Hyatt Place review – Everything the business traveler looks for in a hotel

As part of our ongoing coverage of new hotel chains, we paid a visit to a local Hyatt Place. Hyatt Place hotels are designed primarily for the business traveler, but the properties offer plenty of amenities that make them an excellent choice for families.

The experience begins in the lobby – right after entering, frequent guests can check in using a computer kiosk. The kiosk allows guests to retrieve their reservation using their credit card or Hyatt Gold Passport card. The advantage of the kiosk is that guests can be on their way to their room in under a minute – all without having to make a stop at the front desk.

All Hyatt Place rooms are outfitted with 42″ flat panel televisions, the Hyatt Plug Panel multimedia interface, free WiFi and free breakfast. To me, those amenities are the most important thing I look for in any business hotel.

The lobby is spacious, while still offering plenty of corners for a bit of privacy. In the lobby area, you’ll off course find the front desk, but also plenty of seating and the cafe/bar.

The “Gallery” features a full bar service, coffee, tea, snacks and made to order meals. On the menu are the kind of things you’d expect from a hotel restaurant – salads, burgers, pizza and a variety of finger foods. In the morning, the Gallery serves made to order breakfast items, which are sold in addition to the free continental breakfast. The morning menu consists of waffles, omelets, french toast, sausage burritos and a scrambled egg/smoked bacon dish.

Prices at the Gallery are quite reasonable – all dishes are under $10, with many starting at just $4. During the hotel happy hour, guests can order a free pizza with the purchase of six beers or a bottle of wine. Snacks and drinks from the Gallery are available 24/7, which is perfect if you have an insanely early morning flight and need a bite to eat.

The bedroom is well designed – right after entering is a large seating area (with sofa bed), rolling ottoman, a desk and a small sink/fridge corner. To the right of the desk is the nifty Hyatt Plug Panel.

The Plug Panel offers instant access to a variety of inputs – as well as 2 fused power outlets (conveniently located next to the desk). Buttons on the panel allow you to switch to that input without having to fiddle with the remote. Channels on the TV are in HD, taking full advantage of the large screen.

The cozy seating corner isn’t a bad place to hang out – thanks to the swiveling TV you can either lie down in bed to watch something, or relax in this corner.

The bedroom is nothing special – but the bed did feel comfortable with decent linens. Each side of the bed has its own light, and the left side features an easy to program Timex alarm clock (with clear instructions).

The bathroom and closet are also your bog standard hotel offering, though the massaging bath soaps are a nice touch.

All in all, Hyatt Place properties offer exactly what a business traveler needs – a quick check-in, free WiFi, access to drinks and snacks and a free breakfast. The refreshed lobby and well designed rooms elevate the hotel way beyond “no frills”.

There are currently 152 Hyatt Place properties, weekend rates start as low as $62, making them a perfect value for money, especially with free breakfast. Weekday rates are often as low as $90, which is a surprisingly good deal.

Families traveling with kids will appreciate the sofa bed in all rooms, free access to the pool (at most properties) and the free breakfast.

Best of all, all stays at Hyatt Properties are currently eligible for their “Big Welcome Back” promotion where you’ll earn a free stay after just two stays.

This review took place at the Hyatt Place in Schaumburg, IL. This property is only 15 minutes from O’Hare airport, and right across the road from Woodfield Mall and the Legoland Discovery Center.

To learn even more about Hyatt Place hotels or to reserve a room, click here.

Stay tuned to Gadling next week, where you’ll have a chance at winning a free stay at a Hyatt Place hotel, along with some other goodies!