Confession: I didn’t love the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome (A Review)

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park hyatt paris vendome review

Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome Entrance

Yep. I stayed four nights here as part of my free Paris vacation valued at over $20,000. Both my partner and I opened a Chase Hyatt Visa credit card. Both came with two free nights at any Hyatt property in the world. Hyatt now has a handful of properties that are in a new category: aspirational Category 7. I was torn between redeeming the free nights at the Vendome or at one of the two Category 6 properties in Hawaii. It’s obvious which one I picked because I’m now reviewing the Vendome. I was underwhelmed by it. It was “meh.”

The reason I chose the Vendome was mostly because of the hype. In the points-and-miles blog stratosphere, people talk about the Vendome like it’s the holy grail of hotels.

Expectations. I tried not to have very many. I was hoping for a nice room as a Platinum member with Hyatt. Nearly the second I walked into the Vendome, I kinda had this sinking feeling that I’d wasted my precious four free nights.

Arrival and check-in

We landed at Orly at got to the hotel around 10am. Check-in wasn’t until 2pm, which was fine. I was hoping to drop off a couple of bags and go explore the area for a few hours. I can’t quite place the feeling, but suffice it to say I didn’t feel particularly welcomed.

I think it was because I asked about the breakfast situation: I’d seen a couple of reports on FlyerTalk that Platinum members have been extended complimentary breakfast on award stays as a kind of unofficial, on-the-DL perk. The question was enough for the check-in person to call the hotel manager.

While we waited, he kind of stared us down and made a mention to the effect that we weren’t entitled to a free breakfast since the room was already free. “I see you are having an award stay.” Well yes we are, but it’s my first time here and I’ve heard the breakfast is wonderful so thought I would ask. I tried to express my excitement, but he rolled his eyes and we waited there awkwardly until the hotel manager came in and told us pretty much the same thing. At this point I was sorta like, Jesus, OK, I get it. Sorry for asking!

Then the manager basically told us to fuck off, in that curt French way, until 2pm. Which we did.

The room

When we came back at 2pm, I took a big whiff of that Hyatt smell and went back to the check-in desk. The same surly guy was there. He got our bags and handed us our keys. Then when I got up the room, my heart just sank.

It was a tiny room with a view of the courtyard. And as a room, in general, it was certainly not the nicest I’d ever experienced. It felt more like a Category 2 or 3 than a 7.

I say this after staying at the Grand Hyatts in Melbourne, San Diego, and Santiago. This was my first Park Hyatt and I thought it would be at least on par with the Grand Hyatt.

The bed

The bed

Water and coffee

Water and coffee

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Water and cookies

View from other side of the bed

View from other side of the bed

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Seating area

View of courtyard

View of courtyard

The skinny hanging man sculptures were all over the room and hotel

The skinny hanging man sculptures were all over the room and hotel

Ditto

Ditto

Huge bathroom

Huge bathroom

Tub and shower

Tub and shower

Toilet room

Toilet room

Bath amenities

Bath amenities

Toiletries

Toiletries

Slippers and laundry bag

Slippers and laundry bag

View from the bathroom

View from the bathroom

Desk and TV

Desk and TV

Welcome amenity of wine and macaroons

Welcome amenity of champagne and macaroons

The ONLY outlet in the room

The ONLY outlet in the room

On the surface, the room looked serviceable. But after getting settled in, the problems with the room slowly started to reveal themselves.

First of all, there was only ONE outlet in the entire room. I came equipped with converters for my devices, so that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that was only ONE outlet available, period. And it was in a “cubby” inside of the desk that was mostly inaccessible and next to a mess of wires. I’d like at least two useable outlets in a hotel room.

The temperature. I don’t know if I’m thick or what, but I couldn’t figure out how to adjust the heating and cooling in the room. Was it even in there? I mean, it felt OK during the day, but I had to crack the windows in the evening. I know Parisians aren’t big on A/Cs, but this is the PARK HYATT PARIS VENDOME. Shouldn’t they have temperature controls in the rooms?

The size of the room left a lot to be desired. The bathroom was as big as the living/sleeping area. I do appreciate a huge bathroom, but I would’ve rather had a larger seating area, for example.

I got the feeling that they gave me the most basic room in the hotel, probably because, as the check-in agent reminded me, it was a “free” room.

The welcome amenity, I was told, was to placate me in lieu of getting breakfast.

There were scratches on the walls, and the carpet looked a little dirty. The mirrors and desks and tables were clean, but the room in general felt like it could’ve used a refresh. The furniture looked a tad cheap.

Finally, the light bulbs. Three of them blew out during my four-night stay, including two in the bathroom. The other one was one of the recessed bulbs in the ceiling of the main room. When the bulb around the magnifying mirror in the bathroom blew, I started to feel like I was in some rundown motel instead of a Category 7 Hyatt property.

Two blown out bulbs in the bathroom... SMH

Two blown out bulbs in the bathroom… SMH

On top of all this, the hotel itself wasn’t in the best condition to provide a truly world-class stay.

The hotel

The property itself is very, very, VERY well located. It’s mere blocks from the Louvre, the L’Opera train station, the Seine, shopping, Champs D’Elysees, etc. No complaints there. I walked everywhere I wanted to go.

Entrance

Entrance

In front of the restaurant

In front of the restaurant

More skinny man sculptures

More skinny man sculptures

Onward to elevator and check-in desk

Onward to elevator and check-in desk

The hotel itself is housed in a small building. The size of the property does affect its offerings. It simply doesn’t feel like an urban retreat. The size of the building, and definitely the size of the rooms, made me feel cramped.

And even though I wasn’t offered a breakfast voucher, I still wanted to try the much-discussed breakfast. So I paid for it. The buffet breakfast is 44 euro per person – about $58. That is, needless to say, a shit-ton of money for a breakfast. And the thing is, for that price, it simply wasn’t that great.

Breakfast

This deserves its own heading because it’s been SO HYPED. Here’s the scene I experienced. For $58 bucks a person, I would never let myself get suckered into this ever again.

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2014-06-16 09.10.09

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They basically just had your normal fruit, cheese, cereal, smoothes, and bread… maybe a few “premium” items like smoked salmon and some fancy pastries. But for $58, I feel like I should’ve at least had some hot food (which would’ve been a la carte for another 20 euro per dish) or perhaps a few mimosas. Basic, basic, basic.

Bottom line

I know this post sounds whiny. I feel like I had moderate expectations for this property, and they were all dashed. Adding to this is that I stayed at the Hyatt Regency Etoile right after this and experienced a much higher level of service.

This hotel did nothing for me as a Platinum member (maybe the welcome amenity counts), didn’t have a club floor or lounge, was small, had no room temp controls, busted light bulbs, cramped rooms, and poor service… I regret that I used my two free nights at this property and so does my partner. I wish, instead, I’d used them in Hawaii, which was what my instincts told me to do. I will never get those free nights back, and I feel there were wasted.

I will never stay at this property ever again, points, free, paid, or otherwise. I can’t imagine paying to stay here. The only thing it has going for it is location, and even then, they are not the only show in town.

A hotel should be a retreat, which ample outlets and lighting, comfortable rooms, and gracious service. And if the breakfast is going to be $58 per person per day, it at least needs to be good.

Tell me, readers, am I being histrionic and going off the deep end?

My recommendation for Paris is to redeem points for any other Hyatt property there, or simply pay for a room. Do NOT use your free nights from the Chase Hyatt Visa here. This world is big, and there are lots of other places that are well worth it.

I am sad to report I didn’t love this property. I really wanted to. The flight over and Paris, as a city, was fantastic. Unfortunately, the stay at the Park Hyatt Paris-Vendome did little to contribute to that.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.

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About Harlan

Just a dude living in Dallas.

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  1. Park Hyatt Tokyo, dude. Went from a weekend at the Conrad w/ the Reserve certificates to 2 nights at PHT and the service there is unreal. My friend had the card , so we used his 2 nights and they gave us a 4 hour happy hour w/ drinks and canapes as a welcome gift to Japan. Drinks were like $20-25 plus tax and we ate a ton – I dunno, maybe $400 saved?

  2. I felt the same way. I used one of two free nights from the Hyatt card, and got a similar room (but with free breakfast — this was a couple of year ago). Even free, I felt the breakfast was underwhelming! Most of all, the service was terrible — we left luggage and coats with the front desk as we were early for check-in (like you). When we went up to the room, my coat was missing! I called the front desk, and they gave me the third degree (the tone was, we highly doubt you left your coat with us and we didn’t put it in your room, but we’ll check on it once we get the chance). I had to follow up with them. On the third time checking in with the front desk, they found my coat and brought it up to my room, but without any apologies for the time wasted.

  3. Interesting – very different from the flyertalk reviews but then again many are Diamonds. Personally I don’t think you can beat the PH Tokyo experience, which was about 10x better than Paris (but consider the culture of service in Japan v. snooty Parisians).

    I would not shed any tears for Hawaii. They are nice resorts but completely different from a city hotel and the Hyatt Maui has deteriorated significantly over the past 2 years.

    • Yes, I was shocked by the poor condition of the rooms, and not impressed with the hotel overall.

      Good to hear about Hawaii – I’ve heard good things from friends but never really looked into them in-depth.

      Re: PH Tokyo. It’s on my list! I’ve never been to Asia (criminal, I know!).

  4. My wife and I recently spent two nights at the Park Hyatt Paris Vendome, and we loved it. The first night was an award night, and the second was paid. Our room had temperature controls, our light bulbs worked, the breakfast came with hot food included, the price of breakfast was discounted 50% for being a Platinum member, and the service was the best I’ve experienced anywhere. We were treated like royalty. Definitely pricey, but a fun splurge and for us it was worth it.

  5. I forgot to mention that the room itself was very nice. Ours did not appear worn at all. Walls, carpet, furniture, etc., were all in excellent condition. The rooms are on the small side, but not terribly so, particularly for Europe.

  6. I stayed 4 award nights in April and adored the property and the service. The concierge researched and planned 2 excursions for me and my mother and the hotel gave her a birthday gift (scented candle worth 40€). I appreciated the art and decor of the hotel (not just skinny man figures) and we each had an outlet on either side of the bed in addition the ones in the desk and the bathroom. Agree to disagree. Extra note: if you need more water or need a healthy snack, go down to the gym. Evian bottles and apples always available.

  7. I am glad that I skipped it. I will admit that I did not love our stay at the Intercontinental Paris Le Grand Hotel either. It is one block from PH Paris Vendome and next to the Opera House. It too was super stuffy and we had to open a window to get some air circulating! We even called the AC guy and there was nothing he could do! I didn’t love that every restaurant in that area was fine dining and we were never dressed for that while out sightseeing. By contrast, I oddly enough loved the Holiday Inn Notre Dame! Yep, I liked a Holiday Inn better than an Intercontinental! I loved the rooftop bar overlooking the Eiffel Tower and Notre Dame! I loved that the bed was comfy and the air worked great! And I loved that there were a million inexpensive restaurant options all around. And that Notre Dame was a 5 minute walk.

    I loved the Grand Hyatt Kauai! Best service I’ve ever had.

    • I liked the Hyatt Regency Etoile more than the Vendome by a mile, too. It was in a residential part of town, and easy walking distance to the train and tons of small local joints. Maybe that’s the way to go in Paris.

      I’m seriously thinking of closing my Hyatt card and opening another – it’s one of the few not under 5/24. And using the free nights in Hawaii.

      You giving me eye-deers, Sarah! :p

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