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Business takes me to Orange County, California at least a couple of times a year and often many times more. As such, I’ve become overly familiar with many of the properties affiliated with the four loyalty programs I regularly participate in. But I like to play favorites and the Hyatt Regency Orange County ends up near the top of my search list every time I have a stay around the Anaheim area.
On this particular stay, I arrived in the late evening, pulling my convertible into the front driveway to park. The entry of this hotel is always a welcome site with an elegant driveway fronting the buildings.
There was no line to check in and my Diamond status was recognized immediately. I selected the bonus points as my amenity and the front desk clerk reminded me that I’d also receive a full breakfast in the morning which would be covered along with an 18% gratuity.
I was assigned room 657 in the north tower, a one bedroom suite. The design is perfect for families or groups as the living room can be closed off from the bedroom by double doors – and the bathroom is outside the bedroom, giving parents room for a bit of separation (and sleep!)
The bedroom is smaller but comfortable – plenty of space for luggage and sleeping!
The bathroom is slightly larger than a standard hotel bathroom – again, nothing special but room enough for two people to be in there at the same time.
One of my favorite things about the décor is the Disney-themed artwork on the walls. Unlike other area properties with similar art schemes, the Hyatt has chosen to do more contemporary photographs of Disney (mine included a close-up of a carousel house, a California Adventure landscape, and two different monorail perspectives).
The standard rooms are also nice in this property and equally elegantly appointed.
Management was regularly visible and walking around. This was nice to see and I was twice stopped and asked how my stay was going.
The hotel has a firepit in the evenings (perfect for cool nights in Orange County) and one even can purchase smores kits for $8 in the hotel gift shop to enjoy around the fire.
The full breakfast buffet was nice and contained a wide variety of items to fit any taste, including my wheat-free, allergy-sensitive pickiness. They included not only buffet items but a limited cook-to-order station as well.
Service was great but when I received my bill at breakfast – gratuity was not added in, so I calculated 18% and added it to the bill per (what I thought were) the front desk instructions. My server certainly had earned it!
After breakfast, I headed back up to my room to do a bit of work until my late checkout that I had arranged, since I had no clients to see that day.
Around 3 pm, I grabbed my bags and headed downstairs, stopping first by the valet stand to request my convertible.
I was asked when I requested to check out if I wanted to leave my charges on the card on file. I requested that I see a copy of the folio first. (This is a pet peeve of mine – if there are other charges on the bill, a review of the folio should always be offered!) I was surprised to see the gratuity charge for my breakfast still on my folio.
I asked about the policy and was told that since I wrote this in, it was additional to my benefit. I recounted what happened and she told me the gratuity should have been added by the restaurant, not by me.
I told her it wasn’t.
“So you want to pay the gratituty, correct?”
“No, I want the 18% that you cover.”
“Okay, so I’ll leave this on your bill.”
“No, you should take it off.”
“So you’ll be paying for room, valet, and gratuity?”
“No, I need you to remove that from my bill.”
And after a couple more back and forth exchanges like this, she finally did.
“Oh, okay, I’ll remove that then.”
I was frustrated, but at least it was remedied.
But if this is the worse part of my stay, I’d say we are doing well. The Hyatt Regency Orange County is still my favorite property in the Anaheim/Disneyland vicinity. As I drove off with the top dropped, I knew I’d be back again soon.