The Hyatt in the recent past has bought out the old Ista and is now running the Hotel under the name of Hyatt, Amritsar. The glorious days of great service and an always smiling Ista staff are well past.
The hotel does have hang-ups and the staff is not particularly friendly. The Hyatt runs less by its staff and more by a 'book of rules', which is awfully strange for the hospitality and service industry.
The front desk is slow and sluggish during check-in. The executives manning the front office are busy and don't have time for you. Allow for a minimum of 20-25 minutes for check in. Forget a glass of water the staff won't even acknowledge your presence for the first 10-15 minutes during check in. I had my first run-in with the staff when they refused an early check-in which was confirmed by the Hyatt Amritsar an evening before. They were not willing to even agree to the fact that someone at Hyatt Amritsar had committed to an early check in. After several rounds of back and forth with the travel agent, arguments we managed to get a check in which was about an hour earlier than norm. All this while my wife and child were waiting patiently at the reception after an early morning flight to Amritsar.
The ambience at the Hyatt is drab- all brown and dreary. The corridors leading to your room/s are stuffy and non-air conditioned.
The hotel is not particularly friendly to families!!! They have an open lounge bar adjacent to the reception area. The lounge bar is not frequented by many except for guests who are staying at the hotel. I was travelling with my wife and 7 year old and after we ordered our drinks, we were curtly told by the bartender that children are not permitted. While I do understand that children are usually not permitted in bar areas, this bar was really an extension of the reception area (an open plan)and it does not play loud music. My wife and I had to speak to by son and ask him to leave the area. We were stuck with our drinks eager to finish so as to get back to my son. In the meantime my son was getting more and more frantic with the temporary separation. While rules need to be followed, application of rules need good judgement which is totally lacking at the Hyatt, Amritsar. The bartender could see that the child was comfortable without his parents but didn't even suggest a solution. I asked him if we could carry our drinks to the reception area since the lounge is really an extension of the same area. He flatly refused saying it was not permitted. Well guess what Hyatt Amritsar, the dont dos are fine but you need to come up with solutions and workarounds!!! It was a waste of time and money sitting at the bar as we couldn't really enjoy ourselves constantly looking out for our boy. As a result we never visited the bar again during our stay at the Hyatt Amritsar.
The first day we asked for water and we learnt that the Hyatt for some strange reason doesn't give you more than four 500 ml bottles of water a day. The fifth bottle onwards is payable. For a hotel that charges the rates it does this is absolutely insane to say the least.
The swimming pool on the 1st floor is a laugh. It's hardly a swimming pool. I've seen small swimming pools in hotels but this is miniature. So, if you think you going to spend some great time with your loved ones at the pool side- forget it! Don't even carry your trunks, its a waste if you have already committed yourself to the Hyatt Amritsar.
Make no mistake the happy days of Ista are well past. This hotel is rumoured to be run in collaboration with a local politician who visits the hotel frequently. This too inconveniences your family because the hotel staff is absolutely 'dogged' about security. We must have entered and exited the Hyatt premises at least 18-20 times during our stay and they checked are baggage and did a thorough scan each time. For a family that is staying at the Hyatt, I felt it was excessive. The tight security is possibly an outcome of the politican's frequent visits. And as always the one thing you can count on the Hyatt for; is the 'application of rules' without judicious reasoning. The security at the front door won't take into account that you are travelling with a family and living at the Hyatt, they'll go ahead and scan you and open your baggage, ladies handbags, mobile handsets, run laptop bags through X-ray scanners, the works each time you enter the Hyatt, Amritsar.
Lastly, we has to catch a train at 5 in the morning and unfortunately we could get the cities Mega Cabs to send us a taxi. They were all booked for the the morning. The rates for the distance from Hyatt to the Railway Station (about 4 kilometers- places in Amritsar are close by) varied between Rupees 350-500/- including night/ early morning charges. The Hyatt got us a cab for a whopping Rupees 920/-. We told them of the prevailing rates but as usually you can count on the Hyatt front desk to be opaque and impervious to what you say.
A hotel of repute never overcharges it's guests especially when it comes to services which are not a part of their core business. Infact, top hotels are usually protective about their guests. However, logic doesn't prevail at the Hyatt, Amritsar all that prevails is the 'drill of duty' and 'following that infamous book of rules' like a battalion in an army. The Hyatt actually over charged us for the cab and the reason was that the Hyatt gets a huge commission from the cab stand they call from. They are out to fleece you and they the don't care attitude is really apparent and in your face.
A word of praise for Kunal Moudgil the front desk manager who did concede and give us that ...well somewhat early check-in. Kunal is the only 'saving grace'.
The rooms are tiny, even smaller than the rooms at Hyatt Mumbai...so you can imagine. It is cramped if you are travelling with your family. Having said that the rooms are comfortable and the air conditioning works. The breakfast is decent, quite good but not the best! I guess its good for Amritsar standards. The room service is efficient, polite, intuitive and willing to oblidge- some rub-off from the Ista days I guess.
I wouldn't recommend the Hyatt, Amritsar. Chose it as your last resort. The Blu Radisson will be way better!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Iconic Hyatt in the city of AmritsarNestled in the heart of the city and 10 minutes from the Golden Temple is Hyatt Amritsar, welcoming business and leisure travelers to enjoy luxury 5 star deluxe hotel accommodation coupled with the historical wonders the city has to offer.Hyatt Amritsar offers 248 elegantly appointed guestrooms including suites which are on the fourth floor of the hotel to ensure panoramic views of the city. Rooms have a sleek contemporary design with the highest levels of comfort.Savour specialty Thai and Chinese cuisine at ThaiChi or for more international and local Punjabi cuisine options with a flare, Collage is the ideal choice. When the sun goes down, head to The Lounge Bar for evening cocktails, soothing music and views across an open courtyard.Enjoy the warm Indian sunshine at the outdoor swimming and vitality pool or rejuvenate in one of eight treatment rooms at The Spa.Hyatt Amritsar is conveniently located 4 kilometres from the Golden Temple and Jallianwala Bagh. The Wagah border is also 30 kilometers away, and offers guests the opportunity to watch the retreat ceremony of the guard ceremony at the Indo-Pak border. The international airport is 25 minutes away, while the railway station is a 10-minute drive. ... more less
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- Also Known As:
- Ista Amritsar Hotel Amritsar
- Ista Hotel Amritsar