Why I Gave Up A Park Hyatt Reservation For A Hyatt Regency

a sign in front of a building

TravelingForMiles.com may receive commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on TravelingForMiles.com are from advertisers and may impact how and where card products appear on the site. TravelingForMiles.com does not include all card companies or all available card offers.

Some links to products and travel providers on this website will earn Traveling For Miles a commission which helps contribute to the running of the site – I’m very grateful to anyone who uses these links but their use is entirely optional. The compensation does not impact how and where products appear on this site and does not impact reviews that are published.

Posts in this series include:

As soon as I knew that Joanna and I were going to be heading to Tokyo I immediately thought of booking the Park Hyatt as our base in Japan’s capital.

The Park Hyatt Tokyo along with the Park Hyatts in Sydney and the Maldives must be three of the most blogger-referenced properties on the planet – you’ll be hard pushed to find a blogger discussing Tokyo accommodation and not gushing over the Park Hyatt.

a sign on a wall

The property was made famous by the movie “Lost In Translation” and appears to have a semi-cult following in certain quarters but, despite having visited Tokyo on two previous occasions, I’ve never stayed at the Park Hyatt.

I’ve never even considered the Park Hyatt as an option on my previous trips as I was traveling alone and both the cash and points costs were well outside of what I’m happy to pay when I’m on my own.

This time, however, I’d be traveling with Joanna and whenever she’s with me I like to try to book hotels that are above average at the very least – if I have the means to book somewhere extra special then I’m happy to book that too.

The Park Hyatt seemed like an obvious choice so I went ahead and booked it for the four nights we’d be in town:a screenshot of a check-in

120,000 Hyatt points isn’t an insignificant outlay but I’d received 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (which convert to Hyatt at a ratio of 1:1) for hitting my sign up target on the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card and I already had over double that number of points in my account…so the award was well within my means.

A month or so after I had booked the Park Hyatt I started to have a few doubts about the reservation.

I’d done a bit more research on the property and not everything I was reading was positive.

Sure, almost everyone online seemed to agree that the service at the Park Hyatt was exemplary….but then this is a hotel in a city where service is already very good.

On top of that it occurred to me that Joanna and I would almost certainly be out of the hotel for most of our stay and we would be eating outside of the hotel too…so would we even get a chance to experience this amazing service?

The one other theme that appears to run through a lot of the reviews of the Park Hyatt is that it’s in need of a make over.

Back in 2014 the property was “a bit dated”

a screenshot of a text message

In 2015 the service was still great but the property was “dated”

a screenshot of a chat

In 2016 the property apparently needed “a full renovation”

a screenshot of a chat

And, still in 2016, even those who praised the property were calling the rooms “dated”

a screenshot of a chat

Even the OMAAT Blog said this of the Park Hyatt Tokyo in 2015:

…the hard product — design, decor and technology — leaves a great deal to be desired

And I know for a fact that there have been no major refurbishment works at the property since.

As a mid-tier World of Hyatt member I didn’t like my chances of scoring a great upgrade on an award stay and, after having a look at a entry-level room on Hyatt.com…..

a room with a bed and a television

….I can’t say I was particularly wowed by what I saw.

There was a further issue.

The Park Hyatt Tokyo doesn’t have an Executive Lounge so I couldn’t use one of my Hyatt lounge upgrades to guarantee us a good hotel breakfast every morning – breakfast would be extra.

This wouldn’t have been an issue for me if I thought we would be staying somewhere that would blow us away…but that was no longer a certainty.

I was becoming increasingly aware that the Park Hyatt Tokyo may well be living on it past and off the fact that it once appeared as a location in a well-known movie.

As an aside: If you’re writing a review of a hotel on TripAdvisor and if you want me to take you seriously don’t gush about how excited you were to “finally be where it all happened” in a movie. That just makes me think that you can’t possibly be objective about the property you’re reviewing as you’re simply too exited about reliving a favorite movie scene.

I don’t mind parting with a serious number of points (my favourite points as it happens) if I think I’m getting something special…but I’m not going to spend a lot of money or a lot of points on somewhere just because (a) a few people rave about it and (b) it has been in a movie – I have a base in LA so I basically live on a movie set!

The Math Killed It For The Park Hyatt

If I wasn’t already convinced that keeping the booking at the Park Hyatt would turn out to be a bit of a disappointment the math surrounding my options sealed the property’s fate.

I had stayed at the Hyatt Regency on my previous two visits to Tokyo so I knew the following about that property:

  • I like the location – it’s just down the road from the Park Hyatt
  • The rooms are perfectly nice…if possibly a little small.
  • The staff are very friendly
  • It has a nice enough Executive Lounge
  • The lounge offers a very good selection for breakfast

a large building with a staircase and a large couchHyatt Regency Tokyo Reception

Overall it’s a very solid Hyatt property.

So here’s the thing….

While the Park Hyatt would cost me 120,000 points the Hyatt Regency would cost just 48,000 points…and that’s not an insignificant difference.

To put the difference in context:

The 72,000 points I could save by booking the Hyatt Regency would pay for 3 nights at the Andaz West Hollywood AND another night at the Hyatt Regency Tokyo if I wanted it.

On top of that I could use one of my Hyatt “Club Access” awards at the Hyatt Regency (I get four of these for being a mid-tier elite with Hyatt) and that would ensure that Joanna and I would have a good complimentary breakfast each morning and, if we wanted them, complimentary drinks in the evening.

With the Park Hyatt Tokyo looking far from being a definite “wow property” the Hyatt Regency looked like being the far better option.

I cancelled the Park Hyatt Tokyo…..

a blue dotted line with a white backgroundAwardWallet showing 120,000 Hyatt Points being returned to my account

…and booked the Hyatt Regency and the Club Access award:

a screenshot of a computer screen

Bottom Line

I love taking Joanna to amazing places and properties with the points I earn (e.g. the InterContinental Bora Bora) but I don’t like throwing money or points away needlessly.

I wasn’t confident that the Park Hyatt would offer the kind of experience that I would expect it to offer for that sort of points outlay and I would have hated to feel disappointed once I got there.

Having now experienced the Hyatt Regency Tokyo with Joanna and after having visited the Park Hyatt for a drink one evening during our four nights in Tokyo, I’m still more than happy that I made the right decision.


Comments are closed.