We arrived on one of the last flights in to the ABQ airport one recent evening and opted to stay in the city rather than drive for hours to get home. While waiting for our bags, I checked a couple discount hotel sites and happened upon the Hyatt Place. We gave it a try after checking TA, and seeing that it ranked relatively high among ABQ hotels.
It was indeed hard to get to the front door, despite being able to see the hotel from the airport highway ramp and University Blvd. Hey Hyatt, you need at least two signs to distinguish your driveway from those of the 2 or 3 neighboring hotels!
We found it was worth the effort, though, when we made it inside. We liked the modern, well-lit lobby. We were warmly greeted by the front desk guy. We wanted to pre-pay in cash, to minimize the infamous debit card hold, and he obliged.
In our third-floor room, we loved the L-shaped sofabed, the built-ins, as well as the overall design of the space (and my guys loved the very large flat screen TV!) The desk is simple, but the lighting good. The TV is large but in a decent location and offers the easiest, best labeled, most accessible set of inputs I have ever seen. It was late when we arrived, or we might have tried them out, so I cannot speak to whether the front desk charges for cables as another reviewer said (although, since they charge for everything else at the front desk, I would not be surprised).
The sink is in the same area as the bed/s, which I don't like, but many hotels use this style, so whatever. The space for the bed/s seemed small, as did the floorspace in the lav, but there is plenty of other space, so it didn't seem claustrophobic.
The beds, (which are arguably the most important part of any hotel room) were pretty comfortable, and rank just below Sheraton in terms of overall comfort (not as comfy as Marriott, but way better than Holiday Inn). I did remove the coverlet and throw pillows first thing as I do with any hotel that still uses them- sorry, Hyatt, but we want all of the linens to be changed between each guest; when will you get on board?
The room had a minifridge, coffee maker and setup with ceramic mugs, and a small sink, but lacked a microwave; we thought that was stupid. Another thing the room lacked was was a phone book; we ended up cracking open the laptop to find the restaurant info, maps and phone numbers we needed. This seemed like an oversight at the time, but upon reading more reviews here, we realize it is by design, and it is a bad idea. This is an (incredibly) easy fix, Hyatt!
Another easy fix would be to install vending machines, even the luxury chains have them, and as anyone who has traveled with teenagers can attest, sometimes a vending machine means the difference between a reasonable human and an ornery sulker.
The free breakfast was neither the best nor worst we have had. It should have had hard-boiled eggs at least. I expected a make-your-own waffle machine, but they didn't have that either. They did have pretty melamine plates and full-size 'real' flatware, which I really liked. They also had fruit salad which I loved. Our breakfast of english muffin, fruit salad and yogurt was probably healthier than the would-be waffles and scrambled eggs I missed. I understand that they want to steer folks to their paid breakfast options, but they seemed overpriced to me (priced more like room service).
As far as cleanliness goes, it was above average. I would say that it is average for carpets to be imperfectly vacuumed, and grout to be spotty. I hope for the best and expect the worst, don't you? I bring hand wipes into each hotel room and wipe down every surface I'll touch (telephone, door handles, remotes, light switches, fridge handle... everything I think I will handle). I do it without regard for how clean the room seems, and across all brands, even the most luxurious; so far, this method has kept me pretty healthy.
This particular room was pretty darn clean, (although I am glad, after reading the account of one reviewer who questioned the cleanliness of the glasses) that I did not use them.
I checked out the pool and fitness areas (but did not have time to use them) and they both seemed just fine to me. The fitness room has 4 machines, 2 are treadmills. It had a water cooler and towels. The pool also had a couple of towels on the rack.
Having stayed here and having read the TA reviews, I can understand the beefs some folks have with the place, although, some of the issues seem minor to me. Some have asked how the place gets such high reviews; let me try to answer. Good design makes you feel good, and when a hotel feels dated, or is poorly designed, it makes you feel bad. Walk into a Super 8 lobby, and you can tell the difference.
We really liked it and will be going back.