I having been eyeing up the beautiful-looking images of the rooms and suites advertised on the Hyatt Place website ever since this new "less is more" format from Hyatt came out back in 2006. I loved the way the rooms looked on their website, appearing both modern and classy, especially when you match that with what they charge for these rooms (I paid about $120 a night). So finally I decided to bite last winter and stayed there with my family on our annual Utah ski trip. The location has it's merit, since it is situated one block from the heart of "The Gateway Mall" in Salt Lake, a nice collection of outdoor stores and restaurants that form a somewhat unique shopping experience for people more accustom to the traditional enclosed and centrally heated shopping mall. Also, The Hyatt Place Downtown SLC is located dead center between all the really hot ski resort in Utah (Park City, Snowbird, Powder Mountain, Snowbasin, etc.). That give us the freedom to jump into the car and just start driving in any one direction, and expect to end up at a World Class Ski Resort in about 45 minutes (really... any direction). So, with medium to high expectations, we drove up to the nearly new Hyatt Place front entrance to unpack the car and to check-in. Walking into the lobby, we were greeted by a nice lady who helped us check-in at their self-service kiosk. And here is the first hint that this is not a normal Hotel, or at least not like any other hotel that I have stayed at before. Imagine a compact sized modern looking Hotel that is built and designed to operate with the same philosophy as a 21st Century vending machine. During our entire stay at the Hyatt Place in Salt Lake City, I saw only 3 employees running the entire hotel, from the front desk, to the semi-self service restaurant, to the housekeeping department, to the parking lot attendant... Now I can see how they can keep the prices so low here. Less employees = Less ticket price. Well, I prefer to carry my own bags anyway (and not have to worry about how much tip to give). So we struggle through the lobby carrying our two giant snowboard bags and 5 other misc. bags, and somehow we managed to get into the elevator (there are two of them for guest to use) and down the hallway to our fourth floor guest suite. When I opened the door, the image I saw looked very similar if not exactly the same as what I remembered the Hyatt Place website had posted as pictures of their rooms... except in this case, reality did not "feel" like expectation or perseption. In another words, a picture is not always worth a 1000 words... more like 256 or 257 words. It was all there. The flat panel LCD TV, the techie interface panel, the separate sitting area, the super efficient floor plan, etc. Then why did I feel so empty? Even now, 6 months later, I don't know why I felt like that (like biting into that scrumptious-looking cherry pie, only to find the cherries way too sour). Maybe it was the feeling that the hotel can operate efficiently without the need of humanbeings (well, almost no humans). Also contributing to this strange soulless feeling was the fact that the hotel felt empty, even though the parking lot (located conveniently behind the hotel, nice but it did cost an extra $10 a day) was always nearly full. Asking my family about how they felt about the hotel and our room, I did get a split decision. My wife told me she would not stay there again. My two adult kids had mixed feelings about the room, but really like the semi-self service restaurant. They enjoyed to super late night or super early morning pizzas and other snacks that was available there, without the super outrageous price tags normally found with room service. Where all of us do agree with is the fact that this hotel was not designed for a ski vacation and therefore totally unsuitable for all the things that a family on a ski vacation brings on their ski vacation. The room, although roomier than the typical 250 sq ft guest room, was not really that much roomier. Certainly not roomy enough for a family of 4, 3 sets of skis and poles, 2 snowboards, 4 helmets, 4 ski jackets, and the rest of the stuff that we bring on these trips. We all felt cramped. And even though the room looked nice (just like the pictures), there was a "Barbie's Magical Dollhouse look and feel to all of the furniture. Nice to look at, but the things just did not feel like they were really made to be sat on or slept in. OK... OK, maybe I am being unfair in this review. Maybe if I were on a business trip and I needed a nice and modern place to stay that didn't bust the budget, maybe this is the place to stay. Maybe... but then... why did every male employee that I met at the Hyatt Place go by the name "Ken."
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- Also Known As:
- Hyatt Place Salt Lake City Hotel Salt Lake City
- Hyatt Place Salt Lake City - Downtown Utah