I was staying in Houston for 2 weeks through business. I picked the Hyatt Regency because of the close proximity to my work’s office and because the reviews looked OK.
Check-in was OK, if a little rushed. I asked if my room was a quiet one, since I’d read the reviews about it being noisy and I was there for 2 weeks after all. The guy assured me it was away from the elevators and I wouldn’t be disturbed. However, I don’t think there is a room where you won’t be disturbed at this hotel! The senseless design of the place means it has an open cocktail bar slap bang in the foyer with all the rooms built around this, overlooking the bar. Even though I was on the 20th floor, this still meant unbelievable levels of noise rising from the bar and lobby. Lucky I bought ear plugs.
The room itself was OK. I travel quite extensively for business and always stay in similar spec hotels. I was particularly looking forward to this one, thinking a US hotel in Downtown Houston would be superb. The size was fine, but I’ve stayed in bigger. My room has 2 double beds – which meant 2 tiny double beds. There was a TV which took a while to find the TV channels, due to the menu trying to charge you for movies and so on before you are able to scroll right down to the bottom to find the TV channels. I was very disappointed there was no minibar or fridge. For me to stay here for 2 weeks made it very inconvenient if I fancied a beer, and meant I had to either hang out in the bar as a lone female or order room service with an hour’s wait, extra $3.50 + 19% additional charge for the privilege. There was a vending machine on the floor for soft drinks which took single dollar bills only – again inconvenient if you didn’t have any.
The bed itself was so comfortable, I would drift off to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow most nights (providing I’d put my ear plugs in first). It was possibly the best thing about the hotel. Best nights’ sleep I’ve had in years!
The room was kept clean to a very high standard. The cleaner would always remember how I liked the bed (with all the excess pillows off) and never failed to top up the bathroom toiletries and refresh the towels.
The shower in the bathroom was great – very nice, comfortable hot shower, with no problems. Bathroom toiletries include shampoo, conditioner, soap, body lotion, toothpaste and shower cap. (I don’t recommend the shampoo and conditioner – it made my hair all fluffy). The towels were a bit thin looking – not fluffy ones that you would expect. However I was very pleased to see 2 washcloths – something hotels recently seem to miss out, and that I always use.
Service in general was mixed. The doormen were great – very helpful. Concierge were brisk but efficient (I was pleased to receive a little card directing me to a nearby jogging trail when I asked at guest services). Reception staff at breakfast were lovely, and remembered me every morning. The waiting staff were hit and miss – sometimes very helpful, other times couldn’t be bothered.
The gym or leisure centre was ridiculous. It is well equipped with decent treadmills and other machines, weights etc but there was NO air con! I find this astounding, especially so in a place like Houston where it gets very hot. There was about 4 fans, every time I went in they were unplugged and facing the wall, and I couldn’t reach them to plug them in. I called concierge twice to have someone come down and do it for me – the place was baking hot and very busy. No changing facilities either which I found disappointing as no one wants to go back into a crowded elevator a sweaty mess. However there was free drinking water and a fridge full of damp cool towels. Whether they were there to clean the machines after you’d finished or to cool you down I couldn’t make out, but I had to use them to cool down anyway. The whole place was grey, drab and shabby.
Apart from breakfast and the pizza I ordered on the first night, the food was not very good. I had room service and ate in the bar several times and it was either swimming in grease or ingredients missing. Breakfast was just fantastic. I tried the Belgian waffles one morning and they melted in my mouth like nothing I’d ever tasted before. Good coffee too.
The menu at breakfast confused me. You would get given a menu, but every time I tried to order from it I was directed up to the buffet where I was told it would be made there. If so, why give me a menu?? Also, I was given a continental breakfast voucher but it wasn’t explained to me what was included so I just had to guess.
There is a shop attached to the hotel lobby, which is heavy on tourist goods and low on food, unless chips and pizza is all you want. The service in the shop was very poor too, although I don’t know if the shop is actually part of the hotel.
The location is great for Downtown Houston and I had a stunning view of the Houston skyline from my room, including those famous Texan sunsets. Every evening I would get back, gasp at the sunset and grapple for my camera.
I was stunned there was a daily charge for wi-fi. Surely a business hotel should have this as standard? Other hotels do. $9.99 per night, and I had to access the internet most nights. Not good for business.
On a general note, I visited Houston last about 15 years ago and remember how welcoming and friendly everyone was, and how outstanding service staff generally were. I was really looking forward to visiting again. I don’t know what has happened in those 15 years – maybe it is the general mistrust of foreigners (as soon as I opened my mouth to speak some people would look annoyed) or something else, it certainly isn’t what it once was. Houston itself is a great city though, with plenty to do, and a great feel to the place.
Sadly, if I were to visit again, I wouldn’t stay at this hotel. Although it is a fairly nice hotel and probably better for shorter stays or for leisure, I was constantly disappointed. I think it is lacking in lots of areas and is just satisfied to rest on its laurels with no foresight for it’s real customers: business travellers.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Situated in the heart of downtown’s thriving business and entertainment districts, the newly renovated Hyatt Regency Houston is connected to restaurants and services via the city’s famous seven-mile tunnel system. Walk to events at the nearby George R. Brown Convention Center. Take in a game at Minute Maid Park or Toyota Center. Be sure to save time to enjoy a show in downtown’s Theater District or explore the shops along Main Street. A quick ride on Houston’s METRO Light Rail, with stops just seconds from our hotel, will take you to the renowned Museum District, Children’s Museum, the Houston Zoo, the Texas Medical Center or Reliant Park. Enjoy 360-degree views of the city as you dine on award-winning cuisine at Spindletop, our iconic revolving restaurant. When it’s time to relax, retreat to your spacious accommodations and enjoy the plush Hyatt Grand BedTM, state-of-the-art technology and thoughtful amenities. Always the right choice; book your reservation now at our outstanding accommodations. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Hyatt Regency Houston Hotel Houston
- Houston Hyatt Regency
- Hyatt Houston