Thursday, December 14, 2017

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, A review

EJ enjoying the cozy little living room section of our hotel room. It's hard to beat a sectional couch.

From time to time, if you run a local website, you will be offered the opportunity to review things: restaurants, plays, and sometimes brand new hotels. In October of this year, EJ and I had the opportunity to review Ann Arbor's newest hotel, the Hyatt off south State Street. In full disclosure, we received our room for free as well as a $25 voucher to use in the restaurant and bar in the Hotel.

There is something strange about staying in a hotel in your own city. I remember we did it once when I was a child. My family stayed at Weber's for a few days in elementary school one winter when my brother, sister, and I were all stricken with lice. There are of course non-lice related reasons a local might stay at a local hotel. EJ and I stayed at one after our wedding so we could be closer to guests. Also, local hotels can be useful when your heat goes out in the winter, or if you want to carry on an affair away from the prying eyes of the public.

Hyatt Place Ann Arbor is a nice hotel. It is brand new so everything felt clean and fresh. In the lobby area there was a cozy little sitting area lined with tall bookshelves stacked with antique books. It was a great spot to curl up and read or just people watch. EJ and I had a room on the 4th floor that had a king-sized bed and a nice little sitting area. The furnishings were comfortable. Also there were plenty of places to charge our various electronic devices.

The bathroom was clean and spacious. I really hate hotel bathrooms that feel to damp or that stay damp after a shower. Fortunately our bathroom did not have these problems. The tile floor and glass shower were nice and modern.

We didn't get a chance to try out the pool, but it seemed very popular with the under-ten set. EJ and I did make it to the Hyatt's fitness center. It was well equipped with modern machines, dumbbells, and yoga balls.

There were really only two downsides to our experience at Hyatt Place Ann Arbor. First is the location. Hyatt Place Ann Arbor is located in what I would like to call the "Hotel District." That South State Street neighborhood just north of I-94. It is convenient to drive to, but if you've come to Ann Arbor to experience the city, you're going to need to bus, drive, or Lyft into downtown. That said, EJ and I did walk over to the Buffalo Wild Wings. I was a surprisingly pleasant walk featuring a nice little bridge across a creek. The neighborhood around Hyatt Place Ann Arbor isn't particularly terrible it is just one of those places in Ann Arbor that feels like it could be anywhere in the United States.

The food at the Hyatt was not great. It could have been because when EJ and I went there, the place had just opened. Our theory was that the kitchen was still getting up to speed and sorting out some kinks. EJ got a burger which was a bit bland and a little sloppy. It tasted like it had been frozen. It wasn't terrible, it was just not great and not worth the price ($12). In Ann Arbor there are a lot of great burgers that are at or below the $10 price point. I ordered a spinach salad with a grilled chicken breast. It tasted fine, but the fresh berries on the salad were a little past their prime. The restaurant at Hyatt Place Ann Arbor, or the 24/7 Galley Kitchen, as they like to call it may have been suffering from the fact that it is optimized to make food 24/7. I do see how a 24/7 restaurant could be appealing to some travelers. It just seems like some freshness may have been sacrificed in exchange for convenience or expediency. Knowing what we know now, I think EJ and I would have gravitated towards some other menu items: the flatbread pizzas or the Korean street tacos. Again I want to stress that some of our negative impression of the food could be due to the fact that the hotel is brand new and that the kitchen could still be figuring things out. On the positive side, I really enjoyed the coffee at the continental breakfast.

Overall EJ and I really enjoyed our stay at Hyatt Place Ann Arbor. It was clean, comfortable, and modern. All the employees there seemed to really take pride in their work. They were friendly, polite, and professional. It would be a great place to book for a local wedding, or if you have out of town guests visiting.

No comments:

Post a Comment