A Grand Time: A Review of the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

Dec 18, 2018

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Hong Kong has no shortage of points hotels, from the Ritz-Carlton to the Renaissance and everything in between. On a recent trip there, I was looking for a luxury points hotel in a convenient location, and there was plenty to choose from. Ultimately, we decided on the Grand Hyatt, and I couldn’t have been happier about my stay.

My main priority when choosing a hotel is that it be clean and in a convenient (and safe!) area. Unless I’m spending the majority of my trip in a hotel, I don’t see a point in spending exorbitant amounts of money just to have a nice place to sleep — I’m all about finding something in the middle. The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong checked all of these boxes.

But first a quick geography lesson. Hong Kong is a collection of islands, with most of the activity centered on Hong Kong Island and Kowloon, which is connected to mainland China. Popular destinations Victoria Peak and Stanley Market are both on the island, so this is your best bet if you want to do sightseeing during your trip.

Booking

Even if you’re not staying at the most exclusive Hong Kong hotels, be prepared to pay up. We paid a total of $1,766 for my three-night stay with a Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, which earns 10x miles per dollar spent on hotel reservations when booked through the special link at hotels.com/venture. You can also stack this with Hotels.com Rewards, which awards one free night per every 10 paid nights. Since the free night is based on the average price of the 10 nights, when stacked with the 10x miles from the Venture Rewards, it effectively gives us a 20% return on this reservation. That’s one of the very best credit card returns you can get when spending cash on hotels.

If you are looking to redeem points for a stay at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, you can expect to pay 25,000 World of Hyatt points per night, as the hotel is a Category 6 property. If you don’t have Hyatt points in your account, it’s easy to amass them, since Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer at a 1:1 ratio to World of Hyatt. Currently, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card are offering sign-up bonuses of 50,000 points after you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening.

Location

The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong was on Hong Kong Island, a few blocks from the Victoria Harbour. It was right next to the city’s convention center and a quick walk to the popular Wan Chai and Central districts (read: food and shopping). The hotel was about a 45-minute drive from Hong Kong International Airport (HKG) and about a five-minute walk from the Wan Chai ferry terminal — meaning for a five-minute walk and 2 Hong Kong dollars (about 25 US cents), you could find yourself on the ferry to the Kowloon side. Easy!

It was also about a 10-minute cab from the Din Tai Fung in Causeway Bay, the best restaurant I ate in while I was there. You want to go here and eat dumplings. Trust me on this.

Check-in

I finally arrived at the Grand Hyatt a little past midnight — as you can imagine I was more than excited to shower and get in bed after a long day of traveling. Thankfully, the lobby was empty and check-in was a breeze. Mostly.

They were doing minor construction in the lobby, and the main driveway was blocked off when I arrived, so I had to walk up the small hill. When I walked in, the check-in agent asked me to confirm that I was only staying for one night. I panicked for a minute and looked at her like she had two heads.

While we’d booked a reservation of three consecutive nights through Hotels.com, it seemed that the hotel had my stay broken up into two reservations: a one-night reservation and a two-night reservation. The very friendly, very helpful desk agent got to the bottom of the issue quickly, reassured me that I would indeed be staying at the hotel for three nights and handed me my key. She said free breakfast wasn’t included which turned out to be a blessing, since my one experience with the on-property food was unremarkable, to say the least.

I didn’t have elite status with Hyatt, so there was no room upgrade for me! Better luck next time.

Room

Even though I didn’t score an upgrade, my room was beautiful. I stayed in a Grand Deluxe king room, complete with a huge bathroom, king bed and plenty of storage space. It had a view of the pool and blackout shades. which helped combat my jet lag.

The bed — and room overall — had a very Zen vibe, which was right up my alley.

The bathroom was huge, but admittedly wasn’t very private. Still, what it lacked in privacy it made up for in its vanity. I mean, take a look at this thing. It’s a work of art. Also, hi!

The shower was spacious, and I’m 98.3% sure would pass the TPG shower test. But just barely.

The toilet was in its own water closet, though it felt really tight to me.

I really liked the variety of light switches, even though I couldn’t figure them out for the first few hours I was here. Apparently a recurring theme in my life, no?

Now for the good news and bad news. The good news: There was a Nespresso machine! My jam. The bad news: There were no coffee pods to be found. Kinda disappointing to have a lovely coffee machine, but no coffee to brew with it.

Overall, the room was relaxing, clean, and comfortable — all the things I look for in a hotel room. I just have one question that will continue to haunt my dreams for the foreseeable future: Why, oh why, was the bathtub right smack in in the middle of it?!

Food and Beverage

While I did eat most of my meals out and about in the city (soup dumplings were calling my name!), I was able to check out the hotel’s Grand Cafe for breakfast one morning. After days of dumplings, rice and, let’s be real, more dumplings, I wanted something easy and on the lighter side that was going to fill me up for a long day of sightseeing. I ordered the egg-white-and-herb omelet with spinach and tomatoes and was totally disappointed.

Now, don’t get me wrong: I know that omelets are far from a specialty in Hong Kong, but I’m what one might say is “challenged” in the kitchen, and even I could make better omelets than this. There was no cheese to be found, and the eggs were cold with no flavor to speak of. I forced myself to eat it because I just wanted to start my day already, and washed it down with iced coffee.

My advice? Go eat dim sum instead.

Amenities

Now is probably a good time to mention that the Grand Hyatt is huge. So huge that it was hosting the CLSA Investors’ Forum with hundreds, if not thousands, of people roaming around the entire time I was there. This was never an issue for me, though, and the always-friendly staff made sure that things were running smoothly.

On my first day in Hong Kong, I asked the concierge if she could help me plan a guided tour, since I was traveling alone but wanted to learn about the history of the city — and know what I’m looking at. She happily answered all of my questions and set me up for a tour that was going to depart later that afternoon, while also giving me recommendations on places to eat and things to do in the meantime. I can’t speak enough about how friendly all the staff was at this hotel — they really made it a point to smile at you, and genuinely seemed happy to help with whatever you needed. In hotels, especially giant chain hotels, this can sometimes get lost among all the hustle and bustle.

Since I was only in Hong Kong for two full days (plus a half day at the airport, because that’s what you do when you work at The Points Guy), I didn’t have time to enjoy the hotel’s rooftop pool, gym, or spa. But I was able to get some pictures as I was walking around the property.

If I had more time here, I would have loved to sit by the rooftop pool (complete with a waterfall!) all day and end the day with a massage service.

Guess it’s a good excuse to go back, right?

Overall Impression

The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is a perfect choice if you’re looking to stay in a chain hotel during your trip. It’s in a great location, the staff is beyond friendly, and the hotel itself is upscale without being over the top. If you’re not looking to splurge on The Peninsula or The Ritz — and you want to stay on the Hong Kong side — I’d definitely recommend looking into this property. Just don’t come here for the food.

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Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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