Surprisingly Elegant: The Hyatt Regency Lake Washington
Not all hotels within the same brand are created equally. Some properties are clear standouts above the rest, and without a doubt, the new Hyatt Regency Lake Washingon at Seattle's Southport is one of the hotels that is a notch or two above what you might envision when you think of a Hyatt Regency. Don't get me wrong, there's generally nothing wrong with a Hyatt Regency type of property, but they don't typically feel quite as refined as this new property located in a part of Seattle that was new to me, but is apparently pretty up and coming.
The Hyatt Regency Lake Washington is about 11 miles from downtown Seattle right next door to the Boeing Renton Factory that currently produces the Boeing 737 aircraft. Being next to an airplane factory may not be a selling point for everyone, but to me, it absolutely was. I couldn't help but watch them build new aircraft all throughout the day and night.
Inside a Stay at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington
Back to focusing on the hotel, it recently opened in 2017, has 347 rooms and suites, and is a Category 3 Hyatt, which makes it just 12,000 World of Hyatt points per nigh. Alternatively, you can use a Hyatt Category 1-4 certificate that is awarded each anniversary that you hold the Hyatt Credit Card. I stayed at this particular hotel so that I could attend the nearby annual Freddie Awards thanks to my own Hyatt Category 1-4 certificate.
The lobby area of the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington is very open and airy with views all the way out to Lake Washington. That view of the lake is one of the key elements that is carried throughout the hotel whenever possible. The staff at check-in were very friendly and let me know about the Regency Club and that my Globalist status would get me in to enjoy the food and beverages put out at various times during the day and evening. If you don't have access to the lounge thanks to elite status, you could book a room with club access for 17,000 Hyatt points per night.
Once you complete the check-in process, you walk through the lobby and towards this spacious area shown below where you could take the stairs down one level to head out to Lake Washington, or take a turn and head either into the Regency Club or up the elevators to the rooms.
The hotel was pretty full during my stay, so even though it was just me, all they had available were rooms with two queen beds. These beds were quite comfortable and my family of four could have all shared this space without any problems.
The Hyatt Regency Lake Washington has many thoughtful features, including this area for your luggage that located immediately to the side when you enter the room. Instead of a traditional closet, they utilized the space in a different way that I think is much more functional. Especially when traveling with a whole family, it is very helpful to have a handy spot for all of your luggage without having to actually unpack.
Right next to the spot for your luggage was another very thoughtful feature that almost everyone can appreciate, an in-room Keurig machine.
The bathroom had a relatively large vanity with just one sink, as well as a door to the area housing the toilet. This particular room had a shower/tub comb,o which is my preference in rooms with two queen beds that presumably cater more towards families than rooms with just one king bed.
I want to talk a minute about this tub/shower area as not only was it beautiful with great water pressure, but it was the first time I saw mounted soap dispensers that didn't royally creep me out. The hotel industry's trend towards mounted soap dispensers and away from individual bottles is undeniable. While I have my own reservations about the trend, to Hyatt's credit, these soaps did not scream 'dorm room chic' the way that some others have in the past. Cough, Aloft, cough.
Heading back into the main part of the room, what made it extra feel nice and more comfortable was the sitting area with a view. This section of the room with a view of the lake was the ideal spot to create a little place for your kids to play, or even enjoy a leisurely morning cup of coffee courtesy of the in-room Keurig.
I don't think I even turned the TV on during my one-night stay, but it was a very, very large 65" flat screen 4K HD smart TV that you can sort of see in the image above showing the two queen beds. Overall the room was large enough for a family, had comfortable beds, a pretty and yet functional bathroom, and I slept like a rock without any complaints. That said, the very solid room wasn't actually my favorite part of the hotel. My favorite part of the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington was the sleek Regency Club.
Hyatt Regency Lake Washington Regency Club Lounge
If your mental image of a hotel club lounge is a dark and stuffy place with old furniture and an uninviting atmosphere, then you haven't been to the club lounge at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington. This lounge is on the lobby level of the hotel, which I think is infinitely better than when they stick it on a random floor of the property.
The space within the club lounge is a large, bright, open, and an inviting spot to not only grab something to eat or drink, but stick around for a bit while you enjoy the view of the lake from the oversized windows.
I popped into the lounge shortly after arrival and before heading up to my room to snag a couple bottles of water. As you can see, there was not only water available, but also a variety of juices and sodas which would have been a real money-saver if my whole family had been along for this adventure.
I was at an event that ran all throughout the evening, so can't comment first hand on the club lounge evening service, though I read it has a pretty hearty evening offering and honor bar. I can speak first-hand to breakfast which is served until 9:30 AM during the week and 10 AM on the weekends.
In addition to the items such as fruit, cold meats, cheese, and pastries, there were hot items including eggs and sausage available. The standout item was some truly enjoyable smoked salmon that you must try on your next visit to the hotel. While I really did love the smoked salmon, overall I found the club lounge breakfast options to be fine, though not quite as exceptional as the physical space.
Hyatt Regency Lake Washington Location
On my short stay, I didn't explore the surrounding area too much, but I do know there is a nearby park with a playground in case you brought the kids along or you just want to stretch your legs and take a stroll. Do know that the immediate area around the hotel is under a bunch of construction. It wasn't bothersome for me, but it is worth mentioning as it happening on a pretty big scale, as is somewhat demonstrated by the make-up of folks grabbing breakfast in the hotel's cafe.
If you are looking for things to do, the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington is only about 10 miles away from the must-see Museum of Flight, which is where the event I was attending was located. The Museum of Flight is truly a great place to visit whether you are with or without kiddos since it has something for every type of aviation enthusiast.
If you want to see some images of a suite at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington, as well as a peek at the indoor saline pool and gym, then head to the review over at Pizza in Motion. I tried to follow the signs and find the pool, but I somehow failed massively, couldn't find it anywhere, and didn't have any more minutes to keep looking before heading to the airport.
I would absolutely stay at the Hyatt Regency Lake Washington on a future trip to the Seattle area, though it would not be my pick if the purpose of the trip was to enjoy downtown. For that sort of trip, I would look to the Olive 8, Grand Hyatt, or even the Hyatt Place Seattle Downtown assuming you want to focus on Hyatt properties. The Hyatt Regency Lake Washington is far more 'grand' than I expected, and at just 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night, it is a gem to keep in your back pocket for a future trip to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest.