A few weeks back Joanna, MJ and I spent six nights in a King Suite at the Andaz West Hollywood. It's a property I know quite well (having lived down the road from it for 5 years) and it's a property I've stayed at a few times in the past....but never with Joanna and MJ. I've already discussed why we booked the Andaz how much it cost in a previous post so I'll move straight on to the review.
A roundup of some of the hotel and airline news from the past few days. Includes news of a new Kimpton property to be opened in southern California, details of how United is copying Delta (again) and clamping down on fake emotional support animals (expect American Airlines to follow any day now) and news of a new Grand Hyatt opening in the Caribbean.
As soon as Christmas was over Joanna, MJ and I headed back across the Atlantic to get some much-needed LA sunshine and to escape the European winter. We ended up flying with British Airways and booking the Andaz West Hollywood and, because I think it could be useful to others planning trips, I thought I'd share the details of why we booked what we did, how we went about booking and how much it all cost.
A roundup of some of the latest news doing the rounds. Includes news of Qantas' changes to some of its US routes, the latest information we have on the delivery date of Qatar Airways' new A350-1000 (complete with QSuites), news of a new Hyatt property to be opened in the heart of Hollywood and details of Ethiopian's latest route to the US.
Some time ago I visited Sao Paulo on a crazy itinerary that saw me spend as many nights on American Airlines aircraft as I did in Sao Paulo (I earned a lot of miles and elite qualifying miles on that trip!) but, rather annoyingly, the flash drive on which I stored all my pictures became corrupted and so I haven't been able to publish any reviews...until now. I've finally managed to recover my files from the Sao Paulo trip so I thought I'd share the pictures I took of the Grand Hyatt and add add my thoughts on teh service and the property.
Last week I was trying to find an online resource that would let me know which Hyatt properties offer rooms with connecting doors when I stumbled upon a page that gave me a piece of information that I hadn't heard about before - Hyatt will give you up to 50% off the standard room rate when you call up to book a second room for your kids.
For me the Park Hyatt chain offers a combination of the most over-priced and over-hyped chain hotels and some of my favorite top-tier properties around. You could say I have a love-hate relationship with the chain. I love the Park Hyatt Milan where the service is almost always fantastic and the location cannot be beaten and I find the Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi a beautiful place to relax. But, on the flip side, I find the Park Hyatt New York grossly overpriced and I passed up on the chance to stay at the Park Hyatt Tokyo earlier this year because I couldn't justify the cost.
As far as I'm concerned hotels should either be part of a loyalty program or not. There should be no scope for individual properties to pick and choose what parts of the program they'd like to participate in and what they'd like to opt out of - Starwood is hugely guilty of allowing high-end properties to cherry-pick how involved they are in SPG and it's ridiculous.
While I'm definitely not a fan of Hyatt's rewards program I am a fan of its Park Hyatt brand and I love to use my points at Hyatt's top-tier properties. I haven't had a chance to stay at all that many of the Park Hyatts around the world but the one's I have managed to visit have all been very, very good. Where other upscale brands like Ritz-Carlton and St Regis can go over the top on opulence in a search for a luxurious feel, the Park Hyatt brand manages to mix simple and elegant design with understated class and still give off an expensive, up-scale vibe.
Hyatt has announced that it has entered into a franchise agreement which will see the Bruden House hotel in the centre of Budapest renovated into what Hyatt is calling "an upper-upscale 110-room hotel". The property is expected to reopen as the Párisi Udvar Hotel "in 2018" - there is no indication in the press release when in 2018 we can expect the doors to open.