Park Hyatt Washington D.C. – Review

During our quick weekend JetBlue mileage run to Washington D.C. we spent one night at the beautiful Park Hyatt Washington D.C., which I had wanted to check out for a while, but had not had the chance to do so.

Getting there:

We took the metro Blue Line from DCA to the Foggy Bottom station and from there it was about a 10-15 minute walk to the hotel, which we didn’t mind as the weather was still cool in the morning and we were traveling light. The cost was about $2 each plus the cost of purchasing a $2 reloadable card for my wife since I already had my own, so around $6 total. On a Saturday morning with lighter traffic a ride sharing service would have probably been not much more expensive, but I do enjoy riding the DC metro, so I opted for that option.

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Check in:

We arrived a little before 11:00 a.m., and I was only intending to drop off our bags and go sightseeing, since it would be too early to check in. However, on arrival we were told that we had received a complimentary upgrade thanks to my Diamond status to a Junior Suite, and that they suite was ready and I could check in. The front desk staff was very friendly and welcoming, and quickly gave me a rundown of some of the Diamond benefits and hotel features, although for some reason ever asked me for my choice of welcome amenity or bonus points, and I forgot as well. I assume I will eventually get the 1,000 points, which I would have probably chosen anyway, but a good welcome amenity could have changed my mind. The front desk clerk who checked us in also gave us a voucher for two free drinks at the hotel or at the restaurant, a $30 value based on the drinks we eventually chose, so I thought it was a very nice extra touch. They also gave me a card with the hotel’s Diamond benefits.

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The lobby was small because of the hotel’s footprint but nicely decorated.

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The elevators had a super weird feature. They had benches inside. I can’t imagine how tiring an elevator ride can be, but it was nice to have the option to sit down I guess.

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Junior Suite:

The suite was on the 6th floor facing the main entrance and the Fairmont across the street (my apologies as I forgot to take a room view picture, mostly because the view was nothing to be excited about and more lacking privacy than anything else).

As soon as we walked in, I noticed the connecting door to the room next door. I avoid connecting rooms like the plague. Ninety percent of the time I will put it on the reservation notes, then reconfirm during check in, or simply head back down and request to switch, but being that our bedroom was on the opposite side of the suite, I did not anticipate too much noise. That, plus having just received a complimentary upgrade which I was grateful for, and just planning on spending one night at the hotel kept me from asking to switch rooms. More on that connecting door later.

The suite had the typical Park Hyatt sober and simplistic decorations and furniture, with a living room and bedroom separated by a furniture divider. The living room had a curved desk with a chair and a pretty nice Park Hyatt stationery, and  3 chairs, plus a small round table with a wooden ice bucket, mixer glasses and a nice looking wooden corkscrew. The living room also had large windows that covered most of the room, with both wooden blinds and blackout curtains, which I always appreciate.

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The bedroom had a king size bed with nice overhead lamps, another window with blinds and blackout curtains, and a small TV.

Park-Hyatt-Washington-DCPark-Hyatt-Washington-DCRight away I noticed that there was only one TV in the suite. I found it strange, but didn’t make much of it as I we don’t watch much TV. Not only until after we had checked out the following date I noticed on this review by PointsMD that the entire TV panel rotates 180 degrees, and you can use the same TV in the living room.

Park-Hyatt-Washington-DCSince there were no visible instructions anywhere and the suite’s online description did not mention this feature, I think this is something that lots of people just miss. It’s not very often I go into a room and start checking for secret hidden doors and passage ways by pushing the walls and furniture around.

Between the living room and the bedroom was the mini bar and coffee station. The suite has one of my favorite amenities, a Nespresso machine and pods, but I never found any espresso cups, so I just used glasses for the coffee. There were also a couple of bottles of water and glasses by the bedside, which I assumed were complimentary as they didn’t have any price tags, so we used them.

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I love the electronic controls at Hyatt properties, although the ones in this suite didn’t seem to respond well at times and they were not as intuitive as others I’ve tried before.

Park-Hyatt-Washington-DCThe best part of the suite was the bathroom, which had a rain shower and bathtub complete with bath salts and Le Labo toiletries.

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The one thing I did not think was practical was having the suites’s only closet and safe inside the bathroom, directly opposite the toilet, which meant that when one person is using the bathroom the closet is out of limits. Given that the closet shares a wall with the bedroom, it seems it would have been more practical to make it accessible from the bedroom side instead of through the bathroom, unless this was done for structural reasons I am not qualified to determine.

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Overall, the suite was excellent and the extra space was very useful for our quick one-night getaway, although the infamous connecting door never fails to make itself noted. The door wasn’t very soundproof, and funnily enough as I was reading in the living room late at night the sounds coming from the couple staying next door didn’t leave much to the imagination.

Food:

This hotel actually features one of the top rated restaurants in the D.C. area, the Blue Duck Tavern, which I had heard several D.C. locals including Gary from View From The Wing recommend, so we looked forward to trying for dinner and breakfast. The restaurant is a farm to table restaurant. Reservations are strongly recommended, and since we didn’t plan in advance, we found out the next open spot was after 10:00 p.m. which we didn’t want to do. However, if you get a table either at the hotel’s bar lounge or at the patio, you can order off the restaurant’s full menu, and we were seated immediately at the patio as soon as we arrived at 7:00 p.m.

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We used our drink coupons at the restaurant, with my wife ordering a mojito (too bitter for her taste, so she sent it back for more sugar) and I ordered the Park Martini, which was excellent.

Park-Hyatt-Washington-DCWe both ordered the fish catch of day, which tasted great and was topped with a large prawn and was excellent. The sides were a-la-carte, and we ordered the fries, which were well recommended and tasted more like hash browns, the potatoe purée and the eggplant. They were all excellent.

Park-Hyatt-Washington-DCPark-Hyatt-Washington-DCPark-Hyatt-Washington-DCThe dessert specialty is apple pie, but we decided to skip it since we were full, plus somehow didn’t feel right to pay $19 for a dessert (which in all fairness was advertised as a shared dessert for two). This is what they looked like:

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Breakfast was equally impressive. I had the short ribs and fried eggs, which were very good. My wife had the crab cakes and we also had fried green tomatoes and another side of spinach. I had a Cafe Park drink right at 11:00 a.m. when the bar opened, which had grand marnier, espresso and orange liquor.

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The buffet, which we skipped, looked pretty good too.

Park-Hyatt-Washington-DCPark-Hyatt-Washington-DCPark-Hyatt-Washington-DCPark-Hyatt-Washington-DCService was excellent throughout, both at the restaurant and at lobby and front desk.

Pool and gym:

The pool and gym are very hard to reach, as for some reason it requires taking the elevator to the 3rd floor, walking to the end of the hallway, and then taking a flight of fire stairs down to the second floor. It was by far the weirdest gym access I have ever seen.

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Overall impression:

The Park Hyatt Washington DC is a solid hotel. While the location requires a bit of walking to the nearest subway station, the service, food and overall room quality more than make up for it, and I wouldn’t hesitate to stay here again whenever I go back to D.C.

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