Review: Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport

Introduction
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Star Alliance Business Class Lounge Los Angeles Airport LAX
Asiana First Class A380 Los Angeles to Seoul Incheon
Park Hyatt Seoul
How Etihad Handled My 14 Hour Flight Delay
Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport
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Qatar Airways Al Mourjan Business Class Lounge Doha Airport DOH
Qatar Airways First Class A380 Doha to London Heathrow
American Airlines Flagship Lounge London Heathrow LHR
US Airways Business Class A330 London Heathrow to Charlotte


I took the bus from the Park Hyatt Seoul to Incheon Airport at around 6:30PM, and got there by 8PM. At 9PM check-in opened for my 12AM flight to Abu Dhabi, though as check-in opened we were informed of our 14 hour flight delay.

After spending hours trying to get rebooked and dealing with the general chaos of the cancellation, I got booked at the Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport (Etihad Airways gave me an airport accommodation voucher, so they covered the cost of the room).

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I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Incheon Airport before it was rebranded. It was a perfectly fine airport hotel, though the club lounge was lackluster.

In the past year the hotel rebranded as the Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport, and on September 1, 2014, they opened the new west wing of the hotel.

After being given my voucher I headed down to the arrivals level, where the Grand Hyatt’s shuttle leaves from. It leaves from stop 14C, which is at the far end of the arrivals hall.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport bus

On the shuttle bus there was an announcement that there would be two stops — first a stop for the west wing, and then a stop for the east wing. We were told to check our reservations for which wing we were in. Since I didn’t have a reservation I wasn’t sure which wing I was in, so just got off at the west wing.

The exterior looked much more modern than the old property. I hadn’t realized that when they rebranded they also doubled the size of the hotel, from ~500 rooms to ~1,000 rooms.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport exterior

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport entrance

The lobby in the west wing was massive. While I’m a big fan of simplistic and understated design, this lobby bordered on sterile and unfinished-looking, if that makes any sense. But it was still a beautiful lobby, especially for an airport hotel.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport lobby

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport lobby

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport lobby

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport lobby

Reception was located right across from the entrance. At check-in I presented my voucher, credit card, and Hyatt Diamond card. I apologized to the agent in advance because I wasn’t sure which wing I was supposed to be in.

The associate was super friendly, and had me checked in within a few minutes. She explained that my room rate was covered and that I’d still get Diamond benefits. She upgraded me to a Club King room, and explained I’d have club lounge access, free internet, etc.

She apologized that the restaurant was closed, though said she could still get me a Diamond amenity, and suggested sending up a bottle of red wine and some fruit. I responded “any chance we could make that Diet Coke and some chocolate instead? It’s one of those nights.” She chuckled and said that would be fine.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport reception

I took the elevator up to the 12th floor, where my room was located.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport elevators

The curved hallways were sleek, and my room was located just a few rooms from the elevators, on the opposite side of the floor as the Grand Club.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport hallway

I was assigned room 1243.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room entrance

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport floorplan

The room was pristine — not only did it feel fresh and almost like it had never been stayed in before, but I loved the decor. Much like the lobby it felt understated, though unlike the lobby it didn’t feel sterile.

My Club King featured a king size bed, and then by the window was a lounge chair with ottoman and the desk.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room entrance

The room was high tech, and all lights could be controlled from the bedside, which I always appreciate. There was also an iPhone charger there, which even had the correct prongs for the iPhone 5/6.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room nightstand

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room desk & TV

The desk and TV were on a single console, and the TV could swivel slightly to face the bed or the desk.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room desk & TV

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room chair

Unfortunately the room didn’t have airport views. While the other side of the hotel has direct views of the airport, this side just looked at… well, nothing.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room view

Back towards the bathroom was the minibar, and on top of that was the teapot.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room minibar

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room tea machine

The bathroom was large and featured a sink, high tech-toilet, and a pretty nice shower setup.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room bathroom

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room bathroom

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room bathroom

The “shower area” had both a walk-in shower and a bathtub.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room bathroom

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room shower

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room tub

The toiletries were Portico branded, though not the completely unbearable ones Hyatt used to have at US properties.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Club King Room toiletries

About 15 minutes after I got to my room they delivered a Coke Light, a box of chocolates, and some fruit for good measure.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Diamond welcome amenity

By the time I was settled into my room it was midnight, and I worked for a couple of hours. I ended up going to sleep at around 2AM, and then woke up at 6AM the next morning.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club

At 7AM I went to the Grand Club for breakfast. Physically the Grand Club is a beautiful space. It’s huge, bigger than necessary, I would imagine.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club

And the best part was that it had direct views of the tarmac and runways, which was pretty awesome.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club view

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club view

The breakfast spread was underwhelming, at least for an Asian Hyatt property. I don’t know what it is about this hotel, but based on my recollection from my previous stay, the evening spread wasn’t good either.

There was cheese, salad, hard boiled eggs, pastries, cereal, fruit, muesli, yogurt, etc.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club breakfast spread

Then there was a coffee machine and a fridge with all kinds of soft drinks and juice.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club breakfast spread

Then there was a small menu with three hot options, which were the only hot options on offer.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Grand Club breakfast menu

Service in the lounge was reasonably attentive, though not especially friendly. Then again, I’m not necessarily the best judge of service before I’ve had five cups of coffee. 😉

In terms of the hotel’s other facilities, there’s a large spa with a fitness center and pool.

The fitness center was large with good equipment, and was open 24 hours per day.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport gym

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport gym

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport gym

There was also a lap pool, open daily from 6AM till 10PM.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport pool

Then there was a hot tub, which is the type you’d expect to see as a prize on The Price Is Right.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport hot tub

Across from the hot tub were some daybeds, which were a bit quirky for an indoor pool, in my opinion.

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Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport pool area

I spent a total of about ten hours at the hotel, so that’s as far as I got. At 10AM I took the shuttle back to the airport, ready for some more Etihad excitement.

Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport Bottom Line

The new west wing of the Grand Hyatt is a huge improvement over the old facility. The rooms are now actually gorgeous, as opposed to just being acceptable, as was the case before the rebrand.

As was the case before, though, the Grand Club food spread was lackluster, and there’s nothing to do around the hotel. Of course I didn’t care there wasn’t anything around the hotel since I was only there for 10 hours, but I’d generally shy away from this place with a layover much longer than that, since you’ll be stuck at the hotel.

Have you stayed at the new Grand Hyatt Incheon Airport? What was your experience like?

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Comments

  1. Thansk again for this very useful report!

    I am staying at GH Incheon on my return from Hanoi. Flight arrives at 8:35 PM (on a Sunday), Asiana F departure is 2:50PM the next day. Given what I heard about traffic to the airport, it seemed like I would have to leave before noon if I was staying at the PH Seoul, so I didn’t think the schlep was worth it. Is INC worth exploring? (I assume I’ll hear about Asiana F lounge later in the report.)

    It’s a free night cert, so I could stay at the PH if it was worth it for a little more than 12 hours, but I wonder.

  2. What’s Hyatts official policy regarding elite benefits on airline booked rooms?

    SPG officially doesn’t give any benefits (room upgrades lounge access or breakfast) which I find somewhat offensive as often in those cases of irops that’s when you need the most help etc to make a bad situation more tolerable, but that’s just my humble opinion.

  3. @ Beachfan — I’d definitely do the Grand Hyatt Incheon in that case. Haven’t actually been into the city of Incheon, so not 100% sure as to whether it’s worth exploring or not.

  4. @ avi — Hmmm, have always received them even when the airline pays for the stay. Not sure if that’s the official policy or not, but that has been my experience.

  5. Thanks Lucky!

    I was actually referring to the airport. I’ll have access to the Asiana F lounge, but was wondering whether there was more to the airport (outside the lounge) than the normal duty free stuff.

  6. @ beachfan — Whoops. It’s certainly a nice airport, though not really worth spending more time at than you have to, in my opinion.

  7. @Beachfan: If you have any Hyatt Points or some UR to spare, it is better to use for your up coming stay rather than using a Free Night cert for a Cat 2 hotel. My 2 cents.

    @Lucky: Please add, reply capability to the comments section.
    I know, I know that you want to run this blog democratically but still 😉 !!!

  8. @beachfan and anyone else coming to Korea…
    I work near Seoul and can tell you that in there are some reasonable places nearby. The issue with that airport is that it’s on an island, so even going to the city of Incheon is 20 mins by taxi. If you go there, I would suggest the “Chinatown” area. It’s by the coast with several good restaurants and a small island amusement park if you’re there during the day. Personally, I would go to Songdo, which is a small city on the opposite side of the Incheon Bridge. Ask the hotel to have a taxi take you to the Central Park area and there is a nice collection of Korean restaurants, Saunas, bars, etc…Everything there is quite new and since it’s an “international city” (by Korean standards), you can also find some western style food and bars as well. If you have any further questions or want specifics, just let me know.

  9. Except for the view (or lack thereof) I think this looks like a gorgeous airport hotel. I love the finishing of the lobby, there’s something vaguely Gehryesque about it.

  10. @ Alvin — They’re pretty standard, and I’d say June Jacobs is decent enough for a mid-range property.

  11. That desk in your room did not look very good, with it being supported by one central pillar, as opposed to four legs. Looks as though the pillar would get in the way of where you’d want your legs to be.

  12. The GH Incheon seemed to do a better job of honoring your Diamond status on an “airline” rate due to the cancellation. I had a similar incident with LH in Frankfurt and we were put up at the Sheraton where they didn’t recognize my Platinum status since we were on a prepaid rate by LH. I found this rather disturbing and petty of the hotel considering the only Platinum benefit I was interested in was Internet access. Eventually they offered me Internet access as a “one-time” exception.

  13. @ Lucky — love that they actually have the new Lightning connector for iDevices. Every time I see a dock/clock with an old Apple Dock connector, I mentally imagine hotel owners cursing Apple for changing the connectors 😛

  14. Those are actually not day beds, so not unusual at all. You wouldn’t understand, which is typical for European bloggers.

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