Review: Park Hyatt Chicago

This past week I had some meetings in Chicago prior to FTU Advanced, so decided to stay at the Park Hyatt Chicago.

I absolutely love Park Hyatt hotels, and was keen to check out what used to be their flagship property before they handed over that title to the Park Hyatt New York.

I stayed at the Park Hyatt for three nights, and the rate was $395 per night.

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I booked through American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts, which came with the following benefits:

  • Noon check-in, when available
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • Guaranteed 4PM late checkout
  • $100 property credit to be used during the stay
  • Complimentary third night

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The first four benefits I more or less get through my Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond status anyway, though the third free night and $100 property credit were useful. The third free night lowered my average nightly rate to $265 per night, and then if you value the $100 hotel credit at close to face value, that brings the average nightly rate down to ~$230.

That was less than the other Hyatts in town were charging, so was perfectly justifiable, in my opinion.

Usually I’d redeem points for a stay at a Park Hyatt, though this is a Category 6 property, making a free night 25,000 points. I value Gold Passport points at over 1.5 cents each, so it was a no brainer to pay rather than redeeming points.

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Anyway, I arrived at the hotel right around check-in time, at 3PM. The hotel has a perfect location, just near Michigan Avenue and Chicago Avenue, immediately across from the Historic Water Tower. You really can’t get a more perfect location than that.

The Park Hyatt is housed in a larger 60+ floor building, with only the first 18 floors of the building being the Park Hyatt hotel.

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Park Hyatt Chicago exterior

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Park Hyatt Chicago exterior

At the entrance I was welcomed by Antonio, the awesome doorman, who directed me to check-in. The Park Hyatt’s lobby feels residential, in both a classic and minimalist way. The minimalist design is pretty standard across Park Hyatts, though this was definitely one of the more “classic” Park Hyatts I’ve been to.

At the entryway was the bell desk. To the left was the living room, while further inside was the reception desk to the left and elevators to the right.

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Park Hyatt Chicago lobby

There was a single couch in the lobby itself, immediately to the side of the reception desk.

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Park Hyatt Chicago lobby

I was promptly checked in by a friendly associate who explained everything I was entitled to as a Diamond member and Fine Hotels & Resorts guest. The check-in process took less than a minute, which I appreciated.

Back near the entrance was the living room, which overlooked Chicago Avenue. While the lobby was pretty minimalist, the living room had a much more inviting feel, as the name suggests. It’s actually a nice place to sit and get some work done, as it’s usually empty.

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Park Hyatt Chicago lobby

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Park Hyatt Chicago lobby

Off the side of the living room was a pantry with complimentary tea, coffee, and bottled water in the mornings, starting at 5:30AM.

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Park Hyatt Chicago pantry drinks

Then in the afternoons there was tea and lemonade, along with bottled water and chocolate muffins.

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Park Hyatt Chicago pantry drinks

That’s a very nice touch, and seemed to be utilized by almost all guests as they arrived at or left the hotel.

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Park Hyatt Chicago pantry snacks

Anyway, after checking in I headed up to my Water Tower View King room on the 15th floor, room 1503.

Once out of the elevator my room was located to the right and at the far end of the hallway.

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Park Hyatt Chicago hallway

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Park Hyatt Chicago room entrance

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Park Hyatt Chicago floorplan

The room was a really good size — apparently around 550 square feet — and featured a large entryway. To the left was the bathroom, while the rest of the room was at the end of the hallway and to the left.

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room entrance

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room entrance

The room’s decor was nice. It was well maintained and everything was in great condition, though it definitely did feel a few years past its prime. It’s simply a different design than you get at the new ultra-modern Park Hyatts, like the one in New York.

The room featured a king size bed — it was possibly one of the most comfortable beds I’ve ever slept in.

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room bed

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room bed

The bathroom was visible from the bedroom, thanks to a sliding door, which acted as a window of sorts. That’s actually something I like, since it makes the room feel bigger (my pet peeve is hotels that have glass shields between the bedroom and bathroom, with no way to close them).

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room

Next to the bed was an iPad with information about the hotel and the local area.

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room iPad

Across from the bed was a chest with a flat screen TV on it, and next to that was a glass table with a leather chair.

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room desk

Then by the window was one of the most comfortable lounge chairs I’ve ever seen in a hotel room, along with an ottoman.

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room lounge chair

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room window

The room featured a picturesque view of the Historic Water Tower and Lake Michigan in the background. The perfect weather didn’t hurt either!

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room view

Going back towards the entrance, near the door to the bathroom was a closet and then the minibar. Above the minibar were a couple of shelves with complimentary water, as well as snacks for purchase.

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room minibar

The minibar was reasonably simple though well stocked.

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room minibar

One thing I found interesting was that the rooms don’t have coffee machines. However, they’ll bring you one on demand. Still, I found that a bit odd for a luxury hotel.

The bathroom was huge for a standard room. It featured double sinks, a soaking tub, a partitioned off toilet, and then a walk-in shower.

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room bathroom

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room bathroom

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room double sinks

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room bathtub

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room toilet

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room shower

The Park Hyatt featured Le Labo toiletries, from their Neroli 36 line. Le Labo is among my favorite toiletry brands out there.

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room toiletries

Shortly after arriving in my room I received a welcome gift — I selected the 1,000 point Diamond amenity at check-in, so I’m assuming it was because I booked through Fine Hotels & Resorts, or maybe because some luxury hotels just do that as a standard thing. I received a bottle of red wine, three plums, and a few macarons.

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Park Hyatt Chicago Water Tower View King Room welcome amenity

In-room wifi was complimentary for all guests, and plenty fast.

In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, virtually everything else is located on the seventh floor. That’s where the spa is located, and inside of it are the gym and pool.

The gym is a good size, and was empty the two times I visited it. The equipment was well maintained, and there was plenty of bottled water available.

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Park Hyatt Chicago gym

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Park Hyatt Chicago gym

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Park Hyatt Chicago gym

The hotel also has a nice lap pool, which I used once. Even though there are just two and a half lanes, I never actually saw anyone else use it.

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Park Hyatt Chicago pool

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Park Hyatt Chicago pool

There’s also a small hot tub.

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Park Hyatt Chicago gym

Breakfast was served daily in NoMi Kitchen, between 6:30AM and 10:30AM on weekdays. It’s a gorgeous restaurant with exceptional service. The second day the server, Luis, remembered my name and drink preference. He also couldn’t have been more attentive.

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Park Hyatt Chicago NoMi Kitchen

The breakfast menu read as follows:

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The first morning I had an orange juice and non-fat cappuccino to drink.

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Park Hyatt Chicago NoMi Kitchen breakfast

Then I ordered the cucumber & feta egg white frittata — it was flavorful and light, which is a rare combo.

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Park Hyatt Chicago NoMi Kitchen breakfast

The second morning I had an egg white omelet and some berries with yogurt.

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Park Hyatt Chicago NoMi Kitchen breakfast

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Park Hyatt Chicago NoMi Kitchen breakfast

One of the cool things about the hotel is that as a Diamond member you can also have your breakfast via room service, so I did that the last morning. I had their “healthy start” breakfast, which consisted of an egg white frittata, yogurt with berries and granola, fruit, a muffin, toast, orange juice, and coffee. They sure have a liberal interpretation of “healthy.” šŸ˜‰

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Park Hyatt Chicago room service breakfast

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Park Hyatt Chicago room service breakfast

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Park Hyatt Chicago room service breakfast

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Park Hyatt Chicago room service breakfast

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Park Hyatt Chicago room service breakfast

One day I ordered room service dinner, and just had a wrap with fries. Service was prompt, and one thing I really liked was that they didn’t even bring a check. A $5 service charge plus 17% gratuity is added to your bill, and that’s it.

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Park Hyatt Chicago room service dinner

One other thing worth noting about the hotel which I didn’t take pictures of is just how great NoMi Kitchen, Lounge, and Garden is. They have a rooftop terrace which is really popular with locals. The food is varied as well, as they have everything from sushi to contemporary cuisine. You can’t beat a hotel with a real restaurant that’s actually frequented by locals, especially when you can spend hotel credit in it.

Park Hyatt Chicago bottom line

Park Hyatt is one of my favorite hotel brands. You can’t beat the combination of a luxury hotel program and one of my favorite hotel loyalty programs. While I do have some hotels I individually prefer to Park Hyatts (for example, no Park Hyatt will compare to an Aman property), you can’t get as many benefits or earn/redeem points for those stays, so for me Park Hyatt strikes that perfect balance.

Is this property as amazing as the Park Hyatt New York, Park Hyatt Tokyo, Park Hyatt Sydney, etc.? No, to me it’s not. That being said, the hotel was a great value at under $300 per night.

Beyond that, the service was impeccable, the location unbeatable, and the facilities excellent (pool, gym, and NoMi). So it’s an all around very “well balanced” property.

If you’ve stayed at the Park Hyatt Chicago, what was your experience?

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Comments

  1. I don’t understand how hotels can afford to put a $5,000 Eames lounger in their rooms. DFW Admirals has a dozen of them as well. There are a few hotels in Asia that have knockoffs. Love that chair.

  2. As a chicago local I can vouch for NOMI. It is fantastic and eating there on the patio in the summer really can’t be beat. I think the Park Hyatt is actually the overall best overall hotel in Chicago. It has all the amenities of the Peninsula or Four Seasons with a slightly hipper, lest stuffy vibe…and usually at a better price.

  3. I stayed there 2 months ago on a corporate rate of $130 per night(stayed there for 4 nights) and can vouch for this hotel. Amazing service and looks like they robbed you on the welcome gift. When I stayed there I received two bottles of evian(I don’t drink alcohol – how did they know that I have no idea), 5-6 different kinds of cheese, dry fruits, and two bottles of very nice orange juice. I did not receive an upgrade but super happy with the rate I paid. Also breakfast I had downstairs and it was amazing and they did not really impose any limits on what I ordered and I order a lot. I would definitely return to that hotel(and book with my corp rate that is). šŸ™‚

  4. Room tip: We were in a lovely view room on the 6th floor. Unfortunately, Nomi Restaurant is on 7. Be aware because at the end of the night and in prep for the morning there is a lot of furniture dragging going on.

    The hotel was quite gracious in resolving the issue, but just flagging the issue for others.

  5. Ben, is the 3rd night free promotion something you see often with Amex fine hotels? I was aware of all the other benefits but never seen the 3rd night free benefit.

    Also, when you factor the paid rate versus award bookings, you never seem to factor in in the taxes and other charges that get applied on the pay rates. Sometimes, these taxes can be as much as 25% of the room rate, which makes a significant difference whereas on award stays, taxes are all included.

  6. Our room was on the 9th floor overlooking Water Tower…..we arrived at 2am, due to a wayward (but ridiculously enjoyable Seattle-Chicago) Amtrak trip 11 hours late. We used free nights received from the Hyatt Chase C.C. signup bonus. We were treated like royalty…room upgraded, courteous and gracious hosts, without exception. Location couldn’t be better. So impressed that I was with all, that I sought out the general manager of the property to let him know personally. If I had the time (and the cash), I would hole up in the Chicago Park Hyatt for a month.

  7. @ Luis — Third or fourth night free promotions are extremely common with American Express, in my opinion. And good point regarding taxes/fees, they can get bad, especially in places like London and Bali (where they’re 20%+).

  8. To be clear: the Eames lounger and ottoman retails for $3629.00 at Design Within Reach, who owns the copyright to the original design. Rips off can be found for as little $900. Add in a bulk purchase and this classic could easily be had for $600.

    More importantly, what’s up with that ugly granite tile everywhere? šŸ˜‰

  9. This is one of my favorite hotels in the whole world. I have stayed there numerous times. I did notice the diet Coke on your in-service tray. They only have Pepsi in the hotel by contract. I wanted a Coke once and they offered to run across the street to get me some, but it was like 20 below zero and I couldn’t make someone do that. So did they secretly run for yours? Wouldn’t surprise me since the service has all ways been top notch for me!

  10. Looks like a great hotel. I wonder if I can use the cheap corp. rate referenced by “Ivan Y” since we have the same name šŸ˜‰

    ~ The Original Ivan Y.

  11. I spent my honeymoon at the Park Hyatt Chicago (in the late 80s, before it was rebuilt). I’ve been meaning to go back, but have never made it, although I have friends who live in one of the condos on the 50th floor.

    Great review – it makes me want to visit Chicago just to stay here!

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