August 2022 Park Hyatt Chicago Review

The Park Hyatt Chicago recently reopened after a $60M renovation. We’re just back from two nights in a Gold Coast Suite and came away very impressed with the improvements and the hotel overall. The remodeling was extensive, resulting in completely new interiors and allowed for reconfiguring the layout of rooms, taking the total Suite count from 9 to 36.

Background

When it opened in 1980, the Park Hyatt Chicago was the first Park Hyatt in the world. Personally, I love what they’ve done with the Park Hyatt brand since then. I find it to be a luxurious style that’s on par with Four Seasons and Rosewood at the better Park Hyatt locations, with a strong food & beverage program and an industry-leading loyalty program. When you combine Chase Ultimate Rewards 1:1 transfers with World of Hyatt Globalist status, it can be the stuff of dreams not often matched in the points & miles space.

That said, the one time I visited the Park Hyatt Chicago back in 2016 we had a lackluster experience. I was staying as a Guest of Honor and it became clear about halfway through that the hotel didn’t seem to know what that meant. No upgrade, we were being charged for breakfast, and the service overall was subpar.

The remodel, combined with interest in a family trip to Chicago, provided the perfect reason to revisit the Park Hyatt Chicago. The hotel very much redeemed itself in my book, and I’d say repositioned itself as one of the top hotels in the market.

Park Hyatt Chicago Lobby

Booking

One thing I don’t like about so many Park Hyatts is how they limit room capacity to 3, even in very large suites with a King Bed, foldout sofa, and room for a rollaway. The Park Hyatt Chicago adheres to this “tradition” so with 2 adults and 2 kids in our party, it left me with a bit of a quandry.

Standard rooms that accomodate 4 weren’t available as awards, and although suites were available as awards they only accomodate 3 people. I decided to book the room as 2 adults, 1 child and reached out to the hotel to see if they could accomodate us in a Premium Suite.

As long ago as our last stay was, I picked up on an email thread I had with hotel management from way back in 2016. Although the person I dealt with back then wasn’t at the Park Hyatt Chicago anymore, I was able to revive the discussion and the hotel agreed to accommodate the 4 of us with a complimentary rollaway.

I booked a Premium Suite for 50,000 points/nt which is an 830sf Gold Coast Suite.

Park Hyatt Chicago Library

First Impressions

View of Water Tower from Gold Coast Suite

Check-in was delightfully uneventful. Even at 5p on a busy weekend (the Chicago Air and Water show was going on) there was no wait at the counter. We were informed we were in the Gold Coast Suite we booked, we were given bottles of water and confirmed the Globalist breakfast benefit.

Gold Coast Suite Living Room

To my eye, the remodel is really impressive.

They’ve managed to reflect the colors of the view out the window with interior colorization, stay true to the modern Park Hyatt aesthetic, while providing a living area that’s exceedingly functional to the guest.

Gold Coast Suite Bedroom

Everywhere you look there’s a detail that catches the eye. Not just the window seats, but the way they’re trimmed out. Not just the hardwood but how smooth it is underfoot. They got a lot for the $60M they spent designing and remodeling this space.

Then there are the things you don’t see at first glance. Like the heated floors in the bathroom. The electric Toto toilet seats in both the main and secondary bathrooms. The way the shades and sheers go up and down so quietly with the press of a button.

Gold Coast Suite Bathroom

Though the Gold Coast Suite lacks the “wow” factor of a Terrace Suite at the Park Hyatt New York it instantly became one of my favorite hotel rooms of all time. It’s just so interesting, functional, and luxurious – and it fit our family of four very well.

Here’s a shot of the room set up for 2 beds in the evening after turndown service. Plenty of space for two kids.

Gold Coast Suite Living Room after Turndown Service

Suites

Park Hyatt Chicago Floorplan

I had a chat one morning with Lane at the front desk who enlightened me on the some of the suite categories enabled by the remodel. I was initially confused about the difference between the Lake Michigan Suite and the Gold Coast Suite, and which would be better for our group.

The Lake Michigan Suite is a more standard suite layout, and the Gold Coast Suite is more “interesting” since it’s on the corner. The Chicago Avenue Suite is the same as the Lake Michigan, but without the view.

There are a couple of Premium Suites above the Gold Coast Suite, like the DuSable Suite and the Presidential Suite. I don’t know where those slot in, but it’s good to have something to aim for in the future.

Breakfast

View from NoMI

Breakfast is served in NoMI on the 7th floor, a dining room cantilevered out over the street below with views of the Water Tower and Lake Michigan below. Both the view and the food are fabulous.

In contrast with the Park Hyatt New York, which has only one restaurant – The Living Room – the Park Hyatt Chicago has multiple venues within NoMI including the main dining room, a lounge, and a Garden terrace. I appreciated this variety.

I also liked how the menu provided a lot of options under the Globalist soft limits of $50/adult and $25/child. We enjoyed a full breakfast within these limits with $0 bill at checkout.

NoMI Breakfast Menu

I tried the NoMI Benedict (not my favorite) and the Steak & Eggs (outstandingly indulgent.) The Avocado Toast was a photogenic highlight.

NoMI Avacado Toast

Service at NoMI each morning was outstanding as well. The contrast between the level of decorum at the Park Hyatt for breakfast and some of the “fun” family-oriented venues we visited on this trip can’t be overstated.

Service

Hotel staff was pleasant and efficient across the board.

When we asked for a rollaway to be brought up it was there in less than 5 minutes. When we asked for the foldout sofa to be turned down, it was done within 10 minutes. A request for additional bath towels came nearly instantly. The room was spotless and housekeeping kept our room refreshed brilliantly. Sure, these are things that any 5 Star hotel should do but these days it’s not the norm everywhere and I appreciate the art of hospitality.

When we were departing we were a little scattered as a group when the Uber arrived earlier than predicted. The Doorman helped flatten what could be a stressful moment when he offered to keep a lookout for our Uber and/or radio the front desk to assist with checkout. It’s the little things, but it’s something I’ll remember when selecting a Chicago hotel in the future.

Bottom Line

With a recently completed remodeling, the Park Hyatt Chicago has re-established itself as one of the best hotels in Chicago. The hotel has more suites than ever, which means more interesting rooms for Globalists to be upgraded to -or- booked head-on with Hyatt points.

Breakfast at NoMI was outstanding and service was on point. Located in an ideal location for exploring all Chicago has to offer, it’s a hotel I’m looking forward to visiting again in the future.

About the author

– Written by Robert Dwyer, contributor at Milenomics. Connect with me on Twitter @RobertDwyer

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