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After arriving hella late to New Orleans, me and my partner Jay hopped in a cab and made our way into the city. A cab from MSY to the French Quarter area is $33 flat each way, just FYI.
The Hyatt Regency New Orleans is about 6 blocks from the French Quarter, where most of the “action” of that blurry string of days took place.
As you can see on the map, New Orleans is chain hotel heaven. There are properties from IHG, Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, Starwood, etc.
The reason I picked this the Hyatt Regency is because I have an affinity for Hyatt, and because, over the circus that was Mardi Gras, I couldn’t find a block of consecutive days anywhere else. So, I had to move hotels – twice. But it’s good because I get to write about them now.
From my vantage point now, I liked the Hyatt Regency the best. It is a little off the well-worn French Quarter track, and isn’t particularly pedestrian friendly as it’s technically in the CBD (Central Business District), but I had no trouble getting around on foot. Might be a consideration for others, though.
We bounced in at around 2:30pm. Check-in was supposed to be at 3pm, but judging from the constant stream of people going in and out, I could tell they might have trouble turning the rooms over so quickly.
We checked in on February 15th, and this image came to mind and made me lol:
— Single Gay Life (@SingleGayLife) February 15, 2015
The agent at the check-in desk told me the room wasn’t ready yet, but offered to take out bags and showed us where we could wait and grab a snack or a drink. How long would the wait be? I asked. 20 minutes. That’s nothin’. I was happy to try a New Orleans craft beer for a bit while the room got ready.
We headed over to Borgne, the restaurant attached to the lobby. We were told that happy hour started at 3pm, but that we could order and ring everything in after 3pm. The happy hour was awesome! $3 local craft beers, $7 pitchers of sangria, $3 well drinks. We ordered a pitcher of sangria (which was yummy and spicy), and I ordered a stout beer: the SPB Southern Prohibition Hipster Breakfast Oatmeal Stout, which is actually brewed in my home state of Mississippi. It was delish!
By the time that all went down, I went over to the check-in desk again and out room was ready by then. Perfect! So that is my check-in story. And here are some more pics.
We took the elevator up to the 22nd floor, to room 2228. This property uses the “atrium” layout, which I love. It felt space age/futuristic, where everyone goes into their pods. The design is extremely slick, and the elevators whizzed up and down, taking people to their rooms. I reminded me a lot of the Grand Hyatt Santiago.
Which leads to wonder… what makes a Hyatt property a Regency or a Grand Hyatt? This one felt like it could be a Grand Hyatt. But whatever the case, I loved it.
The room itself was easily big enough for two. Really nice layout. Plenty of room to sit and work, and the king sized bed was awesome. I spent most of the time in this room in bed, for the little time we were in it. And we had a nice view of the bridge over the Mississippi River. I loved the design details.
Beyond that were the desk, a seating area, coffee, and the windows looking out.
While the room was everything I ever want in a hotel (clean, comfortable, wifi, good area), what really wowed me was the beauty of the property itself.
Before I get to that though, I must say… the wifi was kinda slow. It was much faster at the Country Inn & Suites a few days later. Maybe it was all the people in town for the holiday? It wasn’t unbearable, but was definitely noticeable. And apparently I was upgraded to a “premium” connection, owing to my Platinum status via my Chase Hyatt Visa. But no bueno. That was really my only point of contingency, and it was minor. Everything else was fantastic.
Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.
Call me a sucker or whatever, but the details of this place were gorgeous.
Whoever is managing this property is doing a wonderful job. It is impeccably well-kept and very clean. Within the property, all of the staff I came into contact with were warm and professional, without exception. For some reason I really liked the “vibe” here: Southern and elegant.
A couple of other things: I did not have breakfast here. Criminal, I know. But we had a parade to get to and just couldn’t afford the time.
But the breakfast is located at the bottom of the atrium. I snapped a quick pic on the way out and hope I didn’t look like a creep while doing so:
It looked lovely from afar, and if I recall correctly, the buffet is $20 per person, which isn’t bad at all.
Another thing is how I paid for this night. I used my Annual Free Night cert that I got from having the Chase Hyatt Visa, which is $75 per year.
In this case, a night at this hotel, a Category 3 hotel, would’ve been $319 or 15,000 Gold Passport points.
Note that I was upgraded to a king sized bed, which would’ve been more than that.
So, in my case, my $75 annual fee was worth ~$319, so I saved ~$244 with this one-night stay. Not bad at all and I got a little upgrade to a bigger bed and a better view, which is always welcome.
I also got 3 Gold Passport points per dollar by charging my drinks to my room and paying with the Chase Hyatt Visa. I would’ve totally used 15,000 Gold Passport points (transferred from Ultimate Rewards) to stay here another night, but the availability wasn’t there, which is why I went to the Hyatt French Quarter the next day. But I consider myself lucky that I got to use my award cert not only at this property, but during Mardi Gras. In another way, the value of the experience far outweighs the dollar value, as I have memories that I will have for the rest of my life. So that’s… pretty cool, to say the least.
I had a great stay here. In fact, I wish I could’ve stayed here the whole time. I’m glad I got to see the other options, but on my next trip to New Orleans, I will highly consider making the Hyatt Regency my home base for a few days – especially if I decide not to focus on the French Quarter, as it is a bit of a jaunt over there.
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