The Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is Hyatt’s flagship property in Asia and sets the tone in a region where the Hyatt brand is expanding rapidly with one amazing new property after another. However, it remains my favorite of the bunch. I always try to stop in Hong Kong when it’s convenient on my way to or from other destinations in Asia, and I always try to stay at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong unless I have a good reason to try something different.
There was just one problem, and it really depended on how picky you were about design. This hotel opened in 1989. In Asia. And it showed. Despite excellent maintenance it still screams 80s to me, with a combination of off-whites and blonde woods in the bedroom and black marble and gold hardware in the bathroom. The public areas pull off this look a little better. But in the guest rooms, it was starting to look dated.
I heard reports before our trip that the hotel was undergoing renovations and was hoping that we would get assigned to one of the new rooms at check-in. We lucked out. Be sure to check out my previous review for an idea of the old room design. Public spaces haven’t changed much.
Trip Report Index
- Trip Report Introduction: Taking My Sister to Asia for Two Weeks
- Review: Cathay Pacific First Class SFO-HKG (Last of the 747s)
- Review: Grand Hyatt Hong Kong (after Renovations)
Although Cathay Pacific provides an arrivals lounge to its business and first class customers, there wasn’t much point given our late arrival and plans to go directly to the hotel. Katherine and I took the Airport Express from the airport into the Central district, and from there a taxi the rest of the way. The total cost was about HKD 250, whereas a taxi for entire journey is about HKD 350. I do enjoy the views from the drive, but I figured we could take the taxi on our return journey during the day. At check-in, we were assigned one of the renovated rooms that, while not located on one of the Grand Club floors (these are at the top of the hotel and have their own glass elevator), did have an great view and an excellent new design.
The bedroom retained some Asian influence but was far more contemporary. The colors were more interesting. I also appreciated the placement of the table and mirror by the window. Desks are becoming more outdated, in my opinion. Where space permits I prefer to work at a regular table, which can perform double duty if you choose to order room service. And while we had a great view, the reflection in that mirror made it seem like the harbor stretched on even further.
The biggest change was to the bathrooms. There was no more black or gold. The old-style faucets and snaking handle were gone. And it was far more spacious, with a larger shower and an open wall (with an optional divider) between the tub and bedroom. These setups don’t always make sense, but when you have a great view, who wouldn’t want to enjoy it from the bath?
My one disappointment? They got rid of the awesome keys! The original keys were solid metal keys with coded magnetic tracks instead of notched grooves. This time we were handed standard RFID room keys. Many other features of the original room were retained. These included a small, analog alarm clock and the touch button light controls at the doors and bedside tables. While the buttons are more common in new hotels today, when first installed they were pretty novel. A small tea and coffee set was also provided, including Nespresso pods.
Hyatt recently changed its service standards for Gold Passport Diamond members at international properties. While in the U.S. we could always choose between 1,000 points or a food and beverage treat as our welcome amenity, other locations provided only the food and beverage. I was curious if this change had led to an upgrade. Some hotels are very flash, with a large display of sweets and candies. In the U.S. you might get a cheese plate and a bottle of wine. The last time I was at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong I got a bowl of fruit and water.
This time I got a bowl of fruit and some fruit-filled cookies. It’s not that they were bad — actually, quite the opposite — but the Grand Club here is one of the best in the system. You won’t go hungry. I suggest choosing points and then eating your fill at the club.
About that. The Grand Club at the Grand Hyatt Hong Kong is one of the main reasons I will pick this hotel over other properties. The hotel doesn’t have the best location. You could stay at the W in Kowloon or the Conrad in Admiralty and have better access to mass transit and nearby attractions. But taxis are cheap in Hong Kong. I stay here because the service is impeccable and the free food and beverages in the club are great. They’ve got another Scott there who runs a tight ship, remembering the names of frequent guests and always making sure you’re treated like family. One day I sent my sister ahead to relax after a day of sightseeing while I hit the gym. As soon as I walked up the stairs, Scott was there to lead me to our window-side seat and had a gin and tonic delivered to me without asking.
Experiences like this are why I love being a Hyatt Diamond member. The service in the U.S. is good. The service abroad can be amazing.
And of course, we ended the stay with a stop at the Tiffin Lounge for afternoon tea. Megan enjoyed it so much that Katherine needed to see what the fuss was all about. Clearly, she was not disappointed!