DC 4th of July Part 2: Park Hyatt DC Review

Park Hyatt DC lobby

As a Hyatt Globalist (at least until early 2023), I wanted to take advantage of some of my perks while in DC for the weekend. As we had four nights, I decided to use my two expiring free night certificates and also try and use a suite upgrade award that I didn’t really have any other use for this year. Unfortunately, suite upgrade awards are not eligible for nights booked with free night awards, so I split our stay between the Park Hyatt and Grand Hyatt.

Up first was the Park Hyatt where I booked two nights on points (17k per night off-peak) and applied the suite upgrade award (SUA). Frankly, I think I would have been upgraded to a suite without using the SUA as there are plenty here and it was well, off-peak, anyway.

The day before we checked in, I received an email from the hotel with a welcome spiel. I responded and asked if we could get upgraded to a nicer suite as a Globalist since I already applied the SUA. The response was strange:

…I do have you in a city view Junior Suite for the next two nights. I’ve been trying to get you a nicer suite, but unfortunately we are expected to be sold out.
However, to make your stay extra special, I would like to offer you our Ambassador Suite at a special rate of $300 per night.
It’s usually $6-7,000 VVIP suite, but I am certain that this can make your anniversary extra special.

Please let me know if you would like to proceed.

While I’m sure the Ambassador Suite is very nice, I did not see the point of paying $300 per night when it was just the two of us and we would be out and about most of the time in DC anyway. I did think it was a bit of a disconnect to claim they are “expected to be sold out” and then in the next paragraph, offer me a 95% discount on a suite.

Anyway, we got to the hotel early, around 9:30am, and I of course did not expect a room to be ready. We checked in with the front desk, and they promised the room would be a priority for the housekeeping staff.

We left our bags with the bell desk and took a stroll around nearby Georgetown. It was very hot though, so we returned to the hotel around 11am and decided to just wait it out. Luckily, our room was available at 11:15am, and it was a city view junior suite on the 9th floor.

Long walk from the elevator to our suite

The suite was OK, but the furnishings are starting to show their age. The bed was very comfortable as were the chairs and chaise. The bathroom is really the star of the room as it has a huge walk-in shower plus a nice tub. Having only one sink is a bit of a disappointment though. I think there could be some renovations made to update the rooms and the hallways if this hotel wants to compete at the highest level.

The only likely difference I can figure out between the city view and regular junior suites is that ours had an extra window. I based this on the layout of the rooms on the exit map on the door.

We were in room 902

As we weren’t headed to meet our daughter until about 2pm, my wife took a nap and I ordered some food. I went down to the restaurant to get some takeout, as I didn’t feel the need to pay for room service. They convinced me that what I ordered (a charcuterie platter) would be better for them to bring to the room. That was a mistake. The cost was almost double when they added in the higher room service food cost plus the service charge, etc. It was pretty good though.

Partially eaten charcuterie plate

Breakfast at the Park Hyatt is at their Michelin-starred restaurant, the Blue Duck Tavern. As a Globalist, we received up to $120 worth of credit. The food was phenomenal, although I’m not sure who is actually paying these prices. Because we had that $120 to burn each day, our daughter walked over from her nearby summer dorm at George Washington University and joined us both mornings. I just tipped up to the $120 limit each day, but I’m not sure if they actually use that “free money” to tip the staff.

Here’s some of what we tried over the two mornings:

The gym at the Park Hyatt is small, but does have Peloton machines, so I finally tried one. It was fun, but I wouldn’t buy one of these things as my gym is $10 per month, so it would take me two lifetimes to get any value out of the Peloton. My daughter didn’t love the gym as one of the treadmills was out of order and she had to wait for a machine.

Riding to 80’s hits

The bar at the hotel is also very good and the prices aren’t crazy for an upscale DC hotel. Full disclosure: my brother often visits the bar here when he’s in DC on business and connected me with the bartender. Luis was entertaining and made some great cocktails for us. We went both before and after dinner on our second night at the hotel.

We were offered late checkout, but didn’t need it, as we moved everything over to the Grand Hyatt around 10:30am Sunday before our timeslot at the Holocaust Museum (as most of the Smithsonian museums are walkable from the Grand Hyatt).

Overall, we enjoyed our stay at the Park Hyatt. The junior suite had enough room for us and our daughter to hang out to stay out of the hot afternoon sun following our museum visits on Saturday. We also loved the Globalist breakfast benefit. Would I stay here again? I would consider it as a Globalist, but if I lose my status as expected, I would probably stay elsewhere. I hope Hyatt (and/or whomever owns the hotel) invests some funds into refurbishing the hotel to bring it up to brand standard. Compared to the Park Hyatt New York, it’s just not at the same level.

If you enjoyed this post (or have questions), let me know in the comments or send me an email at emptynestermiles@gmail.com. If you are thinking about opening a new credit card, please use one of my links.

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