Due to my United 1K Status Match/Challenge I found myself positioning in Boston ahead of a flight to Shanghai. While this is not my first stay at the Hyatt Regency Boston Harbor, it was my first time in one of their suites. I also tried out a suite upgrade trick that worked, but made me feel guilty after using it. Was it wrong? Was it fair? You decide.
In my ultimate quest to get the benefits I am entitled to through my status (entitled as in the hotel loyalty program grants it to me in exchange for my business), I have been a little more diligent in pursuing upgrades. I covered why they are difficult for some hotels, and I also covered that I will start to be more insistent this year in this post.
From the airport, I called for the shuttle and then asked to be connected with the front desk. The exchange went something like this:
“Hi, I have a reservation tonight and I am a Globalist.”
“I see that Mr. Stewart, thank you for choosing our hotel.”
“I noticed that there are still suites available for sale on the website, is there any chance you can upgrade me tonight to one of them?”
“No problem sir, let me just process that now… [clicking, clacking]… all set.”
There is nothing wrong with that exchange except for one guilty admission. I hadn’t checked the website. I was guessing. Well, no I wasn’t guessing, I was lying. I feel a little bit bad about it, but one thing makes me not feel so bad about it. They hadn’t upgraded me proactively and my luck at hotels trying to upgrade at checkin hasn’t been great.
I may or may not get skewered by commenters on this, but allow me to justify my action. If the hotel already knows I will be staying and chose not to proactively upgrade me, then I have to ask when I checkin. In the past, when I have done this I might get a “high floor” type upgrade, but I’m not usually getting suites. I also don’t want to be confrontational if I can avoid it. I just want my stated benefit if it is available and a high floor but the same room is not an upgrade to me.
The front desk night audit had no issue in giving me the upgrade over the phone so maybe the deception wasn’t necessary. However, if I had looked it up and there were suites available, would my action have been acceptable then (I think it would have been). Was it cheeky to trick them or is it fair play given that some front desk agents (not necessarily this hotel but just generally in my experience) will not offer a suite even though I may be entitled and one might be available?
The suite was two converted separate guest rooms. The living room had the couch already pulled out and ready for guests on the pullout. There was an additional chaise lounge next to the couch, which seemed a little odd pushed against the wall.
The TV in the living room was huge, I’d guess 60″ which is suitable for a home living room, but pretty big for a hotel room. There was a small library underneath the TV and I thought it was a classy touch. The little library held a collection of both somewhat contemporary fiction as well as some classic books that appeared to be decorative.
In the bedroom, a pair of chairs facing each other and sharing a table would have been nice for room service. The setup was across from another beautiful view of the harbor, like the living room next door.
The bed was comfortable, there were lots of bedside plugs and space for devices – I have nothing but good things to say about the bed. Both rooms also included huge mirrors, a touch that I remember from JW Marriott properties but isn’t really a Hyatt trait. They made the room look bigger and added some simple but elegant design.
I only have two complaints. The first is with that beautiful TV believe it or not. In my previous Hyatt Place and in this Hyatt Regency, both used proprietary software to operate satellite TV and their movie-on-demand service. On this trip I decided to bring along an old Apple TV because I had some TV shows I wanted to watch.
In both properties I was unable to get access to the inputs and switch to something I actually wanted to watch. Satellite TV isn’t my favorite mostly because cloud cover makes it useless, I’d rather stream. If any readers know a work around for this, please leave a comment – I am all ears.
The second minor complaint I had was in regards to the connecting doors from the bedroom to the living room. One of the doors would stay open, the other would close and had to be held open with luggage. If I had guests it could be a little awkward but I was staying alone so it really wasn’t a big deal. Like I said, it’s minor but it’s also easily fixed by the hotel. I trust that it will be corrected in this room.
Neither bathroom in this suite (one in the living room, one in the bedroom) were particularly special. I would have liked a shower-only option instead of shower over tub, but I really don’t have any compliments or complaints. I found it a little odd that the living room bathroom appeared to be nicer, cleaner and more updated than the bedroom, but there wasn’t anything wrong with either of them.
This property did not have a lounge so breakfast was offered to me as a Globalist in the lobby restaurant. If a hotel will allow it (some will and some won’t) I prefer room service when I have morning flights. It’s not a statement of grandeur but rather my food arrives at a predictable time and I can continue doing whatever I might be doing to get ready or answering calls/emails. This hotel said no, and that’s fine. I decided not to pay for it out-of-pocket and instead come downstairs on my way to the shuttle.
Some prefer buffets for their fast self-service and extended variety (or quantity). Others like to order off the menu for their bespoke, made-to-order quality. Globalists had their choice of either. As I was seated, the host noted that I could order custom eggs off the buffet and that it featured juice, coffee, fruit, french toast, etc.
I was running a little late so I went ahead with the buffet and sat there for a few minutes waiting for a server to come by with coffee and take my egg order. It didn’t happen and the clock was ticking so I headed for the buffet to make myself a plate and found myself returning to the table with just potatoes and bacon.
If you wanted hot food on the buffet, the options were pretty limited.
In the tins (I didn’t have time to open them all then stand back and take a photo) were scrambled eggs, breakfast potatoes and bacon. There was also a sausage option but that wasn’t for me and was pretty sparse. Everything was pretty well picked over and just seemed to lack effort. For example, there were three choices of fruit, watermelon (abundant), cantaloupe (limited), and green melon. Seriously, all of them were melon. I’m not an anti-melonite, but would it have killed them to peel a couple of oranges?
Breakfast took more than 15 minutes to arrive and the plates were hot which suggests to me (5 years working in the restaurant industry) that they were sitting in the window for at least five of those minutes. I had made it clear that I was pressed for time so this was disappointing.
View/Harborside Fire Pits
The view both from my room and downstairs in the restaurant was amazing. For hotels that want to appeal to millennials (it seems every brand is at least saying this regardless of whether or not they actually do appeal to them) – this one has cracked the code.
I walked outside to grab a picture of the harbor and found a handful of fire pits lit, about half of them hosting a group of young people talking, drinking and eating. Each group seemed to be having a great time without disrupting the other separate groups.
While I don’t think that fire pits or enjoying a nice evening outside on the harbor is exclusive to millennials, there were zero people outside that looked over the age of 40. Inside, however, there were a few tables and couches with people who appeared to be Generation Y or X having glasses of wine and talking as well.
The view from my room matched the one downstairs (they both faced the harbor) but from the restaurant the view was even more impressive. Windows appeared to extend more than 20 feet high – I didn’t have a tape measure, I am just eyeballing it.
Proximity to Airport
The hotel is not connected to the airport but it’s so close that one of the runways is directly in line with one of the runways to the extent that departures are only a possibility in one direction. In fact, there were some Southwest 737s parked so close to the hotel that it looked like they were just sitting in the parking lot.
Unfortunately the photos I took were not of very high quality as it was in a glass elevator in motion. They weren’t worth posting, but the view was impressive.
I took the hotel shuttle to and from the airport. It took about 10-15 minutes for the shuttle to arrive (for B gates the door is 115) and was available on demand when I arrived at 10:20PM. The actual drive was only about five minutes and mostly consisted of curling around the airports intricate roadways.
It’s about as close as you can get with the exception of the attached Hilton hotel. I am sure the Hilton is faster, but I think that also depends on which terminal you arrive and depart.
Have you stayed at this hotel before? Was my suite upgrade trick fair, immoral or neither?