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A new hotel that needs to work out the kinks: A review of the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City

Jan. 24, 2023
18 min read
a glass-fronted hotel tower with a clear sky in the background
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With a glass-encased tower, a fantastic location and the enticing promise that "everything is new," I was excited to visit the brand-new Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City.

Arriving at the hotel and entering the enormous lobby, employees greeted us with warm smiles and our initial impressions were great. The hotel has 700 guest rooms, offers the Hyatt mobile key feature and has over 60,000 square feet of meeting space. Unfortunately, these good first impressions didn't last due to a couple of issues my wife and I encountered during our five-night stay.

Here's what happened at this new Hyatt hotel — and steps you should take to avoid some of the snafus I experienced.

Quick take

RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

The Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City opened in October 2022 and comprises 700 guest rooms in its 26-floor edifice. The hotel offers 33 suites and 36 club rooms, as well as 21 Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant rooms. Each room can be accessed using your phone as a mobile key. These rooms are spread across a glass tower that is unique in both appearance and height in the center of Salt Lake City.

The hotel is connected to the convention center, offering an additional 60,000 square feet of meeting spaces. These spaces provide floor-to-ceiling windows for optimal views and include technology-enabled features like event broadcasting. On the sixth floor, an event terrace hosts the heated outdoor pool, and both hotel guests and event participants can use the fitness center's Precor and Peloton equipment.

While the hotel offers many amenities, it's worth noting that some of these weren't available as advertised during my recent stay. Other design and feature choices were confusing, given that this property is brand-new, including a lack of overhead lights in rooms and using paper "do not disturb" signs instead of an eco-friendlier digital option.

In short, this hotel still seems to be finding its identity. It's a brand-new lodging, but it lacks features other 21st-century properties offer as standard. It boasts numerous restaurants, but the menus at some are surprisingly limited. Determining who and what the hotel strives to be and then delivering a consistent product along that front would improve the overall guest experience.

Getting there

The Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City is located at the corner of West Temple Street and 200 South, next to the convention center and surrounded by numerous other hotels. The Hyatt is just four blocks from both the Salt Lake Temple and Pioneer Park and sits near a number of pubs, bars and restaurants.

RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

From Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), expect a 15-20 minute drive to the hotel costing roughly $20 via a ride-hailing service.

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It's also possible to use the TRAX Green Line from the airport to the Temple Square Station for $2.50 per adult. This ride takes just under 20 minutes. For those with mobility concerns, contact the Utah Transit Authority at 801-287-7433 to utilize UTA Paratransit Services.

If you have a car, valet parking is available at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City for $36 per day, while self-parking costs $25 per day.

Booking

The Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City is a Category 3 property in the World of Hyatt program. Since World of Hyatt uses peak and off-peak award pricing, we redeemed just 9,000 points per night for our off-peak stay.

Cash rates were $209 per night for a standard room, yielding a redemption rate of 2.32 cents per point for this redemption.

Regency Club rooms were available for 14,000 points per night, while suites were available for 17,000-18,000 points per night. We booked a standard room and then attached a suite upgrade award to guarantee a standard suite for our stay.

Standout features

  • The colorful but sophisticated palette in the guest rooms and hallways left us considering redecorating our own place.
  • A sliding barn door separating the bedroom and bathroom was unique and provided a quiet way to get in and out of the bathroom.
  • The location was excellent, connected to the convention center and also very near tourist sights like the Salt Lake Temple.
  • Split entrances on both sides of the street corner provided easy access when arriving and prevented traffic backups.

Drawbacks

RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY
  • The signage next to the elevators in the lobby was confusing. We thought the elevators only went to floors with restaurants and meeting rooms, but some elevators go to guest floors even while showing the same signage as elevators that don't.
  • There was no requirement to tap a room key to access guest floors in the elevators, which could be a security oversight.
  • Lights in the guest room required myriad switches to control a multitude of lamps, and there were no overhead lights.
  • The loud hum of the air-conditioning unit was constant, so we decided it was better to sleep with it off and only turned it on when leaving the room.

The vibe

The lobby area had ample seating of various types: booths, a small living room and cafe tables. The large, open layout was inviting and friendly and the atmosphere in the restaurants at dinnertime was chatty and casual.

That said, there was a security guard patrolling the lobby at all times. One guard scolded us for taking the escalator to the meeting floor, as if we should know that's not allowed. Another told me I looked suspicious and asked what I was doing while waiting for an Uber Eats order in the lobby on the last night of our stay. Given this is a large hotel in a major city, these types of staff interactions felt not only surprising but downright unwarranted.

The room

My wife and I stayed in Room 1244, a one-bedroom suite at the end of the hallway on the 12th floor. The suite included a bedroom, a spacious bathroom and a large living room-dining room area. The hallway to the bedroom turned left from the room's entrance and could be closed at both ends with a door from the foyer and a sliding barn door from the bedroom.

Within this hallway, the bathroom was to the left while a large, open closet was on the right. Behind the door from the foyer, fold-out coat hooks were a nice touch. We used these constantly, since we had a variety of coats, jackets and snowboard gear during our trip. The hallway also contained an easy-to-use digital thermostat, trash bin and recycling bin.

The closet made use of an open layout and included wooden hangers, shelving, drawers and spare pillows and blankets. A small cupboard at the end of the hallway, near the bedroom, contained an iron and an ironing board.

The minibar had an ice bucket, two glasses and supplies for making coffee and tea using single-serving pods. The digital safe was large enough to easily hold a 15-inch laptop.

Across from the closet, a spacious bathroom featured dual sinks and ample space for toiletries on the counters and shelves under the sink. Interestingly, there was no door to the bathroom itself. A wide mirror covered the wall behind the sink and had a built-in digital clock. Unfortunately, this clock was always wrong during our stay and we couldn't find a way to reset it.

To the right of the sink, a glass shower booth included a hand-held option, a rainfall showerhead and refillable pump bottles with unscented Pharmacopia products. Unfortunately, the shower tended to drip for approximately 10 minutes after shutting it off, no matter what tricks we tried after showering.

To the left of the sink, a toilet sat behind a frosted glass wall.

There were two light switches for the bathroom: one controlling the light above the toilet and the other controlling the lights above the sink and the shower. There also was a night light, which remained on anytime the switch-controlled lights were off.

In the bedroom, the first thing we noticed was the bed. While advertised as a king-size bed, it looked small, so we measured to confirm our suspicion: It was actually a "hotel king" size, which is 72 inches wide and 79 inches long, rather than a typical king-size bed of 76 inches by 80 inches. That loss of width was noticeable.

RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

The bed turned out to be an overall disappointment, thanks to a mattress and pillows that offered very little support and stiff sheets that stood up on their own, as if they'd been overstarched. Its placement so close to the wall also made maneuvering in and out of it on one side difficult.

The bed was flanked by two nightstands, with one holding a phone while the other had a clock with multiple plugs. On both sides of the bed, there were additional plugs and USB outlets.

The room also had a small chair and table near the floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as a floor lamp and a large LCD TV. The bedroom did not have any overhead lights but instead relied on small lamps on each side of the bed to illuminate the space, plus a backlit headboard and a lamp near the TV. The combination of these was not enough to make the room feel bright after the sun went down in the evenings.

RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

There were both day curtains and blackout curtains along the windows, which run the length of the room and provided excellent amounts of daylight during the day. At night, the curtains tended to drift apart, but the clips on the hangers helped resolve this.

From the entry, going straight led to a dining table with six chairs. Along the wall, there were cabinets and a minifridge under a marble shelf with desert relics like driftwood and salt crystals.

There was also a living room with a fold-out sofa bed and a large TV, as well as a padded chair and a small table.

There was a separate thermostat for the living room, and this ran at full power, even in the "auto" setting, so we kept this turned off whenever possible to eliminate the loud noise it made when running.

The large windows in the bedroom and living room provided natural light and views over the city toward the mountains beyond. Given that we stayed at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City during the week between Christmas and New Year's, we also had excellent views of holiday lights on the streets below our room.

Food and drink

RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

There are multiple options for eating and drinking at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City, including Contribution, the bar located just off the lobby. It offers a full range of drinks — from tap beers and wines to cocktails — and light bites.

The Market, located on the other side of the lobby, is a convenience-store-meets-coffee-shop serving grab-and-go drinks and snacks as well as pastries, sandwiches and a handful of made-to-order hot items like flatbreads and grilled cheese.

The Salt Republic restaurant serves an all-day American menu, with breakfast including plated options and a $29 buffet.

The dinner menu included eight main dishes, so the offerings were not abundant. Options included steak, fish and a veggie burger. While the table had a wooden block with a QR code for the menu, we also received paper menus attached to a wooden clipboard. Menu items are marked to indicate options that are gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan.

For those staying in Club Access rooms or holding top-tier status with Hyatt, complimentary breakfast is served from 6-10 a.m. in the Regency Club on the fifth floor. Breakfast included bagels, muffins, fruit and cereal. The breakfast bar offered the same items each day of our five-night stay, including two hot dishes: scrambled eggs and bacon. While there are non-dairy milk offerings, those with dietary restrictions may find these offerings rather limited.

Another dining option is Mar Muntanya, located on the sixth floor, offering Spanish tapas and paella.

Amenities and service

RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

On arrival, staff members offered a warm greeting and handled our check-in process efficiently, outlining the restaurant hours, lounge access policies and where to find the gym. As a perk of my Globalist status, we had access to the Regency Club for free breakfast daily and also free parking. The staff advised that we could use the self-parking or valet options at no cost, too.

On the sixth floor, there's an indoor seating area near the Mar Muntanya restaurant. The sixth floor also features an outdoor pool deck. While the pool is heated and operating, access to it is blocked during the winter.

The sixth floor houses the fitness center featuring Precor and Peloton exercise equipment like weight machines, treadmills, bikes and ellipticals, as well as free weights and exercise balls.

Meeting and event spaces are located on the second through fifth floors. These can be accessed through elevators in the lobby and via an escalator next to The Market.

RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

Unfortunately, a guard informed us using this elevator was strictly prohibited, which was odd considering it was also possible to access these floors without restriction using the elevators.

It's possible to request your car from the valet service via text message, and you'll receive a response letting you know the estimated time until your car will be ready out front. Most of the time, this service worked without issues. However, we received a reply that no one was available on two occasions. When this happened, we found attendants at the valet booth who said they didn't know why the system receives some alerts and not others.

RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

Unfortunately, service is where this hotel fell short in our experience.

On arrival in our room, we found hairs on the bathroom floor and in the shower. Additionally, after three nights of keeping the "do not disturb" sign on the door, we removed it and asked for housekeeping on the fourth day. Housekeeping removed some of the dirty towels and washcloths but left behind others in a way that showed no discernable pattern. Additionally, they didn't sweep the floors or replace the sheets on the bed. Instead, they merely pulled up the sheets and duvet and returned the pillows to their original location. They did not provide the bottled water they were meant to leave as a daily benefit for World of Hyatt members and didn't tuck in the sheets, though they did take out the trash.

If you want all of your towels replaced, want clean sheets or have other specifics in mind for housekeeping, it would be good to mention these clearly to the hotel staff. Otherwise, you may receive a more superficial visit from the cleaning team.

The other issue involved dining and several staff members, and it left us a little embarrassed. After dining at The Salt Republic for dinner and seeing that it had a much more robust breakfast menu than the club lounge, I asked the front desk staff if we could use my free breakfast benefit in the restaurant, so we could enjoy hot vegan options, which were not available in the lounge.

The employee was very friendly and accommodating, speaking with the food and beverage manager to see what options they could provide. He returned with a big smile and great news: The hotel had the necessary ingredients to make things like vegan omelets, imitation sausage and other suitable options. The food and beverage manager would print out a list of dishes and leave it at the hostess stand for us in the morning. This breakfast, as with our previous mornings in the Regency Club, would be complimentary.

Unfortunately, on arrival at the restaurant in the morning, the staff said no such list existed and seemed flustered that we were asking for a menu that didn't exist. We also inquired with our server, who also couldn't find any record of this paper. Moreover, the staff insisted on charging us for breakfast, since they could find no record of any agreement about our breakfast being complimentary. Instead of the omelets we'd planned to enjoy, we settled for oatmeal and avocado toast. We charged these items to our room and then inquired at the front desk that evening, speaking to the same person who had arranged things the night before.

RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY

It was an embarrassing situation, and the employee erased both our breakfast and dinner charges as an apology. We decided to return to the Regency Club for the remaining two days' breakfasts, feeling that the staff could not handle special requests.

Additionally, it's worth pointing out that you should be extremely clear with the staff if you have any allergies or dietary restrictions. Despite indicating items as vegan on the menu, the staff added non-vegan toppings to our oatmeal and veggie burgers.

Out and about

Surrounding the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City, you can find the convention center and the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art just a block away. Within a few blocks of the hotel, you can visit the Utah Sports Hall of Fame Museum, Temple Square (with the Salt Lake Temple, Tabernacle and other church-related buildings), City Creek shopping center, Clark Planetarium and the Utah State Capitol.

Farther afield, you can visit the public library, Natural History Museum of Utah and myriad parks. Go hiking in Big Cottonwood Canyon or take your skis and snowboards to places like Snowbird, Alta, Brighton and Park City to hit the slopes in winter.

Accessibility

The entrance on West Temple Street will lead you directly into the lobby but also provides easy access without steps to the elevator bank nearby. However, if using self-parking or the valet from the entrance on 200 South, there are steps to reach the lobby and the elevator banks. There is a ramp to the far left end of the lobby, though it is not convenient for reaching the elevator bank on the far right side of the lobby.

Braille is available on the elevator button panel, and ADA-complaint rooms are available throughout the hotel. The gym and pool can be accessed without steps, and there is a lift to get in and out of the pool for those who need it

Beyond this, there are no induction loops or uses of Braille in other locations in the hotel.

Checking out

Checkout was very quick, given that we had nothing on our bill to pay and had booked our room on points. The friendly employee released the hold on my credit card for incidentals, and that was the end. No one offered to help us take our things to our car, nor did they ask any questions about our stay.

When a hotel stay is great, you feel sad about leaving. Unfortunately, that wasn't the case at the Hyatt Regency Salt Lake City, due to the service miscommunications and the room oddities. I could see returning on a short business trip if I happened to be in Salt Lake City, but otherwise would plan to explore the city's other hotels.

Editor’s note: This story has been updated from a previous version to reflect that there is a wheelchair lift for the pool and the bed was a “hotel king” in size.

Featured image by RYAN SMITH/THE POINTS GUY
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees