Review: Grand Hyatt Hong Kong

Introduction
British Airways Galleries First Class Lounge Chicago Airport
Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER Chicago To Hong Kong
Grand Hyatt Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class A330 Hong Kong To Jakarta
Transiting Jakarta Airport
Japan Airlines First Class 777-300ER Jakarta To Tokyo Narita
Japan Airlines First Class Lounge Tokyo Narita Airport
Japan Airlines First Class 777-300ER Tokyo Narita To New York JFK


Hong Kong is my favorite city in the world, and over the years I’ve visited it dozens of times. There’s something about the vibe of the city that energizes me, unlike anywhere else I’ve traveled to.

In Hong Kong I tend to have a few hotels I go back to every time. Over the years I’ve reviewed quite a few, including the following:

Ironically enough I’ve actually not really checked out the Hyatt and Starwood options thoroughly, despite those being my two primary hotel loyalty programs.

This time around I decided to stay at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong, which is objectively the best Hyatt property in Hong Kong. While Grand Hyatts are of varying quality, this is considered to be one of the flagship international Grand Hyatt properties, and the prices reflect that — rates are consistently ~$400+ per night.

The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is a Category 6 Gold Passport property, making a free night redemption 25,000 points per night.

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I didn’t want to spend $400+ for the night and also didn’t want to redeem 25,000 points, but fortunately the hotel had Points + Cash availability. That made the cost of my one night stay 12,500 Gold Passport points plus $150.

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Category 6 Points + Cash redemptions are among my favorite values, especially in relation to the cost of an outright points stay. Keep in mind that Points + Cash bookings qualify for stay credits and Diamond Suite Upgrade Awards. While I didn’t redeem a suite upgrade in this case, I did like getting a stay credit and having it qualify towards Hyatt’s first quarter promotion.

Anyway, I apologize in advance that this review won’t be that detailed, since I literally got to the hotel at night, ended up going out pretty late, slept for four hours, had a busy morning, and then rushed to the airport. So I didn’t have a chance to check out the pool, gym, etc.

The Grand Hyatt is located on Hong Kong Island (as opposed to the Hyatt Regency in Kowloon, which is across Victoria Harbor), right along the waterfront.

As I entered the lobby I immediately could see why this would be considered one of Grand Hyatt’s flagship international properties, given that the lobby was… grand!

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong lobby

It was one of the most gorgeous and elegant Hyatt lobbies I’ve seen.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong lobby

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong lobby

The check-in process was efficient, and within minutes I was given keys to my Grand Harbour King Room. I was also given a sheet explaining the features of the Grand Club, which I had access to thanks to my Diamond status.

I took the elevator up to the 25th floor, where my room was located.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong hallway

I was assigned room 2513, which was located down the hallway and on the right.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong room entrance

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong floorplan

The room itself was a great size for a “standard” hotel room in Hong Kong. And while the public facilities feel very in line with what you’d expect from the Grand Hyatt brand, the rooms feel very Park Hyatt-like.

Once I entered the room, the bathroom was located to the right and luggage storage and a closet were located to the left.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room entrance

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room entrance

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room suitcase storage

The room featured a king size bed which faced a flat screen TV.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room

The bed was on the firm side, though still comfortable, in my opinion.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room bed

The room was separated from the bathroom by a glass shield, though fortunately there were privacy curtains that could be lowered. That’s the best of both worlds, as far as I’m concerned. It makes the room feel bigger, though at the same time nothing is worse than a room with a glass shield and no privacy curtains.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room TV

In the back right corner of the room by the window was a chair with ottoman.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room chair & ottoman

Then in the back left corner of the room was a dining table with two chairs. The dining table seemed to be there in place of a desk, which I sort of didn’t mind. It’s not often you otherwise see a legitimate dining table in a standard room.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room table

The room boasted amazing views of Hong Kong Island and Kowloon. The Hong Kong skyline never gets old for me.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room view

While I ultimately prefer the views of Hong Kong Island from Kowloon over the views of Kowloon from Hong Kong Island, this was still pretty awesome.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room view

Then to the left of the TV was a Nespresso machine and the minibar.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room Nespresso machine

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room minibar

The bathroom was well appointed as well, with a sink in the center.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room bathroom

Then to the left was a bathtub, close to the bed.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room bathtub

And to the right was a walk-in shower with both a ceiling-mounted showerhead as well as a handheld one.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room shower

Then there was a toilet with a separate door (maybe it’s just me, but I do really appreciate that).

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room toilet

At this point I was loving the room, and was saying “goodness, this might as well be a Park Hyatt.”

And then I saw the toiletries. They were June Jacobs branded.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Harbour King Room June Jacobs toiletries

Now I realize that’s pretty “brand standard” for some Grand Hyatts, which is largely the case because Grand Hyatt lacks an identity, and has properties ranging from $80 per night airport hotels to $400+ per night city hotels.

But offering June Jacobs toiletries in a hotel of this caliber/price point is roughly the equivalent of serving Duc de Paris champagne in first class… and surely no airline would ever do that! You’d think they could at least offer a decent line of toiletries.

As far as the club lounge goes, it’s located on the 30th and 31st floor. The main lounge reception is located on the 30th floor, and then you can take the rather grand-looking staircase up to the 31st floor, where most of the seating is located.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club

The lounge is gorgeous and has panoramic views of the harbor and Hong Kong Island. After checking in and catching up on a few emails I figured I’d take a quick look at the lounge, so walked up there at around 11PM. I was sad I had missed the evening spread, since I have heard this is one of the best Hyatt club lounges out there.

The first thing I noticed is that while they didn’t have food anywhere, they did have champagne available, so I grabbed a glass. And then I noticed a few friends seated in the lounge, by chance. So we sat down and talked for a bit (and drank a couple of bottles of champagne, of course).

And then this weird Indonesian guy came up to us. He said he was very “lonely,” so he asked if he could take a picture with us. Sure… I guess? After he took it I asked out of curiosity what he was doing with it, and he said “I am in Hong Kong alone, I make my ex-wife very jealous with this. She famous actress.”

He actually turned out to be quite amusing, though I’m still confused about what happened there. Or why he was in Hong Kong. Or how he’d make his ex-wife jealous by being with a bunch of aviation geeks on Valentine’s Day. I started to think about it less a few glasses of champagne in. And then he started smoking in the lounge, even though it’s non-smoking. And then I left.

In the morning I quickly checked out the breakfast buffet, which was impressive for a club lounge. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club breakfast spread

In addition to the buffet there was a small menu of Chinese options.

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Grand Hyatt Hong Kong Grand Club breakfast menu

It’s worth noting that the club lounge seems to now be closed for the next 10 months, and has been relocated to the 5th floor, at least per the Grand Hyatt’s website:

*From 23 February 2015, Grand Club lounge will be closed for renovation for approximately 10 months. During the period, the lounge will be relocated to 5th floor. The business lounge will be managed by the Grand Club team with the same offerings where complimentary breakfast, evening cocktails will be served. The one-hour complimentary use of a meeting room, subject to availability, will be moved to the Business Centre meeting room.

After breakfast and showering I was off, sad that I didn’t get to enjoy more of the hotel.

The last highlight of my stay was at check-out. The guy checking out next to me just threw the biggest temper tantrum because apparently he phoned down to have his bag picked up, and no one showed up within five minutes. He then threw his sunglasses on the counter to express his disappointed (fortunately his Louis Vuittons stayed on), and insisted he wouldn’t be paying for his stay.

His hands then flailed up as he said “I had to carry my bag down on my own.” He pointed at his bag… which was a carry-on.

Alrighty then!

Grand Hyatt Hong Kong bottom line

Ultimately this was just a really quick stay, though based on what I saw I was impressed by the Grand Hyatt. The public facilities really capture what you’d expect from a “Grand” Hyatt, while the rooms are near Park Hyatt quality, minus the toiletries.

The club lounge breakfast spread was great, and based on what I’ve heard the evening spread is even more impressive, so I’m sad I missed it.

There’s no denying this property is a step above the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui. The rooms are marginally nicer while the club lounge is significantly better in terms of the offerings. The one advantage of the Hyatt Regency Hong Kong Tsim Sha Tsui is that you get a complimentary smartphone for the duration of your stay, so you don’t need data locally.

The other major consideration is that this property is on Hong Kong Island while the other property is in Kowloon. So I’ll copy what I wrote about Hong Kong Island vs. Kowloon in my last trip report below.

But all things considered the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is at the top of my list of properties to return to in Hong Kong.

Should you stay on Hong Kong Island or in Kowloon?

One question I’m often asked is whether I prefer staying on Hong Kong Island or in Kowloon. For those of you not familiar with Hong Kong geography, Hong Kong Island and Kowloon are separated by Victoria Harbour, so it’s a quick 10 minute ferry or subway ride to get between the two.

The Hyatt Regency is in Kowloon, while the Grand Hyatt is on Hong Kong Island.

Which location do I prefer? To be honest, I don’t really have a strong opinion one way or another. There are pros and cons to each.

Pros to Hong Kong Island:

  • It’s much cleaner, and there’s more high end shopping
  • It’s closer to Stanley Market and Victoria Peak
  • A lot of Hong Kong’s top restaurants are on the Island

Pros to Kowloon:

  • It has a much more “local” feel, as it’s where most locals live (while Central/Hong Kong Island would be more the equivalent of the financial district)
  • It has views of Hong Kong Island, which really are the best views there are
  • It’s closer to the Ladies Market and airport
  • It’s generally more pedestrian friendly — while Hong Kong Island is pretty centralized, it’s surprisingly pedestrian unfriendly

So there really are pros and cons to both, and since it’s just 10 minutes to get between the two, I don’t really have a preference as to which “side” I stay on.

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Comments

  1. I stayed at the GHHK last April, while itt was being renovated. I did not like the hotel, my room did not have the Park Hyatt feeling you referred to. Plus it is a bit of a trek to go to Wanchai MTR or even to find a Seven 11 (you have to go through several foot bridges). Meanwhile I really enjoyed the Hyatt Regency in TST, fairly new room and nice amenities, right in the main shopping district.

  2. Wow, that was a huge case of DYKWIA from that guy checking out…

    At least you didn’t run into him again on your flight out!

  3. Nice report. It is usually on small details such as the cheap toiletries that Hyatt and Starwood miss the opportunity to really shine when compared to other luxury Asian chains. Do you see Hyatt opening or converting one of its current properties into a Park Hyatt property in Hong Kong?

  4. Great report Ben and I can express the same feelings as you about Hong Kong. It is indeed one of my favorite destinations and can’t wait to return. I have no preference in which part of hong kong as far as hotels. I also enjoy the Kowloon side for the local feel. On my last visit I stayed in Hong Kong island and it was lovely. This hyatt seems to be a great property – thanks for sharing.

  5. @Lucky — I’m a huge fan of HK as well, so I just wanted to add a “pro” to your list of HK Island pros: nightlife. When I’m in HK I’m there for work and traveling alone, so I don’t partake, but if nightlife is important to you then you would be better off on the Island as this is where most decent (translation: not sleazy) bars and clubs are. You can obviously find sleaze and niceness on both sides, but HK Island has the higher concentration of cool nightlife.

    That said, I, too, don’t think there’s a clear winner. I always stay on the Island, because it’s where I have to be for work and commuting would be insane, but if I were there for purely leisure then it’s a toss-up.

  6. Ah… our family stayed there last month and this all brings back the memory. Our grand club room was one of rooms that haven’t been remodeled yet so it looked little old but still the grand club lounge was most impressive.

  7. Years ago I sat in on a conference with the CEO of Starwood
    And he shared that they would be buying cheaper toiletries for all their brands
    It seems that a number of the chains have done so
    They are giveaways and the chains downgrade to save money
    Sad to see as it cheapens their luxury appeal

    My stay at the Grand Hyatt.consisted of a very tired jr suite on revenue with a Diamond suite upgrade that was ugly and odd/very dated/tired/old
    I stayed in airport hotels that are far nicer
    When I asked to check out a few days earlier they upgraded me to a private section of the hotel that had true wow factor so I stayed.it came with private butler service

    Though the lobby is nice and the presentations gorgeous I found the food shockingly bad in the restaurants and the club
    Presentation 5 star execution and taste major fail IMO
    The staff are hard working but they dont even get half way to the quality of the Grand Hyatt Tokyo in food taste and quality but they sure know how to magically present everything with a ton of glitz and theatrics
    I enjoyed the Conrad better not as glitzy but better in room amenities and though less variety the food seemed to be far better prepared
    I guess if the Grand Hyatt has no tired old room I might go back

  8. Hey Lucky, what champagne r they serving, n if the champagne is also avail for breakfast?

    (If they also hv it during breakfast.. its all day alcoholic lounge.. which is v good!)

    Aside.. can u recall which club lounges serves alcohol all day u have been to.. n also the club lounges that actually hv champagne? I would think both lists will be v short.

  9. Maybe the higher category rooms have different toiletries?

    Was at the intercontinental in Tokyo and got moved between the base room and a higher category one… The toiletries in the higher one were different

  10. thanks for the review. HK has some great hotel choices. last few times i’ve been i’ve developed an affinity for Langham Place. i like the location in mong kok as it’s right above the MTR station and mall but the surrounding neighborhood is still very local and non-touristy. as for the hotel itself, i’ve been really happy with the modernity and quality of the rooms but i haven’t explored much else of the property.

    would def recommend first time visitors to HK stay on HK island proper. kowloon is nice for the view and some eating/drinking in TST but going back and forth to central can get tiring.

  11. @ flyingfish — I didn’t see champagne in the morning. I believe they offer Ruinart in the evenings.

  12. @ Santastico — I don’t think any of the existing properties fit the Park Hyatt profile. They’re too big and not “boutique” enough. It would have to be a new property altogether.

  13. Lucky, you are being too nice when review Asian hotels and airlines. You need to use Asian standard to judge. For example, if flight attendant didn’t kneel down when serve you, then that’s one point lose. If you ask something, hotel didn’t send to your room within 5 minutes, that’s a point lose. After handing you immigration form, if flight attendant didn’t ask you if you need a pen, that’s a point lose. (Unless there are pens in amentity kit. In fact, hotel even need to pay attention to customer’s culture background. Welcoming gift can never be a clock or things that looks like clock. Welcoming fruits shouldn’t have pears but need to have oranges. That’s what make the luxury hotels market so competitive.

  14. @ Danray — The Airport Express goes to Hong Kong Island and then there’s a shuttle that runs to the hotel.

  15. Grand hyatt hong kong looks and feels like a mini mall, gigantic and so impersonal. The horrific June jacobs at grand hyatts is unfortunately common across asia hyatts, and most times suite rooms have no options otherwise. Last time i was at gh hk, i had to check out after one day because of the horrible construction noise that went on during the daytime…

  16. Great trip report. However this hotel does repersent what majority of the Hong Kong hotels, too overpriced. I always stayed at Shang-Ri-La or Marco Polo, since they are regularly priced and “liveable”

  17. i returned to the grand hyatt after 5 years just this month for art basel hong kong and was also shocked by the nasty june jacobs toiletries. fwiw they used to supply very generously sized 200ml bottles of aesop back in 2010, at least in the club rooms. in other news, the florist in the lobby has to be one of the prettiest (or most gorgeous, in lucky parlance) hotel florists ever.

  18. Lucky, did you happen to notice what they were serving. When I was there in Feb, I was first served a few glasses of Chandon (not Moet, California). Then about halfway through service, I noticed the tell tale bottle of Ruinart coming my way. I thought the waitstaff made a mistake. But alas, more and more bottle came out. It was amazing and unbelievable that they would pour $60 stuff rather than $15 stuff. What?!?

  19. @ Heather — My understanding is that they offer Ruinart during the event reception, and then later at night they have Chandon.

  20. @ Lucky-That’s awesome! When I first arrived near the start of cocktails, Chandon’t it was, but when more folks arrived it was Ruinart. I suppose that night they were saving the good stuff for more people. I probably would have polished it all off before 6 hehe.

  21. How easy is it to access this hotel from the MTR? Family said that they would prefer the Hyatt Regency Tsim Tsa Tsui over the Grand Hyatt since it’s a lot closer to an MTR station, want to see if I can add this hotel to my list of “hotels I can book if I visit again with the family.”

  22. Hi Ben

    1. Can you take breakfast down at the restaurant at the GH hong kong?

    2. Is there local restaurants and shops around the hotel? Stayed at the le meridien last time and it was boring around there.

  23. @ danny — Not as part of the Diamond benefit, as far as I know. And yes, lots of restaurants nearby. This hotel is much more centrally located than Le Meridien.

  24. @lucky & danny: In March, I was able to take my breakfast in the restaurant. It was amazing! One fun fact: I was charged (an insane amount) for ordering soda water (seltzer). They make fresh to order pressed juices there and those are free, but carbonated water is paid.

  25. Cash and points vs all points?

    Why would you value C&P as a better options?

    How I see it C&P of 12,500 + $150, is equal to $275 in chase UR points if we are doing transfer, which I think most does.

    Where all points of 25,000 would equal to $250 in chase UR points.

    So if not using a DSU, would a all point stay be worth more???

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