We had hoped to see the Grand Tetons on our way out of West Yellowstone, but I was worried about how long it would take to reach our next stop, Salt Lake City. Driving for 6-8 hours a day was beginning to get on my nerves. We had already compromised on staying in Salt Lake City instead of Park City because of the extra time it would take.
Fortunately the roads in Utah are amazing–easily the best we experienced during the entire trip. Normally I adhere strictly to the speed limit, but I finally got a chance to see what “sport” mode is like in my Audi before my wife yelled at me to slow down.
I redeemed the free night award that comes with my Hyatt Visa Card (the original version) at the Hyatt House Salt Lake City/Downtown. I’ve stayed at a couple of Hyatt House locations, but they were all converted Amerisuites locations. This was the first new build I’ve been in and was quite impressed. Normal rates were closer to $200 per night. Considering the annual fee on my card is under $80, I think we got a good deal with the free night award. You can also book a free night for just 8,000 points.
Downstairs there was a swimming pool and a separate covered patio, as well as a large indoor lobby for seating, a bar, a pool table, and a breakfast buffet. I didn’t bother to visit the swimming pool because we had finally traveled far enough south that the summer heat became intolerable. But we did enjoy relaxing in our room while I caught up on some laundry. Parking in the adjacent garage is $10 per day.
My free night award allowed me to choose any of three room types: the basic King Bed Den Guestroom, the the King Bed Studio Kitchen Suite, or the King One-Bedroom Kitchen Suite. I chose the one-bedroom suite since it seemed to offer the most apartment-like amenities.
We had a full-size refrigerator, stove, dishwasher, and dining table in addition to the usual sofa that I’d expect from the Hyatt House or Hyatt Place brands. The bedroom was completely separate with its own door.
The bathroom, also, was pretty much what I expected. I love how consistent Hyatt is with the design of its Hyatt House and Hyatt Place brands. The two are pretty similar, but one benefit of the Hyatt House is that the sink and mirror were inside a larger bathroom rather than out in the living room (as is usually the case at Hyatt Place).
While the traffic outside on Highway 89 was busy, we couldn’t hear it indoors. The only downside was that the room didn’t let in much light. That’s just as well given the hot sun. The view was nothing special, so we were inclined to keep the blinds drawn down and enjoy the cool darkness.
Later that evening we walked down the street to Chile-Tepin, a great Mexican restaurant that I strongly recommend.
This was our first time actually visiting downtown Salt Lake City and the headquarters of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I have plenty of Mormon friends and can honestly say I’ve never known nicer people. We headed over to Temple Square and found several greeters and tours ongoing, even in the middle of the week. It’s worth a visit if you have a couple of hours, but it does not need to be an all-day destination if you’re just passing through.