Tuesday, February 18, 2014

CHICAGO: Hyatt Regency O'Hare

The Hyatt Regency O’Hare is a beautiful hotel near O’Hare Airport just west of Chicago, with easy access to the airport and two major freeways. There is a lot to recommend about it, as well as one drawback worth considering.

The open lobby extending up several floors, a hallmark of Hyatt Regency properties, is striking. It features the O’H American Grill that serves breakfast and lunch on one side, Red Bar & Lounge on the opposite side, and a fitness center and Regency Club Lounge in between. The Regency Club Lounge serves complimentary hors d’oeuvres and beverages and offers complimentary Internet access for guests who have achieved a certain Hyatt Gold Passport status. A FedEx office is located one floor below the main lobby and serves as the hotel’s business center.

Guest room 2443
My guest room, number 2443, was lovely and well equipped with adequate space for both working and relaxing. The room had a king bed as well as an easy chair with ottoman and table so one could work on the laptop while reclining rather than sitting at the work station. The workstation had a proper task chair, a work light, and a couple of outlets to charge the electronics with which we travel today. There were additional power outlets at each bedside table, along with an iHome radio and a white noise machine from Homedics. The room also had an iron and ironing board, a safe and an increasingly rare minibar.

The bathroom was on the smaller side with a combination tub and shower, a rather industrial looking toilet, hair dryer and the usual amenities. Small and unremarkable, but functionally fine.

On the topic of connectivity, the hotel gets high marks.

Work station and lounging area
Wireless Internet access is available in the room, and I chose the basic option, which proved to be more than adequate. As measured by SpeakEasy.net/speedtest, both upload and download speeds were almost 6 Mbps, and faster speeds were available for an additional fee. This far into the 21st century, connectivity is vital, and most of the hotels at which I stay provide Internet access at around 1 Mbps, which I consider unforgivably slow.

Very good service overall

With the sole exception of the front desk clerk who checked me in, everyone offered excellent service. Housekeeping had a bathrobe at my door within minutes of my request, the concierge was helpful providing directions to the places I needed to be, the servers at the restaurant and the bar were efficient and polite, and everyone I passed in the hall was pleasant and offered a greeting as we passed.

Despite all those positives, there is one negative aspect that may come into play if you are driving to the property and intend to self park instead of using the valet: ease of access.

Getting into and out of the parking garage and the hotel is less convenient and far more time-consuming than it would have been at any number of neighboring hotels for a number of reasons, including the hotel’s layout and it location, next to the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.

The road that separates the hotel and the convention center serves the convention center’s loading docks and parking garage and, as a result, is often lined with waiting semi-trucks, delivery vans, and other service vehicles. After running that gantlet, guests have to negotiate the automated entrance to the parking lot, find the parking garage, then make a fairly long trek to the hotel lobby.

Using the hotel’s “Valet Parking and Baggage Assistance” area will overcome many of the parking hassles but may not save you any time and certainly won’t do anything to shorten the hikes within this rather large hotel.

If your trip involves a conference or a series of meetings at the hotel or the conference center, you’ll probably find that a minor inconvenience. However, if you go back and forth between off-site meetings and your hotel and room several times during the course of the day, you may wish to consider a property that makes it easier to come and go.

Visit my main page at TheTravelPro.us for more news, reviews, and personal observations on the world of upmarket travel.



Photos by Carl Dombek
Click on photos to view larger images

1 comment:


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