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