Review: Grand Hyatt Chengdu

Introduction: Getting What I Paid For On Sichuan Airlines
Review: The Private Suite LAX
Review: Asiana Business Class A380 Los Angeles To Seoul
Review: Asiana Business Class A321 Seoul To Chengdu
Review: Grand Hyatt Chengdu
Review: Sichuan Airlines Lounge Chengdu Airport
Review: Sichuan Airlines Business Class A330 Chengdu To Jinan
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Review: Sichuan Airlines Business Class A330 Jinan To Los Angeles


I was in Chengdu just a few weeks prior to this visit, and stayed at the St. Regis, which was beautiful. This time around I wanted to mix things up. I had heard good things about the Grand Hyatt, so decided to book that for my two night stay. The rate was 1,000CNY (~150USD) per night, so I just paid cash for my two night stay.

As a point of comparison, this is a Category 3 property, meaning that a redemption would have cost 12,000 World of Hyatt points per night, or using Points + Cash it would have cost 6,000 World of Hyatt points plus 75USD per night. In both cases paying cash was a better value based on my valuation of these points.

The ride from the airport to the hotel took about 30 minutes. Upon arriving at the hotel, I was greeted by a bellman who offered to help me with my bags, and explained that the lobby was on the 15th floor.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu exterior

The ground floor had eight sets of elevators, which simply take you between the ground floor and a few other floors (you have to go to the lobby to then get to your room).


Grand Hyatt Chengdu entrance

The lobby didn’t have much natural light, though was gorgeous. Every little part of the lobby felt so thoughtfully designed. It had several seating areas, including a lobby lounge, and to me felt a lot like a Park Hyatt.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu lobby


Grand Hyatt Chengdu lobby


Grand Hyatt Chengdu lobby


Grand Hyatt Chengdu lobby

Upon exiting the elevators and turning left, reception was located at the far end of the hallway. Since it was so late at night I was helped immediately. I was impressed by how well the staff at the hotel spoke English, as it was a bit of a struggle at times at the St. Regis. The check-in process was professional and quick, and I was informed that as a Globalist member I had been upgraded to a suite.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu lobby

I was also given a letter outlining the hours of the Grand Club, which I had access to as well.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club information

With a key in hand I headed towards the other set of elevators, to go up to my room on the 37th floor.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu elevators

I had been assigned room 3718, located at the far end of the hallway on the left.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu hallway


Grand Hyatt Chengdu floorplan

The suite I had been upgraded to was just lovely. Inside the entryway was the dining area, which featured a table with two chairs.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite living room


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite dining area

On the table was a fruit plate as a welcome amenity.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu welcome gift

Across from the dining table was the minibar, as well as a Nespresso coffee machine and a kettle.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite minibar


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite kettle


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite Nespresso machine

Past the dining area was a sliding door leading to the living room, which had a couch as well as a couple of chairs, and then a wall-mounted TV.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite living room


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite living room

Around the corner was a comfortable king size bed, as well as a desk in the corner.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite bedroom


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite bedroom desk

At the foot of the bed was a bench, and then across from that was another TV.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite bedroom

Then there was a hallway connecting the bedroom to the dining room, and along that was the bathroom, which had a split layout.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite hallway

Closest to the bedroom were the double sinks, the soaking tub, and the walk-in shower.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite bathroom


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite bathtub

The shower compound was massive, and had both a handheld showerhead as well as a rainforest showerhead.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite shower

Toiletries were from June Jacobs. I used to strongly dislike June Jacobs toiletries when they were the Hyatt brand standard globally. Oddly I actually liked them this time around — I’m not sure if they were different than what they had in the past, or if I’ve just had enough time apart from the brand to appreciate it again.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu June Jacobs toiletries

Oddly the toilet was in a completely separate room. Like, not just that it was partitioned off, but it was down the hallway. The room with the toilet also had a sink.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite toilet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite bathroom

Thanks to the room being on a fairly high floor, I had great views of Chengdu.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu suite view

Overall the suite was impressive. I loved the decor, and thought it felt more like a Park Hyatt than anything in terms of design. The only odd aspects of the room were the toilet being totally separate from the rest of the bathroom, as well as the lack of a desk, though I was happy working at the dining table.

In terms of the rest of my time at the hotel, as a Globalist member I could have breakfast at the Grand Cafe, located on the lobby level. While the hotel has a Grand Club, they don’t serve breakfast there, but rather send guests to the main restaurant, which gives you the best of both worlds.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Cafe


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Cafe

There was a buffet breakfast from 6:30AM until 10:30AM, and the selection was very good.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet

I’ll let the pictures of the buffet speak for themselves.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet


Grand Hyatt Chengdu breakfast buffet

The cappuccino they serve in the restaurant was good as well.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu cappuccino at breakfast

The Grand Club was located on the 37th floor, and is open daily from 6:30AM until 11PM. I spent quite a bit of time here working, as I always prefer to get out of my room when possible. The Grand Club is beautiful physically, and is separated into a few areas. On the far ends of the lounge are areas with dining tables and couches.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club

Then in the center section are communal tables.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club

The Grand Club had whole fruit, cake, and cookies available all day.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club snacks

There were also soft drinks and coffee available all day, which I always appreciate having easy access to.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club coffee machine

Then daily from 5:30PM until 7:30PM they had the evening selection of snacks and alcoholic drinks.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening buffet

The selection wasn’t especially substantial, though everything was beautifully presented and high quality.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening snacks

There was also a pretty large, though not especially high end, selection of alcohol.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening drink selection


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening drink selection


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening drink selection


Grand Hyatt Chengdu Grand Club evening drink selection

The one thing that stuck out to me most about the lounge was how empty it consistently was. The evening I visited there was only one other person there the whole time, so it was one of the quieter Grand Clubs I’ve seen.

On my last afternoon I also ate at one of the hotel’s other restaurants, called #8. This place serves hotpot, which I had never had before. The decor of this place was so cool, with baskets hanging from the ceiling.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu #8 Restaurant


Grand Hyatt Chengdu #8 Restaurant

Like I said, I had never had hotpot before. I had a general sense of what it was, though didn’t really get the logistics. The staff looked at me a bit confused when I said I was dining alone. As soon as I sat down I got on my phone and wanted to read more about how it all works, and go figure the first thing I saw was “hotpot isn’t something you eat alone.” Oops!

Even though I was alone, it was such a cool experience, and the servers were gracious in guiding me through the process (a special thanks to Kevin, the assistant manager, for being awesome). After trying hotpot once, I totally want to return to a hotpot restaurant with a group. It’s sort of like fondue, only a bit healthier.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu #8 Restaurant hot pot

The hotel’s pool, gym, and spa, are located on the 13th floor. While I don’t really like pools (or any water, really, other than a shower or San Pellegrino), this one was at least physically beautiful.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu pool


Grand Hyatt Chengdu pool

The gym was alright, though it lacked natural light. It’s always a lot more motivating to get on a treadmill if you have a great view, though that wasn’t the case here.


Grand Hyatt Chengdu gym


Grand Hyatt Chengdu gym


Grand Hyatt Chengdu gym

I also got a massage on my last afternoon, which was phenomenal. It was easily one of the five best massages I’ve ever had. Best of all, it wasn’t awkward, following my last experience.

As you might have gathered, overall I was very impressed by the Grand Hyatt. However, I have to finish out the review with a major caution. The wifi at the Grand Hyatt Chengdu is terrible. Absolutely awful. It’s weird, because during the day the wifi in my room was very slow, though not totally unusable. However, at night (when it’s most important for me to work, while it’s daytime in the US), it was legitimately unusable. Here’s a speed test I ran:


Grand Hyatt wifi

So at about 2AM I’d go to the lobby to work, though there the internet would only be marginally faster. Like, there it would take 30 seconds for a page to load, rather than it not loading at all. This is so frustrating because I really liked the hotel, but I just can’t justify staying somewhere with wifi this bad. Meanwhile at the St. Regis the wifi worked well.

Grand Hyatt Chengdu bottom line

This is a beautiful hotel with nice rooms, a great breakfast, a beautiful Grand Club, a lovely pool and spa, etc. If you can live with the fact that the wifi is almost unusable some hours of the day then this is a good option. Unfortunately the wifi quality would prevent me from returning, though, which is sad.

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Comments

  1. Great review, Lucky! I stayed at this hotel for a month earlier this year and really loved it. The Wi-Fi was certainly not that bad during my stay but it was indeed not fast enough. The bar was also very good with live performance. One thing I want to point out is, in summer, the air conditioner in the room at night was not cool enough and made me wake up sweating occasionally.

  2. I worked with some Chinese girls this summer through an exchange program. Most of them were from Chengdu and recommended hotpot as well, and I promised I would try to visit them in China sometime and we could do it then. It also seems quite similar to Japanese Shabu-shabu, which you should absolutely try if you haven’t before.

  3. lol I bet this hotpot is not the kind that most local people would enjoy. Nothing judgmental. The “real” hotpot soup in Chengdu is at least red.

  4. Hot pot is definitely a fun, sharing experience with colleagues or friends.

    The spicy one is great, ask for extra hua jiao peppers, which ur lips tingly and numb but not painful and it goes away quickly.

    And much better in specialty restaurants than hotels.

  5. On my first trip to Asia, way before I got into miles & points, I arrived in Hong Kong jet lagged and exhausted after flying over from JFK in CX Y. I was starving and immediately found myself lost wandering around in Kowloon. Dipped into the first little hole in the wall that had signs of life and sat down to order. Realized quickly it was a hot pot restaurant and all the other tables had at least 4-5 people sharing a meal. Undeterred, I ordered and then stuffed myself silly for the next hour or so. I’m sure I looked like a lunatic.

  6. Wow you stayed at the same suite as we did two days before you. We left on nov. 17. I have to say the suite size is not as large and nice as st. Regis’s so they set up so many mirrors inside the rooms to make the rooms look larger but at the same time make people confused during nights when using stool while the lights were dim. Structure wise the shower room is too big but the stool room is too small. By the way the stool cover was a bit out of place when we checked but we didn’t report it.
    All in all this is an excellent hotel but next time I am in town I would choose st. Regis hotel over grand Hyatt for almost the same room rate.

  7. Correction. When we checked in.

    Right now my wife and I are in Doha waiting for ny flight at 8am. Solute to your information! Thanks to this we flew from Shanghai to Saigon to Doha then to New York.
    What a trip, altogether 48 hours plus from hotel to hotel (out of Shanghai to ny hotel)

  8. Re: Hotpot. “Grand Hyatt Chengdu #8 Restaurant hot pot” is a westernized version of “hotpot” and should be avoided because it is #fakeHotpot.

    There is only one kind: the spicy kind in, literally, large hotpots.

    A large cauldron filled with sizzling hot oil mixed with very (spicy) hot peppers [giving the content its characteristic ‘red’ color], into which anything that one wants to eat is thrown in, from vegetables to any part of an animal or fowl [I put my foot down when it came to eating cow brain thrown in there]. One has huge chopsticks for fishing the stuff out of the hotpot and putting it into a small bowl or plate that contains spices (garlic, salt, herbs, peppers) to flavor what one fishes out of the hotpot.

    I craved hotpot so much I decided to include Chongqing (second largest city after Chengdu) in my 2015 Year-end Asian Escapade just to have the experience again 🙂

    I am going to try to “embed” a picture of an AUTHENTIC Chengdu hotpot below (if picture does not post as I suspect, I will just a provide a link in the post):

  9. Looks like a great hotel to stay at if you are a Globalist. Since most mere mortals cannot easily attain such status, especially given Hyatt’s limited worldwide footprint, I will stay at Marriott/SPG/St. Regis/.

  10. @DCS – Agreed that the hotpot Lucky had was fake, fake, fake. But there are in fact two major types of Chinese hotpot: the extremely spicy Chongqing-style 火锅 huoguo (as the version that dominates Sichuan is usually known – hotpot is definitely associated with Chongqing more than Chengdu; even in Chengdu, most hotpot restaurants identify themselves as Chongqing-style) and the northern style, including Mongolian 火锅 (where you can often choose between a spicier, though still less spicy than Chonqing, version or a chili-free version, or, frequently, a split-pot) or the 涮肉 shuanrou of Beijing (to which I have a deep emotional connection), which generally has no chilies and is almost always served with sesame paste for dipping, along with other delectable side dishes like picked garlic (糖蒜 tangsuan) and 烧饼 shaobing, a small flatbread.
    There are in addition a few more regional styles with which I’m somewhat less familiar, but it is definitely not the case that there is only “one kind.”

  11. @David –Like I said, “authentic” Sichuan hotpot, which one finds throughout the province. Elsewhere, including here in NYC, you’ll find “hotpot”, but not Sichuanese “hotpot” (perfected in Chongqing as you stated), which is uniformly spicy hot. I had “hotpot” in Beijing and it was something else altogether…

  12. Chinese hotpot can be spicy and non spicy, chongqing Sichuan style is the popular spicy type, however there’s also herbal style hotpot and clear broth. It’s down to the preferences of individual, whether they like to have the spicy soup that will overpower the food flavors or non spicy which you can taste the delicious soup at the end of the meal. Personally I like the half and half, 1 pot that’s split in middle with one side spicy and the other side non spicy. Not all food taste good when it’s spicy, especially if it’s fresh seafood, it be a waste. It’s very enjoyable to eat during the cold weather and with friends/family as it’s like an activity that you cook your food together with good company. As a chinese we should remember why back in old days the people enjoy the hot pot, a good tradition to keep and continue, to have a good time with our friends and family.

  13. @Yvonne — There is no argument here at all. The post is about Chengdu and Sichuan “hotpot”. One would be hard pressed to find non-spicy “hotpot” in a province that’s known worldwide for its spicy (pepper-hot) food. Some people, present company included, believe that spicy soup open up the taste buds to bring out, rather than to “overpower”, food flavors, but to each her/his own 😉

  14. Bet Andrew would have loved joining you for some Sichuan hotpot, the kind that looks like a vat of boiling chillies with extra chillies on top

  15. @Lucky Try connect to a Chinese website when test speed in China. It is often to see internet is slow when try to connect to a foreign website.

    China has tighten their internet censorship policy recently, as it try to put more restriction on accessing the website. The rationale for Chinese gov is since there is a Chinese alternative for all foreign internet application, why would Chinese people even bother to access foreign network?

  16. There are several types of hot pot in China. To be honest, I’m surprised Lucky hasn’t had it before given how often he’s been to China. It’s better in winter, when the weather is more suitable for it. It is the type of thing best eaten as a group, though there are restaurants that offer individual servings of hot pot (Xiabu Xiabu 呷哺呷哺 is a popular chain of these restaurants).

    Sichuanese/Chongqing style would definitely be spicy, though this isn’t the only way to have hot pot. A common sight in hot pot restaurants is a half and half bowl for the soup (often in a “Ying and Yang” symbol design) which can hold two different flavours of soup, such as one spicy one and another milder one for wimps like myself.

  17. @seanpodge sez: “Sichuanese/Chongqing style would definitely be spicy, though this isn’t the only way to have hot pot.”

    You want “authentic” hotpot, you go with the Sichuan style. You want “hotpot” styles that were created to accommodate “wimps”, yu go with non-Sichuan style. It is a common phenomenon: dishes are modified all the time from their original styles to make them palatable in different regions or for others peoples or cultures not accustomed to the “authentic”. Just order Sichuan- or Hunan-style dishes in a “Chinese” restaurant in the US and compare with the original dishes in China!

  18. There are multiple kinds of hotpot, DCS. Stop making yourself look like a fool. And by saying there’s only one kind, you disrespect other parts of China and Asia (Japan, Korea, Vietnam, or literally almost any other Asian country) that have their own style of hotpot. Your statement is simply ignorant.

  19. @James — Whatever. I am done here since the unhinged elements are coming out of the woodwork to launch gratuitous attacks, ignoring the context. This post about Chengdu in the Sichuan Province, People’s Republic of China, and their trademark “hotpot”, which is absolutely unique. I was there, married there, learned about their ways, and roamed the province. Got that? Chicken is cooked in different ways across the globe, so what is your point?

    G’day.

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