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I recently spent about a week in New York, and for the first few nights decided to check out the Grand Hyatt New York.
I’m loyal to Hyatt and spend a fair number of nights per year in New York hotels, though have never been to the Grand Hyatt, which is the largest and oldest Hyatt property in New York. If I’m not mistaken the “Grand” Hyatt name even originated at this hotel, since it’s located next to “Grand” Central.
Hyatt’s growth in New York City over the past several years has been amazing, and I love the variety of properties they have, both in terms of location and style.
I love Andaz properties, so naturally am a fan of the Andaz 5th Avenue and Andaz Wall Street, both of which are top notch properties. Earlier in the year I also checked out the Hyatt Times Square and Hyatt Union Square, both of which are unique properties as well.
I never really had much of a desire to stay at the Grand Hyatt New York, which is a mega hotel with 1,300+ rooms. Still, during my recent visit to New York it was the most reasonably priced option at ~$250 per night, so I figured I might as well stay there so I can review it and check it off “the list.”
The Grand Hyatt is located on 42nd between Lexington and Park. So while I don’t love the immediate area, it is centrally located for anywhere in the city you could want to visit.
I arrived late at night after taking an Uber from LaGuardia Airport.
The hotel definitely feels “grand,” with high ceilings and big pillars throughout the lobby.
I took the escalator from street level to the lobby.
There’s plenty of seating in the lobby, plus a few check-in desks. While it wasn’t crowded when I checked in after midnight, during the day there were dozens of people sitting around with luggage, presumably waiting for their rooms to become available.
There’s also a Grand Club reception area located right behind the front desk, which I didn’t learn about until I checked out. Given that queues tend to get long in the main check-in area, this is an awesome feature for Grand Club guests and Diamond members. It’s worth noting that it’s only open during normal business hours, though.
Anyway, the agent that checked me in was awesome, and quickly familiarized me with the features of the hotel. She explained the benefits I’d receive for being a Diamond guest, including:
- Complimentary internet
- 4PM check-out
- Access to the Grand Club
- Welcome amenity (I selected 1,000 Gold Passport points)
On top of that, Diamond members receive vouchers for complimentary water or coffee from the Market, located right next to the lobby. That’s a nice touch, in my opinion.
I was directed to the elevators, and it was explained to me that I needed to take one of the five right elevators. There are 10 elevators, and half of them serve the bottom floors, while the other half serve the top floors.
I was assigned room 2726, located on the 27th floor.
This seemed to be a “Gold Passport Guest Floor,” whatever that means.
My corner room was located at the far end of the hallway, which was quite a walk. This is indeed a massive hotel.
I was immediately impressed upon entering the room. There was an entryway, with a closet to the left and the bathroom to the right.
The room itself was massive by New York standards, with a king size bed, seating area, and lots of “open” space. It was almost under furnished, which is something you rarely find at hotels.
While there wasn’t a formal desk, the couch area had a nice coffee table which could be moved around to create a comfortable area from which to work.
The TV was in the middle of the room, so could be viewed at an angle from the bed or couch area.
I was pleasantly surprised by the room up until this point. I still prefer the Andaz properties, but for a 1,300+ room hotel, this was more than I was expecting.
The toilet was literally “wedged” between the sink and shower, to the point that it was almost unusable.
The shower was also unpleasantly tight.
It featured June Jacobs amenities.
The room featured pretty standard midtown views — nothing amazing, but not bad either for the 27th floor of a hotel.
One area of the hotel that impressed me was the Grand Club, which is located on the 16th floor.
The lounge was recently renovated, and it’s gorgeous. It features tons of seating and was never crowded. Beyond that, I loved the variety of seating options, from couches to tables to an outdoor patio.
I just love that they have an outdoor patio, which is tough to beat in New York in summer.
The Grand Club serves breakfast from 6:30AM till 10AM on weekdays. Fortunately coffee is available from 6AM till 10PM, so as far as I’m concerned breakfast is served 16 hours a day. 😉
The breakfast spread was mostly continental, but quite good. It featured fresh fruit, croissants, muffins, salmon, cheese, cold cuts, bagels, toast, cereal, etc.
Then there was a fridge with greek yogurt, yogurt parfaits, and fruit.
There was also one rotating hot dish, which, to be honest, looked vomit inducing.
Then throughout the day drinks were available, plus cookies, chocolate, and a few types of snack mix.
The evening service was available from 5PM till 8PM. There’s an honor bar with alcoholic beverages available for purchase.
And then there was a decent snack spread, including bread, cheese, veggies, and one rotating hot option.
The hotel also has a well equipped “pencil gym” (it was long and narrow), which I only had time to use once during my stay.
Grand Hyatt New York bottom line
Overall I was pleasantly surprised by the Grand Hyatt New York. Minus the bathroom, I thought the room was quite nice. The Grand Club was really impressive as well.
That being said, the bathroom I had really pissed me off, to the point that it’s almost enough reason for me not to return here, even if the price is right.
My preferred properties in New York remain either of the two Andaz properties, though I might give this hotel another try at some point if the price is right and hope for a better bathroom layout.
Redeeming points at Grand Hyatt New York
The Grand Hyatt New York is a Gold Passport Category 6 property, meaning it costs:
- 25,000 Gold Passport points for a free night redemption
- 12,500 Gold Passport points plus $150 for a Points + Cash redemption (subject to capacity controls)
Given that the rate was ~$250 per night when I stayed, paying cash was definitely the best option. However, during high season this hotel sometimes goes for $400+ per night, in which case it can make more sense to use points. However, keep in mind that the Andaz 5th Avenue is also a Category 6 property, so if I were redeeming points I’d definitely choose the Andaz if both were available.
In addition to their own co-branded The Hyatt Credit Card, Hyatt Gold Passport is also a Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partner, meaning you can transfer points from Chase Ultimate Rewards instantly at a 1:1 ratio. The best cards for collecting Ultimate Rewards points are:
- The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which offers double points on dining and travel, and no foreign transaction fees
- The Ink Plus® Business Card and Ink Bold® Business Card, which offer 5x points on office supply stores, and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services