Picture yourself sipping a cool beverage at the lakefront restaurant in your hotel. Across the lake, but outside of earshot, you see numerous airplanes on approach to the local international airport. Much closer, you see single-engine airplanes taking off and landing at the local flight school. Not to be outdone, several floatplanes arrive and begin taking off and landing on the lake, which for most of your time at the hotel is as still as glass. Last, but certainly not least, within 100 yards to your left, Boeing airplanes sit in storage and await delivery to their new homes. Say what?!?! This is not an avgeek's dream, it's just reality at the Hyatt Regency just outside of downtown Seattle. While the hotel is perfect for avgeeks, the property is fantastic for anyone.
The Hyatt Regency is set on the southeastern shores of Lake Washington in Renton, Washington. It is conveniently located only 15 minutes from Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SeaTac) and less than 25 minutes from downtown Seattle. If you are there for a short stay or a long weekend, a car is not absolutely necessary. There are plenty of shops and restaurants within walking distance to keep you occupied.
The Hyatt Regency Lake Washington is a Category 3 Property, meaning it costs 12,000 Hyatt points per night. Standard suites are 20,000 per night, and premium suites are 24,000 per night. A points + cash booking costs 6,000 points and $75.
Like most Hyatt Regency properties, the hotel has an executive club for Globalists and those that pay for access. Unfortunately, it was closed during our stay. Water's Table and Dock & Drink are the two restaurants on site. Additionally, there is a spa, a large gym, and an indoor pool.
During our time at the hotel, the pool was closed. The restaurants, spa, and gym required advance reservations and were limiting capacity at all times.
I ventured out to Seattle to spend a long weekend with Rick Fojtik (aka The Saving Traveler). Our plan was for lots of down time, with enough work space to blog and work on some ToP plans for 2021. This hotel fit the bill perfectly!
For our dates, standard rooms were $129 per night. During the current Hyatt promotions, I had the choice of 9,000 Hyatt points per night (after 25% back for having the World of Hyatt credit card) or paying $129 per night plus tax and earning 3x Hyatt points. I decided to pay cash and consider “paying myself back” with Chase Ultimate Rewards (more on this later). Prior to the stay, we emailed our Hyatt Concierge, which is a benefit of Hyatt Globalist status, and politely requested a suite upgrade.
Upon arrival, I was told that “most” suites were not regularly cleaned and unavailable, due to limited capacity during COVID. Still, thanks to Globalist status, the front desk clerk did upgrade us to a Lake View Corner Executive Suite. This room was 1,000 sq. feet of waterviews, featuring a large living area with a full size couch and armchairs, two flat screen TVs, a private bedroom with a king-size bed, and a very large bathroom. Overall, the suite was fantastic. We spent most of our weekend in the room, ordering takeout and writing. We also saved a little bit of time for football.
Since the Regency Club was closed, we were offered $25 per day at the Market, for use between 5:30 a.m. and 11 a.m. As all our charges occurred during this time period, I was unable to confirm if credits would apply to charges outside this limited window. The Market had beer, wine, soda, water, ice cream and snacks for sale. There was also a full Starbucks drink menu and heartier menu options. Twice, we both selected a breakfast burrito and coffee. A major downside here is that the burritos and coffee (each some of the cheapest menu items) cost more than $25 for two people. Had the Club been open, we could have enjoyed unlimited food and beverage in the lounge, rather than shelling out our own money for a small entrée and one coffee each. Overall, breakfast cost us $8-10 per day, after a generous tip, which certainly isn't terrible. The good news is the burritos were fantastic!
There are several ways to score free parking at this property. First, parking is free in the garage across the street on the weekends (which has an underground entryway) . Second, is currently free for all award stays, and always free for Globalists. As we were leaving on a Monday, we asked the front desk clerk for a parking voucher and it was a seamless process.
As mentioned earlier, the Regency Club and the pool were closed. We did not use the gym or the spa, but both were open and offered limited availability 7 days per week. Both restaurants were open, again with limited reservations available. We decided to go to brunch at Water's Table and enjoy a beautiful morning lakeside. This was a great idea! The restaurant offers bottomless mimosas, which Rick was a big fan of, for $20. While offering a limited menu during COVID, there were plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free options, in addition to the normal offerings. In true “we're about to watch NFL football for 12 straight hours” fashion, we both chose the steak and eggs. At $28, this menu item was well worth the cost! Overall, I was impressed with Water's Table. The food was delicious, the service was very attentive, and the views were amazing. Did I mention there are Boeing 737s just FEET away?!
We did not have an opportunity to check out Dock & Drink, but the lakefront bar and tables looked like a great spot during warmer months. There were plenty of socially-distanced tables just waiting for a warm spring day.
We could have used 12,000 Hyatt points (9,000 after the 25% back promotion) per night to book a standard room or 24,000 per night (18,000 after 25% back) to book the Lake View Corner Suite we received. Instead, I booked a cash rate of $129 per night. The 3 nights earned me over 7,000 Hyatt points, with the current 3x promotion. With a bill of approx. $480 for 3 nights, I can “erase” this charge with 32,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards by using Chase's Pay Yourself Back (PYB) promotion and a CSR. Booking a cash rate with the 3x promotion instead of booking with points saved me thousands of points overall. It's always worth weighing your options in advance to decide which method makes sense. This is especially true during the Hyatt promotions and the PYB timeframe.
Overall, I absolutely loved this property and can't wait to return. That said, there are some glaring problems: winter is a bad time to decide to drain the indoor pool. Closing the Regency Club and only offering $25 per day is unacceptable. And not cleaning and making available most suites is a really bad look. If anything, you would expect a Hyatt Regency, especially in an area of business travel (hello, Boeing is right next door), to have all suites available for its loyalists, especially those with Explorist or Globalist status.