Review: Grand Hyatt Beijing

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Introduction
Around the World on 90k Part I: Warsaw and Beijing with Nothing But a Passport and a Dream(liner)
Around the World on 90k Part II: Blowing Through the Horn of Africa
Korean Air Lounge New York JFK
LOT Polish Business Class 787 New York To Warsaw
Westin Warsaw
LOT Polish Business Class Lounge Warsaw
LOT Polish Business Class ERJ-170 Warsaw To Zurich
Swiss Panorama Lounge Zurich
Swiss Business Class A330 Zurich To Beijing
Grand Hyatt Beijing
Ethiopian Airlines Business Class 787 Beijing To Addis Ababa
Ethiopian Airlines Cloud Nine Business Class Lounge Addis Ababa
Ethiopian Airlines Business Class 767 Addis Ababa To Frankfurt
Lufthansa Business Class Lounge Frankfurt
Lufthansa Business Class 747-8 Frankfurt to Washington
Park Hyatt Washington DC


We had one night in Beijing, arriving at 6AM and leaving at midnight the following night. While I’ve wanted to check out the Park Hyatt Beijing, I figured for a one night stay where we were hoping for early check-in we would be better off at a mega-hotel, where there’s a greater probability of rooms being available early in the morning.

So instead we booked the Grand Hyatt Beijing. It’s a Category 4 Gold Passport property, so I actually redeemed by annual free night certificate from the Chase Hyatt Visa Card. Given that paid rates were over $200 per night, I considered that to be a pretty great deal.

The drive from the airport to the Grand Hyatt took about 30 minutes, and the exterior sure did live up to the name — it was a grand hotel!

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Grand Hyatt Beijing exterior

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Grand Hyatt Beijing exterior

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Grand Hyatt Beijing signage

We were immediately approached by bellmen who directed us towards check-in, which was located inside the lobby to the left. The lobby was beautiful, with high ceilings and lots of natural light.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing lobby

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Grand Hyatt Beijing lobby

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Grand Hyatt Beijing lobby

At the reception desk we were helped by Mamie, a friendly associate who tried to process our check-in as fast as she could, though it still took about 15 minutes before we had our keys. All of the Gold Passport Diamond benefits were explained to us, including Grand Club access, complimentary internet, late check-out, etc. You can’t beat checking into a hotel at 7AM and being able to check out at 4PM!

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Grand Hyatt Beijing reception

I took the elevator up to my room on the 18th floor, room 1842.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing hallway

It was located at the far end of the hallway, and was a standard Grand Club King room.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing room entrance

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Grand Hyatt Beijing floorplan

The room was a good size for Beijing, with a large entryway. The bathroom was located to the left.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing room entrance

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room entrance

The room featured a king size bed, small couch with coffee table, desk with chair, and flat screen TV.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room

The bed was extremely firm which I don’t usually like, but in this instance I found it oddly comfortable — it might just have been my exhaustion by the time I went to sleep.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room desk

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room couch

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room TV

The room felt somewhat modern — it had clearly been renovated, but not in the past few years. It also had a minimalistic design, which I quite like.

The room overlooked the front side of the hotel, and the surrounding office buildings, which are part of the same complex.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room view

The bathroom was also a good size, with a sink, tub, walk-in shower, and toilet.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room bathroom

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room toilet

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room shower

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room bathtub

The bathroom featured June Jacobs toiletries.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club King room toiletries

On the whole I thought the room was very nice, though there’s one massive caveat. The wifi in the room — and for that matter in the hotel as a whole — was unusable. I realize that China blocks a lot of websites (though there are a lot of hotels where even those sites aren’t blocked), but my issue at the hotel wasn’t limited to those sites. Virtually any website I tried to search took at least five minutes to load.

When you live in hotels full time and need to still work efficiently on the internet for at least eight hours a day when traveling, this translates into an absolute nightmare. So I can stop right here and say that this is a hotel I could never return to due to that alone, though I realize not everyone is as dependent on wifi as I am.

Thanks to Gold Passport Diamond status we had access to the Grand Club, which is located on the 17th floor. You can either take the elevator down there from the 18th floor, or there’s a staircase that leads directly there.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club

The Grand Club is nicely furnished and quite large. Even though there were lots of guests, it never really felt full.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club

Breakfast was served from 6:30AM till 10:30AM, and featured a fairly good spread. They had salad, fruit, yogurt, cereal, croissants, pastries, cheese, cold cuts, etc.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club breakfast spread

Then cooked to order eggs were available off the menu. While there was a cappuccino machine, there were servers constantly roaming the lounge to clear plates and offer drinks. My only comment regarding the food spread otherwise is that I wish they had more Chinese options — there were two types of dim sum, but not much else.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club breakfast menu

Then during the day they had some cookies and fruit available.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club daytime snacks

In the evening from 5PM till 8PM they had the evening happy hour, with snacks and complimentary beverages. The spread was again fairly good, with cheese, crackers, sushi, chips, spring rolls, quiche, etc. I’ve definitely seen better spreads elsewhere, but it was at least average for an Asian Hyatt property.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club evening spread

There were also well over a dozen liquor options, as well as beer and wine.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club evening spread

Interestingly they also had a menu with two evening options.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing Grand Club evening menu

We didn’t spend very much time in the hotel, but the only other thing worth noting is that this hotel has a totally ridiculous pool area.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing pool & spa entrance

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Grand Hyatt Beijing pool & spa entrance

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Grand Hyatt Beijing pool

It’s the craziest hotel pool I’ve ever seen, and I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Grand Hyatt Beijing pool

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Grand Hyatt Beijing pool

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Grand Hyatt Beijing pool

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Grand Hyatt Beijing pool

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Grand Hyatt Beijing pool

Right next to the pool is the gym, which was also nicely equipped (though three pictures in I was told “no photo” by the trainer staffing the gym).

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Grand Hyatt Beijing gym

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Grand Hyatt Beijing gym

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Grand Hyatt Beijing gym

Grand Hyatt Beijing bottom line

This is a nice, “mega” Grand Hyatt. The rooms and Grand Club were nice, service was attentive though a bit cold (which I find to be common in China), and the pool was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen. The only thing that kills this hotel for me is the wifi situation.

Redeeming points at Grand Hyatt Beijing

The Grand Hyatt Beijing is a Gold Passport Category 4 property, meaning it costs:

  • 15,000 Gold Passport points for a free night redemption
  • 7,500 Gold Passport points plus $100 for a Points + Cash redemption (subject to capacity controls)
  • Free anniversary night certificate from the Chase Hyatt Visa Card (valid at up to a Category 4 property)

Given that the rate was $200+ per night when I stayed, I thought it was a great use of a free night certificate.

In addition to their own co-branded Chase Hyatt Visa 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(plus a sign-up bonus of 40,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 within three months, plus an additional 5,000 points when you add an authorized user and they make their first purchase within three months)
  • 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 (plus a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $5,000 within three months)

Have you stayed at the Grand Hyatt Beijing? If so, what was your experience?

Editorial Note: Neither this post, nor the comments, are provided by the Issuing bank, or any other advertiser. The comments below have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not the bank or advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Comments

  1. Alliance says

    Based on the floorplan picture… it looks like you might have got one of the smallest rooms in the hotel?

  2. Mike says

    I would highly recommend the Hilton Beijing Wangfujing next time you’re in Beijing. Their standard rooms are huge, Gold status gets you an upgrade along with Exec. Lounge, and service was phenomenal. Rates are pretty good to. Only negative I could think of was that the interior was pretty dark (granted it was raining all day). Surprised you didn’t try the Doubletree for 10K points, ha!

  3. Mike says

    @ Mike – the only good thing about Hilton WFJ are the room received are normally huge upgraded rooms and the location is nice if you are there for touristy things. Other than that, Hilton WFJ’s lounge is no comparison to the pics here at the GH Beijing. Basically bare minimum. The service is good though.

  4. TTN says

    Not sure if this was ever mentioned, if I’m using my credit card free night at Hyatt and the other person in my room has Diamond status, can we benefit somehow?

  5. david says

    Lucky, if I’m correct, you were in BJ shortly after 7/1. Internet everywhere in China was slow due to the massive protest in HK. I was there around the same time as you were and notice the same. Every site I normally go on took forever to load (including boardingarea). Exceptions were local sites like baidu or youku.

  6. says

    Please tell me you got the Peking Duck at their restaurant, “Made in China.” That has got to be one of the best peking ducks in the world (other than Duck du Chine).

  7. ffi says

    count 1 more vote for the Hilton Wangfujing
    Yes has a smaller pool, but the service was phenomenal

  8. smitty06 says

    I stayed at this hotel and really liked it. My only complaint, and its a biggie, was the bed. It was hard as a rock. I have never slept on anything like it. It’s too bad. The hotel came up and put a pad on it which helped a little, but it would probably keep me from staying here again.

  9. JohnB says

    That pool would make me want to stay there if I had to travel to Beijing, for any reason. Another Boarding Area blogger had it mentioned. Since Beijing has such dirty air and can very cold in winter, that pool is incredible.

  10. Travis says

    I have used thre. Of my Hyatt free nights over the years there. It is a great place. Every time we have gotten the suites which is the same as the room you have with a kitchen and sitting room also attached to it. Just platinum so not sure why we have gotten the upgrades every time but we love it. The hotel is in a great location. And the rooms are great.

  11. Andreas says

    So what did you end up doing regarding the Wi-Fi problem? Did you just take the day off?
    As someone who is also pretty dependent on reasonably fast Internet access, I’d be interested to hear what your “exit strategy” is when the hotel Wi-Fi turns out to be unusable.

  12. lucky says

    @ Andreas — More or less took the day off. This is the first time this has happened to me, to be honest, so didn’t really have a strategy. Something I need to think about for the future, for sure.

  13. lucky says

    @ TTN — Technically not, but the hotel may be generous and go above and beyond to grand benefits. But technically room would have to be booked in the name of the person with status for the benefits to apply.

  14. German Expat says

    Another vote for the Wangfujing Hilton. The pool is small but the hotel has excellent service, nice rooms and a good lounge. Location is about the same.

    Different question though, how did you like Uber in Beijing?

  15. lucky says

    @ German Expat — It was a nice car and the prices were reasonable, so I did like it. I was kind of surprised that the driver didn’t speak a word of English, though — even less than the average Beijing taxi driver.

  16. Bill says

    I was staying there at the same time as you in fact and also had similar issues with the wifi. I also stayed at Westin Chaoyang and Ritz Carlton Financial Street on the same trip and did not encounter similar issues there. The hotel is in a good location and it’s nice to have a shopping mall attached but the wifi was a major negative.

  17. Andrew B says

    @ Pablo — I had a great time! It was my first trip to Asia, and now I’m dying to spend more time there! Next on my list are Hong Kong and Tokyo.

    @ lucky @ David — You must’ve considered it at some point, since I told you that was my theory on why the internet was slow :-P

  18. katyalw says

    Thought this hotel just finished renovating its rooms. It definitely looks new from your pics.

  19. Denise says

    Another vote for the Hilton Wangfujing. Walking distance to the Hyatt. Much more intimate. The lounge food was excellent. Service was warm and friendly. And as a Hhonors Diamond, could eat breakfast in the lounge or restaurant.

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