and not unique to Hyatt.  I know of many people who have worked with the hotel directly to book the standard room on points and then pay a cash up-charge to stay in a room that will technically allow three people.  If you have elite status you may well get that upgrade complimentary as we did, but it’s not guaranteed.  If you have a family of four, the only rooms here technically rated for that are the very expensive largest suite types so expect a relatively substantial up-charge for that, if it is offered at all.  My friend Ed negotiated an Executive Suite for his family of three a little earlier this year.

I hope we are able to visit this hotel again, and I would love to hear your experiences if you have stayed here as well!

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