Review: Hyatt Union Square New York

Introduction
Booking Korean Air SkyPass Awards Online
Korean Air Check-In Los Angeles Airport
Korean Air First Class 777-300ER Los Angeles to Sao Paulo
Marriott Sao Paulo Airport
TAM First Class Lounge Sao Paulo Airport
TAM First Class 777-300ER Sao Paulo to New York
Hyatt Union Square New York
Hyatt Times Square New York
British Airways New York JFK First Lounge & Pre-Flight Dining
Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER New York to Vancouver
Fairmont Waterfront Vancouver


Hyatt’s growth in New York the past few years has been explosive. Going back a few years they only had one property in New York City, while they now have seven (the Grand Hyatt, Andaz 5th Avenue, Andaz Wall Street, Hyatt Union Square, Hyatt Times Square, Hyatt 48 Lex, and soon the Park Hyatt).

Up until now I’ve always stayed at the Andaz 5th Avenue and Andaz Wall Street. I consider those two hotels to be the best value in New York as a Gold Passport Diamond member. The service at both properties is great, the rooms are large, and both hotels are fairly good with upgrades. I know I’m crazy, but I love staying on Wall Street on weekends — it’s so quiet, and the rates are usually really good.

So on one hand it killed me not to return to the Andaz for this visit, but I figured it made sense to review some of Hyatt’s new offerings in New York. I decided to spend my first night at the new Hyatt Union Square, which opened just under a year ago. For what it’s worth, I booked a Courtyard Studio room at a rate of ~$160 for the Sunday night, which was booked under the “My Elite Rate.”

The Hyatt Union Square is located off 4th Avenue, just a couple of blocks from Union Square. I’m kind of indifferent when it comes to the Union Square area. I far prefer being further uptown, but at the same time when it comes to New York “Squares,” I’ll take Union over Times!

The exterior of the hotel is nice, and it’s kind of cool that the hotel is in an area without too many other chain hotels, so it does blend in pretty well.

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Hyatt Union Square exterior

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Hyatt Union Square exterior

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Hyatt Union Square entrance

The hotel’s lobby is small but cozy. It’s one of those lobbies you can’t walk through without exchanging “hellos” with the front desk associate.

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Hyatt Union Square lobby

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Hyatt Union Square lobby

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Hyatt Union Square lobby

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Hyatt Union Square lobby bar

Anyway, upon arrival I was quickly assisted by one of the front desk associates, who explained the basics of the hotel to me, along with my Diamond benefits:

  • I was upgraded to an Alcove Loft, which is basically a corner room
  • I’d receive complimentary internet
  • I was proactively offered guaranteed 4PM late check-out
  • I was offered my choice of Diamond welcome amenities, and selected the 1,000 Gold Passport points
  • I could have complimentary breakfast in the restaurant, and up to $25 per person would be taken off my bill (more on this later, because $25 isn’t enough to cover a full breakfast with tip, which is the Diamond Gold Passport benefit)

I was quickly sent on my way to the elevators, located right next to the reception desk. It’s worth noting that there are only two elevators in the hotel, which didn’t seem like enough to me for 178 rooms. So there was always a bit of a wait, and the elevators were usually crowded.

My room was on the sixth floor, and the hallway felt really “boutiquey,” which I liked.

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Hyatt Union Square hallway

I was assigned room 611.

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Hyatt Union Square room entrance

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Hyatt Union Square floorplan

The room featured a large entryway, which let out into the living area.

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room entrance

There was a couch/daybed there, along with a chair.

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room couch and chairs

Next to that was the desk and a somewhat awkwardly placed flat screen TV, as it couldn’t practically be viewed from the desk or the couch.

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room desk and TV

Behind the desk was the minibar and Nespresso machine.

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room TV and minibar

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room minibar

I was impressed to see a Nespresso machine at a (non-Park) Hyatt!

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room Nespresso machine

Then the room “opened up” a bit leading into the bedroom area, which featured a comfortable king size bed facing a second TV.

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room king bed

The room boasted views of the surrounding area, so was nothing special. It didn’t have a direct view of Union Square or anything.

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room view

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room view

Across from the desk area was the small bathroom, which featured a sink, toilet, and walk-in shower.

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room bathroom

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room toilet

Kudos to the Hyatt for not falling for one of my biggest hotel pet peeves — the shower control was (correctly) placed by the door of the shower, as opposed to by the actual shower head. So you could turn on the shower and control the temperature without getting wet first.

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room shower

The toiletries were C.O. Bigelow branded, which is a brand I quite like.

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room toiletries

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room bathrobe

Interestingly on the bed instead of having chocolates they had biscoffs with turndown service.

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Hyatt Union Square Alcove Loft Room turndown service

Since I’m about to move into hotels full time internet speed is very important to me, it’s worth noting that the wifi at this hotel was legitimately high speed, which I’d hope is the case at a new hotel.

In the morning I had breakfast at The Fourth, which is the hotel’s restaurant, located right next to the lobby. The restaurant serves breakfast from 7AM till 10:30AM seven days a week.

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Hyatt Union Square The Fourth Restaurant

It’s quite a nice restaurant, though definitely on the small side.

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Hyatt Union Square The Fourth Restaurant

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Hyatt Union Square The Fourth Restaurant artwork

The tables are all quite close together, so it’s almost more like a coffee shop than a restaurant. Then again, space comes at a premium in New York, so this is much more common in New York than other cities — it sure isn’t an IHOP in Topeka!

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Hyatt Union Square The Fourth Restaurant

The breakfast menu read as follows:

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To drink I ordered a fruit & yogurt smoothie and a nonfat cappuccino, both of which were good.

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Hyatt Union Square The Fourth Restaurant cappuccino and smoothie

Then to eat I ordered The New Yorker, which was an everything bagel with smoked salmon. Yum.

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Hyatt Union Square The Fourth Restaurant breakfast

The cost of the breakfast was $33.75 plus tip. Clearly a $25 breakfast credit doesn’t cover a “full” breakfast no matter how much you spin it. In my case they took the full amount off the bill at check-out, though that might have been because my room was reserved for two people, so maybe they automatically applied a $50 credit. That being said, it’s definitely something I’d argue at check-out if I were actually staying with someone and the bill were over $50.

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Hyatt Union Square The Fourth Restaurant bill

The only other thing worth noting about the hotel is that there’s a small but modern gym one floor below the lobby.

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Hyatt Union Square gym

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Hyatt Union Square gym

Hyatt Union Square bottom line

The Hyatt Union Square was what I expected. The employees I interacted with were all extremely friendly, though I generally find that to be the case at Hyatts. I still prefer both of the Andaz properties — when the price is right I love the Andaz 5th Avenue, and on weekends it’s tough to beat the value of the Andaz Wall Street. But otherwise it’s nice to have a good third option in New York.

Have you stayed at the Hyatt Union Square? If so, what did you think? What’s your favorite Hyatt property in New York?

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Comments

  1. reminds me of 48 Lex – did you ever visit that property? would like to know your thoughts relative to that property. visually, they look very similar.

  2. Does every guest get free wifi?
    Is there a PC available for guests who like to use one?
    Who is eligible for the Elite Rate?

  3. In my experience the treats with turndown service are different each night — I had biscotti, chocolate, and fortune cookies (with customized fortunes like ‘New York is the city that never sleeps, but you should’).

    http://boardingarea.com/viewfromthewing/2013/10/31/hyatt-union-squares-small-rooms-super-comfortable-beds/

    I found the bed super comfortable.

    You mention the New Yorker… but fail to mention the smoked whitefish salad! The barista is excellent by the way, at least when I was there some months back.

  4. @Gary – that doesn’t seem like a compliment. =) I know you dont ‘love’ the 48 Lex, but perhaps worth another trip? I kinda like it. I like the big windows and loft feel. Andaz on 5th has the preferable location but also higher price point (but not Hyatt Gold Passport point price). In room breakfast is hard to beat.

  5. Glad to hear the internet was good! I stayed about 6 months ago and had major speed problems, but the manager said they were doing some sort of upgrade.

    The breakfast also bothered me—it’s not even close to compliant with the HGP terms.

  6. Lucky: How was the A/C? I’ve heard complaints that it cycles on and off. Were you able to get it to sty on through the night continuously?

  7. I think my comment got lost:

    Your view was of my college dormitory (apartment). That is should have been enough in and of itself. The photo did bring back some good memories.

    In some seriousness, $25 could cover breakfast if you got a sub $19 entree and water. Not terrible. Jussayin’

  8. @ tomf — Nope, I believe it’s usually $15 per day, wifi is only free for Diamond members. I didn’t see a PC, though didn’t look all that closely. Gold Passport Platinum and Diamond members are eligible for “My Elite Rate.”

  9. Looks like a great hotel. Have passed by it hundreds of times, nice to see it looks just as good on the inside. Man oh man, i missing living on 14th St.

  10. I haven’t stayed at this hotel, but I know it. I don’t think so much of the lobby. The crib art on the ceiling sucks. See, I look at your room, and I think it is kind of shabby and cheap and kind of even dirty. I don’t know..it is not that great to me…..but actually if I look at it another way, it is really, really awesome, and it is like a real apartment there. I feel like you could feel right at home like you live there. How you look at it is all a subjective illusion though. They have good, friendly staff and that makes a big difference on how well you enjoy and color your stay. If you are excited to be in New York and you are doing something cool, it will be even more fun. It is a cool area though. You are in easy walking distance to a lot of hip things.
    I really like The Hudson and The St. Giles. They are more fun for me being reasonably young.
    Consider if you were renting that place as an apartment, it would easily be $3,350 a month, but they might include utilities except cable/internet.

  11. @Lucky: I don’t drink coffee. That being said, I really don’t think there should be a charge for it for breakfast buying folks. Just like I don’t think there should be a charge for soda water! Oh well. I need to open up my own resto I suppose (and quickly go out of business).

  12. @ Lucky – do you think they want you to get “The Fourth Continental Breakfast” for $22 which already comes with either coffee/tea/juice? Not that I endorse that as a good breakfast.

  13. @ Ivan Y — It would still come out to over $25 with tax and tip, and that’s not a hot breakfast, which is what the benefit is for.

  14. @ Lucky — Don’t think it’s right either but, hey, it’s New York – they got to hustle! 😛

    Since they charge $7 for “hand-squeezed OJ”, did you ask how much an OJ from a juicer would be?

  15. Seems like some of my fellow commenters are either rich or on an expense account. I’m retired and travel at my own expense, and certainly wouldn’t pay $25 for breakfast. If you’re at Union Square, try a cheaper option, like the Whole Foods where you can have a very hearty breakfast for ten dollars.

  16. i’m not a fan of where they decided to put this hyatt. then again, i’ll bet space here is wayy cheaper than anywhere else in the village.

  17. To me, that neighborhood is very interesting. It’s location is between the super expensive West Village and the East Village. Lots of interesting places to walk to. Now if you want to be near the Theater District, which I am not, then it’s not convenient, but if you’re not afraid of the subway, you can get there very fast.

  18. nice report. FYI I just google mapped this hotel to get my bearings and streetview has it windowless and getting a makeover. Pretty nice job what they did with the place judging by your photos.

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