Review: Hyatt Regency Toronto

Late last week I spent a couple of nights in Toronto, which was planned fairly last minute. Hotels were outrageously priced, most going for $500+ per night.

During my previous trip to Toronto I stayed at the Park Hyatt, where I got the hotel’s one renovated room. Otherwise I’ve heard the rooms are past their prime, and not really up to Park Hyatt standards. However, all rooms should be renovated pretty soon.

This time around I decided to try the other Hyatt option in Toronto, the Hyatt Regency.

Why? Because while all other hotels were outrageously priced, the Hyatt Regency was available using a Points + Cash rate. Since this is a Category 4 property, a redemption cost just 6,000 points plus 75USD per night. That’s a much better deal than outright spending 12,000 points, since I’d basically be saving 6,000 points per night for 75USD, plus I’d be earning elite night and stay credits, which I wouldn’t earn for an outright points redemption.

Hyatt-Cash-Points

While the Park Hyatt is located in the more swanky and exclusive Yorkville area, the Hyatt Regency is in the downtown entertainment district, which has more bars, coffeeshops, etc. It’s also near Union Station, so the hotel is within walking distance if you’re taking the UP Express from Toronto Pearson Airport.

The lobby felt pretty sterile, given that it’s shared with an office building and a couple of other businesses, so it didn’t feel especially welcoming.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto lobby

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Hyatt Regency Toronto lobby

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Hyatt Regency Toronto lobby

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Hyatt Regency Toronto lobby

Reception was located to the right of the elevators to the rooms, and there was no wait when I arrived. The guy who checked me in was exceptionally professional, and did a good job balancing “the script” they have to read for Diamond members, with still making it sound sincere and personalized.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto reception

He explained that I had been “upgraded” to a room on a high floor. Furthermore, since the hotel doesn’t have a Regency Club, he said that I’d receive complimentary breakfast in the hotel’s restaurant.

I took the elevator up to the 15th floor, where my room was located. Upon exiting the elevator I turned left, and then left again, where my room was located on the left.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto hallway

I was assigned room 1558.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto room exterior

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Hyatt Regency Toronto floorplan

The room itself was reasonably nice, in a cookie cutter Hyatt Regency kind of way. The room featured a comfortable king size bed, chair with side table, and a desk with an office chair.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto king room

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Hyatt Regency Toronto king room

The TV was wall mounted and across from the bed.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto king room TV

To the left of the TV was a coffee machine as well as two bottles of complimentary water.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto king room coffee machine

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Hyatt Regency Toronto complimentary bottled water

The desk had several conveniently located outlets, which I appreciated (it’s amazing how many hotels fail with such a basic thing).

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Hyatt Regency Toronto king room desk

The room had a nice view of the surrounding downtown area, though due to the shape of the hotel, the view was less than 90 degrees.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto king room view

The room’s bathroom was back near the entrance and on the small side, and featured a sink, toilet, and walk-in shower.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto king room bathroom

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Hyatt Regency Toronto king room bathroom

The shower was extremely poorly designed. For one, the only way to turn on the water was using a handle at the far end of the shower, and you had to be in the shower in order to turn it on. So you’d get drenched with cold water immediately. Furthermore, there was only half a partition between the shower and the rest of the bathroom, so water splashed quite a bit. Lastly, the water pressure and shower head aim weren’t very good.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto king room shower

Toiletries were provided by KenetMD.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto KenetMD toiletries

Overall I thought the room was fine. It was in perfectly good condition and well designed in terms of the location of outlets, etc., but otherwise cookie cutter and boring.

The hotel had an outdoor pool on the 17th floor, which is a pretty unique (and seasonal) feature in Toronto. I didn’t use it, though did take a look.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto pool

The views from up there were pretty good as well.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto pool view

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Hyatt Regency Toronto pool view

The gym was also located on the 17th floor, across from the pool.

Breakfast was served at King Street Social Kitchen from 6:30AM until 11AM on weekdays. The restaurant itself was fairly nice, though there were no views from it.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto breakfast restaurant

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Hyatt Regency Toronto breakfast restaurant

As a Diamond member I was entitled to the full buffet, which was surprisingly good.

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Hyatt Regency Toronto breakfast buffet

There was a variety of fresh fruit…

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Hyatt Regency Toronto breakfast buffet

Granola, berries, and yogurt (in other words, a make your own yogurt parfait station, which is my ideal breakfast), salmon, cold cuts, cheese, etc…

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Hyatt Regency Toronto breakfast buffet

There were several types of cereal…

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Hyatt Regency Toronto breakfast buffet

There was fresh bread, muffins, danishes, scones, etc…

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Hyatt Regency Toronto breakfast buffet

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Hyatt Regency Toronto breakfast buffet

The hot selection was quite good as well, including ridiculously tasty french toast…

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Hyatt Regency Toronto breakfast buffet

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Hyatt Regency Toronto breakfast buffet

There was also an omelet station…

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Hyatt Regency Toronto breakfast buffet

I thought the breakfast spread was one of the more impressive aspects of the hotel, though that was ruined when the host at the restaurant told me I wasn’t allowed to take pictures of the buffet, which was a first for me…

Hyatt Regency Toronto bottom line

Ultimately the Hyatt Regency did the trick for what I was looking for. I had a lot of commitments while I was in Toronto, so was looking for a reasonably priced hotel, making this one of the better options.

However, I found the hotel to be especially not-charming, even by cookie cutter Hyatt Regency standards. That being said, my room was reasonably nice, aside from the shower, which could use a design overhaul.

Service ranged from great to bad — the guy who checked me in was very professional, while the rogue employee in the restaurant trying to tell me not to take a picture of a buffet left a bad taste in my mouth.

I’d probably avoid this hotel in the future if visiting Toronto, assuming there’s a comparable hotel in a similar price range.

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Comments

  1. Ben you should try the Westin Harbourfront next time you come to Toronto. I always get a nice Lakeview corner king or better room as SPG platinum.

  2. I’m completely confused here. In your story last week talking about taking pictures at breakfast, your first line in that story is:

    ‘I’m staying at the Hyatt Regency Toronto at the moment, which is a bit of a dump.’

    I get no indication from this review of the hotel that it is a ‘dump’.

    ???

  3. I stayed first time in this hotel back in 2009. The rooms were already like this. It looks like they are aging just fine. 🙂
    And it’s funny because everytime I went to Toronto the Hyatt had the cheapest prices in the area.

  4. I called Hyatt and was told the Points+Cash redemption do not count towards elite stays/nights. Have I been misinformed?

  5. @ enwiaof — You have been misinformed, Points + Cash stays absolutely do count as elite qualifying nights & stays.

  6. “The shower was extremely poorly designed. For one, the only way to turn on the water was using a handle at the far end of the shower, and you had to be in the shower in order to turn it on. So you’d get drenched with cold water immediately.”

    There’s a spout near floor level. Turn on the water, wait until it heats up, and then redirect the flow from the spout to the showerhead. It’s quite simple.

  7. @lucky, this hotel is cat 3, not 4 hence the 12.000 pts or 6.000 pts + 75 USD redemption rate

    cat 4 is 15.000 pts / 7.500 + 100 USD

  8. Agreed with the other reviewer. You called this place a dump in your other post and then didn’t provide any evidence of such a strong judgment in this post. Strong contradiction. It seems your words were biased in your first post just because they didn’t let you take pictures of the buffet.

  9. Contrary to some complaints here, I am glad there was no further snarky “dump” comments and this wasn’t the HND Japanese hotel saga all over again. Perceived slights shouldn’t cause poison pen reviews, and thankfully this time the review kept things in perspective and didn’t let one thing taint everything else.

    A positive step.

  10. I would stay here over the Park Hyatt.

    The Park Hyatt is located in the middle of town and can be a nightmare to get to in rush hour traffic.

    Plus, the rooms, the pool, and the gym are much nicer, and as nice as Yorkville is, King West has more restaurants and evening attractions.

    This place is definitely not a dump.

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