My First Time Staying at a Hyatt Place Hotel Property — and The Verdict Is…

I have stayed in various Hyatt hotel properties in the past and have been a member of its frequent guest loyalty program before I became known as a Decemberist or a Architecturalist or whatever the whatever I am in their World of Hyatt program; but I never stayed at a Hyatt Place — until now.

My First Time Staying at a Hyatt Place Hotel Property

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

I checked in at the front desk at the Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester hotel property in Virginia. To the right is the guest kitchen where breakfast is served every morning.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Access to the guest rooms is behind the front desk…

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…as well as this semi-private quiet area — complete with a small television.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

This is another view of the front desk on the left, which apparently becomes a bar of sorts on the right — and in the middle is a cooler which contains soft drinks, bottled water, salads and desserts for sale.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The Room

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

After I checked, I entered the room to which I was assigned. The first thing I noticed was that this was not a typical hotel room layout. Rather, it emulated a suite of sorts.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

On my left as I entered the room was a kitchenette of sorts — complete with a miniature refrigerator, coffee maker and items to have a cup of hot coffee. Opposite this kitchenette was a desk with a rolling adjustable chair.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Different types of coffee and tea — as well as the appropriate condiments — were available in a small metal basket.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

A closer view of the desk revealed a telephone, banker’s lamp, a notepad, a pen, an information placard, and above the desk were three powerful magnets on a strip to post anything of importance.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

On the right was a sitting area contained a sofa shaped like an L, a nightstand with a robe wrapped in an orange band, and a small table which doubled as an ottoman.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

A closer look at what is known as the Cozy Corner sofa-sleeper revealed that when lifting up the cushions, it can be opened up into a bed…

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…complete with instructions on how to open up the bed, which can accommodate up to two additional people in the room — which is nice for a family of up to four people.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

I turned around. The door in the center of the photograph is the entrance to the room.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

A partial wall with frosted windows separated the bedroom area from the sitting room area — to a point, as there was no door, curtain or other divider to completely separate the two areas.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The Bedroom

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

I had no problem falling asleep in what is called the Hyatt Grand Bed, which was comfortable.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

On the right side of the bed on the nightstand was a telephone, a notepad, a pen, an information placard, and a device in which to plug in two electrical plugs as well as two USB cables.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

On the left side of the bed was a clock radio with which you can plug in your portable electronic device if you wanted to listen — or wake up — to your own music. This alarm clock was easy to use; and instructions were printed right on the top of it.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

This view from the bed shows the open yet partially divided area between the bedroom and the sitting area — as well as the vanity area for the open bathroom and closet.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The large television with a 42-inch flat screen was on a storage area of sorts which straddled the bedroom and sitting areas, creating a somewhat odd setup with which both areas share the one television — and in addition to the input area which was located on the left side behind the television…

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…was this panel — which is built into the aforementioned storage are — gives options if you want to plug in one of your own portable electronic devices to use the television to view what you want on the large screen.

The Bathroom

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

In the photograph on the right is the aforementioned coffee maker, which was located adjacent to the entrance of the room — and in the photograph on the left behind the television was the closet, which was to the left of the open vanity area of the bathroom.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The mirrored door to the closet never was properly aligned on its tracks; so it was difficult to open. My attempts to fix it failed because the tracks — either on the door or on the floor — were faulty.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

On the right of the open vanity area — which strangely contained drawers, as the bedroom area was not equipped with a dresser, bureau or chest of drawers — was the private section of the bathroom, which contained a shower and a toilet.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Toiletries included a “massage” bar of soap — which is soap with the bumps on it; shampoo and conditioner; and a cleansing bar of soap. All of the products are from Barney Kenet, who is a board-certified dermatologist based in New York and is regarded as a master in the field of cosmetic medicine.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The fan in the bathroom was incredibly noisy; and the toilet paper was cheap — as in one ply and not two ply — and not soft, smooth or strong. I expect to find this kind of toilet paper in the cheapest of motor inns and not a Hyatt Place hotel property. An ample amount of towels were in the room; and a mat to prevent slipping in what felt like an older bathtub.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The shower head also seemed to show its age as well.

The View From the Room

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

After a restful sleep, I was treated to the dawning of a new day when I awoke the next morning.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

I spent a few moments mindful of the Virginia sunrise which launched the brand new day.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

My room had a view of the front entrance of the hotel property and its surroundings — as well as the rest of the parking lot out front.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The Food at Breakfast

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

According to what was attached to the magnetic bar above the desk, Friday was Burrito Bowl day — not exactly something to which I was looking forward for breakfast the next morning.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

I found these two placards in the lobby area when I went to have the complimentary breakfast, which was served in the guest kitchen off of the lobby area between 6:30 and 9:00 in the morning Mondays through Fridays; and between 7:00 and 10:00 in the morning Saturdays and Sundays. The rooms apparently were to be renovated by the end of 2018 — so it stands to reason that they should be completed by now. My room was apparently not renovated yet.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

A choice of booths and tables at which to sit are located in the lobby area. A flat screen television is on the wall in the background.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The condiments supplied at each table in the lobby area — the entrance to the guest kitchen is in the background — included Tabasco sauce, which was handy for a Burrito Bowl. Note that the table was not clean.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Prior to entering the guest kitchen is a coffee and tea station.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Interestingly, no bread was supplied at the Bread Box station…

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

…rather, assorted breads were located in a plastic bin with four individual doors. A toaster and microwave oven is available for use.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Red and green apples, oranges, blackberries, yogurt, cottage cheese and hard boiled eggs are available at the Bowls station — as well as condiments in individual containers.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

These bowls contain hard boiled eggs and blackberries; and on the left side are assorted toppings.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Cranberry juice, orange juice and milk are some of the beverages you will find at The Fridge station.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The Skillets station contained hard waffles and ingredients for the burrito bowl — including corn, black beans and salsa. On the right are single servings of assorted cold cereals.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The view of the lobby area from within the guest kitchen shows the bar area and sitting area. A long table is inside of the guest kitchen area.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

This was what I had for breakfast.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

This is another area near the lobby where people can eat or relax.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

Vehicles which are powered by electricity can be recharged in a choice of two parking spots — seemingly at no additional cost.

Summary

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester

Photograph ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

The room rate for the night was $87.12, which was the Member Rate Exclusive rate for members of the World of Hyatt frequent guest loyalty program. The total which I paid for the room — which included a sales tax of 5.3 percent and an occupancy tax of eight percent — was $98.71.

The new free breakfast policy — that only members of the World of Hyatt frequent guest loyalty program who book their reservations directly with Hyatt instead of through third parties will qualify for breakfast to be included with their stays when paying an eligible rate — was not yet in effect when I stayed at this hotel property…

…but even though I do like a free breakfast in the morning, I really did not see what was the big deal about free breakfast being offered at Hyatt Place hotel properties — and I still do not see it.

I did not check out the swimming pool or fitness center while I was staying at this hotel property.

Other than a few minor “hiccups”, I had no problem accessing the Internet via the complimentary Wi-Fi which is available to all guests.

I recommend staying at this Hyatt Place hotel property mainly due to the unusual layout of the room and the comfortable bed — and the room rate was reasonable, as I believe that I received a good value for the price I paid — but for breakfast, I prefer the Hampton Inn Chester, at which I declared that I arguably had the best breakfast ever at a Hampton Inn.

Perhaps the refreshed rooms will add value to the experience of staying at this particular Hyatt Place hotel property.

Hyatt Place Richmond/Chester
13148 Kingston Avenue
Chester, Virginia 23836
1-804-530-4600

All photographs ©2018 by Brian Cohen.

14 thoughts on “My First Time Staying at a Hyatt Place Hotel Property — and The Verdict Is…”

  1. Christian says:

    Pretty much a normal room and stay at a Hyatt Place. My wife and I enjoy the extra space in the room and the free breakfast. Overall, we’re happy to stay in most Hyatt Place hotels, given the above, free parking, and a few elite benefits.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I think that price and program affiliation would probably dictate where to stay in this hotel category, Christian.

      Much of the time, a Hampton Inn or a Fairfield Inn — and probably a Holiday Inn Express — would suffice just as well as a Hyatt Place.

  2. Danny says:

    It is not a robe but a blanket. I use the blanket to cover the sofa when I sit on it. Unknown what germs or stains are on those sofas.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That makes a lot more sense to me, Danny. It seemed like it was made of terry cloth or similar material to a towel.

      Although it certainly is more convenient to keep it near the sofa bed, the first place I would have looked for it would be on a shelf in a closet.

      I never opened it. Thank you for the clarification.

  3. Tom says:

    I appreciate some elements of Hyatt Place properties, notably the lobbies, beds and personnel, but I’m less sanguine about the guest room decor and windows. The living room areas — both in terms of coloring and furniture quality — feel cheap and depressing to me. Combine that with the lack of natural light, and the result is a room I just don’t feel comfortable living in, even for a day.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I have to say that I agree with you, Tom — especially about the lack of natural light, which is probably because the private part of the bathroom where the shower is located is adjacent to the exterior wall of the building.

  4. Mfb123 says:

    I’ve stayed at “typical” Hyatt Place hotels and most tend to be similar to what you report and are good for the market segment they are designed to serve. However, I’ve stayed at two new Hyatt Places that were VERY good, one in Park City UT and the other in Melbourne, Australia. The difference was that they felt designed specifically for the local aesthetics, and had higher quality of finishes. They also had full-sized bathrooms (rather than water closets), which I like. The one interesting thing is that the one in Melbourne was not a “seni-suite”, but a regular room; regardless, for the price, it was unbelievably good.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I suppose that designing a hotel or resort property specifically for local aesthetics may take extra time and money, Mfb123; but I would think if done right, the value of the stay increases significantly for the guest as it did for you — and certainly therefore worth the investment.

      Higher quality finishes and materials would also definitely go a long way, as I did feel that some aspects of the hotel room did seem cheap.

  5. Darrell D Kirby says:

    At some facilities, rooms with king beds do not have bathtubs, only showers.

    The bathroom vanity area is separate from the bathroom and offers no privacy for occupancy of 2 or more people. If one person is an early riser and another is sleeping in, it is disruptive.

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      That is funny, Darrell D Kirby, as I looked at it from a different point of view: one person could be showering or using the toilet in privacy while another could simultaneously be washing up, brushing teeth or combing hair.

      We are both correct, in my opinion; and maybe for additional privacy, movable temporary yet tasteful dividers of some kind could be placed both between the vanity area and the bedroom, as well as between the living area and the bedroom.

      1. Joseph N. says:

        I’ve had this conversation many times. People are really split, like you two. Some complain that the HP bathrooms mean if one person gets up in the night, they cannot turn the bathroom light on w/o waking up everyone else.

        Other people LOVE the HP bathrooms because if their teenage daughter is taking too long in the shower, Dad can still shave and brush his teeth.

        I’ve stayed in those Sheratons with the shower glass half-dividers. Imagine staying in one of those with a teenage daughter.

        1. Brian Cohen says:

          Those showers with the partial partitions are a pet peeve of mine, Joseph N.:

          https://thegate.boardingarea.com/partial-shower-partitions-europe/

  6. Joseph N. says:

    Your room WAS already renovated. Can’t you tell by the brand new carpeting and upholstery on the couch? This location apparently chose to replace only the carpet, couch and mattress and leave the beat up furniture.

    I think those HP rooms are fantastic. They’ve proven to be very popular. However, it’s true that all these not-really-a-suite “suite” products (Springhill Suites, Comfort Suites) have a problem that the partition blocks the other part of the room from getting sunlight. At the ones where the windows do not open, this is doubly depressing. (Hyatt has a new room layout that allows new HPs to build smaller rooms with no partition.)

    As you discovered, the free breakfast is the real weak spot at HPs. Why Hyatt doesn’t improve the breakfast is beyond me, especially since the breakfast is normally the best part of the stay at Hyatt Regencys. The idea they are going charge for it is ridiculous.

  7. Donato says:

    Had a great stay 100 steps away at the Residence Inn Chester. My room there was not like a suite, it was a suite and that particular location did everything right, including the free to all breakfast.

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