It’s funny how changing your travel habits can take you new places. I almost never visit Dallas the city, but since switching my business from United Airlines to American Airlines I find myself connecting through the DFW airport multiple times a month. I like it a lot more than IAH, especially because it has two great Hyatt hotels located on the airport property when an overnight layover is required.
To provide some context on this review, my first stay at the Grand Hyatt DFW was in March, but I was in an ugly mood after a delayed flight, an even more delayed shuttle bus, and other inconveniences. I tried not to take this out on the agent who checked us in at the hotel, but she must have picked up on it and upgraded us to an Executive King room on higher floor with an excellent view, higher ceilings, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
I hesitated in writing a review of my stay back then because I didn’t know if (1) my attitude would color my recollection or (2) I really didn’t have enough time to explore the property. The hotel did absolutely nothing wrong. But I didn’t want to let outside factors bias my experience.
Megan and I returned to the Grand Hyatt DFW last month, deciding that it made sense to stay there the night before our drive to Abilene (rather than try to fly to Abilene or drive that same night). I’m pleased to report that the service actually is as good as I remember it, whether or not the staff are dealing with a difficult guest.
Upon arrival we were offered the usual Diamond welcome gift of 1,000 Gold Passport points or a food and beverage amenity. Some hotels have more interesting options than others, and at this property you can opt for margaritas with chips and guacamole. It was a nice change of pace from our usual wine and cheese plate.
Our agent also asked if we were returning guests, and after we confirmed this we were given vouchers for two free drinks and an appetizer at the hotel’s restaurant or lounge. We ended up enjoying our welcome amenity upstairs in our room before going down for seconds (since we were leaving the next morning). On the particular day we visited rates were about $180 — though I’ve seen them as low as $100 — making this a great for the annual free night award I received with the Hyatt Credit Card. In addition to the room, we probably received over $100 in free food and drinks including breakfast.
We had another Executive King room on this visit, but the ceiling and windows weren’t quite as large. It was still spacious and had a great view of the runways by Terminal D. If we had more time, this hotel would be a great place for an avgeek to sit and do some plane watching. You can also go up to the rooftop pool for more expansive views.
Our room had tall ceilings and several touch-sensitive light switches. There was plenty of space to relax and spread out. In fact, the first time I was here I mistakenly thought I had a junior suite.
On the other hand, the bathroom didn’t offer a ton of privacy since it had a glass shower and no separate room for the toilet. It also had only a single sink. It was good enough for a short stay, but it was still an area that fell short of my usual expectations for a Grand Hyatt property. (One or two of these I can let slide. All three is an issue. It’s still a ton better than the awful, cramped bathrooms at the Grand Hyatt New York.)
In its favor, this is the only hotel so far where I’ve tried out Hyatt’s new digital entertainment system, which makes it easy to access the Internet or other media accounts through the television. I know a few other properties offer this, including the Grand Hyatt San Francisco. We took advantage of it here to log in to my Netflix account and watch a movie — a huge improvement over trying to huddle around a 13″ MacBook Air.
I judge airport hotels by two things: proximity and breakfast. I’m usually too tired to care much about how nice the room is, which means I really just care that I can get there quickly and go to sleep. The Grand Hyatt DFW does very well in this respect because it’s attached to the airport. But breakfast is also important since it needs to be served early enough to catch a morning departure and because it’s my favorite meal of the day.
What I didn’t know on my first stay is that Diamond members can choose to enjoy their breakfast as room service as early as 5 AM. This would have been a huge benefit as we had a 7 AM departure but the Grand Met restaurant doesn’t open until 6:30 AM. Instead we went to the Centurion Lounge, which was merely okay.
Our second visit allowed a more leisurely trip to the restaurant, where I enjoyed some apple and pecan French toast while Megan had an excellent huevos rancheros. During both visits I also got some coupons for a free coffee from the cafe but never used them.
Previously I reviewed the Hyatt Regency DFW opposite the main parking garage at Terminal C. I received excellent treatment there, as well, including a suite upgrade. However the Grand Hyatt DFW is actually inside the newer Terminal D. It is usually a little more expensive but sometimes comparable to the Hyatt Regency. Fortunately I think that premium comes with an even better experience.