Getting There: From within the city, take one of the many subway trains that run to the center of the world known as NYC. Per the website, Park Hyatt New York is conveniently located near several subway stops the N, R, Q Lines are located at 57th Street and 7th Avenue; the F Line is located at 57th and 6th Avenue; with the A, C, B, D, and 1 lines located at Columbus Circle at Broadway and 58th Street.
New York is the home to real talk, the idea that people should speak their minds directly without pussyfooting around. TPOL also adheres to this ideology leaving him in situations when keeping it real goes wrong. In reviewing the Park Hyatt NY, I’m going to be brutally honest even if this upsets the blog community which, for the most part, holds this hotel in the highest regard.
The Flagship Luxury Hotel
The Park Hyatt New York is the Hyatt brand’s flagship hotel. It is supposed to be the standard-bearer of what all Hyatt’s strive to be. It is difficult to argue that the Park Hyatt New York is anything but luxurious. There are ornate decorations throughout the hotel and the building itself, one of the tallest in New York making it impossible to miss. (unless you’re the pizza guy who couldn’t figure out where the hotel was.)
My issue is with the style of luxury. Spoiled by the unassuming Park Hyatt Buenos Aires, the colonial Park Hyatt Saigon, the elegant Park Hyatt Istanbul, and the incomparable Park Hyatt Sydney, I wasn’t impressed with the crude chromed-out modern decor of the Park Hyatt NY. It was too much flash for no discernible purpose. A hotel doesn’t have to be necessarily subtle to be luxurious. It can be big and bold while simultaneously remaining unassuming. (see Park Hyatt Shanghai)
Take away the luxurious distractions and guests would still choose the Park Hyatt brand for its great service. This is why my stay at the Park Hyatt NY was disappointing. The service was inconsistent. Upon arriving, the doorman, Chris, was helpful and engaging. He set the tone for what I thought I would encounter from the rest of the staff. Entering the lower lobby, I was warmly greeted by an employee who quickly checked me in but then abruptly directed me to take the elevator to the lobby where I was supposed to go “right then right and sit in the waiting room until my room was ready.”
The clumsy, two-step check in process was inefficient. After taking the elevator to the actual lobby, I sat in the waiting area which due to the rectangular shape and vast amounts of chrome resembled a jail cell. I sat there for more than a half hour unsure if I was supposed to follow-up to see if my room was ready or if they would come to me.
In the mean time, I had a drink of lemon water which I quickly put down because the setup of this refreshment stand made it unclear if the cups next to the water were clean or used. Eventually, an employee took away all the cups but curiously never returned with new ones.
The Front Desk
Feeling lost in the shuffle, I approached the front desk and asked if my room was ready. “What’s the reservation under?” she asked. At this point I had been asked my name by Chris, the doorman, who introduced me to the employee at the first checkpoint, who still asked me for my name, and I was, once again, asked by the employee at the front desk. I gave her my name and she said, “You’re room just became ready.” This coincidence is like going to a restaurant and asking the waiter for your appetizer a half hour after ordering and it magically reappearing seconds later. Clearly, something was missed by someone.
After saying the number of my room aloud followed by my last name, a terrible breach of security procedure, I showed myself to my room. At the other Park Hyatts, either the bellman or the front desk employee personally escorts me to the room and gives me a tour which amusingly includes how to work the television. It’s a nice touch and something that I expected from this flagship hotel. Later on, I did see a different employee escorting other guests to the elevator while elaborating on features of the hotel. I’m not sure why there wasn’t uniformity.
As a diamond member, I used a suite upgrade and received a junior suite. GoldPassport said that suite upgrades are not allowed on Chase free night awards but the hotel graciously made an exception. The junior suite was an oversized single room, not two separate rooms, a point of contention for many travel enthusiasts. While a proper suite would have been nice, I was more than pleased with the room itself.
My only complaint about the room relates back to the inconsistent service of the hotel. In the middle of the night, I woke up to find that the temperature inside the room was 75 degrees. I switched the thermostat to 65 and high but that made little difference. The next day I noticed there was another thermostat in the living room so I switched that one to 65 as well. The room would not cool. Before going to breakfast, I called guest services who sent someone to check the air conditioning. They said it was fine. When I returned, the room was still warm making me question if I was doing something wrong. Curious if it was user error, I spent the next three hours before checking out messing with both thermostats and monitoring the temperature of the room. I concluded that the a.c. does work but works very poorly.
Like the Park Hyatt Toronto, the Park Hyatt NY does not have a breakfast buffet. Diamond guests are given an allowance and can choose anything on the menu. At check-in I was told that the allowance was $45 per person. The set breakfast for $38 which includes coffee and juice is the safe option for frugal diamond travelers who don’t want to spend a dollar more than they have to on breakfast. I, under the counsel of my great waiter, ventured off of the set menu and order an orange juice, double espresso, a child’s portion of blueberry pancakes, and the lobster omelette with whole eggs instead of white.
The menu said that orange juice was $10 so I refused refills as I was too embarrassed to ask at the Park Hyatt NY if refills were free and too conditioned from eating at late-night diners to believe that they could be free. The bill came to $65 for two. The kind waiter said he had taken off our drinks to keep us under the diamond member threshold. This unexpected gesture made me wonder if the allowance truly is $45 and if it was then how much does it cost for a double espresso.
Regardless, the breakfast was great and so was the service.
I had booked the Park Hyatt NY before but cancelled because the pool was closed for service, something that baffled me at the time since the hotel had just opened.
I’m glad I did because my favorite amenity of the Park Hyatt was the pool. Although I didn’t get to practice my cannon ball, like Kevin McAllister, I did swim laps with the provided kickboard and was able to clear the entire length of the pool underwater.
What can I say about the Park Hyatt NY that I haven’t already said? Though it may be hard to believe, I don’t go into hotels looking to find fault, but I have become spoiled by great stays at numerous luxurious properties throughout the world. Therefore, when I walk into what is supposed to be the flagship hotel of a great brand like the Park Hyatt, I expect nothing less than perfection. This was not delivered by the puzzling lack of effort on behalf of some of the staff. For the price in dollars or points, I would recommend skipping the Park Hyatt NY for Le Parker Meridien, located across the street. There you won’t find over-the-top luxury but you will find a solid burger served with an authentic New York smile.