Old Apr 29, 15, 10:59 pm
FlyerTalk Evangelist
Join Date: Oct 1999
Location: So Fla & NYC
Programs: DL DM/2MM, UA MM, BV LTTitanium, HH Diamond
Posts: 23,498
I am mightily disappointed by this hotel. We work that area two to three days a month and have been doing so for many years. I was always annoyed by the absence of a first-rate full service Hyatt between Arlington and Reston and was looking forward to using this one as our go-to in the area. So much of the time we were patronizing some Starwoods and Marriotts in Tysons Corner and Falls Church along with the Hyatts in Arlington and DC.

However, this one just does not cut it. The rooms are not too badly designed although the thermostat has been placed out of the reach of anyone less than 5'5" (such as frantic), requiring one to climb precariously up on a couch to reach it. The desk chair is a conventional type chair without any adjustability, casters, or height adjustment. Although it is quite comfortable, it is not easy to work on the desk since it is difficult to move it around on the new carpeting and it is a bit low to use while working a computer since the reaching up position is quite tiring. The in-room safe is located at floor level making it a kneel-down affair to use it. Even the maintenance tech who was needed to make it work was not happy about the way they were located.

The biggest failing here (I am writing from the room) is that there is no real restaurant and no room service of which to speak. There is, in fact, something that is described as a restaurant but which is really a beer bar with a "scene" atmosphere. I am sure that it is wildly successful since it is jammed at happy hour and seems relatively busy all night. I am sure that the beer is good but OTOH the food is atrocious. It ranges from tasteless to severely over-seasoned with conceptions that range from the unsuccessfully adventurous to the completely ridiculous. Our first dinner had very little that was very good and much that was not to our taste (and we wonder to whose it might be). The saving grace was that it had no wine to speak of other than the house Canvas (BTW I wonder what happened to the very good Champagne Cuvee Hyatt of yesteryear?). There was no interesting bottle to try and the check was therefore relatively modest with only one fresh but mediocre Canvas Cab having been ordered.

Since we felt we might have ordered wrong the first night and were quite tired from a very taxing mortgage closing, the second night we fell down in the room after work and just decided to give the kitchen a second chance and try the room service. Just a salad to split and a couple of sandwiches would do just fine. This was a complete FAIL. Nothing was any good at all. I would leave my criticism at that except for the manner of serving and the follow-up.

The "room service" was delivered in a paper shopping bag packed as if to go on a picnic with everything in styrofoam and with plastic utensils, the water in large plastic cups. After everything was tasted and much discarded, the detritus was put back into the shopping bag and placed outside the door. Dutifully, room service was called and alerted that there was a pickup needed at our door. The response was (and I still do not believe this) that they "don't provide that service." So the front desk was called. The woman who answered apparently did not know of that non-service and said that she would herself come up for it immediately. Of course, more than an hour later it was still there and the next call was for the manager who was informed that if he did not want bugs crawling around and the soup (which was truly horrendous) leaking all over his new carpet, he best send someone up to get this thing. So there was now a second person coming up himself.

Aside from this, the general level of experience and hospitality training of the staff is inferior. This staff is very friendly and does want to provide service but in too many instances, it just does not know how to do it. I will not go into all the details of the restaurant staffers who, when asked, really do not know what ingredients are in many of the menu items and seem to fake it quite well creating quite a surprise when it is placed in front of you. I don't like being a guinea pig for a prolonged employee education period which was supposed to be finished or nearly finished before the place is opened.

And I surely do not like a "full service hotel" that has services that are pitched to the locals who come over for a beer instead of the business travelers who I imagine are their raison d'etre and should be supplying most of their revenue. They need to sell a lot of those beers to cover one $300 night, none of which they are going to get from me any more.

BTW if Gold Passport Concierge does read this post, he/she should note that this front desk has not been informed that Diamond guests are supposed to be offered the choice of points or an amenity. He/she should also note that in more than thirty years of doing this stuff, I have never written a complaint letter to a hotel or hotel chain. I actually would be most pleased if Hyatt would fix this place so that I could use it as I had planned.
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