Introduction: Transatlantic Insanity
Review: Aeroflot Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles To Moscow
Review: Aeroflot Lounge Moscow Airport
Review: Aeroflot Business Class 737 Moscow To Belgrade
Review: Metropol Palace Hotel Belgrade
Review: Belgrade Food Tour
Review: Air Serbia Lounge Belgrade Airport
Review: Air Serbia Business Class A330 Belgrade To New York
Review: Air France Lounge New York JFK
Review: Azerbaijan Airlines Business Class 787 New York To Baku
Review: Hyatt Regency Baku
Review: Baku Airport Lounge
Review: Ukraine International Airlines Business Class 737 Baku To Kiev
Review: Kiev Airport Lounge
Review: Ukraine International Airlines Business Class 767 Kiev To New York
Baku is a fascinating hotel market. The city is growing quickly, and in 2012 a handful of luxury hotels opened in the city, though there hasn’t been too much hotel growth since then. There used to be a Park Hyatt that was attached to the Hyatt Regency, though apparently it’s undergoing a long term renovation, and is now closed. Our tour guide explained that there was a Trump Hotel that was built in Baku, but for whatever reason they never ended up opening it.
So as Hyatt and Starwood loyalists, our best option was the Hyatt Regency Baku. We got a great rate of just ~$100 per night for our two night stay. That was a better value than redeeming 12,000 Gold Passport points per night, in my opinion (I value those points at ~1.5 cents each).
The ride from the airport to the hotel looked like it was only supposed to take about 25 minutes, but we hit horrible rush hour traffic on our way to the hotel, so the drive took closer to an hour.
The Hyatt Regency has a fairly outdated-looking exterior, so I had low expectations based on that.
I was also a bit confused about where our taxi driver dropped us off. It looked like the entrance to the hotel, but when we got out of the car there was a sign saying to use a different entrance. So it was a short walk until we got to the real entrance.
Once inside the lobby I had a completely different impression of the hotel. The lobby was just recently refreshed.
I’m still not sure whether it’s my style or not (the lime green paint is a bit jarring, and not necessarily what you’d associate with the Hyatt Regency brand), but it sure looked better than the pictures I saw of the old lobby.
The associates at check-in were extremely friendly. They seemed surprised that we had flown all the way from the US to visit for a couple of days. They did a great job explaining the Diamond benefits, hotel features, etc. The guest relations manager came out to greet us, I assume because we’re Diamond guests.
The bellman insisted on escorting us up to our rooms, located on the 7th floor. The hallways felt just as fresh as the lobby, and were a bit more subtle.
I was assigned room 1708, which was the room right next to the club lounge. Meanwhile Tiffany was assigned room 1710, right next to mine.
My room was a standard club king room. There was an entryway with the bathroom to the right and the connecting door to the left.
The room was a good size, and felt both fresh and quirky.
The room had a comfortable king size bed, which I took full advantage of, given that I was sick for our entire time in Baku.
Then in the corner of the room was a green chair with an ottoman, which I suppose is a continuation of the lobby walls.
Across from that was a desk with a chair. While the chair wasn’t the most comfortable out there, the desk was well designed, and I appreciated that there were international outlets.
Then across from the bed was a dresser with a TV on it.
My room had a view of the surrounding area. While the architecture in Baku is incredible, the area immediately around the hotel is rather “bleh,” so we didn’t have the amazing views you might have from some other parts of the city.
The bathroom was back near the entrance, and featured a tub, walk-in shower, toilet, bidet, and sink.
The shower was very poorly designed. There was no way to turn on the shower without getting soaked, and on top of that the water leaked out into the main part of the bathroom.
Interestingly the hotel’s toiletries were provided by Portico. As some of you may recall, Hyatt dumped Portico a long time ago in favor of June Jacobs, so I found it a bit odd that this hotel still uses Portico.
While it wasn’t there when I first arrived, later in the day a welcome amenity was delivered to my room, which included two bottles of water (one still and one sparkling), nuts, fruit, and chocolate.
While Tiffany’s room was mostly identical to mine, her room had a small balcony, which only a few rooms on each floor seem to have.
While the balcony wasn’t really big enough to hang out on, perhaps the best aspect of it was that you could get a better view of the surrounding area.
The Hyatt Regency Baku has a club lounge, which we had access to thanks to our Diamond status. The club lounge is open from 2PM until 10PM, and then in the morning club guests can have breakfast in the restaurant.
The club lounge was located just outside the elevator bank on the seventh floor, so it wasn’t a separate room or anything. There was even a spiral staircase leading up to the eighth floor, presumably to make it easier for guests on that floor to access the lounge.
The lounge had maybe a dozen tables, and then also a couple of couches.
The lounge had an espresso machine as well as a fridge with all kinds of drinks, which we helped ourselves to whenever the lounge was open.
Then in the afternoons there was a selection of sweets, including cookies, cake, etc.
The evening happy hour was from 6PM until 8PM. There were a couple of rotating dishes, cheese, a make-your-own-salad bar, bread, cold cuts, salmon, dessert, etc.
There was also a fairly impressive selection of liquor, including Hendrick’s gin.
Then there was beer, wine, and champagne.
We worked from the club lounge for several hours both days, and rarely saw more than a couple of other people. I sort of felt bad that they went through the effort of putting out such a food spread when it remained almost untouched at the end of the night.
Breakfast was served in Mezzo Restaurant from 6:30AM until 10:30AM. The restaurant itself is nice but bland.
There was an extensive breakfast buffet available. I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves, for the most part.
In addition to the buffet, you could order eggs per your preferences, including the following options:
I ordered a veggie and cheese omelet, which was excellent. It’s not often omelets are memorable, but this one was. It was fluffy and flavorful.
Service in the restaurant was friendly, though the restaurant was also empty the morning we were there. I really got the sense that the hotel was quite empty.
In terms of other hotel features, there was a very nice outdoor pool. Unfortunately it was raining the entire time we were there, not that most people would want to use an outdoor pool outside of the summer season anyway.
Then across from the hotel was the spa, which was a massive complex.
There was a beautiful reception area, and then a juice bar, squash courts, a huge indoor lap pool, table tennis, a gym, etc.
The indoor pool was impressive.
The gym was also huge, though I couldn’t easily take pictures. There were dozens of people there when I checked it out, along with some trainers, so I would have felt weird taking pictures. I suspect that a lot of locals have memberships to the gym, as I didn’t get the sense that they were all hotel guests.
Hyatt Regency Baku bottom line
The Hyatt Baku has undergone a very nice renovation, with beautiful public areas and guest rooms. Service was friendly, the lounge and breakfast were great, etc. For $100 per night it was an absolute steal.
So on one hand I’d recommend this hotel if you’re a Hyatt loyalist. At the same time, based on what I saw of the city, I didn’t love the location. If I returned to Baku I might consider staying at the Four Seasons, which is connected to the old town. Baku’s old town is such a cute area, so I’d love to be within walking distance of it.
Otherwise I might consider staying at the Fairmont, given that it’s located in the iconic Flame Towers, with great views of the waterfront area.
But overall I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this place if you’re looking for a reasonably priced Hyatt.