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Hyatt Churchill London REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Hyatt Churchill London REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Old Dec 18, 13, 2:57 pm
  #826  
 
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I wrote a review for my stay at the Churchill for the Hyatt London Do back in October. Sorry it took me so long to write it and post it!

In October, 2012, I attended the Hyatt London Do #1, sponsored by the Hyatt Regency Churchill and American Express, and organized by Jenny and Andy Price of Driven2Travel. I was both shocked and elated to have won a two-night weekend stay in a Club-level room (with full breakfast) at the Hyatt London Churchill in the prize draw on the final night. The Churchill were so accommodating to us that I could not wait to return to claim my prize. I decided to return for the the Hyatt London Do #2 (October 24-27, 2013, sponsored once again by the Hyatt Regency Churchill and American Express), and use my two free nights at the Churchill, in addition to two paid nights to enable me to take full advantage of the entire Do.

The weather was unseasonably warm and sunny when I arrived in London on Thursday afternoon, October 24, bleary-eyed from my flight from LAX. As I exited the taxi in front of The Churchill, the eagle-eyed doorman spied my discarded jacket in the back seat, and brought it to my attention before the taxi drove off. The check-in clerk welcomed me back – the first time I recall ever being “welcomed back” to a hotel after one stay……..or even multiple stays. I was then instructed to see the desk agents on the 8th floor Club Level, who would officially check me in and give me my room key. In my jetlagged stupor I had forgotten about the perk of Diamond and Club-level guests being able to bypass the lobby check-in desk, and receive more personalized service from the Club Lounge staff.

The Club Lounge staff also warmly welcomed me, and apologized profusely that my room was not quite ready. I had used one of my Diamond suite upgrades to top off the Churchill experience. The staff were insistent that they assign me to a specific corner suite on the 8thfloor, which they felt would be worth waiting a few extra minutes. They admitted me to the Business Lounge to enjoy a beverage while I waited, and they gave me progress reports every few minutes. The wait was less than fifteen minutes, and worth it. I had similarly used a suite upgrade for last year’s Hyatt London Do, and while this suite was arranged nearly similarly, the layout was a bit more functional, and it included a powder room.

My room (845) was beautifully appointed, with a sofa and a large, comfortable reading chair in the living room -- I believe that it was an Executive Suite. It was very convenient to the Regency Club, and thus worth the wait. The hotel provided complimentary water bottles, which was much appreciated, as I am a water drinker, and never avail myself of the alcohol and sodas in the minibar. The master bathroom had a separate vanity area with a stool – perfect for female travelers (of which I am)…….and who can forget the Molton Brown bath products! There was also a powder room in the foyer. The bed was very comfortable – which is not always a given, even at high end hotels. I typically have trouble falling asleep on my first night in a “new” surrounding – even when jetlagged – but I fell asleep almost instantly that first night.

After unpacking and figuring out the internet (which was very easy to do), I made my way to the Regency Club for canapés and drinks. The other attendees slowly trickled in. The wait staff at the Regency Club were very accommodating to one attendee’s food allergies, and prepared alternative choices which met his dietary requirements.

The Hyatt Churchill graciously sponsored a Champagne reception for our group on Thursday night, in the beautifully appointed Library Suite. The wait staff were so attentive to the liquid level in our glasses, and they regularly made rounds to top off our Champagne (or, in my case, our still or sparkling water). The hors d’oeuvres were plentiful and delicious, and I quickly lost track of how many bite-sized bits I had eaten. I cut myself off after about two hours, due primarily to jetlag, but I was informed the next day that the party continued for another couple of hours after I left……with no end to the Champagne!

Our room rate included breakfast at the Montagu Dining Room, but since I prefer the intimacy and quiet of the Regency Club, I decided to take all but one breakfast there. On the first morning, I was enthusiastically welcomed by name by Chu, one of the club lounge attendants. I have no idea how Chu remembered me by sight from last year, and I was too embarrassed to ask him his secret…….even if the answer was as simple as skimming the guest list and Googling. I remembered Chu quite well from last year, and recalled how his service-oriented energy was one of the highlights of the weekend. Still…….he had probably encountered thousands of Regency Club guests in the past year, and short of being a regular guest, I would never expect any individual staff member to greet me by name in a manner which implies an ongoing personalized business relationship. It’s a shame that Chu is no longer working in the Regency Club.

My one (small) disappointment with the Churchill was that they no longer offer a cooked-to-order menu in the Regency Club. They have added scrambled eggs to the breakfast buffet, but I missed the egg white omelets I ordered last year. I did have breakfast at the Montagu Dining Room on Day 2, knowing that I would be walking around for several hours, and could thereby justify the extra calories I would consume by adding the “cooked to order” component. The buffet at the Montagu offered most of the same cold items as the Regency Club, so if a full, hot breakfast with the works is one’s preference, I would recommend the Montagu. If quiet and intimacy is one’s preference, I would recommend the Regency Club.

On Friday morning, American Express sponsored focus groups in a private room in the back of the Regency Club Lounge. Unfortunately I had to miss the focus groups, as Friday was a regular work day for me. I left for the 25-minute walk to my company’s London office just as the group gathered to begin the focus groups. I also missed the walking tour to St. Martin’s In The Field, the charity which benefitted from the Hyatt London Do. I arrived back at the Churchill in time to join the group for dinner at 4030, in the famous Gherkin building.

Saturday was a free day, which I spent in Brighton. I worked up quite an appetite which was satiated at the gala dinner sponsored by American Express, once again held in the Library Suite. Our hosts, the American Express executives, joined us for a private cocktail party in the foyer. The Churchill did not disappoint, as the food was delicious and the service was excellent, with frequent and regular beverage top-offs. It was a beautiful way to end a fabulous event.

The Hyatt Regency Churchill is perfectly situated in the relatively quiet Portman Square, a block from the world-famous shopping of Oxford Street, and two blocks from Selfridges and Marks & Spencer. It is a five-minute walk from the nearest Tube station (Marble Arch), and from Hyde Park. I don’t know when I will next be back in London, but when I do go back, I will consider the Hyatt Regency Churchill my home away from home.

I would like to thank the Hyatt Regency Churchill and American Express for their hospitality, and I look forward to the next Driven2Travel Do: Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok and Hua Hin February 8-15, 2014!
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Old Dec 19, 13, 3:00 pm
  #827  
 
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Originally Posted by 777 global mile hound View Post
The Hyatt Churchill has challenges they do not want to give the luxury suites out and prefer to sell them so typically Diamonds wont be receiving them
The standard is a small jr suite that may or not over look the park or building wall for those a fan of seeing bricks
The standard suite is the 9th floor 2 room suite with balcony. There are also the lower floor suites which are more studio suites in style.

2 of the suites inside the Presidential Suite are classed as Regency Suites (apparently) - the other 2 are speciality suites.

I disagree that they don't give the better suites out - we received an executive suite on our first stay (first ever Hyatt stay), the Royal Suite on our second stay, the Saatchi Suite on 2 occasions and suites or executive suites on probably 80% of our stays. However, it may well be that the hotel regards return visitors as more valuable than diamond members (I remember talking to a fellow FTer in the lounge who was only platinum, but received a suite with club access on their second stay).

However, it depends on the time of year. During the summer, the hotel is near full occupancy and many of the suites are taken over for months at a time by families escaping the heat of the Middle East (with the 6 figure bills to match).

Prices are often absurd (although not as bad as IC Park Lane), but if under £300/night, reasonable value for London, at least as a diamond member.
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Old Dec 19, 13, 6:30 pm
  #828  
 
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Originally Posted by price123 View Post
The standard suite is the 9th floor 2 room suite with balcony. There are also the lower floor suites which are more studio suites in style.

2 of the suites inside the Presidential Suite are classed as Regency Suites (apparently) - the other 2 are speciality suites.

I disagree that they don't give the better suites out - we received an executive suite on our first stay (first ever Hyatt stay), the Royal Suite on our second stay, the Saatchi Suite on 2 occasions and suites or executive suites on probably 80% of our stays. However, it may well be that the hotel regards return visitors as more valuable than diamond members (I remember talking to a fellow FTer in the lounge who was only platinum, but received a suite with club access on their second stay).

However, it depends on the time of year. During the summer, the hotel is near full occupancy and many of the suites are taken over for months at a time by families escaping the heat of the Middle East (with the 6 figure bills to match).

Prices are often absurd (although not as bad as IC Park Lane), but if under £300/night, reasonable value for London, at least as a diamond member.
We're hoping for maybe a bit nicer suite in May. It will be our second stay after 10 nights this past April. I think I'll try asking for 823 or any x23, since that seems what a lot of people recommend. We were not that impressed with the suite we had last year, but nor were we really disappointed. To be fair, we asked for a street-facing suite with a walk-in closet, and that is exactly what they gave us, although it was the smallest walk-in closet I've ever seen.

One big dissapointment for this next stay is that they no longer have AARP rates for the standard rooms, only from one rank up, so this next stay is really pushing our budget. I've holding out hope for a 'My Elite' rate after Jan 7, but there have been a lot of posts doubting that those rate will be widely offered. Maybe we'll take a gamble on a Advanced Payment rate.
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Old Dec 20, 13, 5:51 am
  #829  
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Originally Posted by OsakaWino View Post
To be fair, we asked for a street-facing suite with a walk-in closet, and that is exactly what they gave us, although it was the smallest walk-in closet I've ever seen.
the X23 suites do not have walk in closets
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Old Dec 20, 13, 11:23 am
  #830  
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Originally Posted by price123 View Post
The standard suite is the 9th floor 2 room suite with balcony. There are also the lower floor suites which are more studio suites in style.

2 of the suites inside the Presidential Suite are classed as Regency Suites (apparently) - the other 2 are speciality suites.

I disagree that they don't give the better suites out - we received an executive suite on our first stay (first ever Hyatt stay), the Royal Suite on our second stay, the Saatchi Suite on 2 occasions and suites or executive suites on probably 80% of our stays. However, it may well be that the hotel regards return visitors as more valuable than diamond members (I remember talking to a fellow FTer in the lounge who was only platinum, but received a suite with club access on their second stay).

However, it depends on the time of year. During the summer, the hotel is near full occupancy and many of the suites are taken over for months at a time by families escaping the heat of the Middle East (with the 6 figure bills to match).

Prices are often absurd (although not as bad as IC Park Lane), but if under £300/night, reasonable value for London, at least as a diamond member.
Have been a guest at this Hyatt property since the change over of branding from the former InterContinental.
I am a Diamond for over 20 years and going on 3 million Gold Passport points and a fair number of stays with the Hyatt Churchill over the years
This calendar year I closely approach approx 80 room nights at mostly full service Hyatt's this year alone without counting award stays
Would disagree with your assessment generally in my experience and conversations with upper management whom I deeply respect.

Don't typically stay May through September though one exception was the London Olympics stayed at Andaz .
Churchill was a 1000 a night for a basic club floor room!
There are a number of factors regarding upgrade recognition here and quite frankly it gets complicated IMHO
On the other hand when you become a regular at the hotel they do seem to take care of you. More so when asking the right empowered individuals.
A number of agents have little empowerment and in the past check in agents on the club floor would smile and do
offer nothing other than a slightly bigger standard higher floor room more frequently the norm/standard assigned to Diamonds without suite upgrade confirmed in advance
Gold Passport and the hotel upgrade into a very a limited pool of smaller suites and then its up to the hotel to decide if it wishes to do more before or after arrival.
Have never been upgraded at this hotel past the standard norm with out asking or developing an internal contact.
On my very first stay some years ago I was in a vip suite and on some occasions through my personal contacts upgraded further
out of the standard pool of inventory for normal suites allocated.
As always your experiences mileage and points may vary

You also bring up the IC Park Lane which to me is an old tired property that has been accused of price fixing and known for overpricing in general for rooms year round
One may wish to look at the InterContinental Westminster one of the nicest hotels I've ever stayed at in London.
Its state of the art modern and frequently found for under £300/night off season anyway
If one is staying on weekends the fantastic BOGO vouchers are easy to obtain and great to use at ether property cutting their highest basic room
in half something you can never/rarely do at any Hyatt
They are by the book with upgrades for Ambassador to nothing more than best room available but the standard is much higher than Churchill
and the gym is vastly superior to the inadequate facility of the Churchill
The Hyatt Churchill's feather in its cap is the service team, location and food and beverage.I wish the IC Westminster was a Hyatt its a much better standard in the room itself and comfort of accommodations

Last edited by 777 global mile hound; Dec 20, 13 at 11:34 am
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Old Dec 20, 13, 11:37 am
  #831  
 
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Originally Posted by 777 global mile hound View Post
gym is vastly superior to the inadequate facility of the Churchill
Agree. For a business hotel, the gym is not acceptable.
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Old Dec 20, 13, 5:26 pm
  #832  
 
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Originally Posted by bdemaria View Post
the X23 suites do not have walk in closets
Yes, I realise that. I think the only ones with a walk-in closet are the type we stayed in, which I heard were newly renovated, but strangely, the walk-in closet was not a new construction/installation. From the woodwork it actually looked a bit antique. We specifically requested the walk-in closet because we thought that it would be more convenient for us as a place to put our 2 relatively large suitcases, and they accommodated that request. But for this next trip we're thinking that an additional half bath would be a better priority, although I realise that would be a further upgrade from the standard suite.

In any case, for us personally, a 7-night stay at the Churchill is a very good use of the Diamond suite upgrade, even if we do not get an executive suite. The standard suite may not be much compared with some other hotels, but it is sure a lot better than a standard room, and we have few opportunities to make good use of the suite upgrades elsewhere.
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Old Feb 13, 14, 2:05 am
  #833  
 
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Does Hyatt Churchill provide complimentary wifi for platinum members?
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Old Feb 13, 14, 8:52 am
  #834  
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Originally Posted by hightide View Post
Does Hyatt Churchill provide complimentary wifi for platinum members?
Free internet is a Hyatt T&C for Platinums and Diamonds.
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Old Feb 13, 14, 9:38 am
  #835  
 
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Originally Posted by peteropny View Post
Free internet is a Hyatt T&C for Platinums and Diamonds.
I think the OP was specifically asking about wifi. I don't remember about wifi at the Churchill, since my pref is for wired.
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Old Feb 13, 14, 11:05 am
  #836  
 
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Originally Posted by OsakaWino View Post
I think the OP was specifically asking about wifi. I don't remember about wifi at the Churchill, since my pref is for wired.
Yup, I do specifically mean wifi as I don't think I can link a wired cable to my ipad.
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Old Feb 13, 14, 3:28 pm
  #837  
 
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Originally Posted by hightide View Post
Does Hyatt Churchill provide complimentary wifi for platinum members?
The hotel's website says it has both wired and wireless in all guestrooms. Platinums get it for free.
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Old Mar 2, 14, 8:53 am
  #838  
 
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Hyatt Churchill London REVIEW - MASTER THREAD

Forgive me if this has been answered: I usually stay at the Andaz but for biz purposes, my wife wants the Churchill. Best tube route to hotel? We are using a suite upgrade and wondered what kind of suite will we receive? Can diamonds choose brekkie in restaurant? Best pub for biz meeting nearby?
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Old Mar 2, 14, 10:24 am
  #839  
 
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Originally Posted by ThreeA4Me View Post
Forgive me if this has been answered: I usually stay at the Andaz but for biz purposes, my wife wants the Churchill. Best tube route to hotel? From where?We are using a suite upgrade and wondered what kind of suite will we receive? Regency SuiteCan diamonds choose brekkie in restaurant?No Best pub for biz meeting nearby?someone else can answer this better
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Old Mar 2, 14, 12:05 pm
  #840  
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Originally Posted by ThreeA4Me View Post
Forgive me if this has been answered: I usually stay at the Andaz but for biz purposes, my wife wants the Churchill. Best tube route to hotel? We are using a suite upgrade and wondered what kind of suite will we receive? Can diamonds choose brekkie in restaurant? Best pub for biz meeting nearby?
No breakfast in restaurant at Churchill as alternatives for Diamonds
Suite is typically a small jr suite regular bedroom small parlor as far as what can be blocked confirmed if available
Some have done better with larger suites after arrival
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