Hotel Reviews – Hyatt Regency Austin

I travel to Austin a few times a year for business, volunteer commitments, and leisure.  One of my favorite properties there is the Hyatt Regency Austin.

I enjoy the proximity to both SoCo (South Congress) as well as downtown and the University of Texas campus on trips where I have a car.  It’s a fairly convenient home base during SXSW.

And this particular weekend, it was a great resting place when I rolled into town late on a Friday evening before an all-day Saturday board meeting.

Arrival

I pulled up to the hotel around 10 pm.  Traffic near the buildings appeared to be slightly rerouted from normal (perhaps they are repaving a section of the driveway?  I could not tell…) but I quickly found my way to the proper spot for valet.  My car was parked and I rolled into the hotel.  I was told it would take about three minutes to retrieve my car the next morning.

They offered to help with my bags, but as I drove down from Fort Worth for just this meeting, I only had a small overnight tote – nothing requiring bellman assistance!

Check In

My check in was fast.  I got into the elite line but they quickly pulled me out to the next available agent further down the counter.

My status was recognized, I was reminded that I was able to use the free breakfast buffet in the hotel restaurant as a Platinum benefit, offered my bonus amenity points for my Diamond status, and automatically offered a 4 pm late checkout without asking.

All of that took place in about 90 seconds so I was on my way to my room very quickly!

The Room

I was assigned to room 802, around the corner from the elevators.  On a corner, but not a corner room.

Hyatt Regency Austin

A Souza march was playing on the clock radio via local radio station KMFA.  If I didn’t know my football rivalry towns better, that alone could have confused me into thinking I was to the east in Aggieland, not in the home of the Longhorns.

The room was spacious, even if basic.  The furnishings were simple but in excellent condition.

Hyatt Regency Austin

Hyatt Regency Austin

Hyatt Regency Austin

Hyatt Regency Austin

I always love local touches and as a lover of my home state, I appreciated the Capitol artwork.

Hyatt Regency Austin

The bathroom was basic but spacious.  I always like a magnifying mirror, extra counter space, decent lighting, a shower where I do not have to have an icky shower curtain touching me, and ample towels.  All my needs were met.

Hyatt Regency Austin

Hyatt Regency Austin

As it was late when I checked in, turn down service had already been completed.  A robe was placed on the bed along with the usual room service card.  They also included a weather card for the next day (a nice touch, except for the predicted rain!) and several chocolates.

The chocolates were milk chocolate raspberry with chamomile extract (“to help you relax”) and I liked them.  A lot.

Hyatt Regency Austin

I threw open the shades before relaxing into bed.  I love the view across the Colorado river into downtown.

Hyatt Regency Austin

Hyatt was even kind enough to wish me a “peaceful” goodnight with a note and two pairs of earplugs.  In retrospect, I should have realized these were an omen, as I’ve had a “noisy” stay or two at this property (typically when some kind of event targeting a high school or college age crowd has been co-located at the hotel).

Hyatt Regency Austin

But I did NOT use the earplugs as I needed to be awake early on Saturday morning for a breakfast meeting and full day schedule and I always worry about not hearing an alarm when my phone is plugged in across the room.

That may have been the wrong choice.

As I recounted in a recent poll about hotel noise,  it kicked up here around 2 am in what I assume was the room next door (based on how well I could hear the loud voices).  My guess is that the guests came back when the bars closed and continued their party evening.

I would wake up, hear noise, consider calling the front desk but instead hear other people knocking on their doors and telling them to knock it off (I am 100% sure they were confronted directly by other guests, but I’m not certain how many of those interventions came from the front desk).

The cycle continued every 20-25 minutes until I finally called the front desk myself at 4 am (I’m pretty sure my words were to “please make it STOP”).  The fact that they said “we’re on it” and didn’t ask for details about what I wanted them to stop was a strong clue that others had called too.

Around 4:15 I heard another knock on their door.  While I didn’t hear any arguing this time or what was said (the voice speaking in the hallway was muffled but sounded authoritative), all I heard after that was a door opening and closing a couple of times but the noise permanently ceased.

Other Considerations

Hyatt Diamond members get free access to the hotel’s breakfast buffet hosted in the second floor restaurant (overlooking the lobby).  The buffet includes a nice selection of hot and cold options including an omelet chef.  I like that there is a bit of Texas/Southwestern flavor among the options as well.

I had a quick meeting over breakfast.  The hotel had no problem splitting out our check so that my free breakfast was covered.

Check Out

My meeting wrapped up and I only had 20 minutes to get across downtown to my 10 am board meeting.  Luckily there was only one person in line ahead of me at the front desk and m y room bill was correct.  I thanked the front desk for taking care of the noise issue the night before.

I requested my car from the valet and then popped in to the lobby Starbucks to quickly grab caffeine to take to my board meeting.  My car was back before I made it out of the Starbucks line so the three minute estimate from the night before seemed to be spot on!

Post Script

I had an email from the hotel manager at the property a couple hours after I checked out apologizing for the incident the previous evening and proactively offering me 15,000 Hyatt points as compensation.  I am very reluctant to complain about service issues as I do not want to develop a reputation with properties/brands for being “one of those” customers and as such, I thought her proactive offer was more than generous for the situation it was.  I was also impressed that she clearly reviewed the logs from the prior evening to address issues – that to me is the mark of a well-run property!

Summary

I have always liked this hotel due to both the location and the relative comfort of the rooms.  Its usually my first choice in Austin when rates aren’t outrageous.

The swift reply to the noise issue has definitely won them bonus merit points with me as well.  Since this was not my first stay at the property where I’ve had some noise issues, I am hyperaware of the possibility of this occurring again in the future and it will be a consideration if I have anything critical that requires me to be “on” the next day.  In other words, I will definitely use the earplugs next time!

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