Review: Andaz Shanghai Xintiandi

I spent this past weekend in Shanghai, thanks to a ~$715 fare on American between Los Angeles and Shanghai. There was even upgrade space, so I was able to confirm an upgrade to business class at the time of booking, which made this a deal I couldn’t turn down. Given that American AAdvantage is going revenue based in the second half of the year, this is the last chance to earn a huge number of miles for these types of trips.

I’ve already reviewed the Park Hyatt Shanghai (which is a great hotel), so figured I’d mix it up this time and stay at the Andaz Shanghai Xintiandi. I booked this three night stay in late February using Points + Cash. This is a Category 4 Hyatt property, meaning a free night redemption costs 15,000 points per night, and a Points + Cash stay (which is capacity controlled) costs 7,500 points plus $100 per night.

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I booked a Points + Cash stay, since it also meant I could redeem an expiring Hyatt Diamond Suite Upgrade, which confirmed us into an Andaz Suite.

Our friend (and occasional OMAAT contributor) Matt decided to join Ford and me last minute, so he booked a paid stay, as the rate was only ~$190 per night (it was $300+ at the time I booked). I would have switched my rate, except I would have lost the Diamond Suite Upgrade at that point, since it had expired. Therefore I figured it was worth keeping my Points + Cash rate to preserve the suite upgrade.

We landed in Shanghai on American at around 4PM, and took the Maglev into the city (it’s not actually cheaper or faster, but it’s a really cool experience). Then we took a taxi from the station to the hotel, which took about 30 minutes, given that it was the middle of rush hour on a Friday afternoon.

The Andaz is located in the Xintiandi area of Shanghai, which is about a 10-15 minute drive from The Bund. The hotel is located in one of two similar looking buildings — the other building is The Langham Hotel.

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Andaz Shanghai exterior

The lobby of the Andaz is gorgeous. The lobby lounge is located just past the entrance, which is a beautiful space in which to relax during the day.

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Andaz Shanghai lobby

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Andaz Shanghai lobby lounge

Then the check-in area is located to the right, which is partitioned off from the rest of the lobby.

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Andaz Shanghai lobby

Thanks to the Andaz brand concept, there’s not a formal check-in desk, but rather there are “hosts” who roam around. This is intended to create more of a personalized and informal interaction. That being said, the check-in area was consistently busy, so I’m not sure that was executed all that well.

We were quickly helped by a friendly host, who had us checked in within minutes. I booked two rooms under my Diamond account, and they honored Diamond benefits for both of them (which they didn’t have to), including complimentary breakfast. Matt was even upgraded to an Andaz Large King.

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Andaz Shanghai reception desk

As is the norm at Andaz hotels, there was a huge fridge across from reception with water and soft drinks, which you can help yourself to at anytime (this is in addition to the complimentary soft drinks and snacks in the rooms). I always find that to be such an awesome feature, given how annoying it can otherwise be to secure bottled water or other drinks.

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Andaz Shanghai lobby soft drinks

On top of that there was a machine with complimentary coffee, available 24/7. This is a feature I love, as someone who keeps a really weird time schedule and is also addicted to caffeine. This is the first hotel I ever recall staying at which offers complimentary coffee 24/7… that’s basically heaven for me!

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Andaz Shanghai lobby coffee machine

In addition to that, they had complimentary croissants, muffins, and pastries available in the morning. That’s a lovely touch as well.

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Andaz Shanghai lobby breakfast pastries

The host also explained that there was complimentary wine available in the lobby lounge from 6-8PM, which I’ll talk more about later.

With keys in hand we headed to the elevators, which were located down the hall and to the right.

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Andaz Shanghai lobby

In order to enter a floor number in the elevator you had to scan your room key.

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Andaz Shanghai lobby elevators

Our suite was located on the 17th floor, while Matt’s room was located on the 23rd floor.

The hallways were super stylish thanks to the finishes and curves (both on the ceiling and in the hallway as such).

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Andaz Shanghai hallway

Our suite, 1717, was located at the very end of the hall on the right.

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Andaz Shanghai floorplan

The suite featured a long entryway with a sliding door to the bathroom on the left.

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Andaz Shanghai suite entryway

The suite was a good size, though I found the living area to be a bit odd. Usually a suite living room has a couch, but this one just had a desk and then a glass table with two chairs. That worked well for me since I spend 80% of my waking life working or eating, making this a good setup. 😉

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Andaz Shanghai suite living room

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Andaz Shanghai suite living room

Waiting on the desk was a welcome amenity consisting of a bottle of red wine, fruit plate, box of chocolates, and a welcome card.

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Andaz Shanghai Diamond welcome amenity

The bedroom was separated from both the living room and bathroom by a sliding door (the bathroom runs the length of the living room). There was a comfortable king size bed, which was neither too firm nor too soft.

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Andaz Shanghai suite bedroom

There was a wall mounted flat screen TV between the two sliding doors.

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Andaz Shanghai suite bedroom

Then closer to the window was a daybed with several pillows, along with a side table.

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Andaz Shanghai suite bedroom

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Andaz Shanghai suite bedroom seating area

Across from that was the minibar and Nespresso machine. For what it’s worth, only the suites at this hotel have Nespresso machines.

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Andaz Shanghai suite Nespresso coffee machine and minibar

Next to the Nespresso machine was an iPad, which had some of the controls for the lighting, blinds, etc. I found that to be a bit odd, given that in some cases the only way to control room functions was through the iPad, and that wasn’t otherwise made all that clear. I was looking around the room for light switches for 15 minutes before it occurred to me that the iPad might have the controls.

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Andaz Shanghai suite Nespresso machine

All the soft drinks in the minibar were complimentary, as is the brand standard for Andaz properties.

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Andaz Shanghai suite minibar

There were also some complimentary snacks, including chips, chocolate bars, and some small candies.

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Andaz Shanghai suite complimentary snacks

The bedroom was oddly shaped, so the hotel used the space creatively. In the back corner of the suite was an exercise bike.

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Andaz Shanghai suite exercise bicycle

The toilet was located in the opposite corner of the room, and was separated completely from the rest of the bathroom (you had to go through the bedroom to get between the toilet and bathroom). The bathroom featured one of those lovely automated Japanese toilets.

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Andaz Shanghai suite toilet

The bathroom itself featured cool backlit double sinks.

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Andaz Shanghai suite bathroom

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Andaz Shanghai suite double sinks

Behind that was the shower area, which featured a lit up tub, as well as a huge walk-in shower.

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Andaz Shanghai suite bathtub

The shower was massive, and featured both a rainforest shower head and handheld shower head.

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Andaz Shanghai suite shower

The toiletries weren’t branded, but were in cool bottles. Sheraton and Grand Hyatt really could learn a thing or two from Andaz when it comes to this. It’s much better to have cool-looking unbranded toiletries than to come up with a crap toiletry line specific to the brand. Maybe my perception was influenced somewhat by the design, but I thought the toiletries were quite decent.

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Andaz Shanghai suite toiletries

Also in the bathroom area was a large walk-in closet.

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Andaz Shanghai suite closet

The room featured views of the surrounding Xintiandi area. While they’re not the iconic views you may get on The Bund, I think the views are perfectly charming, and it’s especially nice how much greenery there is. The area is also a nice contrast between new and old world architecture, and has an East meets West vibe.

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Andaz Shanghai suite view

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Andaz Shanghai suite view

Overall I thought the suite was great, even if the design was quirky. It’s certainly not for everyone, especially for those looking to entertain, given the lack of a living room.

I also stopped by Matt’s room to take some pictures, since he was in an Andaz Large King. The room was also located at the end of the hallway, though he was on the 23rd floor. Upon entering the room there was a long entryway with the bathroom on the right.

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Andaz Shanghai large king room entrance

The room wasn’t huge, though it was very nicely appointed. It featured a king size bed, and then a desk, dining table with a few chairs, and a plush chair in the corner of the room.

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Andaz Shanghai large king room

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Andaz Shanghai large king room chair

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Andaz Shanghai large king room dining table

It basically featured all the same furniture as the suite (minus the daybed and exercise bike), except in a more efficient layout.

The bed in this room also had a cool wall pattern behind it, which we didn’t have in our suite.

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Andaz Shanghai large king room bed

Across from the bed was a flat screen TV, which is also where the minibar was located. There was no coffee machine in this room, unlike the suite, which had a Nespresso machine.

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Andaz Shanghai large king room TV

The bathroom in this room was also well appointed. It featured a single sink, a partitioned off toilet, and then a walk-in shower, which also contained a soaking tub.

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Andaz Shanghai large king room sink

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Andaz Shanghai large king room bathroom

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Andaz Shanghai large king room toilet

In terms of the hotel’s other features, the spa, gym, and pool are located on the basement level. The spa area has a bunch of tables with cool mood lighting.

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Andaz Shanghai spa & gym area

The gym is open 24 hours, and features a good variety of modern equipment.

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Andaz Shanghai gym

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Andaz Shanghai gym

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Andaz Shanghai gym

Then there’s also a really cool lap pool, which is in a glass casing, so you can look into the pool from the side.

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Andaz Shanghai pool

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Andaz Shanghai pool

Thanks to my Diamond status we received complimentary breakfast. Breakfast was served daily from 6:30AM until 10:30AM (11AM on weekends) at Hai Pai Restaurant, which was located just off the lobby. The restaurant was beautiful and intimate, with the buffet being the center point of the restaurant.

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Andaz Shanghai Hai Pai Restaurant

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Andaz Shanghai Hai Pai Restaurant

As a Diamond member you receive complimentary buffet breakfast, and then there are a few items you can order off the menu to supplement it.

One of the tables at the buffet featured fresh fruit, yogurt, juices, and cereal.

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast buffet

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast buffet

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast buffet

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast buffet

Then the main area of the buffet had everything else, including the hot options.

There were all kinds of pastries and breads. Unlike some other hotels in China, everything available was fresh and tasty. I’ve had way too many croissants and pastries at hotels in China which tasted like cardboard, though that wasn’t the case here.

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast buffet

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast buffet

The buffet also had salad, cold cuts, cheese, etc.

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast buffet

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast buffet

Then there was an omelet station, as well as several hot items, including veggies, an egg white frittata, sausage, bacon, etc.

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast buffet

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast buffet

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast buffet

Then there were the following a la carte options to supplement the buffet:

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One morning I ordered the bean curd noodle soup, which was good.

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast — bean curd noodle soup

Ford had an omelet one morning, which was rather large.

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Andaz Shanghai breakfast — made to order omelet

Overall the quality of the breakfast was good, though the variety wasn’t huge. I’d say the service was the most underwhelming aspect of the breakfast. While the staff were generally well intentioned, they’d be hard pressed to be less attentive.

Another standard Andaz offering is the complimentary evening happy hour, which usually just consists of complimentary wine.

In this instance the hotel offers the complimentary happy hour in the lobby lounge, which is a beautiful setting. At other Andaz properties you’re just sort of left to awkwardly consume the wine in the lobby, so I think this setup is great.

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Andaz Shanghai Andaz Lounge

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Andaz Shanghai Andaz Lounge

The white wine was surprisingly good, so we had a couple of glasses one night (the other nights we were out during the happy hour).

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Andaz Shanghai evening happy hour

In addition to the drinks they had nuts, olives, rosemary sticks, etc., which I haven’t otherwise seen at other Andaz properties.

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Andaz Shanghai evening happy hour

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Andaz Shanghai evening happy hour

One day we even had lunch in the Andaz lobby lounge, since it was convenient. They were playing live music as well. I ordered a mushroom burger (random, I know), which was quite good.

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Andaz Shanghai Andaz Lounge lunch — mushroom burger

Meanwhile Ford had a chicken salad and some dumplings, which he enjoyed.

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Andaz Shanghai Andaz Lounge lunch — grilled chicken salad

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Andaz Shanghai Andaz Lounge lunch — dumplings

The hotel is located in the Xintiandi area of Shanghai, which I love. Actually, staying in this area of Shanghai made me love the city more. While The Bund is the most iconic part of Shanghai, I far prefer staying here. Xintiandi features all kinds of cool restaurants, street cafes, etc. There’s a really cool pedestrian zone just a couple of blocks from the hotel, which has some awesome bars and restaurants.

Andaz Shanghai bottom line

Overall I loved the Andaz Shanghai. The hotel has its quirks, no doubt. For example, the layout of the suite was a bit odd, given that it didn’t feature a real living room.

At the same time I loved the overall design and decor of the hotel, and thought this was the most generous Andaz in terms of their complimentary coffee and evening drinks. The Diamond breakfast here was also good, and the staff in the hotel were generally friendly.

Perhaps most of all, though, the location of the hotel is great. We were able to walk out of the hotel and go to all kinds of great restaurants and bars without even having to take a taxi.

I’d give the Andaz Shanghai two thumbs up. I’d definitely like to return, though there are several other hotels in Shanghai I’d probably review before returning.

Do you have a favorite hotel in Shanghai?

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Comments

  1. Lucky, Great review. Your making me want to get to Shanghai and China even more. Picture quality looks particularly good – were they with the iPhone or using a specific camera?

  2. Hey Lucky,

    Great review!

    Something kinda unrelated but I just stayed at the Andaz in West Hollywood and I hated it. Service was below par (they asked what newspaper I wanted to be delivered and it never came), rooms and hallways are way too dark, walls are paper thin, and the list goes on. Don’t understand how this property and the West Hollywood one are in the same brand!

  3. Nice review. Been looking forwards to the Andaz brand quite a bit since I heard about them in 2009/2010 and because I travel to India and China frequently. I originally thought that the Andaz brand was supposed to debut in New Delhi, India (hence the name Andaz which means “unique style or idea” in Hindi & Urdu) but I believe that the construction in China was much more aggressive, as is expected of the big giant. The focus of this brand on the two giants is incredible with plans to create some 15 properties in India and 13 in China by 2020.

    How was the level of privacy (noise from adjacent rooms) and the conference room facilities? These are key requirements of a hotel for many of my business travel customers.

  4. It would be cool, if you could review the “Twelve at Hengshan”.
    The area is also quite nice and “original”…my parents lived nearby for few years. Also french concession….

  5. being born in Shanghai, the Andaz is deficiently my favorite hyatt property in the city. It’s right at the center of so many fooooood and activities, and there is a milk tea stand (one of the current most popular) right across the street from the entrance – don’t miss that 😀

  6. Great review as always. The Andaz Xintiandi is quite an interesting hotel and I agree that the location is excellent. In terms of location, the Andaz blows the Park and Grand Hyatts out of the water, although I definitely prefer the quiet of the Park Hyatt, all things equal – the Andaz can be noisy. I reviewed the Andaz (as well as the Grand Hyatt and Park Hyatt) a few months ago as well: http://goo.gl/ixNbAF

  7. Hi guys,

    I don’t travel much but I’d like to and I wonder if you guys have issues with bed bugs and what precautions you take to avoid them. Thanks.

  8. I guess your friend’s room number is 2326.:) I stayed in the same room last weekend. Also doing AA mileage run to maintain my Exp.

  9. @Mike

    I have had one issue with bed bugs at the Park Hyatt in New York in 2015. Generally, I always check the room before I make myself comfortable. Here are my steps:

    Leave your belongings and items by the door end enter the room.

    Check the closet, drawers and underside of any wooden furniture.

    Check corners of the carpeted room where the walls meet for bugs.

    Remove all bed sheets and duvets. Check for red spots.

    Raise the mattress and look underneath onto the frame/box cart (often you will have to check the underside of the mattress cover as well).

    Finally, check the luggage rack.

    If all checks out, accept the room. Otherwise, call room service, show them the problem, receive a free night and continue your stay (repeat all over on the new room).

    I also avoid usage of those wooden luggage racks if it’s an airport hotel. Instead, I use the granite counter-tops in the bathroom to open my luggage. I lock up the luggage as soon as I am done – never leaving it open.

    I know all of this seems OCD, but considering that I spend close to 250 nights per year at hotels, the chances of bringing back bugs are quite high (even at luxury properties such as the Hyatt). Frankly, I am OK with the 15 min it takes to check a room out if it means a comfortable critterless stay…

  10. Has anyone stayed at the Peace Hotel? Definitely one of the finest hotels I’ve ever stayed at because of its profound historical significance and the elegance.

  11. Actually lucky missed mentioning another section of hai pai restaurant for breakfast, a Chinese food section next door which is also complimentary for diamond members.

    Also Shanghai Andaz offers different kinds of suites, some of those are better and larger than the photos showed here.

  12. Fantastic review as always! I would be quite dissatisfied with the suite, having no proper sitting room but it did look nice, I would also like my suite to be on the highest floor.

  13. Have you tried Intercontinental RuiJin?
    I had a great time there and breakfast was pure joy.
    My 2 cents

  14. I stayed at Shanghai Fairmont peace hotel for several days right after its three year renovation. We were so impressed that after our hk trip we went back for a whole week suite accommodation. However, last year we revisited the place and found out the services were not as good as before except the hotel jazz band remained with the same top quality.

  15. Ruijin intercontinental vip building is beautiful and we paid extra rmb 280 to get the access to the club lounge and the complimentary breakfast. To waive this charge you have to be loyal ambassador member which is by invitation only

  16. Was just there last week. I also did not like the suite configuration and agree with Flyertalk members’ recommendation not to waste a DSU here. I thought there was ample options at breakfast (there is a western buffet in one room and a chinese buffet in a separate room-I did not see the Chinese breakfast buffet in your pictures). I was surprise that the food execution (eg noodle soup) was poor. I missed the happy hour but loved it that they offer pastries in the morning and sandwiches later in the lobby.

    Even in a good location, I did not like the city so location ended up not mattering after all.

    I also stayed at the PH. It was quick stay before a flight so location was not an issue. The suite was amazing (second only to PH Vienna Ambassador suite), pool and food were great.

    I though service was disappointing at both locations, but maybe it’s because I was also in Japan this trip where I find the service (HR Kyoto, Andaz Tokyo) to be exceptional.

  17. @ A — we found service at Andaz West Hollywood to be excellent but the hotel itself is definitely not up to par. Wish they make it more like Andaz Amsterdam.

  18. @ Lucky: Can you please cover Hyatt’s gutting of their BRG program?
    I know y’all are big fans (i.e. apologists) for Hyatt but they’ve just done the ultimate gutting.
    They only accept comparisons from certain 3rd party sites (expedia, booking.com, etc.)
    They require a reservation be made on hyatt.com prior to submitting the BRG
    They require you to book the ‘lowest rate’ on hyatt.com in order to be eligible for the BRG T&C.
    This is usually the non-refundable rate, and if the BRG is rejected, the customer has to wear it.
    Why would anyone risk it?

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