When is a Suite NOT a Suite? At the Hyatt Regency DFW

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When is a suite NOT a suite?

That’s the question I sought to answer here after I felt like I was hoodwinked by room descriptions.  But let me back up a bit… I’m getting ahead of myself!

I had a week long trip to the west coast coming up.  My flight from DFW was early and Friday morning rush hour traffic wasn’t something I wanted to risk, so I decided to book myself a relaxing splurge night at the Hyatt Regency DFW International Airport.

Fast forward a couple of weeks when I find out my friend Kim is going to be passing through… and also staying at the same property?  Kim does a bit of research and figures out that we can share a suite for less than the cost of two individual rooms.

I was SO in.  It was a perfect plan – I’d go check us in since I’d be there earlier.  I could get my car stashed at offsite parking, have dinner, and enjoy a bottle of wine I grabbed from home when she joined me.

Great plan, right?

Arrival

The hotel is one of two Hyatt hotel properties located at DFW.  The newer Grand Hyatt is physically attached to Terminal D.  The older Hyatt Regency DFW International Airport is adjacent to Terminal C.  And by adjacent, I accessible by a walk through two parking garages.

Or you can just take the shuttle.

Its faster, unless you are parking at the Hyatt via valet parking or in their garage.

Check In

Check in was fairly fast, not bad considering that the lobby was hopping.  Literally hopping – as there was a beer collectors conference that had taken over much of the facility.  (Sorry, bad pun… couldn’t help myself.)

My Hyatt Gold Passport Diamond status and my past stays with the hotel were recognized, which I appreciated.  My benefits were explained and I was also reminded that I’d receive free breakfast in the downstairs restaurant in the morning, as this Hyatt does not have a lounge.

The front desk agent confirmed that I was indeed booked into a suite with 2 queen beds.

So far, so good.

I was assigned room 923.

Nice key packet presentation at the Hyatt Regency DFW.

Nice key packet presentation at the Hyatt Regency DFW.

I rode the elevator up with quite a few beer aficionados who were hopping from room party to room party.  Each floor’s elevator lobby held large sign boards that advertised which rooms various parties, collector sales, and swaps could be found in.  It was clear that we might be in for an interesting night.

The Room

I opened the door to my suite and this is what I found….

Beds at the Hyatt Regency DFW, "suite 923"

Beds at the Hyatt Regency DFW, “suite 923”

Desk area, TV, and dresser at the Hyatt Regency DFW, "suite" 923.

Desk area, TV, and dresser at the Hyatt Regency DFW, “suite” 923.

And then this….

Hallway at the Hyatt Regency DFW "suite 923".

Hallway at the Hyatt Regency DFW “suite 923”.

I looked around to see if there was a doorway I was missing to the rest of my suite.

Or a secret portal, perhaps?

I found none.

So it was back to the front desk.

The thing is, I’ve stayed at this hotel for conferences several times where I’ve had a standard room assignment.  While this room might have been a corner with a bit of extra square footage, nothing about it suggested suite.  So I was SURE it was a mistake!

Back to the Front Desk

Ah, but it was not.  The young lady at the front desk assured me that this was the correct room type that I had booked – and paid quite a bit extra for.

“But its NOT a suite”, I argued.  In fact, I’ve had that exact room layout before on a standard room stay (presumably a Diamond upgrade, but still) and under no circumstances do I understand “larger room” to be the same thing as a suite.

These rooms are, in fact, marketed on the suites tab on the hotel webpage.

I’m not getting anywhere with the front desk – and I think my front desk agent might still be in training – so I ask for a manager.  Only it seems difficult to find one.  And we seem to reach an impasse.  This is my room.

But I’m not budging.  And there are no “real” suites available because the beer convention is using them all for their parties.

So she goes in the back and finally comes out with two offers.

Offer one is that I can move to a regular standard room and have my rate adjusted down accordingly.

Offer two is that I can stay in the room I’m in and have my rate adjusted down to a standard room rate.

You can guess which one I picked.

Back to the Room

So I’m back to the suite room.  Its comfortable, but still not a suite.

The bathroom is normally sized but well-appointed.  I like the pumpkin-colored scheme.

Hyatt Regency DFW bathroom vanity.

Hyatt Regency DFW bathroom vanity.

Hyatt Regency DFW shower/toilet area.

Hyatt Regency DFW shower/toilet area.

There are a decent amount of plugs – good since there would be two well-wired travelers trying to charge multiple devices.

We had plenty of dead space in the room with that “hallway” so there was no tripping over luggage or such.

Room Service

I ordered room service for myself because the restaurant apparently was closing early (due to the conference, perhaps?) and the bar was crowded.  My order was a bunless cheeseburger with other toppings and fries.  I also requested two wine glasses and a corkscrew (as there was none in the room to open the bottle I brought with me).

It arrived quickly and exactly as ordered (no small task since I had several requests).  The gentleman doing the room service delivery offered to open my wine for me if I liked.  Very nice touch.

Check Out

A bill showing the correct adjusted amount for the stay was under my door when I woke up so I did not need to visit the front desk to check out.  I was thankful that I did not need to go back to rehash the suite vs. room charges.

The shuttle back to the airport was prompt and delivered me to my departing terminal within a few minutes.  Had I been departing from Terminal C and had a smaller bag, I might have woven my way through the two garages but this was a faster option to get to Terminal A.

Summary

A hotel stay where I complain vocally to the front desk about something is a pretty rare occurrence (as I outlined the other day in my personal rules for hotel reviews) but it does happen.

Despite this, I will stay at this property again – it is convenient for early morning flights from or late night arrivals to DFW.  Its generally competitively priced compared to other airport-area business hotels.  And normally the customer service is top-notch.

Still, I am disappointed to see that they are marketing these rooms as suites with no explanation that there are not any of the things you might typically expect to find in a suite – a separate room, a sitting area, a conference table – anything that separated this from a standard room other than more square footage.  Hyatt should work to address this issue to avoid deceiving other travelers.

About Jennifer Moody

Jennifer is a management consultant and avid volunteer. Her career and volunteer duty travels have helped her log top-tier airline and hotel status annually for the last eighteen years. In addition, she embraces the opportunity to maximize her vacation time by planning extracurricular trips that have taken her to over 60 countries and 47.5 US states. Although she averages 200 days a year on the road, she loves to return to “the homestead” in her native Fort Worth, Texas where she enjoys cooking, gardening, sewing, needlepoint, wine, and cocktail mixology.

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Comments

  1. Wow. That is crazy. I have stayed at that hotel twice in the past couple of months and that is indeed a regular room with that weird hallway tacked on!
    I definitely like the Grand Hyatt better, but it can be quite a bit more expensive.

  2. The extra space/wide hallway is about the farthest stretch I have ever seen to try to meet the definition of a suite. What’ll they think of next???

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