A nearly perfect hotel stay at the Grand Hyatt Bogotá in Colombia
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As a travel journalist, I’ve reviewed my fair share of hotels over the years. While some properties excel in some areas, they can be underwhelming in others.
It’s rare to find a hotel where you can say you had a nearly perfect stay, yet my recent visit to the Grand Hyatt Bogotá was just that. Aside from some minor service hiccups and a less-than-ideal location for sightseeing, I could find little fault with this property.
I loved my room, the food was fantastic and the amenities, including the hotel’s club lounge for elite members (which was shockingly open), were top-notch. If you’re planning a trip to Colombia‘s capital, this is the place to stay.
Here’s a recap of what I experienced during my time at the Grand Hyatt Bogotá.
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Unlike my usual stays at hotels across the globe, I decided to use a travel advisor to book my hotel and the rest of my trip to Colombia. Shawn Kirschenman from Woodside Travel, which is based in Seattle and part of the Virtuoso network of travel advisors, did not disappoint.
I’m not sure if it was my World of Hyatt Globalist status, working with a Virtuoso agent or a combination of both, but I ended up with a fabulous room upgrade at this Category 3 Hyatt property. Instead of staying in the standard room I had booked, I found myself in a corner suite with a king-size bed on a higher floor. Talk about a sweet setup for a three-night stay costing about $169 per night.
If you’d rather use points for a free night, you’ll find redemption rates starting around 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night. A suite like the one I was upgraded to typically costs 20,000-24,000 points per night, while cash prices for a king suite generally start at $254 per night.
Since I paid with cash, I earned a total of 3,848 World of Hyatt points for my stay, including 888 points as a Globalist member who earns a 30% bonus. Those points are worth about $65, according to TPG’s latest valuations.
Although the Grand Hyatt Bogotá isn’t convenient for sightseeing, it is in an affluent part of town, so you’ll feel safe staying there.
Related: The best times to visit Colombia
Located in the central Teusaquillo neighborhood, the city’s upscale business district, the property is about a 30-40-minute drive from La Candelaria (where many of the city’s museums reside), Bolívar Square and the historic Old Town area, depending on traffic.
However, the hotel is an easy walk to the Simón Bolívar Metropolitan Park, Bogota’s version of New York City’s Central Park.
Plus, the adjacent El Dorado Avenue is partially shut down on Sundays, so you can go for a walk or bike ride down a normally busy thoroughfare. I did an almost 5-mile walk along this main street during my stay and thoroughly enjoyed seeing this part of Bogota without traffic.
The hotel is also less than a 20-minute drive from El Dorado International Airport (BOG), making it a convenient option if you want to be super close to the airport.
One other note about the location that AvGeeks will appreciate … it’s next door to an Avianca office building.
In order to enter the hotel complex, security has to open a gate once you arrive.
The property is pretty impressive from the outside, as it features a modern facade with clean lines and walls of windows. It’s one of the newer buildings in the area, having just opened in October 2018.
I checked in around 6 p.m., so while there were some people around, it wasn’t very busy. There were several employees outside the front doors to help with bags and to greet guests, adding an extra layer of security I very much appreciated.
After walking through the entry, I was immediately awestruck by the lobby, which features incredibly high ceilings and lots of public spaces. Light pours in from the wall-to-wall windows, and bold pops of color greet you around every corner.
As I made my way to the front desk, I noticed two people were helping check guests in. Despite a bit of a language barrier, the woman who helped me was friendly and kind.
My card was swiped, and after some confusion, the front desk staff confirmed I would receive complimentary breakfast thanks to my Globalist status. I wasn’t told much about my room, but I presumed all was fine and headed to the elevators.
On the way up to my room, I couldn’t help but admire the cool, curved shape of the interior. It reminded me of the Hyatts commonly seen in the 1980s but with a modern, elevated twist.
When I got to my corner room on the seventh floor, I realized I had not only been upgraded to a nicer room, but that it was a spacious one-bedroom suite. Upon entering, I noticed a welcome letter, a tray of fresh fruit and some water waiting for me on a table in the living room.
Although it was dark outside when I settled in, I could tell right away I was in for a treat in this suite. The massive living room featured sweeping views of Bogota from floor-to-ceiling windows.
There was a huge (and comfortable) L-shaped couch, plus an area with a desk and two chairs — the perfect spot for getting some work done remotely.
The Wi-Fi speed was excellent, too, at 9.72 Mbps for downloads and 9.53 Mbps for uploads. I never had trouble joining Zoom calls or streaming movies on HBO Max.
My favorite part of the main space, though, was the dramatic entryway, which had see-though shelves sporting a collection of local books and art.
Designed around the curved shape of the building, the bedroom featured a king-size bed opposite a series of windows and a large flat-screen TV mounted to the carpeted floor. The bed itself was quite comfortable, offering four plush pillows and sparkling clean sheets.
The view from the floor-to-ceiling windows stole the show, though. While you could easily spend your entire stay gazing at the setting around you, there were two types of pull shades available when I needed to block some (or all) light from pouring in in the morning.
I found that by the afternoon, it often got a bit warm in the suite from the sun beaming into the building, but fortunately, the air-conditioning system was fantastic. I was able to get the bedroom temperature to 16 degrees Celsius (60.8 degrees Fahrenheit) in a matter of minutes.
With so much natural light, I rarely found myself needing to turn on lights during the day, but there were multiple lamps available when it was dark. There were numerous places to plug in my various devices, too. A wing chair with an ottoman was positioned in the corner.
I loved the thick doors between rooms, which helped define the spaces based on their various functions. A family of four could comfortably make this room a home away from home for a few days.
In addition to the flat-screen TV in the bedroom, there was a TV mounted to a wall in the living room. The selection of live TV channels, especially English-language options, was a bit limited, but I was able to watch CNN International.
The walk-in closet was enormous, providing plenty of room to store items. It also came equipped with everything I could need for a productive stay, including extra linens, an iron and ironing board, a safe and more.
Like the living room and bedroom, the bathroom was amazing. Its layout was well thought out, offering ample space for a walk-in shower, a dual vanity, a marble bathtub and a toilet in its own walled-off area. Water pressure was excellent, and high-end bathroom amenities from Colombian-brand Loto del Sur were provided.
I can’t say enough about the amenities here.
On the ground floor of the Grand Hyatt Bogotá was the expansive Zaitania Spa, one of the largest spa complexes in Latin America, according to the hotel.
Designed with a focus on water, the sprawling facility features an indoor pool large enough for swimming laps, plus a hot tub, a hydromassage pool and a thermal shock pool. You need reservations for the main pool, but I never had trouble getting right in. I swam every day I was there.
There were also a steam room and a sauna, as well as spacious locker rooms for men and women.
I treated myself to a massage at the spa during my stay, and wow, what a bargain it was thanks to the dollar being very strong in Colombia. I enjoyed a traditional 50-minute massage in one of the spa’s nine treatment rooms for about $64.
I also made a point to use the incredible gym. Occupying a space with floor-to-ceiling windows that let in lots of light, the fitness center was equipped with everything from free weights to treadmills to yoga mats and exercise balls. Every kind of machine you could want was available. There was even a separate room with stationary bikes for spinning.
Besides the spa complex, there was the fabulous Grand Club Lounge on the 13th floor, which I was able to access as a guest with Globalist status. I’m so used to Hyatt lounges being closed because of the pandemic that I was shocked it was open, staffed and available.
While you won’t be able to eat a full dinner at the club lounge, there were plenty of items to snack on (think: sandwiches, desserts and more) between meals. Breakfast was also available.
Food and drink
Instead of eating breakfast in the property’s club lounge or lobby restaurant the first day of my stay, I decided to keep working and order room service, which the hotel confirmed I could do as a Globalist member before calling back to take my order. The room service fare was serviceable but nothing extraordinary.
On my second and third days, I visited Capitalino Restaurant in the lobby to try its breakfast options. Offering a mix of a la carte dishes and buffet stations, the eatery provided an impressive array of food and beverage items, making it easy to change up my order each day.
I tried a variety of drinks and bites, including a few incredibly delicious fresh juices, a made-to-order omelet and several kinds of tasty local fruit, such as dragon fruit and granadilla. The smoothies waiters delivered to each table were also yummy.
As I ate, I couldn’t help but appreciate the beautiful, airy setting in the restaurant. I dined both days in the massive main hall, but there were additional seating areas by the open-air kitchen and outside on an attached terrace, too.
While the restaurant was deserted during my first visit on a Saturday morning, the next day, it was packed with locals enjoying a holiday weekend in Colombia. Still, I didn’t find myself uncomfortably close to others thanks to the dozens of tables available throughout the dining venue.
There were several other eateries available at the hotel, too, though I didn’t have time to try them.
Ushin Japanese & Grill on the 14th floor serves various Japanese-inspired bites, including sushi, ramen, gyoza and tempura. The Ilustre Bar in the lobby offers a selection of craft cocktails and light bites. The Aldeana Market is available as well, should you want a cup of Colombian coffee and a sweet treat to eat on the go.
While my stay was exceptional overall, there was one aspect that could use some work: the service. Although there was a clear language barrier at times that made it challenging to communicate questions and requests, the hotel nevertheless dropped the ball a few times during my visit.
One example? The first night after I arrived, I called the front desk to ask for aspirin. Despite the hotel telling me they couldn’t legally give medicine to guests, they offered to call someone to deliver it. They even suggested a local brand.
That was around 7:15 p.m.
A half-hour passed and I never heard back, so I called again at 7:45 p.m. After initially struggling to understand what was being said, I eventually figured out that there was no delivery coming, even though I was open to waiting longer to receive it. In the end, I didn’t get any aspirin.
Similarly, room service came with one slight service-related hiccup.
My food order for dinner one night was correct and came quickly. However, the next morning, I found the tray full of dirty dishes still sitting in the hall by my door despite informing the hotel that it was ready to pick up. Luckily, I didn’t step on it as I was exiting my room.
There also were a few service success stories.
The teams in the Grand Club Lounge and Capitalino Restaurant were fast and friendly, and the housekeepers went above and beyond to arrange my toiletries by the sinks after cleaning my room.
The latter was a refreshing (and unexpected) surprise, as most hotels have cut daily housekeeping due to the pandemic. I assumed I wouldn’t get it and therefore didn’t ask for it, so I was thrilled to come back to a freshly made bed and empty trash cans.
Service in the club lounge and spa was superb as well.
The Grand Hyatt Bogotá had plenty of Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant accommodations, including at least one suite. Most of the rooms featured wide doorways, and all had beds that measured around 20 inches tall so guests in wheelchairs could easily get into and out of bed. There were also grab bars and low fixtures, as well as roll-in showers in some rooms.
Outside the rooms, the halls and elevators were large enough to easily accommodate a wheelchair. However, there were no lifts for the pools or hot tub.
To say I loved my stay at the Grand Hyatt Bogotá would be a huge understatement. The building itself was stunning, the staff was friendly and helpful (even though they missed the mark a few times) and the amenities were exceptional. The spa, pool, club lounge and food all exceeded my expectations, especially at a time when on-site amenities are often hit or miss because of the pandemic.
Even though the location isn’t the best in Bogota, you really can’t go wrong staying here. I highly recommend checking into this newer luxury option if you’re planning a trip to Bogota. I know I will be doing so the next time I find myself back in the city.
Featured image by Clint Henderson/The Points Guy.
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