Review: Hyatt Regency Dallas

I promised more about my travels to Texas, didn’t I? Megan and I visited the Texas State Fair in October, staying for the second time at the Hyatt Regency Dallas near Reunion Tower.

I was pretty pleased with my first stay, especially when I found out they serve cinnamon bun French toast—effectively a cinnamon bun sliced up and prepared into French toast with candied nuts and fruit. Much better than using cinnamon swirl bread. I did mention that free breakfast is one of the main reasons I go for Diamond status, right? ;) Alas, this item is no longer served, but we still enjoyed the property.

The Hyatt Regency Dallas is currently in the midst of renovations, and we were fortunate, owing to my elite status, to be assigned one of the renovated rooms with a view of the city. I can’t find my pictures of the old room, but it was definitely an improvement and shared many of the features I saw previously at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara. (Since I don’t know why I took so few pictures of the room, check out the HR SC review and imagine it in black.) It also meant I wasn’t able to check out the pool. There was one couple in their bathrobes and swimsuits wandering around looking very confused… I did catch a picture of the gym, since some readers have requested it.

picture of hotel gym

Overall we enjoyed our stay very much. The location is convenient to the freeway, which runs behind the building. In front of the building is the train station and a light rail station. We could have taken light rail to the State Fair but decided against it.

Once inside, I’ve always encountered very friendly staff at the front desk. Check-in was smooth, and we took the elevator up to our room near the top floor. You can find most restaurants and other amenities on the second floor, which is overlooked by a large atrium with a glass wall on one side and a view of Reunion Tower, an observation tower that hosts a Wolfgang Puck restaurant.

picture of hotel bar

Our newly renovated room was one of the few “perfect” rooms I’ve enjoyed. Sometimes new rooms look like corners were cut. Even at luxury hotels you’ll see prissy baroque furnishings that nevertheless get scuffed or dinged or manage to look cheap (e.g., The Venetian in Las Vegas). I saw none of that. The room may be a bit on the small side, but I appreciated it was constructed well.

picture of hotel bed

The only real fault was that the desk wasn’t in front of the window, but I’m not sure I’d want that in Texas. I did appreciate that there was a power-controlled blackout curtain for the window, a chaise lounge by it for Megan, and another Eames chair on the other side of the bed for me. I’ll have made it as a blogger when I can buy my own Eames chair.

I’ve noticed that some Hyatt hotels have been incorporating local features during their refurbishments. In this case there was a graphic along the back wall above the desk with the Trinity River depicted “then” and “now.” It’s always good to avoid the generic you-could-be-anywhere feel in hotel rooms. In a similar vein, the Hyatt Olive8 in Seattle includes a book with short pieces by local writers called What to Read in the Rain.

Here are a few notes about navigating this hotel’s amenities and other “features.” The fact I have to make this list is a small mark against, but I do still like this hotel when in the area.

You pretty much need to valet park at this hotel. It’s a reasonable $12 or so, and the service is good. I think it’s a bit extreme when they circle the car first and look for damage. If the weather is especially hot, there is often water outside and inside the hotel. Self-park lots are available for roughly $5 at the north and south ends of the hotel. Only the north lot has security, but it was closed for an event when we were there. It is not an easy walk nor is it especially safe at night, so I would use the valet.

The hotel is directly across from the train station, and every train (including freight trains and passenger trains just passing through) will toot its horn. It can make it a bit difficult to fall asleep even wearing earplugs, but I am a light sleeper. I’m not sure if it would be better to ask for a room on the opposite side of the building, but then you would lose the view of downtown. Megan, for the record, did not complain.

picture of view from hotel window

The status of this hotel’s Regency Club is vague. Breakfast is included for Diamond guests, but you won’t receive the additional 2,500 bonus points you would receive if the club is temporarily closed on weekends or for renovations. That’s because the club has been “closed for renovations” for years.

picture of hotel lounge

We actually passed by it, with a glass door that said “Regency Club” on the front. Inside was dusty old furniture and lots of boxes and mess. Frankly, it looks bad. I can understand if they are never going to reopen it, but they could at least clean it out and remove the sign if they aren’t going to be providing the bonus points.

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Scott created Travel Codex after learning how to travel better on a budget during grad school. He now flies over 150,000 miles every year.
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