Review: Grand Hyatt Washington DC

After returning from my most recent trip to Beijing (where I stayed at the Park Hyatt), I spent a couple of nights in Washington DC. This wasn’t my plan initially, but that’s just how my schedule ended up working out.

I booked pretty last minute, and for whatever reason virtually everything in the city was sold out. I guess I really lucked out, because the Grand Hyatt Washington had rooms available for 15,000 points per night (it’s a Category 4 Gold Passport property). Paid rates were $500+ per night, so it was quite a good use of points, given the lack of alternatives.

The deal was made even better by the fact that I would also earn 20% of those points back, thanks to the promotion for 20% off redemptions. That lowered my per night cost to 12,000 points — not bad!

I was curious to try out the Grand Hyatt, since I love the Park Hyatt Washington. Love, love, love it.

I only arrived shortly after midnight, and the Uber ride from the airport to the Grand Hyatt took less than 10 minutes.

The Grand Hyatt has a large, light-filled atrium. It felt a bit like an Embassy Suites, though everything was in good shape, from the furniture to the paint.

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Grand Hyatt Washington DC atrium

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Grand Hyatt Washington DC lobby

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Grand Hyatt Washington DC atrium

The check-in experience was extremely efficient, perhaps too much so. I was checked in within half a minute, with no mention of what kind of room I had been assigned, if I wanted late check-out, etc.

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Grand Hyatt Washington DC reception desk

My room was located on the 12th floor, which is also the floor the Grand Club is on. Once out the elevator I turned left, and them my room was on the right.

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Grand Hyatt Washington hallway

I was assigned room 1280, a Grand Club King room.

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Grand Hyatt Washington room entrance

The room was on the small side but nice. It was a pretty “brand standard” renovated Grand Hyatt guest room. It featured a comfortable bed against a lit-up backboard.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club King room

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club King room

Across from the bed was a flat screen TV.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club King room TV

Then in the back corner of the room was an oval desk.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club King room desk

And across from it was a chair with a side table.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club King room chair

The window in the room was fairly small, and boasted views of nothing I could identify.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club King room view

Back near the entrance was a coffee machine with Starbucks packets.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club King room coffee machine

The bathroom was simple but functional, with a sink, toilet, and shower/tub combo.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club King room bathroom

The water pressure was okay, and the toiletries were June Jacobs branded.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club King room tub

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club King room toiletries

I thought it was quite a nice room, though just a bit on the small side. The wifi speed was excellent, while for whatever reason I found the air conditioning to be a bit nutty. I just couldn’t seem to get it to the right temperature. At night I turned it as cool as it would go, but I was still sweating.

As I mentioned above, the Grand Club is also on the 12th floor, and was located on the opposite side of the elevators as my room. Here are the Grand Club hours:

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The club itself was nicely designed, though quite small. There was a nice area near the entrance which sort of resembled a living room.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club

Then there was another couch on the other side of the wall.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club

And then there were several tables on the far end of the lounge.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club

Then there was one long table as well as a table top with chairs facing a window.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club

The Grand Club breakfast spread was quite good. There was an espresso machine in addition to the “jugs” of coffee.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club breakfast spread

The spread consisted of cereal, yogurt, fruit, salmon, cold cuts, muffins, croissants, etc. I’d say it was a slightly above average US Grand Club spread.

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club breakfast spread

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club breakfast spread

Then during the day there were three kinds of freshly baked cookies, whole fruit, and five “towers” with snacks in them (dried bananas, M&Ms, nuts, etc.).

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club daytime snacks

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club daytime snacks

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club daytime snacks

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club daytime snacks

The evening spread wasn’t huge, though the quality was good. There were fresh veggies with several types of dip, a few types of cheese, sliced turkey wraps, and a hot dish (I believe they were cheese “balls,” or whatever they’re called).

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club evening spread

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Grand Hyatt Washington Grand Club evening spread

Service in the lounge was highly variable. I thought the service was excellent in the evenings, with a very attentive lady staffing the lounge, while in the morning the attendant was quite rude.

I also used the gym during my stay. It’s actually not immediately inside the hotel, but rather when you exit the elevators you turn left, and it’s by the entrance to the office space which is housed in the same building as the hotel. The one downside to having access to a “real” health club is that it’s not open 24/7. Instead it’s open from 5:30AM until 10PM on weekdays, 7AM until 9PM on Saturdays, and 8AM until 6PM on Sundays.

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Grand Hyatt Washington gym

The gym had a good variety of equipment, though it felt a bit like a dungeon, since there was no natural light. There were separate rooms for cardio and weights, and there was also a (small) pool.

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Grand Hyatt Washington gym

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Grand Hyatt Washington pool

Grand Hyatt Washington DC bottom line

The Grand Hyatt Washington was exactly what I expected. It was a “brand standard” Grand Hyatt, and an excellent value given how much a night would have cost in cash, and how everything else was sold out.

When returning to Washington DC I’d definitely prefer to return to the Park Hyatt, which is incredible, but if the price is right I’d stay at the Grand Hyatt again.

Have you stayed at the Grand Hyatt Washington? What’s your preferred DC-area hotel?

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Comments

  1. Just a guess but I think you wanted the Park Hyatt link at the end to go to the Washington DC Park Hyatt review and not the Beijing Park Hyatt review? I could be wrong, it just seems to fit the context better.

  2. Re your view, that’s the Secret Service headquarters on the left, and the glossy building on the right is actually a church. Across the street from the Grand Hyatt is the new CityCenterDC complex, with great restaurants and shopping. Check it out on your next visit. The Marriott Marquis is the newest hotel in DC, has one of the nicest club lounges I’ve ever seen, and is just a few blocks from the Grand Hyatt. It has a beautiful outdoor terrace on the 14th floor. Try it on your next visit. My favorite hotel in DC is also the Park Hyatt, but the Hay Adams is pretty impressive, as is the Mandarin.

  3. I had a truly terrible experience at the Grand Hyatt Washington back in February. At least it was terrible for Hyatt- it represented what I’d expect from a Motel 6. Check-in took 20 minutes. They couldn’t deal with the fact that the second night was booked under my wife’s name, and ended up making us come back to the front desk the next day to check out/in (same room). The phone in the room was unplugged, and required hours to charge even once I figured this out. The climate control was terribly finicky- too hot or too cold, nothing in between.

    The atrium was undergoing renovation at the time, but none of the issues I had were related to that at all. If the location wasn’t so darn convenient, I’d certainly never go back there. As is, I might be willing to give them another chance.

  4. Ben, I think I saw my office building in that view out of your window! Again, thanks for a very throrough review!
    But were there really not a soul in the Club? or do you ask the people..”excuse me.. can you get out of my shot? I am working here!!” 🙂

  5. You should try the IC Willard on a Virtuoso rate (includes upgrade, breakfast at the excellent restaurant, and $100 F&B credit). It is our favorite hotel in the world, and you can get some great deals on weekends.

  6. @ Juno — Hahah, was packed during the services, but visited the lounge in the middle of the day when it was empty to take pictures. The tough life of a travel blogger. 😉

  7. I know it’s sacrilege to book a hotel not part of one of the major chains, but my favorite hotel in DC is The Jefferson. It may even be my favorite hotel in the US. They are part of Amex FHR.

  8. Another big endorsement for the Jefferson! It’s an exquisitely beautiful hotel with one of the most gorgeous bars in the country.

    A more economical option is Kimpton’s Madera Hotel on beautiful New Hampshire Avenue in DuPont Circle. It’s an intimate place with a popular (though mediocre) restaurant. The north facing rooms on the tenth floor have awesome views over Georgetown and the National Cathedral. There’s no gym but the front desk use to (don’t know if they still do) hand out day passes to the lavish (and super cruisy) Sports Club, which is just a couple of blocks away.

    Of course, I am anxiously awaiting the new Trump hotel that is being developed in the historic Old Post Office. I despise the man but the company does know how to successfully manage a hotel.

  9. Likely, many properties were unavailable last week thanks to a week long event called Police Week whereby thousands of law enforcement officers descend upon DC for training, conferences, networking, and partying.

  10. You literally made it days after the last lobby renovation was completed. I live a few blocks away and the Grand Hyatt is solid if a bit nondescript. As Robert mentioned, the Marriott Marquis is a few blocks away and is stunning. A Conrad will be going up between the Grand Hyatt and the Marquis, with ground breaking slated for the fall.

  11. This is by far the worst hotel I have ever had the misfortune to book. Like another commenter, I too stayed in February. Check in and service was abyssmal. Took forever to check in, and the hotel staff was woefully undertrained, fumbling about trying to use the reservation system. The hotel hallways here smell distinctly like a dead vagrant has been left lifeless in the hallways for weeks. The room was dark, musty, and only nominally clean. I will NEVER, EVER go back. Terrible hotel. Agree that the only Hyatt worth staying at iin DC is the Park Hyatt. The mere fact that these two could ever be mentioned in the same sentence is an insult to the Park Hyatt, which is a fantastic property.

  12. @Robert Thanks for the info, interesting how low key actually the building is, just as I would never think the other one is a church!. Useful info on the Marriott, I expect to go to DC for the first time net month and always love the newest hotels.

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