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I love the feeling of checking into familiar chain hotels. I do not often get to check into luxury properties, so I have accepted what “my normal” looks like. And nothing screams “normal” to me like consistency.
Consistency was exactly what I was looking for when I checked into the Hyatt Place Reno-Tahoe International Airport. I had just wrapped up several days of sorority recruitment (“rush” for you old-timers) at two schools in California which meant I was a bit sleep-deprived. I had only used a communal bathroom for the last five days so I wanted a long private shower. And after a four hour drive from Berkeley to Reno, I just wanted to stretch my legs out.
The property is easy to find – its on the entrance road to the airport, a quick exit off one of the freeways bisecting Reno. Parking is provided in a well-lit parking lot that surrounds the property. This is a newer (within the past five years) property for Reno, a city where I dreaded hotel stays for many years as the dilapidated Hilton casino was one of the only branded properties in town. That’s no longer the case as the city continues its growth boom and brings new construction with it.
I was antsy after four hours in the car so I was thankful that there was no one else waiting to check in when I arrived. Check in was quick – the friendly (like extremely friendly in an “ah shucks” kind of way) gallery host (yep, that’s what they call the front desk clerks… really) got me checked in lickity-split and reminded me of all the features the property offers – 24/7 food service, breakfast buffet in the gallery, and an onsite gym. And he recognized my Diamond status too. One of the most welcoming check-ins I’ve had in a long time.
I was happy to open the door to room 207 to find familiar surroundings. One thing I love about Hyatt Place is how the rooms are rarely different (and when they are, it’s usually pretty awesome). This one was the standard Hyatt Place room, exactly what I needed at that moment.
Wi-Fi (which is free, property-wide) was fast which meant I could get a little bit of work done in my downtime. I also love that Hyatt Places offer those swiveling flat-screen televisions that can be watched from both the living room and the bedroom.
The bedroom – ah, that bed was comfortable. I sank into it and slept a solid eight uninterrupted hours. So nice.
My only weird issues with this stay involved the bathroom. A pet peeve of mine recently has been hotels not providing all of the normal toiletries to guests. This time it was lotion. I didn’t notice it until I was getting ready and went to go reach for it and it wasn’t there. (No, I didn’t ask at the front desk… I was in a hurry and pulled some out of my own toiletry bag to use instead.)
The other thing that seemed to be a strange quirk was the shower. From my recollection, when the earlier Hyatt Place properties were built, they had that half-wall for the shower. Newer or remodeled ones I’ve stayed in now have a full sliding shower door. This property did not have a handle INSIDE the door where one would exit the shower – only a solid glass side. The handle was on the opposite side but to use it one would have to exit where the toilet is – or the door would have to be reversed. I had never noticed this before so I’m not sure if it was a design flaw just for this room but it was difficult to get out of the shower with the wet door – I almost broke a fingernail trying to get the door to slide back open as I had to wedge a finger into the frame to get enough leverage to slide it open.
Hyatt Place offers a morning breakfast buffet that essentially does not vary from property to property – cereal, fruit salad, bread items, and cooked-to-order items available for a fee. I usually don’t eat much on it (the wheat/corn/coffee/cow’s milk allergies rule out most of their options) but I cruised by to see if there was anything noticeably different about this one. If there was, I didn’t spot it.
My bill was correct so I didn’t have a reason to stop at the front desk, but as I walked by the Gallery Hosts bid me a farewell and asked if I had a good stay. Indeed, I did.
I’d been staying at a newer Hilton-branded on previous Reno stays, but I will definitely add the Hyatt Place Reno-Tahoe International Airport to my “go-to” list for upcoming visits there. The location is wonderful for anyone working downtown or needing easy freeway access. And the convenience of the property would allow one to drop a car at rental return the night before an early morning flight as the hotel offers a free airport shuttle service.
And that friendly staff… yep, that will get me back every time.