I had reason recently to stay at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare – a large hotel adjacent to the Convention Centre. It has recently undergone a Hyatt make-over and looks very new and fresh.
My flight did not arrive until around 11pm and it’s a long walk from the United gates to the transportation pick-up area at the back of the Hilton at O’Hare. The route you are supposed to take is via a series of underground walk ways between terminals appearing in the lowest level of the car park. I prefer to exit the United Baggage area, take my life in my hands by crossing all four lanes of traffic and appear at the end of the Transport Pick-Up area. This is where the shuttles leave from and seems to take no more than 5 minutes against 15-20 via the approved route.
Once in the Pick-Up area – which is essentially a very long kerb there are numerous pick up stops for different type of transportation – so make sure you find the right one. The hotels stop (supposedly) at either end, but I always go to the one nearest the entrance to the kerb. The road is one-way with vans arriving from the Terminal 3 end and leaving from the Terminal 1 end. Keep an eye out for your van, they often clump up making it hard to see the ones stopped on the farthest side.
After about 10 minutes my van arrived and a wave to the driver stopped him for me to board.
(I am told that at peak times the hotel has staff on these shuttles issuing room keys using wireless technology but I did not see it personally).
The check-in desk is on the first floor so you must take the escalators which are facing you as you come through the door from the bus. Turn left and a very large front desk awaits.
There was no queue when I arrived and it was confirmed that I had been upgraded to a room in their Executive Wing, with access to Regency Club. The Club is now adjacent to reception requiring a 10 minute walk from the room to obtain access. Personally I was just ready for bed and so headed off to the other side of the hotel where lifts awaited to take me to my room. The hotel has keys coloured differently for Diamond and Platinum Gold Passport members and the poor agent too ages looking for a Diamond one. She did find one and I congratulated her persistence. I doubt it made any difference during my stay but it’s new to me at Hyatt – Starwood has done this for some time.
The Executive Wing is a V-shaped layout and so you must choose either the left or right arm – see above. I have to say in probably 25 stays here over the years I have never turned down the right wing. I have no idea why!
My room was about half way along and enjoyed nice views of O’Hare from the full width (half height) windows in the morning:
The room itself was refurbished in very gentle tones with one or two feature items to bring some colour to it. I snapped some pictures before I went to bed:
The bathroom was a typically small US bathroom, although it had all the required features for an overnight stay:
Over my decade of stays here the Regency Club has undergone a lot of change. Originally located in the Executive Wing, the room now appears to be an airline crew lounge based on the sign on the door. Then for a long period it did not exist at this property, and has only returned following the refurb.
Located to the left of Reception you need your room key to obtain access – the slot is to the right of the entrance below:
The room is quite small and as I as fairly late (around 8am) it was very busy, although I did find a chair:
There was a wide range of fruit, cereals, pastries etc and a hot offering not dissimilar to a Hyatt Place:
The printer had run out of toner and as I needed some printing the Concierge offered to lend me her PC and printer – this was well beyond the call of duty I though and really saved me having to find the Business Centre and so pay for the printing.
The main part of the hotel is a standard Hyatt lobby design with a large atrium and rooms around the edge. The redecoration has made the lobby bright and airy and full of light:
The main restaurant and bar are on this level which makes them well away from the Guest Rooms.
At check-out there was a roving agent who directed people away from the Front Desk if they did not actually needed their services. This must reduce the queues hugely and I think is an excellent idea – offering directions to meeting rooms, locations of toilets or the coffee shop, must take considerable time from the front desk staff actually doing their job.
I was travelling in to the City and so asked the Shuttle bus driver if he would drop me at the CTA station which is about a 15 minute walk from the hotel and on the way to the airport. I’ve seen this done during previous stays but he declined. In correctly telling me to get off at the United terminal and walk.
A hotel that seems to be trying new things for Hyatt to make the guest experience better, and I for one appreciate that greatly.