Review: Returning to the Hyatt Regency Vancouver

It’s been over two years since my first stay as a Diamond member with Hyatt Gold Passport. I signed up for a Diamond trial because I had several stays coming up, including a visit to friends in New York and proposing to my wife in Hawaii.

You need 12 nights in 60 days to complete the trial, which makes it challenging for leisure travelers who don’t always have so many stays lined up at a convenient time. (Even my dad, who regularly stays near SFO rather than take the long drive home, is finding it difficult to complete a trial because rates at the nearby Hyatt SFO are sometimes higher than his employer will reimburse.)

The first stay of my Diamond trial was at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, where I got upgraded to the Presidential Suite. Megan thought it was hilarious — far more space than we needed — but it was a good way to get her hooked at the beginning. I’ve had a lot of leeway to keep doing it what it takes to renew my status with Hyatt.

When I returned for the Airline Information Mega Event in November, I stayed at the Hyatt again to see what my experience would be like on a more typical stay. This time I was not upgraded to the Presidential Suite (maybe they figured out Canada doesn’t have a President…) but instead received a Deluxe Balcony Room, with a spacious balcony facing Vancouver Harbor. This is just one level down from a standard suite, so it’s a perfectly fine upgrade for a Diamond member.

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The small entry area had a cabinet by the door for coffee and water, a closet on the opposite wall, and a bathroom to the left. It was nice to have these placed out of sight from the rest of the room.

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However, out of sight doesn’t mean they had something to hide. I really liked the dark tile in the bathroom and the modern styling of the faucets. There may have been too many overhead lights for my taste, but I didn’t find much worth complaining about here.

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The bedroom was spacious without feeling empty. My king bed was plenty large, and though the lamps weren’t especially decorative, I liked that the switches were easy to find. Again, I didn’t find too much to complain about. The only offenses were two pet peeves: a television facing the bed and a desk facing away from the window. I prefer rooms that move the television to a less conspicuous location and that have the desk facing the window (that way you get a view while working and without any glare on a computer screen).

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Although the balcony was a nice touch, it was probably the least useful feature of the room. It’s too cold most of the year to hang around outside, and even on the upper floors a significant portion of the view is still obscured by adjacent office towers. This room category would be more useful during the summer months, which are beautiful in the Pacific Northwest.

The Mega Event provided ample breakfast, but I stopped by the Regency Club in the afternoon to see what it offered. It was moderately sized and mostly empty that morning, perhaps because of all the guests attending the conference. Most seating was at tables rather than easy chairs, so you may want to take your coffee to go if you’re just looking for a place to relax.

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Although I wasn’t there during mealtime, there were plenty of snacks and a large center island that looked like it could hold a decent spread. On my first visit here, the lounge was closed on the weekend, so you may be able to get 2,500 bonus points and breakfast in the restaurant downstairs (pretty good) if you come on vacation.

In summary, my stay wasn’t nearly as exciting as my first time at the Hyatt Regency Vancouver, but it still exceeded expectations. It still ranks up there among the better properties I’ve visited on the West Coast, including two other favorites: the Grand Hyatt San Francisco and Hyatt Regency Santa Clara. These properties are all well-maintained, provide good treatment to Diamond members, and can still cater well to tourists on the weekends.

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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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  • BCTBC

    too cold most of the year?

  • dude26

    If you do a Diamond trial, do they give you the diamond suite upgrade certificates upfront, to be used during the trial period ? or do you have to qualify and only at the end of the trial period they issue them?

    • Scottrick

      Yes, they provide the status and upgrades up front.

  • KarenC

    How did u sign up for the trial? Headed to hyatt maui in august on points, csn i sign up for trial?

    • Scottrick

      I just emailed Gold Passport. You can find more contact details here:

      http://goldpassport.com/hyatt/customer-service/contact-hyatt/contact_us.jsp

      Keep in mind you won’t get a lot of extra benefits as a Diamond member on a points stay at this hotel. It’s pretty much a welcome amenity and club access. Upgrades are hard to come by as it’s so popular and those rooms are already booked.