First look: The Private Suite Dinner program at Philadelphia’s Hyatt Centric Center City

Mar 20, 2021

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Editor’s note: Hyatt hosted the author for a look at its new Night In program.

Like many of you, my suitcase has been collecting dust in the closet and my passport has laid dormant since the pandemic began last year. Any change of scenery these days is welcome and appreciated.

So, a recent invitation to try out one of Hyatt’s new Night In programs first-hand in my home city of Philadelphia basically sounded like two weeks in the Maldives.

Hyatt bills its Night In program, available at over 120 of its properties around the world, as a “collection of signature hotel experiences allowing travelers to plan a short escape or staycation in a socially distant setting” — and that’s exactly what my husband, our pug, Ruby, and I experienced as the world marked the one-year anniversary of COVID-19.

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Hyatt Centric Center City Philadelphia suite
Photo courtesy of Hyatt

While there are numerous iterations of the program from property to property — from Bubbles and Bubbly at Andaz Napa to Charcuterie & Craft Cocktail Making at Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor — the offering at the Hyatt Centric Center City in Philadelphia was the Private Suite Dinner. Hyatt describes the experience as a chance to “take in breathtaking city-center views while enjoying a private dining experience for two in one of the hotel’s premium suites.” The views from our suite on the 13th floor were literally breathtaking (turns out I’ve developed a slight fear of heights during lockdown), the dining experience scratched our long-overdue restaurant itch, and the room was palatial.

Pricing starts at $394 per night (+$64 in taxes and fees) for a Corner Suite or $569 per night (+$93 in taxes and fees) for a Presidential Suite.

Night In stays are eligible for standard World of Hyatt benefits, including earning points and Tier-Qualifying Night credits, as well as points redemptions — in this case from 40,000 points per night under the “Premium Suite Points Per Night” in World of Hyatt’s award chart.

Related: Your complete guide to the World of Hyatt program

The service

First and foremost, I need to give a shoutout to the Hyatt staff, who from the moment my reservation was confirmed to the moment I checked out, was incredibly friendly and attentive.

Prior to arrival, a Hyatt team member called — with the hotel’s chef — to finalize dinner options. Upon checking in, we were met with friendly staff at each point of contact along the way. I didn’t realize how much I missed the hospitality aspect of travel until our staycation.

The room

The Hyatt Centric Center City opened in October 2020 and still has that new-hotel feel. The second-floor lobby, with built-in wood cabinetry from wall to wall, has a modern, trendy vibe. There’s plenty of open seating and a beautiful bar room to have a drink — one day. All the usual COVID hotel precautions are in place: plexiglass barriers when checking in, hand sanitizer stations throughout the property and mask-wearing required.

(Editor’s note: Hyatt has since updated its mask guidance for fully-vaccinated travelers as of May 2021.)

We stayed in the 750-square-foot Presidential Suite on the 13th floor as mentioned. The corner room was decorated in a lively color palette with modern fixtures and design elements. There was an outdoor space with a table and chairs that we might have used for dinner had it been summer, but too chilly for our stay. The best part was the pet station set up for Ruby: custom dog bowls on top of a personalized mat.

Related: The most pet-friendly points hotels in America

The room was spacious and included a mini-fridge/coffee area, an area for dining, a living room, balcony, massive King bedroom with walk-thru closet, and two bathrooms. Plenty of windows provided sprawling city views.

The King bed in Hyatt’s Presidential Suite looks out over sweeping Center City views. (Photo courtesy of Hyatt)

The food

A dining table was set up in the room, adorned with fresh flowers and ready for a feast. We were offered the choice of dining indoors or outdoors and had the option of the meal being served in courses or all at once. We opted for everything in one fell swoop to keep contact minimal.

Dinner was three courses. There were two options for each course, which made it easy to simply order one of each so my husband and I could try all offerings.

For the salad course, the choices included Caesar salad or a mixed greens salad with marinated artichokes, olives, cherry tomatoes, cucumber and a champagne vinaigrette. Entree options included Chianti wine-braised short ribs with fried shallots, parsley smashed red potatoes, and honey tri-color carrots or rosemary-crusted salmon with parmesan polenta, asparagus, cherry tomato and lemon confit and a basil pesto sauce.

The braised short ribs with fried shallots was one of two entree options available for the Night In program. (Photo courtesy of Hyatt)

For dessert, you could choose between chocolate bread pudding with caramelized bananas, candied pecans, and a bourbon Anglaise or ricotta cheesecake made with a gingerbread snap crust and blackberry compote and white chocolate sauce.

There were two wine options in the room so we tried both: a 2016 Yulupa cabernet sauvignon and a 2017 Louis Jadot pinot noir. The meal was more than enough food so come hungry.

Bottom line

My definition of “travel” has changed a lot this past year, and so has what matters when it comes to travel. It’s amazing how a change of scenery and some good hospitality can make you feel a million miles away from home — even if you’re just down the block.

Hyatt’s Night In program runs through September 12, 2021. If you’re ready to get your suitcase out of the closet but not quite ready to jump on a plane, a staycation is a great way to scratch that vacation itch. And if you’re looking for a way to make it a little more special, splurging for a COVID-friendly Night In package may just be what the doctor ordered.

All images courtesy of the hotel

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